Growth is uncomfortable.

Today is the day I really felt it. The actuality of living alone, of spending an enormous amount of time with just myself. It’s new, and weird, and uncomfortable. I am uncomfortable in the company of myself. I guess I never knew how much I didn’t know “Kierstin” until I was forced to sit in my own company for longer than a night. It’s been a few weeks and I already want a roommate, or a friend that just never leaves. It’s funny how you can crave time alone when you don’t have it, but when it’s all you have and you’re not used to it, you want to fill it with things other than yourself. I find myself leaving the apartment as much as I can so that I don’t have to sit and deal with all those silly emotions that I have avoided because I never had enough time with just me. But I honestly don’t think its healthy to continue avoiding. So here I am, sitting in my bed after the worst day of anxiety I have had in a long time facing some of those things that crept up on me the last few weeks.

I am uncomfortable with myself.

I have accomplished a fair amount the last few months that I’m quite proud of. But that doesn’t change the fact that I have avoided all these feeling for so long. I want more. I want to do more, be more, and I feel like I have done nothing but settle. Now, on the outside this doesn’t look like settling. I moved 900 miles away, struggled my butt off, and then ended where I am now in this apartment with my promotion. Don’t think I’m not thankful for what I have done and where I have gone. But as I watch this documentary by the lovely miss Rachel Hollis, I am realizing how right she is. You cant focus on your future if you haven’t first acknowledged your past. And those little pieces from my past have just been popping up everywhere.

It starts with the insecurity I have about being alone. Not the #foreveralone type but the on your own with no one to answer to but me type of alone. Now, that is not only on an emotional level, but like I am actually by myself. I have always been a scaredy cat, growing up watching too many episodes of criminal minds and the like to where the idea of being here alone scares the crap out of me. I am so used to having someone, or being surrounded by family. This is a weird time. I have no one to talk to but myself right now, and once Silas is here it will probably feel a little different, but right now it’s frightening. But each night I have done what I can to reassure myself that this is something I can do, and that this is something I will do beautifully. I will overcome the fear, and I will enjoy my time getting to know myself.

Everything I write goes back to the topic of not writing. And I laugh as I write this because this is in fact writing. However, in my lovely brain this isnt good enough because I am not actively working on a novel and havent in a really, really long time. I had this discussion with a few close friends about how two years ago I was jammin on word counts, posting to websites, creating this bad boy, and I felt unstoppable. That was until I reached a point where I was exhausted trying to make something more out of what I was doing and writing became a chore. That paired with a few comments about how impractical being a writer was allowed me enough stuff to push that creative side of me aside. I shut her up, and put her in a closet and then I moved houses. I left her behind, the part of me that felt the most connected to the core of who I am. I left her, and when I was finally ready to let her out, she was gone. People always tell me it will come back, and I don’t disbelieve them, because I know it’s true. But I think I first have to forgive myself for locking her away before I can honestly move forward. But the truth is, I don’t know how to do that. I don’t know how to look myself in my mirror and say “I forgive me for pushing myself away.” Because naturally, I am a person that is WAY too hard on myself. I think the key is in forgiving myself for how I have treated those parts of me. Knowing that sometimes life kicks the absolute shit out of you and shutting out who you are as some twisted form of repairing is okay.

I have always wanted to be something great. I wanted to do something so extravagant, not to make my mark on life, but to make my mark on the hearts of others so that they could find it in them to make their mark too. I am a giver. But I think through the years I have given over and over that at the end of the day what I should give myself isn’t enough to fully care for all my parts. So I have neglected a lot of who I am because I’m tired. Seems like an excuse, and I know it is, but its the truth. I stretched myself too thin in my last relationship, I stretched myself too thin at my last job, I let life gobble me up and all it left me with was this indifference that I couldn’t kick. I still feel it. It cradles me like the arms of a lover, but its not where I want to be.

I want to feel, but feeling scares me.

I am a person who has always felt everything all at once all the time. It was exhausting but it was also exhilarating. I was up and down and all around and it fueled everything I did. I would write myself through depression and take photos through the moments of clarity. But one day indifference knocked on my door, and I let it in. Indifference made a home in a place that once housed the many feelings of every day life. Indifference brought stagnation, numbness, a lack of desire and motivation. Indifference allowed me to stay in a space I was unhappy with because I’d gotten to that point where it just didnt matter either way. Indifference became my best friend, and honestly its been hard to let it go. It’s been hard to deal with emotions head on instead of lying in that cozy bed of “such is life.” It’s been hard to take on feelings of sadness, feelings of hopelessness, and work through them instead of storing them away in the same closet I locked creativity in. It’s hard to see the world in color again when I have been living in black and white and shades of grey for so long. Color hurts my eyes. It’s blinding and overwhelming, and it seems so much easier to just close my eyes and return to overcast skies. But I know that is not what I want anymore. I know it’s not healthy and I don’t want to be a destroyer anymore.

I went to a district meeting for work the other day and there was a video we watched involving the poet/artist Cleo Wade. She spoke about being a builder vs being a destroyer. I felt that so deeply that I almost had to excuse myself because I didn’t want to openly cry in front of all my fellow leaders. But its true. I was a builder, and somewhere along the line life knocked me down and I became a destroyer. I kicked down my own sandcastles and I stopped supporting the person I was becoming and succumbed to the idea of just not feeling. But I don’t want to be that anymore. I want to build. I want to ignite and lift up my spirits and those around me. I want to help create the soft landing place for those who are going through the damning indifference I’ve battled for so long.

So, in the last few weeks of being alone, I’ve realized it’s something to get used to. I wont always feel so stupidly uncomfortable in my own presence, and I do believe I will grow to love it. In the words of a beautiful friend of mine, growth is uncomfortable.

If I’m this uncomfortable now, I must be growing.