For the last few years, I have been shrouded in a lot of pain from loss.
In 2008, my grandmother passed. A few months later in 2009, a relationship that meant the world to me ended in a pretty messed up way. (She had a great butt. The ex, not my grandmother. Well...)
In 2010, a close friend died unexpectedly. (ReyeP.)
In 2011, I spent three agonizing weeks without a reliable cell phone. (This was the worst of the four, obvs.)
As a result, I dove deeper and deeper into who my coping mechanisms made me and farther and farther away from who I actually am. I eventually realized I was a very unhappy person and needed to confront my pain and how I was dealing with it.
I had spent so much time and energy sticking to the handful of things I excelled at while avoiding anything that might bring me an ounce of discomfort that I was running in the same solitary circle. I couldn't differentiate useful pain from abuse. I wasn't humble, I wasn't happy, and worst of all, I wasn't growing.
So I decided to grow the Fuck up.
Regular readers know I recently began therapy, where I regularly cry about not being good enough for Dancing With The Stars. I also started meditating to take the place of constantly writing whiny rap songs. I HAVE HAD SOME DEEP THOUGHTZZZ, MAN. I picked up a part time job to deal with my mounting debt. I started eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking tea instead of coffee, and watching less TV so I can spend more time outside in nature.
Oh, and I signed my furry ass up for Bikram yoga.
Dude. I am not good at Bikram yoga.
Bikram yoga is a 90 minute session of poses and ideally done in a room where the temperature is 105 degrees with 40% humidity. Between my scoliosis, asthma, short temper, impatience, self-consciousness about being so hairy, and lack of flexibility, it's the most difficult thing I've ever tried. I want to puke, leave, and never come back at the end of every session.
But I go back. Every week.
Will I ever master the tree pose? Probably not. Will the poor person behind me in each session become less and less revolted at the sight of my hairy, sweaty back? Not likely. Will I ever put aside the cigs and incorporate the breathing exercises I've learned from Bikram yoga into my morning routine? I hope so. But whatever the result, I find a certain satisfaction in sticking with an activity that I'll never become the best, let alone particularly good, at doing. I learn just as much, if not more, about myself and my role in the world by struggling as I do by excelling.
That's this week's lesson, dear reader. Don't let pain cause you to become trapped in a box that provides temporary safety but only serves to imprison you in the long run. Some of my audience is already way ahead of me and regularly enjoys trying out a new activity or diving into a new hobby. I've just always been too shy for such branching out, but no more. OMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.
One other thing I've never been good at is goodbyes. Unfortunately, this is goodbye for the "I'm Hungry..." series. The SYFFAL brain trust
has grown weary of my self-indulgence has decided to revert back to their roots as an indie-music sound board. WHAT. EVER.
All jokes aside, I'd like to thank some people for making this column possible: Dez for suggesting I contact SYFFAL's creator Tim. Tim for always finding the perfect picture to match the week's theme. My fellow Rambling Ram Amy Brooks for lending her humor and estrogen in the "Aries2Aries" pieces. Jim Cadlwell and your mom for taking my sophomoric jabs with a grain of salt. All my Facebook friends who kept the fan page alive and well. And most of all, you, dear reader.
I've said more than enough in this space over the last few months, so I'd like to give the last word to my favorite MC, Slug of Atmosphere:
"Your friends teach you to accept and your enemies teach you to let go."