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September Surrender: Day Thirteen

What I’m Letting Go

I woke up in a horrible mood. I sat on the edge of my bed for ten minutes, just staring into the dark until I found the courage to get up and get dressed. It was a multitude of things holding me back; Going back to work after one of the best vacations I’ve had in recent years. Being in a messy, unclean apartment that I have no plans to finish cleaning anytime soon. I felt like going to work was the last thing I wanted to do. I had a taste of what I wish for my life, and it was back to reality for at least another day.

It rained this morning. That’s not a big deal. Sometimes it rains. Just like sometimes we feel sad for reasons we can’t even begin to explain. Just like I spoke about choices yesterday, I knew I had a choice on how I’d present myself back in the office: Would I come in signaling to everyone that something else was on my mind? No. I made the conscious effort to be as pleasant and cordial as possible, even if I didn’t feel like talking to anyone at great length for any amount of time. I’ve gone in before and been a complete and total downer, which I don’t think would have shocked anyone had I done that again today.

I did my job, I did everything I needed to and more today. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t eat a single snack and had to spit them all out. And then I was still subjected to another talking to about my job performance. All of a sudden I was told I need to ‘go back’ to line producing, even though it wasn’t my idea to be taken off it in the first place. The entire talk felt dire and weird and left me confused at to what anyone anywhere expects of me. It’s like there’s no good I can do, I only do things wrong. I wasn’t expecting to hear any of that, and I had absolutely nowhere to channel the utter frustration I felt.

When I tried explaining what I was feeling to my dad, I heard a lot of the same I’ve been hearing all my life. They’re paying me to be there. Do my job, stop thinking about myself and think about my job. Because if I lose my job, the entire family is fucked. It’s not that I felt a lot of pressure, it’s that I’m just clear about what I want to do while everyone around me sees me as something I’m not. I need to let go of the expectations people have for me and just focus on the job I’m meant to do. That means the corporate life and the life that lives in my heart. The life I know I can have if I keep working toward it. No one need know where my head’s at with this. I don’t need anyone else’s approval.

What I’ve Discovered

I bought a vape yesterday. I unwrapped it. It’s sitting in my drawer. No, I did not take a puff. I thought about it a lot, but decided against it. It didn’t feel right to do after that phone call with my parents, hearing my mom cop an attitude about this being her house and wanting to kick my dad out and not being able to explain what was making her so angry. So I put it away and just went to bed, happy with my choice not to give in.

While I was leaving work today and heading down the elevator toward the subway, I thought about taking a puff when I got home. But something stopped me. It was as if there was a conscious effort to keep on going with the clarity I have right now, and that disrupting that would cause some kind of terrible rift that would be impossible to come back from. When I was home, I thought about what I used to do: just sit around and be stoned all day, letting life pass me by as I stared at a computer screen. I mean, I still do that now, but something about marijuana just glues me to the couch and keeps me stuck in my own mental imprisonment.

I’ve made several attempts to stop smoking before. While I’ve been able to put cigarettes permanently behind me, pot has always been an issue. I’ve resigned myself to loving being stoned, but I also know it’s fine to take breaks once in a while. But every morning I wake up with the intention of stopping, some little alarm goes off in my head where I tell myself, quote, “We all know you’re gonna get stoned today.” It’s like I set my self up for failure before I even get a chance to live with the discomfort of nixing something from my ‘diet.’ But I really thought about it as I sat in my housedress, focusing on the bathroom floor below me. What seemed so appealing about sitting around stoned all day? Was that really something that I wanted to revisit? It just didn’t seem worth it to me, so the little vape I bought will stay where it’s at for now. I figured out that I can blow my own expectations out of the water, and not give in, no matter how much my oral fixation tells me how much I want to suck on something. I do have some herbal cigarettes should I jones for a puff, but it doesn’t get me high. It’s only supposed to open my heart, which I guess is what caused all the tears today. Guess I should have expected that.

What I Hope to Find

I begin the carnivore diet tomorrow. Finally. I’ve planned for this for a long time. I wanted to wait until I got back from vacation, because who wants to diet when you’re in a new place? I’m actually really excited to start. But I always feel like this before beginning something new. Then I enter “fuck it” mode and go back to my old ways. But something tells me this time may actually be different, and it’s not because most foods taste like sludge lately.

I often think other people’s expectations of me are too high. Like I disappoint them because I don’t live up to what they have inside their heads. But I never really concentrate on the expectations I have for myself. I still just expect a lot of what I hope to achieve will just fall into my lap one day. I know I have to do the work, and it’s becoming more and more apparent the older I get. I still have a lot of living left to do, but I can do it in the manner I’m meant to, which in my head means being the happiest and most complete person I can be. And a major part of that is losing this excess weight and keeping it off this time.

It just feels different for me now. I don’t want to disappoint myself, even if I’ve already broken a few of my monthly rules. I can dust myself off and try again and actually exceed my own expectations. It’s not what everyone else thinks about me, it’s how I feel about myself. And one day, someone will come along who sees what I see in me, as I hope to see what they see in themselves. It’s not too outlandish of an expectation, is it?

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