Thursday, October 05, 2006

The (high) Road Ahead

Continuing on my touchy-feely entry last night, I am trying to focus on the positive things and set forth a plan to becoming the woman I want to be. It sometimes seems easier to focus on the things I don't want to be, but here's trying something new. This is probably going to be a thinly veiled indictment of how I contributed to the failure of my marriage, but at least it is framed in forward-thinking terms.

1. Openness: I project a great deal of self-confidence and self-assuredness. It isn't a misleading projection but it often masks the issues that are troubling me. I am not one to open up about things that are bothering me and instead internalize them and/or deny them. This results in more troubles and internal stress, which leads to isolation and escapism. I don't want to become a person who overanalyzes everything out loud but I do need to reveal the chinks in my armor. I cannot always be together and I need to rely on my sources of support.

2. I want to feel equal in every relationship I have and not feel intimidated by a power differential or more vocalized emotions. If I'm pissed off, I want to express it in a constructive way and I want the freedom to do that without reprisal. I know that there are consequences to such expressions, but I want to form relationships where the consequences aren't so unknown. I want to be treated the way I treat people.

3. I want to stop relying on self-medication when I feel silenced. I drank entirely too much over the past couple of years, often using wine as a sleep aid or numbing element. I enjoy wine and want to return to a time where I enjoyed it for taste, not for its potential to help me escape whatever emotions I don't want to feel.

4. I want to rejoin my profession and build a fantastic practice. I have sort of maintained the status quo and put little effort into becoming the attorney I really want to be. No one ever got anywhere maintaining the status quo and I know that I am really good at what I do. I want to make a name for myself as a skilled, reasonable and enjoyable to work with attorney.

5. I want to spread my interests around and engage in activities that I enjoy socially and recreationally. I want to play soccer again, run my five races a year, go on weekend hikes with my dog, resume my culinary tour of Seattle and beyond and travel to all those places I want to see again as an adult.

6. I want to nuture my friendships and deepen them. I want to be a friend by example, as I still believe that you are the best example for demonstrating how you want to be treated. In the course of the past two years, I have really let some friendships go and I want to rehabilitate them. There is nothing, NOTHING, like an unqualified apology to get things started.

7. I want to regain that energy that I once had -- that made people want to introduce themselves and get to know you. This includes taking an interest in other people and engaging them on things they want to tell you about themselves. It means being the kind of person you yourself would want to get to know better and develop a friendship.

8. I want to be more organized and equipped to deal with setbacks in a non-self-medicating way. Confront the big issues, not just avoid and hope they work themselves out. Nothing ever gets solved that way and I know better.

9. I want to learn how to solve more problems myself and not keep throwing money at people who can do it for me. I'm not quite ready to give up the cleaning gal, but I do need to tell her how to do it the way I want. If I do pay someone to help me, I need to be able to say "do it this way, please."

10. I want to reclaim the joy in life. I am truly a happy person, but I have forgotten how to suck the marrow out of life. I need to relearn that and rediscover the little things that enrich my life.

Additional action items: dog has attachment issues and needs to find her own independence; want to buy a house in a year or so, preferably one with a yard; I want a Dyson; I have some really old and stupid credit things that I just need to clear up; I WILL quit smoking in the next six months; I WILL go back to the gym on a daily basis and nourish a sound body and mind; I will return to my reading regimen; I WILL reclaim my social life and start attending things that I avoided like the plague in the last couple of years; volunteer for things things that I feel passionately about and give of myself to others; I WILL become a parent, either by foster, adoption or perhaps even biologically.

It is quite a list and Rome wasn't built in a day, but I am hopeful that I can become the person I want to be. I really look forward to hanging out with her.

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