Cat Hair Strangulation

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This back deck has produced many life giving conversations.

This weekend was entirely too necessary. The cement walls of Little Rock and the uncertainty of new beginnings was piling 10 pound weights on my chest and my cat decided to add a little pressure by covering it all with cat hair. Every day I felt as though I was strangling on the previous evening’s happenings, insecurities brought about embracing the cuss words: vulnerability and openness, and my romanticized notion of a life not my own. How quickly this can spiral into self-doubt which in turn makes me want to run and hide under the covers, also infused with black cat hair – damn you Dylan.

I needed open air, yes that would solve all my busy thoughts. I can’t say that it didn’t help but more so what softened and quieted my mind were the conversations I had with dear confidents that have seen all of me. Friends that love me for my vulnerabilities (word of the week) not despite them – some I have deemed family, you know who you are and have been warned. They understand the longing within me to do more for others, need for self-compassion, and the understanding of my past but more so the acknowledgment of the person I am now and the allowance to let me be – fully and without judgment – one huge hair ball of lovely, dark, light infused, tragic and courageous elements.

Amanda, my friend/counselor/sister, has lent me these words over the years- dichotomy and cognitive dissonance. I was speaking with another friend, Sarah, this weekend and finally realized that much of my internal discomfort was the result of a dichotomized self – I was split in two and felt as though I had to choose a side. Could I be both? Hold both life perspectives, dreams, all the while allowing for change and spontaneity to change either side? I was feeling pulled in one direction towards independence with connection and adventure and the other also with independence but with deep, middle earth, roots. Can’t I have it all?

(Cue my youngest godkiddo’s words the fake and overly dramatized, “Wah. Wah.”)

Sometimes choices are necessary and we live in a world where we are bombarded with them every waking second. We avoid or make them with too much or too little thought. But beware of the bite of cognitive dissonance. Here I was sitting, living a life that did not match up to what I believe to be true (ok that is dramatic, but you get what I’m saying) – leaving me to seek or romanticize a life that a friend was living or reverting to a past time that I made to be more truth than it was in reality.

My weekend was too necessary and exactly what I needed. Surrounded by friends that love all of me helped me feel encouraged and gave me the courage to embrace the uncertainty that is within my life – this is to live life fully with the belief of worthiness and that I am enough, we all are. I can have multiple dreams but I can’t forget to live in the moment because if I check myself I will recognize that this is a way for me to erase as much vulnerability from my life – to live for then rather than now. If I’m out of the present I can make so many wonderful plans that may never affect me, convenient, eh?

Rather than sitting here in fear of a life wasted– I sit in gratitude for all the amazing connections I have made over the years. Thank you dear friends for your consistent love and the challenge to live a wholehearted life – take this appreciation now because this may change when the hurt of living in a vulnerable world creeps in and then I’ll need reminding to keep going despite this- along with a huge, hand churned bowl of almond ice cream.

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