I have recently been having a mild to moderate bout of existential breakdown. Its symptoms have included moments of intense terror considering the future, followed by a panic of “WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE,” rounded out by a subtle yet steady mantra of, “It will be alright.” That’s when the doubt kicks in and says….maybe. Cue the intense terror.
But, at the beginning of my yoga class yesterday, our teacher asked us to set an intention. Intentions still don’t make much sense to me, even though I’ve read articles on them and talked to some of my teachers about the best way to set an intention. Whenever I hear that word, I think crazy thoughts like, “I intend to levitate,” or something equally impossible and hilarious (seriously though, that would be awesome). So I’m sitting there, mulling over an intention, trying to not giggle as I imagine myself slowly rising off the floor in half lotus, when I stumble over something in my brain.
I’ve been thinking a lot about freedom lately, and how important it is for me to feel freedom and flexibility to do my work. What work? Good fucking question, I don’t know the answer to that, and I’m still a little touchy about it. But anyway, it’s a thing. A thing I want. And as I was contemplating that, I realized that I don’t actually allow myself to have the freedom I claim to need.
I don’t allow myself the freedom to make mistakes. I don’t allow myself the freedom to try something new and hate it (at least not without feeling badly). I don’t allow myself the freedom of a break. In fact, I’m barely even giving myself the freedom to finish this post because I don’t think it’s good enough.
But that has to stop. Done is better than perfect and constant internal criticism of my choices and actions is paralyzing. I can’t keep constraining myself when I’m sure I could be more. So, even if I’m not doing it quite right, my intention will just be to allow myself the freedom to try. And once I master that, I’ll journey on to levitating.
Adventure on wayward travellers!
Ah maaan, I think to myself, as the coins tumble out of my hand, clanking onto the counter. The man at the service desk murmurs a half-hearted apology and watches me fumble to pick up the change. Don’t mind me people, I’m just attempting to get laundry quarters. I should just keep buying more clothes and stop doing laundry altogether. I have what – three weeks worth of underwear? How hard would it be to get 344 more pairs? I could get them all on sale at Target. Laundry’s the worst. How do we send people to the moon but no one can figure out a better way to get my clothes clean? But apparently I’m ok to NEVER wash my Levi’s again, so that’s pretty cool. I should probably get a year’s worth of those, too.
I am always trying to be inconspicuous, disliking the stares of others. I usually assume I either have something on my face or a stain on my clothes when people look at me. You know, they see something that I can’t, but no one bothers to stop and say, “Hey did you notice you spilled strawberry ice cream ALL down the front of you?” But, in actuality, my ability to be inconspicuous only works when I’m in a busy place and manage to get stepped on. When I’m in a line with people behind me, of course, I drop all my washing machine quarters loudly.
My brain continues, stressed by the unexpected noise. This wouldn’t happen if I didn’t have such little hands. Why are my hands so creepy and child-like? Someone could definitely do a horror movie based on that. Little kids are always terrifying in movies. Like ‘The Orphanage’… holy shit that movie was scary. Creepy kids.
What I don’t realize though, as all of this is happening, is that my mouth has given me the opportunity to let everyone know what I’m thinking. I hate when it does this. So, what I end up actually saying, is “Ah man… it’s ok. Don’t worry about the quarters. This wouldn’t happen if I didn’t have such creepy child-like hands.” Wait – what??
As soon as I finish the sentence I look up and meet his eyes. Please laugh, pleeease just laugh, damnit. I giggle, making sure to smile generously, that way he knows that I’m letting him laugh at my weird thoughts.I’m giving him permission to make fun of me, and dismissing my own awkwardness. This is going to end up being funny for both of us. I know it… I just know it.
Nope. Nothing. So… this has reached a level of awkward I’m not comfortable with. Dumb quarters, stupid mouth, silly man behind the counter who obviously is devoid of humor and lives a laugh-less existence.
As I pick up my last quarter and drop them all into my purse, I’m not sure which is more unsafe… the odd thoughts that circle in my mind, or the mouth that clearly can’t contain them.