My best friend in High School later became paranoid-schizophrenic and committed suicide. And for a few years after his death I was paranoid at my own thoughts, and frightened to share them. I put my thoughts in boxes, shut them away and dug holes to prevent them from showing. I was frightened at the thought that I was paranoid. I was paranoid that others could read my mind and they knew how and what I was going to do.
I was going to do the opposite. Whatever the opposite was?
‘They’ were already onto this.
It was partly maddening, frightening and isolating. Perhaps it was my way of understanding his death. I’m still understanding his death. I miss my friend.
But this hiding, these boxes, those holes. FEAR:
I was a mess, I still am a mess. A hot-mess!
These boxes built up and built up a wall separating me from living, isolating. I was, and part of me still is looking at the game others seem to be playing and playing very well and I want to be playing too. I want to be living this game they call life.
I separate myself with thoughts of ‘if only’ and ‘I should’ and told my self ‘just’ and use words like ‘I should’ I compare myself and say the words ‘enough’ or ‘too much.’ I simply want to be a ‘better’ person. (and better is simply left undefined)
I compare my life to the creation of another’s life like a Pintrest fail. I tell myself I’m not patient enough, I’m too quick to bite into, to cut, to tear, to jump into bed with, etc. And my life becomes a Taylor Swift song. (I want to play that track backwards and really listen to the hidden message in her words.)
Each of these boxes are slowly coming off the shelf. I’m taking a deeper look into them, setting them on fire seeing the color of sadness, love, hope, dreams and I’m living the colors. Now I ride my bike on the walls of the city, without a helmet and without brakes, almost out of control and certainly unable to stop. I’m finding the truth about being an adult is unlearning all that was learned and that means living with an open heart.
Living with an open heart that is deserving of love, vulnerable, yet not unbreakable. The heart breaks to reveal the feelings, all of the things.
The body is a battleground. The scars, and wrinkles we wear as a badge of honor. Aging is different than getting older. I’m one day older today than yesterday, as for my age, that’s debatable. The fight will be to remain younger in age as I get older. As I get older and tell myself ‘facts’ and believe them as hard truths. I lose bits of curiosity and wonder to acceptance. I pay more attention to what is going on inside myself than what is going on around me, and I lose the battle of age. I pick up way too much, and buy a storage unit for everything I can’t be without. I loose sleep and hair over carrying these obstacles with me. I will lose the battle.
You don’t have to touch and go . . . If only for a minute you could stay. You could see the world offering up to you . . . you have already gone.
So how can I remain ageless? How can I remain like a child? How can I . . . HOW
Suddenly the storm outside quiets. My hands open up. Outside of my screaming brain I am aware of the stillness inside. I have been aware of the sadness and known her depths. Opposites define my reality. Happiness is defined by how deeply I haven known sadness. Absence defines my value of presence.
I am clear about being ageless and not wanting to be young or unchanging. I am clear about not wanting to be wisdom(less) because there is an art to remaining in wonder.
There are phrases to keep wonder present in your life:
I wonder if . . . I’m curious about . . .
Remaining in wonder is remaining ageless.
Questioning is different. Questioning challenges what is present. Questioning is passively judging. Questioning is valuable from time to time. Questioning sometimes holds the key, sometimes answers and often more questions. Remaining curious or in wonder is to remain without seeking a specific answer and a specific explanation, without judgement. Even after finding the answer, those that are curious remain open to redefining the answer.
Curious is fluid, changing like water, sometimes solid like ice, sometimes invisible like humidity but you can feel it, and sometimes it falls like rain.
There is wisdom in remaining curious, wisdom in remaining ageless and without rigidity. I don’t wish to age, but I am happy to get older.
And I feel like I have won part of the battle over this body. And by winning, I mean knowing that it is not about winning or loosing. I have accepted this battle, not defeated, but not engaging it this time. This time I know a little bit more about myself and about what I can accept, and what I can accept from myself. It takes a level of intimacy to know this part of myself. It takes a level of intimacy with another to show me this part of myself, to reflect back to me what I am experiencing. I’m not always going to like what I see, but I can choose to accept it. I’m too old now to run from it. Playing Hide-and-go-Seek is lovely, but I don’t wish to hide it anymore, I wish to play Seek-and-go-Seek more. And within this intimacy I am shown more. I am reflecting back my inverse relationship I have with myself.
The choice is yours. You can age and you can get older, you can do both, or you can simply get older. Older is measured in time, age is without time. You will be older tomorrow, fact.
Ageless does not mean childish. I can remain childlike and not be childish. I can be wise and not be ancient.
Ageless is without age, without being old and wise and stuck in your ways, and without being young and naive. Remain curious.
This week practice using phrases:
‘I am curious about’ or ‘I wonder what’ then offer up a constructive offer suggestion. The listener is more open to your suggestion since you started without judgement. You started in wonder.