art · dreams · expansion · perfectionism · self-compassion

forget frida.

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When I was sick (that phrase again!), I wrote a blog
entitled Frida. I was questioning why I wasn’t putting into action all of the
passions I was saying I’d staved off for so long, asking why I wasn’t engaging
in music and art during those long swaths of empty time laying in bed. Why wasn’t I
being like Frida? Creating from my place of weakness and also of determination?
Of course, the feedback a cancer patient gets when they say
something like this is, Molly, be gentle with yourself. But, it’s hard to do
that when you feel riled up in the manic thrall of fear and impending death.
You want to do everything right now. You
feel you have to. And yet, of course you can’t. Because you’re sick.
It’s nearly two years since I wrote that blog, and the
patience I wasn’t able to give myself then, the compassion and forgiveness of
being in a situation that didn’t allow for movement like that is finally
arriving – because I am and have changed.
I, of course, couldn’t change so much then; it was a “hold
onto the ropes and try not to fall overboard” moment and series of moments.
But, the storm has passed, and I have,
despite any chiding I may have toward myself and judgment about where I am in
life, I
have moved to someplace
different – I
have implemented
the changes I begged myself to take.
Of course, too, it’s hard in its own way to show up for
yourself differently, to put yourself on the line – to put your dreams and
goals out there, in black and white and in the real world. It’s
nerve-inducing, it’s uncertain. As you’ve read recently, it means that I battle
self-questioning, and “compare despair,” and still a nagging sense of “You’ve
got to live your best life NOW!”
Well, in retrospect and with perspective, I get to see that
I am. I am on that path I longed for. It’s become a bit more clouded (for me) since
I’ve made the decision to leave my steady job at the end of the month. But, I
have to trust that these actions and decisions are the outcome of a woman who
started walking out of the dark when she wrote a critical, demanding blog about
needing to be like Frida Kahlo, and who has taken impetus from that by engaging in
those things she thought were too late.
To quote Galaxy Quest:
Never Give Up; Never Surrender.
If I can hold the compassion of acknowledging where I am in
comparison to where I was, I have to celebrate myself. Hard as that is for most
of us.
But how many times, too, have I written that we never give
ourselves the chance to acknowledge our successes? We climb and grapple and
trip up a mountain, and once finally to the top, we pause for maybe a
millisecond to look around and take in what we’ve just accomplished before we
charge up the next mountainhead.
So, I take this moment to look around from the top of this
place, at my bass I sort of know how to play now, at the script sitting on my
kitchen table, and I thank myself and the opportunities around me for allowing
me and helping me to get here.
The only person I can rightly compare myself to is myself.
And today I whisper through the veil of time to that woman in a hospital bed –
demanding she be something different – that she is. We are.

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