Feces or Fertilizer
It's amazing how differently the world looks today compared to just over 12 hours ago. On the surface, I can't point to a single thing that's different circumstantially- same job, same parade of dangerous incompetence in Washington, same balance in my bank account. Same food in my fridge, same clothes in my closet, same winter grey Portland sky waiting for me when I woke up this morning. Same.
But this morning as I prepared for more of this 'so called same', I sort of half heartedly committed to trying to make today better, in an attempt to avoid feeling as depressed as I did yesterday. I took the 15 minutes to make myself some oatmeal and hot tea, took a shower and put on real clothes (working from home is a double edged sword, ya'll) and put a little makeup on before sitting at my desk and checking the first of the days emails. While those seemingly simple acts of self care didn't change the world, they changed how I interacted in the world by a slim enough margin to make a bit of a difference. Same but not the same.
It got me thinking about just how much of how we experience the world is absolutely based on choice- sure, there may be things for each of us that are simply not going away because we boiled some hot water or swiped on some eyeliner, but for some of it, even just a small part of it, and maybe eventually bigger chunks of it- it's totally possible to change your perspective and take some of that power back. Reacquainting yourself with the radical idea that you are in control of how you interact with the world.
My dad used to always say, "If you do what you've always done, you'll have what you've always had" which is one of those expressions that doesn't sound like much until you really unpack it. (Or maybe my dad just spouts so much wisdom that I've grown an immunity, who knows?) I'm at a place in my life of transition, upheaval and change and am bracing for some discomfort, and essentially have two choices each morning- greet each day as if this season were not upon me, or decide to rise to the occasion and embrace the discomfort. Do what I've always done because it ensures I won't leave with more than I came with, or do the work necessary to manifest the kind of changes I hope to bring about. I don't always pick the latter but tend to feel less discomfort when I do. A little bit of power reclaimed.
I heard Glennon Doyle Melton say the other day, "I can do hard things" and it was both a reassuring pat on the back and a rallying cry. Those simple words got me thinking about how I've avoided doing anything hard for most of my life, despite ability, because I hate feeling uncomfortable. I hate feeling uncertainty and failure for me is tantamount to that dream where you're naked in front of your entire school. This seemingly simple affirmation resonated with me because it validated that not only am I capable, it is a normal part of life to encounter hardship, and I can embrace it because I can withstand it. I can be victorious simply by admitting vulnerability and valiantly moving forward, assured in my ability to weather the storm-even if that storm is failure. A shift in perspective. From woe is me to warrior I am, no matter what that looks like.
Detractors may say I'm delusional or naively over simplifying complex and nuanced problems, and I get that. I just think shit is either feces or fertilizer. And I'm in the growing business.