High on Life!

For quite a few years, I’d fallen off the gym wagon.  Okay, I’ll be honest, I fell like a ton of dead weight off of the exercise wagon in general.  I ate too much, put on the pounds, went to bed early, felt like a slug.  I was in a complete rut.  It pains me to admit that I could not even taste the good ole days of hiking every weekend (even going on overnights solo), of salsa dancing every Monday night (until 2AM I might add!), and of hitting yoga and step class and group cycling in between.

Tonight, though, I am so amped up from 7PM Zumba that I can’t sleep.

But, this post isn’t about the fact that I am exercising again.  It’s not about the night (a little over a year ago) that I naively decided to reenter the gym world by deciding to take my son to a Kids’ Dance Party at the Y.  It’s not about the fact that I thought some clunky stark-white hand-me-down Reeboks, a pair of light blue (Get this!) maternity sweatpants with bleach stains, and a junky old oversized tie-dyed (no less) t-shirt were acceptable to wear into the central lobby of the fancy newly constructed YMCA building in which everyone else looks like they came out of a fitness fashion magazine.  So, I won’t waste my time telling you about how nauseous and mortified I became after seeing my jiggly maternity-panted thighs in the reflection of the crystal clear second story window after it was suggested that the parents come up and do the Wobble.  The Wobble!  I knew then that I had to get back on my game.

No, this post is about reaching a healthy spring after a long emotional winter and trying to find, and sometimes succeeding in finding, that much coveted buzz of all buzzes.  The high one experiences from just living life right.

When I was in my early twenties, I traveled with a big green hiking pack and my broken street slang Spanish around central Mexico for a month by myself.  At that time, I taught English to immigrants and I went to visit some of my students’ families in the small villages surrounding the Spanish colonial cities of the area.  I also spent time in the beautiful cities taking Spanish classes, photographing mummies and cactuses, and, yeah, dancing the Cumbia.  I met new people along the way, but I flew into Mexico City by my lonesome and took buses and taxies from destination to destination with no tour guide or translator.  I was full of confidence and courage and it was amazing.

That trip, with all its beauty and life lessons and, honestly, its distinct challenges, was an example, for me, of living life right.  And, excitingly, I was able to make the trip by willing it to happen.  A wise friend had told me to always talk about what I wanted as if it were bound to come true or even had already happened.  So, instead of saying “If I go to Mexico” or “I wish I could go to Mexico,” I said “When I get to Mexico” and then, of course, I went.  Lovely lesson learned.

So, this buzz. This life.

In October, when discussing my need for and resistance to silences, I wrote: “Lately though, and perhaps I am just a product of this instant gratification society, I have been relentlessly searching for the thrill of life.  So much so that I rarely sit still.  I am, more often than not, living life in the hopes that something vivid and electrifying is going to happen at any moment, and should happen…”

Then, in January, I discussed a path that had unfolded before me in which I was no longer going to numb, in which I was going to face my truths with dignity and authenticity.  For me, in addition to allowing my emotions to bubble up and spring forth, that meant stopping the chasing of the smoke of pipe dreams and jumping head first into mirages.  I wasn’t going to find wholeness and happiness solely on the dance floor or in the bottom of a Martini glass for that matter.  (I don’t often drink Martinis, but you get my drift.)  It also meant letting go of old die-hard patterns, and situations, and memories, and of too much socializing, and even of the nature of relationships both new and established.  I’ve had to make some difficult choices.

Still, while on this path and while creating much needed silences, I have discovered ways to get that full-of-life intoxication.  Generally, it has to do with taking care of myself and recognizing pitfalls.  Exercise is one of those things.  Writing and journaling.  Meditating and prayer.  Spending less-than-wild times with friends.  (Although letting loose every once in a while is also a necessity for me!)  Acting with my Murder Mystery troupe.  Being present with my son.  Bliss in the empty spaces between the crazy.

Still, in some ways, it’s been painful.  I’ve had to let go of a lot.  So, in a sense, I am thawing.  (You know from that long emotional winter.) And, in my experience, when the heart or mind or body or soul begins to warm after a long period of subzero, subpar conditions, there is both pain and relief.  I am happy to have feeling in my fingers again, but damn it burns.

I can’t expect every day to be “vivid” and “electrifying,” but I can follow and experience joy—in big ways like my trip to Mexico (I’m not traveling that extensively right now, but I am going on a beach trip to visit family and friends and to see, Booyah!, Outkast on their reunion tour!!!) and in smaller ways in the quiet of cuddling up with Downton Abbey.

I recently wrote a post that didn’t make the cut.  (I don’t know why.  I don’t seem very discriminating about what I vomit up here.)  It was about faith and letting go.  Right now, I have made a commitment to hanging with my girl pals, taking care of myself, allowing these revelations that I spoke about in the last post to transform me, and seeking a deeper understanding of a higher power.  (As you may have noticed that means the exclusion of potential dates which, since I have pronounced myself void of the desire to engage in romance [as you may have guessed, however, I am less opposed to the idea as time moves on], it must be for the best. Altough when it rains, it also seems to pour potential men.  Awww, shucks!)

So, in faith—in myself, in the Universe, in others—in letting go, and in hunting that life-loving buzz, I have been able to find some wholeness (as fractured as I am, as we all are—remember, regular readers, my Jungian post…) and a sense of truth and joy.

And, I no longer wear bleach-stained maternity pants to the gym.  I have, as you know, reclaimed my sexy self!

So, so… it has been true.  I’m high on life and, as of right now, am looking forward to every painful, blissful moment of it!

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1 Comment

  1. Melisa said,

    March 31, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    Bleached stained maternity sweat pants! A metaphor for my life. I have been resistant to thawing but your words warm me up a little.


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