press play below for the perfect soundtrack.
“And having learned, too, by now, some of the pitiful confusions in behaviour caused by ignorance and pain, I love you no less for what you were.”
- Alice Walker, Living by the Word
I’m in my AirBnB in Alkmaar Netherlands. I suddenly had this feeling like I hadn’t stopped all year. Like I’m just now pausing and seeing where I’m at. Feeling what’s up. Something I’ve learned about myself is I am the most sentimental person. I am so deeply emotional, so deeply feeling. Change requires processing through me. Letting go takes ages inside me. Outside I can maintain, I can push, I can make things happen in the world. I can move toward my desires. But inside I am pillow soft. I am learning. I’m full of contradictions as I’m sure we all are. But deeply, and consistently I feel at home with a low level of sadness, of mourning. Songs, movies, books and scenes that speak to it are my favourite. It’s not that I can’t feel joy, that I don’t see and appreciate all that is my life, because I do. It’s just there is this depth of feeling, this visceral feeling of things. It can be something small like the way the top of a body of water sparkles in the sun, or how a perfect mix of nineties brandy, mary j and aaliyah stumbled upon on soundcloud can take me back to being young. I know too that I’ve always been this way.
I can’t remember a version of me who wasn’t penning love letters to someone who likely found it way too much. Who wasn’t searching to find new ways to tell the ones around me how deeply I adore them. Who wasn’t putting on a brave face when things got tough and continuing to handle things, despite. I thrive with space and time and peace. Maybe we all do. I need minutes, hours, days alone to calibrate, to process, to gain perspective. I like silence. I like to observe. For a long time, I’ve judged myself simply for being me. I’ve told myself I’m too sensitive, too emotional, too quiet, too needy, I love too much, I feel too much. And I’ve decided I won’t do that anymore, or I’ll try to catch myself when I do. I am the way that I am. I am a deep pool of emotion for some precious reason, I think I might understand someday. I am a gentle vessel, learning to allow the full range of my emotions. To silence myself less. To allow myself more. I think maybe that’s the key to life. To allow all things.
I’ve been reading Alice Walker’s writing on my trip so far. Her takes on life and relationships are speaking to me so much. I love when I feel called toward a certain author or a certain book and it turns out to fit just so. She writes about life, exactly what I love to read. About the little details, the contents of her dreams, what her childhood horse taught her, how she learned to accept her fathers brand of love. I love this style of writing life. It helps me in sitting back and observing. Reminds me to reflect and notice. I am learning to let go and seeing that in doing so room is created for more, energy is created for what’s next. Holding too tightly stifles every time. Sometimes if it feels important, if it feels crucial, it’s hard to let go a little. It feels risky to step back. From my experience though letting go, taking a few deep breaths and saying a little prayer creates the space needed for what’s next. Maybe it will work for you too.
for more listening: