Living in the Gray Area

So, I think my coffee cream went bad. Is it supposed to be like whipping cream? I could walk down to the convenience store that is half a block from my home and grab some fresh cream, but I don’t feel like it. I will take my chances and drink my coffee because I want to write this blog. I have to do my writing first thing in the morning, right when I wake up, or else my ideas and thoughts become muted by outside distractions. So, I am hoping I don’t get sick while writing this.

Actually, I hate grocery shopping at all, not just today. I have waters and some jam in my fridge right now, and peanut butter and popcorn in my cupboard. Anyone looking at my kitchen would think I was back in college, except that I don’t have any alcohol. My eating habits have been less than stellar as I feel like I live on vegan juices (that I buy and don’t make), protein bars, peanut butter and I hate to say it, but I have a slight addiction right now to sugar free Red Bulls. They just do the trick and get me going when I lose my energy. I probably should be eating a meal instead, but who has time?

Since I moved to Los Angeles, I have been nonstop. But nonstop in a good way. The LA art scene has welcomed me with open arms and I am busy creating art for my next show on March 18th in downtown Los Angeles. It is a lot of work, but I am extremely grateful for the opportunity. I am also grateful for my finance job that made it possible for me to move down here, and I am beyond grateful to live across the street from the ocean, But the thing I am most grateful for are the new friends that I am making here. Sometimes I am just overwhelmed by their kindness and understanding. They just ‘get’ me, there are no long exhausting misunderstandings and explanations. Just the opposite, actually. Before I can even finish my sentence they are nodding in agreement and adding to it. They are helping me to understand myself. I have always been the helper, the counselor, the person that took care of everyone. So, to have so many people in my life now that want to help take care of me feels overwhelming at times. Sometimes I stare in the mirror, and say ‘yes’ I am still here on earth, I haven’t left and gone an alternate universe where everything makes sense. I have just built better boundaries, and changed who I invite into my life.

Also, I have started dating. The first date I had, I thought I was going to pass out, throw up, or cancel. I was so nervous. What if I got tongue tied and had nothing to say? I am not good at hiding my feelings, and what if I didn’t like him? Or worse, what if he didn’t like me? I knew immediately the outfit I was going to wear, but everything else was up in the air. But when I showed up, he was more nervous than me! I immediately relaxed and I had a great time. He was considerate, kind, and very interested in what I had to say. He is a nice person, who genuinely wants to impress me, and that feels really good! Especially coming from a place where I had to jump through hoops just to be acknowledged.

I am slowly realizing that it really does matter who you surround yourself with, especially those that are intimate or very close to you. They can make you feel absolutely amazing and special, or they can make you feel that you don’t matter. I see myself as a strong person, who is not overly influenced by those around me, but I now know that being around people that don’t understand, or ‘get’ me zaps my energy. It especially depletes my creative energy, and takes away from the ideas that come to me that help me write and create my art.

I still have challenges here, of course. But now instead of internalizing them all, I have people to talk to. And if they are not available I put on my shorts and tank top and I walk the beach and put my feet in the ocean. The ocean calms me, and speaks to me. It tells me to take my time and trust the process, and that there is no hurry to get to some unknown final destination. It reminds me that life is a beautiful unfolding of possibilities and discovering of my potential, and that it will all happen as it is supposed to happen. The ocean is my meditation, and also the place where I heal. It washes away the person that I once was who was always so desperate for approval and acceptance. I used to be angry at that person for allowing herself to be so badly taken advantage of, but I am learning to forgive her. She didn’t know any better, and she thought that love was a giving in, and giving up because that is what she learned as a child.

Starting over is scary, as my future is wide open. Anything could happen, and a lot will happen. I am currently living in an undefined gray area, where every morning I wake up and learn a different part of my future. Some days it is hard to stay open, and I want to regress back to being numb. But I pull myself out of it, I open my heart, and I move forward. And I have learned it is a lot easier to do this when you know you have people around you that truly want you to succeed and be happy. I am so fortunate to have people like this in my life, not only in Los Angeles, but my friends in Portland who cheer me on every step of the way, and all of my Instagram friends. I feel you! I thank you! And I love you back!

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