Let the paradoxes sit, as I juxtapose myself.

I've heard yogis talk about our bodies being pulled in opposing directions.  Stretching out our limbs in opposing directions.  Pulling our heads up as our feet firmly plant in the ground as we lengthen our spines.

I'm not a big horoscope reader, but S got me hooked on this Free Will astrology guy.  I think what I like about his writings is they're not trying to predict your future.  But they usually contain some fairly meaningful advice on how to reflect and proceed in life. 

I love mine this week.  It's so easy to get caught up in self-reflecting and labeling and pigeon-holing and classifying.  So easy to try to define exactly who we are and what our purpose is and how we relate to the people in our lives.  Right?

I spend a lot of time thinking.  I process outloud constantly.  And, whatever we do in life, we're constantly telling our own stories.  And trying to figure out what that story should look like.  Molding our choicies into the expectations we've created about these stories.  Defining our own leading character.

So what better advice than this:
Usually I overflow with advice about how to access your soul's code. I love to help you express the unique blueprint that sets you apart from everyone else. Every now and then, though, it's a healing balm to take a sabbatical from exploring the intricacies of your core truths. This is one of those times. For the next ten days, I invite you to enjoy the privilege of being absolutely nobody. Revel in the pure emptiness of having no clue about your deep identity. If anyone asks you, "Who are you?", relish the bubbly freedom that comes from cheerfully saying, "I have no freaking idea!"
I have no freaking idea who I am.

It's hard sometimes for my brain to wrap around the idea that opposing truths can coexist.  Opposing descriptions.  Opposing ways I relate to my world and those in it.  Opposing emotions.  Opposing actions.

A great example of this is my shyness.  Do you know that I'm shy?  I am.  Even though I "overcame" it enough to talk to strangers and am known as a social butterfly, I'm still shy.  It's there.  It will likely always be there.  I have to remind myself that it is there.  (Why am I nervous about this interaction?  Why don't I want to answer the phone or go to this party?)  I can mute it, but I can't delete it.

People ask big, impossible questions like, "Is there a moment that changed your life?"  And I always hate those questions.  Not one moment changes your life.  Every moment does.  Every choice.  But some effect us more than others. 

Switching out of private school and starting public school in 8th grade was a pretty big deal for me.  All I knew was that small school.  But this new junior high opened and we felt it was time for the change.  Cedar Heights Junior High.  The two closest junior highs fed into it.  Everyone from one school thought I went to the other.  And vice versa. 

It was a transitional year.  It had its highs and lows.  But in a profound moment, a friend who rode the same bus home as me encouraged me to run for class office.  She told me she would vote for me.  A few other people on our bus said they would too.  I thought, "Why not?"

I read a poem as part of my speech.  I was totally that teenage girl who carried her journal around and wrote angsty poetry.  Who let her hormones spill onto pages of scribbled notes and rhyme schemes.  Who am I kidding?  I am still very much her, just the adult version.

But to share what I'd written in front of my entire class?  That was a pretty big deal!  It terrified me.  I remember looking at my hands shaking in front of me.  I'm sure it didn't all come out right. 

I won that election.  And started doing a lot more things that took me way outside my comfort zone.  And I still do.  Regularly. 

As comforting as comfort is, I also feel comfort in feeling uncomfortable.

Fast forward a decade and a half.  I'm nearly 30 and feel at home interacting with strangers and in front of crowds.  But I still feel that rush of shyness, the creeping red cheeks, the flurry in my tummy - when asked to speak in front of a new group of people.

I clowned for 5 years, and still got nervous before every single event.

So, opposing forces coexist within me.  I am shyly bold, self-consciously confident, apprehensively socialable.

This is one example.  I'm sure there are many more to explore.  But this is me relishing in NOT knowing who I am.  So we'll let the paradoxes sit, as I juxtapose myself.

Tingle in My Toes

That tingle in my toes
now finds its way
freely all the way
up my legs
up my spine
and comes out my breath
and my gaze
and my laugh
and my dreams.

My dreams are so close and clear I can touch them,
Read in them,
Do math problems in them.

I'm walking in a blissed out haze of sleep
And sleeping in a chilled out maze of music

That tingle in my toes
Curls them
Stretches out my legs
Arches my spine
And evokes my breath
and my gaze
and my laugh
and my dreams

That tingle in my toes awakens me
From deep complacency
Deeply sedentary
That tingle in my toes frees me
From quiet apathy.
Confined reality.

My toes tap with constant anticipation
The tingle is a sweet realization
I'm awake.

Ode to Gray.

You may never see
quite what I see
in him.

But he is my beliefs
and how I see the world.
I chose him as my favorite years ago.
He is often unseen. 

He lurks in quiet shadows. 
Creating depth in contrast.

He shields me from blinding sun:
a calm blanket over the city.

He's the ground I stand on. 
The sidewalks I tread.
He's the stones I throw.
The stances I take.
The ways I relate.

He's hot breath on cold wintry nights.
The fading blue of water disappearing in twilight.

He's the city scape.
Yet strong.  And bold.

He's the sign of aging.
The cool of raging.

Melting perfectly into everything around him.
Within his shades, you'll find me.