I haven’t been writing as much here as I was, besides run reports which are quick and easy to keep up with. Even writing this now, I’m not entirely sure it’ll come out in a coherent way and be anything more than a placeholder (expect lots of lists…!) Nothing bad has happened and I am still doing all the things I was doing before, but I’ve realized I’m going through some pretty massive changes and all of a sudden my understanding of where I’m at is behind on where I actually am.
Things have been foggy and confusing, and exhilarating and brilliant, in about equal proportion! One thing I’ve been doing (incidentally) is reading back over some journals – from the time I was just leaving uni, and from when I was living on my own here afterwards – and it feels like I’m reading something written by some completely separate person. I barely recognize myself in what I wrote besides the style and the handwriting, and I can hardly see the strings that link who I was then to who I am now. I have never been so close to having the things I dream about, and I’ve never been so confident or convinced that they will come true. I feel like all my dreams are laid out before me in a very practical sense, they’re not here yet but there are things I can do, right now, to bring them closer, and that’s enough for me to be able to imagine and re-cast myself as the person I will be when I become what I dream of. Having the possibility open to me to act, every day, in ways that lead me to where I want to be – it just seems like such a luxury compared to the days when I had no idea what I wanted or how to get there.
So to update where I have come to:
- My health kick is still going strong, seven weeks in. Although the scales are confusing me, I’m seeing regular losses, I have much better habits, my clothes are looser, and I can see the difference in myself. I’m hopeful of completing the majority of the work on this by the end of the year and starting 2014 with a different outlook.
- I’ve made contact with the engineer at the studios where I want to record the album, have the songs very nearly ready, and have played in front of someone else for the first time. It’s entirely within the realm of possibility/probability that these sessions will get done in the next 2 months and the album can still be ready for Christmas. I’m gig-ready on a whole bunch of old songs as well and feeling all-round like my skills have improved.
- I failed my finance exam! You know that horrid one I was studying for the first half of the year? Big fat fail. That was not how I planned this year but it’s less of a big deal than it seems – I can re-sit, if work want me to.
Something in the balance of those three things has really shifted my mind and made me focus more on my priorities. I can definitely be successful with the first two, the things that really matter, and my centre of gravity has shifted away from work and the career-related stuff on that side. This is a HUGE change for me in terms of identity. These things just seemed so far-fetched even recently – I came across a tracker from 1Q of this year and it seemed like almost another world, I was just going to try what I could without any certainty of getting anywhere, now I’m here and within touching difference of really changing my life for good. Something just clicked inside me last week, that everything I want is just out there for the taking. I am doing the right things and all I have to do is continue doing them and I will get there!
And so I’m adapting that and trying to embrace this new identity, a new vision of myself, a new version of what I might be capable of, as much as I can. The results will be great, but the change has me in turmoil – because a lot of my life so far has been about making it through the negatives rather than really going all out for the positives. I’m not scared of success but the process of change itself does leave me feeling a little unhinged, when everything is unfamiliar. For instance, I can see myself withdrawing from social events and pulling away a little from friendships, because if I change all my relationships have to change and I don’t know how that’ll all pan out yet. It’s not deliberate but it is instinctive and I’ve been here before. I’m doing things that, emotionally, I feel like I need in order to make things make sense, even if they might not be the most obvious choices. I am changing, allowing myself to change, giving myself space to change because I want these changes to be big and lasting. Then on top of that things are different again because my former way of coping with change would be to fall back on my eating disorder, which I’m trying to avoid doing any more since being healthy is one of the changes I’m trying to bring about. So not only am I changing but my methods of adapting to change have changed too, and I’m not sure how that’ll work out yet either.
That all feels a little bit mad, but I’ve no doubt that this is a positive process. I know I have a bit of a crazy side to me and the solution for my life is to manage that and control it, to ride the border where I am at my most creative and unique, while keeping my feet on the ground – I think that’s where the ultra-organised side of my personality comes in, I have to be sure at all times of where I stand with regard to what is required of me in “real” life (where the other people are ;)) while giving myself space to be me and believing in myself enough to know that I am valuable. Those two parts of me, the creative and the organized, are most prominent and equally important, and I guess they keep each other in check. That makes sense to me.
As a result of this there are several things I’m trying to do to move forward. I don’t want anything to distract me from completing this phase of change, but I don’t want to lose my mind either! These are just a few random things that I’m implementing at the moment:
- Stick like glue to the structural aspects of my routine: workouts, music time, cleaning list. Make sure the important things get done.
- Work proactively for positivity in my mental health – I’ve added daily lists of progress and strengths to my happy list, which are designed to make me believe I am a strong person making progress J also I’ve started doing weekly CBT work again.
- I’ve been holding steady with my diet – it’s not “perfect” but it IS sustainable and I’m not sure if the two aren’t mutually exclusive anyway! I don’t think I need to do much more tweaking to the actual “plan” – there are elements of the plan which are looser than others but it seems to be working. What I do need to do is work on sticking with the “plan” more consistently and so I’m targeting certain problem areas to build better habits, first one being not eating when getting home from work or while making dinner. Once I have that down I have a couple of other areas to work on.
- I had a look ahead at the schedule for the next 9 months (to my birthday next year) to get an idea of the long-term plan and what I can hope to achieve. I poured a lot of hopes and dreams into that planner and it made clear to me that I’m going to need to make certain adjustments over the winter and as my fitness escalates, to keep moving forwards. That was a really worthwhile and inspiring exercise and I’m sure I’ll come back to it to add some more.
- One thing I’ve realized is that I need more journaling time to help me process all the changes that are happening. Changing your whole image, your body and how everyone sees you – BIG deal. Massive. Changing your career? Also massive. It takes time to process and keep up with these things. My evenings are jammed (what with trying to get into better sleep habits too) so one of the things I’m going to try, is finding more ways to move ahead with music while I’m on the road, so I can do a little less in the evening and give myself a second session of writing in the day. There are several things I can do – if I have a song that’s started, I can get quite a bit of writing done while walking along using the memo and voice recorder bits of my phone. I can look up and write out lyrics for memorisation, and listen thoroughly to songs I want to learn, and I can listen to the updated progress recordings of my own songs. I just need to be a bit organized.
- I’m trying, as far as possible, to go where my emotional needs lead me. This sounds a bit vague, but sometimes I’ll be wanting to see a certain film or read a bit of a particular book, or revisit something that happened in one of my journals, and when I follow through on those things I usually find greater peace and energy afterwards (even if it results in less sleep). Songwriting often falls in this category too – I’ve been depending on it more heavily as a processing mechanism lately. It’s good to go with my instincts and be a bit spontaneous with this side of things.
- I need to work on my budget/spending, because with the 5-week month I didn’t save anything at all this month. I’m working to reduce my food spend, but I need to keep an eye out for other places I can cut back.