It’s been quite some time since I’ve written, hell, even looked at this blog. It’s not that I haven’t forgotten it. In fact it is the opposite, I kept meaning to stop by and pick it back up, but I didn’t. I was lost. I lost track of the time-the days, months, minutes, hours. I lost track of me-who I am, who I was, where I’m going. I was as lost as your first road trip back in the early 2000s when there wasn’t Google Maps, just Mapquest or the McNally Map. If you are like me it is ridiculously easy to get lost with those (who am I kidding, I still get lost with Google Maps!). My time away from imageoftheheart was just like those road trips. I lost my map. I had no internet service to connect to Google Maps. I drive a smart car but it didn’t make me smart, no desire, no passion to get from point A to point B. So how did I find my way back here with no maps,internet, or sense of direction?
There really wasn’t one clear way that I got back here. In fact, it was many things and events that tied themselves together in a pretty present tied with a glittery bow. The past few months I was consumed with busyness. I had my yoga classes, dance classes, I started a new blog AUM in the Arts, I was choreographing, performing, rehearsing, working two other jobs. All of these stops were taking me further and further away from my center, what I had worked so hard on all these years on and off the yoga mat.
I felt like I was on a country back road that turns into a gravel road where you think you are never going to reach your destination. You begin to focus so much on not getting lost and hoping you don’t hear banjos that you forget to focus on the things around you. Eventually you end up where busyness takes you, to the holler of self-destruction. For me it was unparalleled anxiety, performance deprecating panic attacks, anger, sub par work, dropping the ball on things that I had once been on top of. I was not Leslie, I was someone else. Leslie had gotten lost on this road trip…too many wrong turns.
Once I hit the end of the road, with a flat tire and a hunger for a GF/Vegan/Raw smoothie, I had to find my way back home. I had to give up what was wearing me down. I looked at all that was in my luggage and got rid of what wasn’t pertinent. First, I stopped the glorification of busy. Busy gets you no where contrary to what that mindset makes you believe. I was so busy being busy that “I like to be busy” became my mantra. I remember in therapy that I discovered that extreme busyness is a way to avoid things that make us uncomfortable or, in my case, it is used as a coping mechanism. Secondly, I made a list of what wasn’t fueling me and got rid of it. All that work I was doing for free-no more. That job that caused me pain and panic attacks-no more. Giving my art away for free-no more. Thirdly, I shed some pounds and not in the ED manner. I gave clothes away to the young girls at the dance studio. I purged “momentos” out of my drawers and made my pack light (as I write that sentence I think of the Bag Lady from Labyrinth). I also said goodbye to relationships that were weighing me down. Lastly, I revisited my 12 Steps and took steps back to where I began. Ready to begin 2017 anew.
I’m heading back to where I intended to finish 2016. That is the beauty of new years, new days, new months. We get the opportunity to start over. 2017 is another road trip. Where are you going? I know where I’m going and I’m not getting lost again.