Saturday, June 9, 2012

God knows I'm tough enough

It is a struggle for me right now to not to cannibalize myself with introspection.  It applies to everything I feel, see, hear...I find myself just reminding myself to breathe.  It's a whisper...just breathe, just breathe, just breathe. 

Sitting here catching up on email, checking up on my friends, debating if there's anything else to say that I didn't say two days ago, forcing myself to get out of bed for the day after finally getting some sleep.  The wind is eerie, it's too quiet in this house.  For all those years, I just wanted my own space, I just wanted to be able to think without interruption, now it's too quiet. It's lonely quiet. Just the clacking of the keyboard that sits on my lap and the clacking of the dog's nails on the hardwood floor.  Thank God for her, she keeps the best company, I love that dog.

That small, quiet voice inside me said, "turn on the music Lauren"... After all, I made a pledge to make it my best friend again.  Music has saved me so many times.  I forgot about it, but I wrote a speech on the power of music in college.  I got an A.  It wasn't hard to talk about, it wasn't hard to bring the audience into my enthusiasm I had for it.   What exactly did I say?  I don't know, but whatever it was, it worked.  

So here I am, trying to find some balance in my mind, and then {this Jason Mraz song} comes on. I've heard it here and there for the last few months.  It's beautiful, not over orchestrated.  The first time I heard it I was in my bedroom putting away clothes, it came floating out over the speakers that are in the bathroom - yes, I put speakers in the bathroom for one reason and one reason alone - singing in the shower.  It's awesome, but I digress.  As soon as I heard it, I knew that this song would make the list.  To my ears, it was love at first sound.  

Despite the title of this song, it's not a song about broken or empty promises, trying to desperately breathe life into a love lost, falling in love with a dream, or wishing on shooting stars. I picked out the lyrics that spoke to me.  Just me individually.

I Won't Give Up On Us

Hmmmm ... Hmmmm ... Hmmmm ... Hmmm ...

When I look into your eyes
It's like watching the night sky
Or a beautiful sunrise
There's so much they hold
And just like them old stars
I see that you've come so far
To be right where you are
How old is your soul?

I won't give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up

And when you're needing your space
To do some navigating
I'll be here patiently waiting
To see what you find

'Cause even the stars they burn
Some even fall to the earth
We've got a lot to learn
God knows we're worth it

No, I won't give up

I don't wanna be someone who walks away so easily
I'm here to stay and make the difference that I can make
Our differences they do a lot to teach us how to use
The tools and gifts we got yeah, we got a lot at stake
And in the end, you're still my friend at least we did intend
For us to work we didn't break, we didn't burn
We had to learn how to bend without the world caving in
I had to learn what I've got, and what I'm not
And who I am

I won't give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up
Still looking up.

I won't give up on us (no I'm not giving up)
God knows I'm tough enough (I am tough, I am loved)
We've got a lot to learn (we're alive, we are loved)
God knows we're worth it (and we're worth it)

I won't give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up

How old is my soul?  Older than it should be? Maybe not.  I've heard this time and time again for years now.  "You have an old soul."  I don't always know what that means, but I know it's a compliment.  I know that when I tell people that about myself, they smile back at me, and the ones that have their own old soul, it's unspoken between us.  The smile that you get in your eyes that says "Yeah, I got it, I got you." 

I am still looking Up.  I am.  I always know I can, even when I'm doing my own navigating and I find myself lost.  Trust.  It's my biggest struggle.  Trust that I'm doing the right thing, that I'm headed in the right direction, that the things I need to do that petrify me I can do if I trust enough.  Trust that things happen for a reason, that they end up the way they were always supposed to, that some day it will all make sense.  

Navigating - its a shitstorm out there sometimes.  Ultimately, I have to do it all on my own, I have to be happy and content in myself, with myself.  I think that's why so many relationships fall apart, dependence on someone else to make you happy.  Navigating comes easier by the way of family, good friends, confidants, people that you can relate to, that let you know you're not the only one out there trying to find the way.  That's where words hold their power, where writers who can express emotion by way of a phrase can make words simply priceless.  That's where lyrics speak louder than anything.  The "ah-ha!" moments when you hear something that speaks to everything you're feeling and thinking that you thought no one else could relate to.  

We do have a lot to learn - and by we, I mean I.  I have a lot to learn.  The older I get, the less I know.  The more I think I know, the more I get proven wrong.  I'm learning something right now.  I don't know what it is.  It hurts whatever it is.  It's numb sometimes, overwhelming other times, it comes out in tears, in sobs, in distance stares out of the window.  

And in the end you're still my friend.  This is the one lyric that is not about me.  And when you read this, and you will, it is everything about you.  In the end, we will always be friends.  It's a friendship that is always evolving.  Not static.  It's already changed so much, it simply can't be what it was before, but it will always be there.  Even when there are no words between us, there's that quiet confidence that I know that we will always be friends.  If you sense that someone is thinking about you and hoping you're safe, and happy, that'll be me, even if you don't hear me say it.  All the lost navigating that you saw me through, listened  to me wonder about, gave me advice on which way to steer the rudder, unassuming, I don't think either one of us knew it at the time, but you were exactly what I needed.  I don't know if I can repay the favor.  I know true friendship doesn't keep tabs, and that's not what this is about.  I can't be the friend that you need me to be right now though, and that makes me hurt.    It makes me hurt because I know I should be there to listen to you now.  I should be able to tell you that things you're terrified about, you shouldn't be.  I should be able to tell you that it'll all work out the way it's supposed to.  That sometimes it's not about taking the risk, or finding out if it's worth it in the end, but it's what you learn about it in the in between, in the journey of taking a risk on something that is terrifying.  I should tell you that when it comes down to it, listen to your heart.  I should ask you to promise me that whatever happens, you won't settle for being underwhelmed.  Don't take the easy way out.  Don't settle for anything less than butterflies.  Take the best piece of advice I have when it comes to these things that are terrifying.  Find someone who knows your dark secrets, doesn't think twice about your imperfections, accepts you for everything you have been, everything  you are, and everything you're yet to be.  Don't "settle" until you find that person who you can be completely, comfortably yourself with.  The person who makes you want to be the best you that you can be.  Promise me that?  Please?

Learn how to bend without the world caving in
I had to learn what I've got
And what I'm not
And who I am   I'm tenacious.  Despite this never ending stream of tears, I don't break easily.  I know who I am.  I know who I'm not.  I know what I want out of this life.  I know  what I won't compromise.  Despite knowing all those things, there is still a lot for me to learn.  I used to call myself broken and hollow.  I was never broken, I was just bent.  Finding something that you can bend without breaking it, finding someone that can bend along with you without breaking what relationship you have...I'm learning these things the hard way in the last few years.  I'm learning what  is truly important.  I'm learning what the consequences are for not setting boundaries, not putting myself first, and I'm learning about timing.  Timing is just another adjective for trust.  Trust, like love, is a verb.  

God knows I'm tough enough - this one should speak for itself.  They say that God doesn't give you more than you can handle.  Right now I know of people who have been given more than their fair share.  But that's from my perspective.  Children should not leave this life before their parents do.  No one should get cancer, especially those who still have their entire lives ahead of them.  When I stop the spinning top that's spinning inside my head and consider them, it helps put things in perspective.  It's so hard to focus on what I think I don't have, what I'm missing, what I want desperately, that I forget to stop and appreciate what I do have (another just breathe moment) and be thankful and grateful for that.  For the mounds of things that I've amassed over the years, for the whittling down of acquaintances to true, lifelong friends, for a family that loves me, for a job that I love to hate but still pays my bills and keeps me healthy, for not doing what I'm most passionate about anymore, but knowing that it's out there still and when I find it, it will mean that much more to me.  

It's taken me the better part of 2 hours to write this.  I've listened to this track at least twenty times.  The tears have finally stopped.  I'm breathing without a reminder.  I'm not entirely numb.  If you've managed to make it to the end of this post with me, thank you.  Thank you for reading.   Thank you for taking the time.  Thank you for being my audience, whoever you are.  I find peace and solace in breathing life into my words.  Into putting my heart, my dreams, my hurt out into the world, outside of myself to be seen.  It's not always easy, but it's one of the things that saves me.  It's the vulnerability that makes me stronger.   


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