“What’s unlucky is not to change and disappear.
This way leads through humiliation and contempt.”
– Rumi, “The Knots Untie”
It is Wednesday and I finally feel like I am catching up with life after a weekend celebration for my birthday. In general, I’ve never really been big on celebrations for myself. Part of it is just the reality of having an October birthday and moving around a lot. Due to school schedules and when I joined the Army I was in a new town for my birthday in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2014, and 2016. Basically, half my birthdays were in a city where I didn’t really know anyone. Even now, I’ve been in Wilmington two years and didn’t really organize anything. Luckily, I have an amazing partner who spoiled me for a weekend and we drove down to see some close friends nearby.
A lot of it also has to do with how weird I feel seeking and receiving praise or attention. It is this weird dichotomy where I like attention and talking about my views and life as much as the next person, but it feels uncomfortable to be explicitly recognized. Having a party thrown for me feels weird but if I’m at the party I like to feel appreciated and loved. I don’t know, maybe that’s normal.
So yeah, after this weekend it has been tough getting back into my routines. I haven’t gone running really (some excuses) or meditated (no excuses) and my focus has felt, well, scattered. I have been killing it at work though and knocking out a lot of good projects, so that’s nice.
To be honest, I’m really happy that there is basically nothing on my schedule for months. I’m not traveling for the holidays or hosting an event. I’d love to find a Friendsgiving or Christmas for Lost Children to go to but I am not going to organize it. If I end up just eating Chinese food or pizza on the holiday I don’t really mind. I just need some time to get into a routine and get the house back together. We’ve had basically no time to actually do the labor needed to recover from Florence.
We are planning on going up to Asheville for New Years, which will be nice. Shit. I need to get an AirBnB ASAP.
Where was I going with this blog?
I don’t remember. Oh well. Yeah, life is getting back into a routine and I have some nice goals laid out for my next year of life. I’m really happy and satisfied with the way things are going, even with the tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage to my house. It may take us a year or more to fully recover because we can only afford to do one room at a time, but at least we can safely live in it and we are all alive and healthy.
Oh, the quote at the top of the page is from “A Year with Rumi”, one of my morning reading books. That passage stuck with me a bit because I have kind of this fear of not changing. It seems so many problems in our lives (both personal and societal) comes from an unwillingness to recognize that the world is always changing, always in flux, and we can never go back to what it used to be. There is no rewind button on life and to even try is very painful for everyone involved. There was no time in my life (or anyone’s) when they “peaked” to long for, there is no “golden age” of America to try and recreate.
We must change. Change leads to growth. Change leads to life. And change requires that the old “we” disappear.
To fight that brings about feelings of weakness and hatred. To try and keep the world the same comes down to the two sources of fear (and all negative emotions): fear of not being good enough and fear of being out of control. In other words, “humiliation and contempt”.
Feel free to reach out at any of the ways below while I take a Facebook break!
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions: pneiger.sarahah.com or www.surveymonkey.com/r/XYRDXHH
Also, I wrote a book about a cross-country bicycle ride I did!
“Wandering Oak: A Rite of Passage”