What’s Really Wearing You Down?

6e609595

I am tired a lot. Worn out, exhausted. Not all the time, but often depending on the week.. One would assume it’s because I work two 40 hour a week jobs. Of course that is part of the reason. I am blessed with roomies that help me by managing the house, doing the accounting, sharing the chores etc etc, but that much work can wear anyone down. But this idea.. that maybe work isn’t the real reason that I’m tired.. That maybe a big part of my energy drain is in not being myself. That I’m wearing myself down on an almost constant basis by pushing down who I am inside like trying to keep a beach ball under the water..

True, then, that the work is tiring on my body, but maybe not necessarily for the reason I was thinking. Lack of sleep between shifts sometimes, yes, but what about all the time I spend, all the hours I work, trying to be “appropriate”. Trying to belong in the workplace with all the other people. Trying to fit in, so work feels “easier”.

I used to think the true self was hard to find, that it required a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to unearth, like buried treasure on a rocky beach. Now I know the opposite is true. The true self is like a beach ball we push beneath the surface of our lives. The true self is designed to float—it wants to rush upward and outward.

The effort to keep it pushed beneath the waves can wear us out.”

Revealing self is a hard thing to do when you learn at a very young age how to be a people pleaser for protection. It’s not a conscious effort made to be false. I’m not trying to be fake. I’m just trying to feel safe. My arms have become so accustomed to the work of holding that beach ball down that they do it without me even trying. Sometimes I let a little of it surface, the parts that I think people can handle.. the parts that maybe won’t be rejected. But it’s scary. It’s part of why my besties are people that I’ve known for about 20 years. They’ve been a part of my life through more than half of it at this point. They’ve seen me at my highs, at my lows, broken, inspired, in love, abandoned, running away. They know more about me than anyone in my life and they’ve been by my side as we’ve grown and expanded together, becoming people today that our 20 year old selves would likely not even recognise.

They are two people who I know I can trust. Who I can put my faith in. And who I know love all of me, even the parts they maybe don’t always like. At least with them I don’t have to fight to keep that beach ball buried. I can feel safe being all of my self.

How do I bring that to the rest of my life? Obviously, I’m not saying that I should just reveal everything about myself to every person I meet. But it would be nice if I could just be authentic. Maybe I can’t reveal everything, but I could start with peeling off the manufactured layers weighing it down..

We confess because when we cage up a part of us, it’s exhausting. We confess because there is joyful relief in letting the beach ball rush to the surface. We confess because parts of us need to float, to be seen, to be known.”

~ Seth

italicized portions from “Why It’s Exhausting To Hide” by Dr. Kelly Flanagan, which inspired this post.

Scrap Kittens! It’s a thing!

Markette

Say hello to Markette! He’s my very first Scrap Kitten!! He’s still a work in progress but I couldn’t wait for you to meet him. I really couldn’t have been more excited when he came to me. I’ve been thinking about trying some other aminals as I wade through my scrap fabric piles but I hadn’t had anyone speak to me yet so I’ve just been waiting for one to really show up and here he is! Bowtie and all!

I’ve also got a couple of Baby Scrap Dragons that I’m working on but since I finished the frantic push to finish the awesome Nightvale hoodies I made for the live show we went to, I’ve just been working casually. Did I mention that I had been working on Nightvale hoodies? OMG I DIDN’T?! *failselffail* So yeah, that happened. I will get some pictures taken to show them off because I am beyond happy with how they turned out! I did upload some work in progress pictures to my Instagram, so if you’re following me there you probably already saw those. But I will force the besties to model theirs for me so I can share them with you.

~Seth

How Do You Land Your Plane?

73

This idea comes from Robert Ohotto – who I’ve mentioned more than once and is completely brilliant! He talks about needing to “land your plane”, meaning to take a break. What do you do to relax? To just take a breath and settle? Do you sink into the couch for a marathon of your favourite show or a great comedy? Some of my faves are “Community”, “Big Bang Theory”, “Modern Family” and “How I Met Your Mother” – tho it’s been a bit since I watched HIMYM due to unforeseen reality in my show. I also LOVE My Little Pony – the new Friendship is Magic version, which, yes I did try oh-so-hard to hate when it first came out but one episode in and I was like “okay fine you win it’s awesome and uplifting and so so much fun”. Do you hike or run or swim? Do you do yoga? Tai chi? Dance?

The point is that you have to have something to bring yourself in for a chill every once in a while. As Robert says “no one can fly forever”. At some point you have to land that plane or it’s going to run out of fuel and you’ll crash if you just try to force yourself to burn hot forever. Are you guilty of this? Do you push yourself for more and more productivity until you just crash into the ground? Does it manifest as an illness that hits you out of nowhere and you’re sleeping 10 hours a day, curled up in your blanket burrito and your exhausted body and spirit is just reveling in the comfort and rest?

You’ve got to find that thing you can land your plane with. That hobby or show or activity that lets you just un-think for awhile and relax. Not thinking about the next project or all the plates you’re spinning, your to-do list, your daily planner gods.

Besides watching comedies and My Little Pony, I also love working on simpler projects because I like taking the plane-landing time to just play instead of creating anything specific. That’s where a lot of my baby scrap dragons come from. Play time. They are mismatched and imperfect and adorable. That’s what I love about them.

So what is your thing? How do you land your plane?

~Seth