Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Dead ends....apples...and sustenance.

Ever heard anyone use that whole apples to apples analogy thing-y? Today – driving to work – I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

They say you should only compare apples to apples – NOT apples to oranges. Or in my world – NOT apples to green donkey dicks.

Today - I have realized I could use a refresher course on this apple, orange, dick thing.

I’m a woman – news flash I know! – and that means I compare myself to others like nobody’s business. And it gets me nowhere. It’s like choosing to go down a dead end street when you know damn well it won’t lead you anywhere. You can choose to drive down it and get to the end and sit there….and you have two choices. Turn around and go back and embrace the journey and respect the dead end drive. Or throw it in 4 wheel drive, jump the curb, and drive through fields and ditches for as long as your car can take it. The first gets you somewhere. The second gets you a hefty car bill and probably some bumps and bruises and you feel (and look) like a raving lunatic.

Do I have a point? Yes.

My point is that lately I’ve been feeling like Care Bear dung. Migraines nearly every other day and debilitating fatigue – and after another long night of no sleep and another migraine I wanted to come into work here and cry to a co-worker about it. I want to have a pity party. I want someone to feel sorry for me. I want compassion.

I want to whine about how 3 jobs is too much, being a mother is too much, working out is too much, volunteering is too much, dieting is too much – life is just too much. I had all the words ready. Tears were on the tips of my eyelashes.

And then? I thought no. I cannot complain. How dare I? I have the things in life that matter most. Love, children, family, a roof, a job….and on and on. Who the hell am I to cry?

And yet the urge to shed tears remains. It’s been months since tears have fallen from these eyes and yet, today….it’s all I want to do.

I remember being bedridden and feeling many, many things but a HUGE one was guilt. How could I not get out of bed? I had everything a person could ever want and I couldn’t move? How was that even possible? There were others with real problems – like loss of a loved one or a job or sickness. Things that mattered.

I was comparing my life and my pain to others. Dead end street. NOT apples to apples. Though I felt for them – my pain was mine. And it was real and valid.

I remember dieting and working my literal ass off and seeing my size 4 sister eat entire pizzas and not gain a pound. I was comparing my body to hers, my metabolism to her, my 15 year age difference to her – NOT apples to apples. Dead end street. Though I can wish I was her – my body is mine. And it is real and beautiful.

I now think of today – the stress, the fatigue, the overwhelming anxiety, the difficulty of daily life – and then I compare my life to others who have real issues and real problems and I feel guilt and I hold back the tears and I tell no one how I feel. The truth is – I have no idea the pains they are hiding. I am comparing my life to someone else’s. Another dead end street. NOT apples to apples. Though I can think my pain and stress is trivial in comparison – it is not. It is mine. And it is real and I feel it.

So today I say to you – I am learning. Learning to give a voice to what I feel. Learning it’s okay to say, “Hey – I feel like hell today. Could you hold my hand and tell me it’ll be okay? Can you reach out and wipe my tears away if I let myself cry them?”

I’m learning to reach out. Learning to stop comparing.

It’s all part of my intentions list – being enough, feeling enough, having enough and reaching out and being more instead of doing more.

I am human. I hurt. I feel.

And though I have everything a person could ever need and want – I’m still allowed to feel pain and stress and hurt. Once in a while you have to sit at the bottom to realize what you have at the top. I don’t want to stay in this mental place…and I won’t…but once in a while it’s okay to visit.

I must give myself permission. It’s really not normal to be okay every single day. Even Wonder Woman gets her period or gets shit on by Superman or gets a zit or something right?

So yah – today I’ve chosen to go down the dead end road and I’m just sitting there. Right at the decision point. Turn back, embrace the path that took me here, embrace back-tracking and finding a new, better road OR choose to jump the curb, risk injury and pain and knowingly enter the jungle.

It’ll be okay. I’ll make the right choice. Today though? I’m just sitting. Waiting to decide. Allowing myself to feel scared and stressed and worried about making the right decision.

I’ll learn to trust myself. I’ll learn this is MY path and MY journey…and no one else’s.

I’ll learn to stop comparing. Comparing leads straight to dead ends. And folks? Sitting at dead ends sucks green donkey dicks. Trust me.

Thank God I farted some gumdrops so I have something to munch on while I decide which direction to choose. And you thought I farted those just for fun didn’t you?

Nope. Gumdrops = sustenance. Enough said.

Tell me, do you compare? Do you knowingly enter dead ends? Do you turn back or jump the curb? Do you allow yourself to sit BEFORE you decide which direction you’ll ultimately go?

And most importantly – what do you pack to munch on while you’re sitting there?


Joanna said...

I can relate to this so much. I've been sitting at a dead end for two days. I've been sick, and wanted to start 2011 off with a big bang back into losing weight and exercising...can't do that when I can barely breath. I've felt sorry for myself, whined, pouted, cried - all of it getting me nowhere.

I've decided to stay sitting at the dead end until I feel better - then I'll make the decision. I know it will be the right decision - but sometimes, you just need to sit and think about it.

Oh, and I'm munching on everything and anything - trying to get my tastebuds back. :(

Karen Butler Ogle said...

This post touched me deeply. It was a long time before I could allow myself to cry or express emotion without feeling selfish and guilty. I was ridiculed for crying when I was a child just as i was punished for laughing if the grownups were mad at each other. Learned to repress and that has done irreparable damage. We are all allowed to have feeling. and all our feelings are valid. There is no shame in feeling. No shame in crying. Crying sometimes is just what is needed to release the pent-up feelings that we have no way else to express. Crying can be a GOOD thing. Go some where and let it all out and remember that we all have that need to release out anxieties and fear and that there is nothing wrong with that. Hugs.

Ms. M said...

I can totally relate to darn near every word of this. Even though I know its unproductive to compare myself and/or my actions to other people I still find myself doing it.

Right now - I am sitting - until I can come up with a solid plan. I had every intention of coming home from our trip with a plan... but um yeah... that did NOT happen. So I sit... pondering my options... munching on Special K bars and string cheese...

Jen said...

Feeling things is good. It's the lack of feeling that worries me. (personally - it's when I know I'm in a bad place.) Give it a good cry and let it out. Things WILL be better.

MrsFatass said...

I do compare. (I even compare my crazy to yours. All the time).

I love this post. And I love you. (How was volleyball? Hotass)

Sandy Lee said...

Oh Sweetie. Go ahead and have a good cry. I don't compare anymore because there will always be someone who has more/less than me, who has bigger/smaller problems than me... We are who we are and have to accept that we can never fix the world but we can certainly feel for the world. I'm feeling for you right now. But if you want, I will go eat chocolate if it makes you feel better.

BTW, I am on two days of sick leave just because it is what I need. Not sick but just need to time to do nothing after all the excitement over Christmas. Sometimes it is good to just do nothing. And eat chocolate.

Lisa said...

I feel you on this 100%. Thanks for sharing this post Draz.

LDswims said...

The thing about comparisons is you never know how the person "really" feels about their situation. That homeless man bundled up in newspaper might be there because "he wants to be". Yep. It's true. Some people choose to embrace what some others consider problems/issues.

I don't think we get the luxury of deciding what is really a problem and what is really not. Sometimes the demands of day to day drudgery are just worse than the loss of a loved one. Day to day drudgery can seem like there is no end in sight while (and I can say this cause I've been there) the grief of losing a loved one is temporary. Yes, I still miss my mom every single day. But yes, I knew at the time that she died as I know today that MY life would go on and SHE would not want me to sit around and be miserable. My life changed course and gears and all that, but it went on.

Drudgery, on the other hand...where's the respite in that? A week long vacation here or there that throws our routine and wherewithall into the wind? Promise of a retirement thirty years away? It's hard not to be impacted by the thought of all of this hanging on our shoulders.

So, I think I have built that dead end into my existence. Sometimes, like you, I choose to go down that dark alley and just chill out. Cause sometimes the most beautiful parts of life are found where we least expect them.

As for the munchies...gonna have to say, today, since they are sitting on a coworkers desk and I want to take them BADLY...cheese balls. You know, the puffed corn type of yum!

Jess said...

I'm with Sandy Lee! Chocolate is definitely the thing to munch on at these particular dead ends. Possibly a whole box of Russell Stover's fine milk chocolates? Yup, I do believe so!

~ Darla ~ said...

Wow, finally one thing I don't do. I can't compare myself to anyone else because we are not apples to apples. In my job I hear the apples to apples almost daily and I must make my decisions via those comparisons. Great post, Draz. You are unique and funny and cool...nothing like an apple.

Dizzy Girl said...

I agree with Darla- you are SO not an apple.

I used to compare myself all the time and then one day I just stopped. It was soo exhausting. I'm so glad I quit too, because I still find things to get exhausted about, minus the comparing. And the comparing just constantly tore me down! I had no opportunity to build self respect; it sucked.

You are NOT AN APPLE. Quit comparing yourself to apples, it's a waste of your time.