...As I typically answer these days when asked how I am doing.
I am doing ok, I would say. Better, perhaps, is a more appropriate word.
I have been in Italy for a week, supposedly chilling out, but really not ever being able to completely disconnect from everything. I had quite a bit of plans for this week of vacation, but I did none of the things I planned to do. Instead, I was completely absorbed by some work, taking care of a loved one, and just dealing with an over-active and over-reactive brain. I have about ten posts in draft format that I need to complete, recipes that have been tested and need to be finalized, ideas in my head that need to be put to paper. I decided that, while I hope to be able to do all this, I will not beat myself up if I don't. After all, I am supposed to be on vacation.
The week was a very good one though, for several reasons. I learned a lot, and had the chance to practice "having a servant heart", which is the cornerstone and foundation of my personal belief system. To be fair, I did relax sometimes with some sunbathing, friends' visits, some good music and movies, chilled conversations and old stories, and I know there will be more to come in the next few days. I need all the energy I can get to deal with the month of September and the following ones, both in my private and professional spheres.
The last year has not been easy, and, while I have felt a lot better in the past two months, I still have that certain feeling of uneasiness from time to time. The huge difference is, now I am not letting it overcome me, but I am actively dealing with it.
Recently, I received the same comment from two different people who don't know each other: they both said that I always seem happy, always smiling, and people find it hard to believe that I ever have hard times. All that shines is not gold, as they say. But one would find it hard to pick it up it from what I write, say, or the smile on my face.
It is not that I am faking happy emotions I don't possess - I really am, deep down, an internally happy person. However, I too have hard times, and, while I disapprove of hiding one's emotions, I am a believer of preserving private feelings, and of not letting your internal struggles interfere with your external accomplishments and actions - if you feel awful, it's nobody else's faults, and, while it is helpful to talk to a friendly and understanding ear, one's "bad mood" should not create problems to other people. That is why I will very rarely discuss private matters with people beyond my "happy few" list, which consists of seven fantastic people, the best of the best, the ones you know who love you unconditionally, no matter what you tell them.
Two other people instead told me that I am hard to label and put into a category, and asked me "But who are you, really?". That is a good question. I often ask myself "What do you want to be?", perhaps I should also start asking "Who are you?" instead.
Well, if you really know me and are really close to me, you already know about the highs and lows, the constant doubting and questioning, the euphoric moments coupled with falling in the "pit of despair". Yet, I still find pleasure in life, in little things that make me happy and carry me through. I questioned everything about my life, made some important changes, remained "suspended" in some other areas, loved myself and hated myself with a passion. The positive thing in all this is that I learned that I, too, can have doubts. I, too, need help sometimes. I too, am not invincible. I too, can suffer, and it is perfectly ok to suffer, it is a fact of life that we cannot always avoid.
Most importantly, I no longer feel "stuck", I am moving on and making progress, although slowly, and guess what? I got my "grinta" back and figured out that I can go wherever I want - "wherever" being more a state of mind than a physical place. I always knew this, but somehow I had forgotten it. I really, really need to get back into martial arts, for my sanity and because I miss it like the air that I breathe.
After this series of random words, there is not much one can say, except perhaps...good night! I have a feeling that, when I read this post again tomorrow morning, not all of it is going to make sense, but well, all things considered, life seldom makes sense.