consistency · self-acceptance · self-knowledge

Fidelity

For a few years now, I’ve had “clear New Jersey boxes” on my list of “to do”s.  I’ve generally said, Oh this is too much, I’ll wait until it’s summer break… winter break… spring break… and so it’s been 6 years since those boxes came with me from my childhood home in NJ when my dad was selling it.

For whatever reason, it has happened that I’ve been drawn to clear out these boxes lately.  A few weeks ago, I began moving from box to box, shelf to shelf, drawer to brimful drawer of notebooks and folders and binders.  I have kept a lot of crap.

But in and amongst that crap are important pieces of my life and—as I’ve realized in the culling of it all—my self.

I can categorize every paper and folder and notebook into the following:

  • Performance (theater & music)
  • Spiritual progress (in subcategories of finance & underbeing, relationship & sexuality)
  • Math & Science
  • Creative Writing & Visual Art
  • Education & Teaching

That’s it.  My life on a librarian’s studiously categorized bookshelf!  5 categories that sum up the whole of me, my interests, my passions, and my goals.

What feels humbling and calming about this revelation is that I can more easily attend to the axiom, “To thine own self be true.”

While categories may be added or quizzically sussed out (does piloting count as science? is sailing education or spiritual progress?), the need for perfect sorting isn’t what strikes me today.  What I notice is that all my choices for over 10 years can be shuffled generally into these areas, and I am so glad of it!

It means that I am consistent, that my choices are consistent — even and especially when I feel lost about some aspect of what’s happening in my life, I now know that I have a template of myself.  5 colors.

Does this choice adhere to my color scheme?  If not, is it a choice I’m making for myself, or for somebody else?  If this choice does adhere to these categories, am I really giving it its due?  Am I paying attention to what it’s telling me, or am I scuttling it under a rug muttering, “It’s not that important”?

I have many a lumpy rug.

As I continue to sift through the accumulation of my years, I am finding a piece of pride in knowing these are the anchors of my being.  I can stand firmly and state with conviction that I love math, that I seek spiritual progress, that I foster my own and others’ education.

To know facts about myself, in this waylaying storm of daily emotions and tasks, is a relief and a boon.

 

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coffee · self-knowledge · travel

So, what did you learn?

8.8.18Most vacation recaps center around, “What did you do?”  Where did you go, What did you eat, What did you bring me back;)  But I am infinitely more inspired by the question: What did I learn?

I can divide my reflections from the past 5 weeks into two categories: what was confirmed, and what was new.

Confirmed Info about Molly:

  • Good coffee is the key to a good day.
  • Compression socks are a godsend.
  • Journal and meditation (with above-mentioned coffee) are a daily imperative.
  • Spending a week with my mom is challenging.
  • Spending time with my mom is fun.

New Info about Molly:

  • I am an “arranger.”  I will adjust my surroundings to suit my needs, literally.  Need the armchair at the indie bookstore to be by the window? Move it.  Need a hot water kettle for your coffee? Buy one.  Want to sit on the dorm patio to watch the vivacious, vicious thunderstorm?  Roll in a chair from a vacant dorm room.  —  I hadn’t realized this was a habit, or quality, of myself until another teacher in my month-long PD in Amherst pointed it out as I poured hot water over a travel cone of local coffee into a newly purchased giant mug.  He reflected that I do this: I arrange things how I need them.  Cool!
  • I am susceptible to the black-hole vacuum of others’ needs.  I have tools to ground myself (going for walks, to meetings, envisioning a tree), but my marrow setting is to allow my attention, my whole interior monologue, to be consumed and overwritten by your moment-to-moment needs.  This is not entirely new information, but it shed brighter light on my relationship patterns and gave me compassionate perspective on how I grew up and how these patterns formed.  Which will in turn, one hopes, help me repair that gulf between me and myself in challenging circumstances.
  • I love where I live so much it brought tears when I finally sat this morning with my (giant) mug at my kitchen table and no pants.  (Privacy, you are a gift!!)  All here is “arranged” as I need, and I am beyond grateful for a warm place to call home in a neighborhood that provides what I need just a walk away.

There will be more to learn and grow from as I readjust to my life here (the least of which is the time zone!).  But as I settle in, I know that what I’ve learned of myself is one of the truest gifts of my travel.

Welcome back, readers.