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why i’ve been gone

January 2, 2013,r:0,s:0,i:157

Happy New Year!  2013.  This is the year I get my Masters degree, I get married, I complete my graphic design program, I start looking for my dream job.  I have fears and I have high hopes.  And I have too much going on to continue being as disorganized as I have been.  I want to impose structure on myself this year–as a gift to myself, not as a punishment.  With structure comes pacing and balance and consistency and ease, or so I invision.

Like any other shift in behavior, self-honesty is one of the keys to ultimately finding a deeper self-love.  So, I want to be honest in here as well.  I want to face you now and tell you why I haven’t written in several months.  Of course life is busy and insane.  I could blame it on being a student in two programs working several part-time jobs and planning a wedding.  I could blame it on stress and family obligation and the limited hours in a day.  But why do that?  There’s no resonant truth there.  These excuses feel like the reason when I’m stressed out, but the real reason that I haven’t written in here is deeply internal.  Ah, psychology, you pervade and you persist.

And so, reflecting on 2012, I discovered that accountability to others doesn’t help me unless I am already feeling empowered.  In fact, it hurts me.  If I start shifting my focus from intrinsic motivation (those moments when I feel so good being healthy, when it is a gift I give myself and I have hope and excitement) to external motivation, I turn from love to fear.

Perhaps the problem is that I have a hard time accepting the external sources of love surrounding issues of the body, so I have to find support first inside and then out.  External motivation does not have to be fear-based, but for me it always is.  (I have to look/behave a certain way or else people will judge me and won’t like me and won’t hire me and won’t see the value in me; I have to look/behave a certain way or else people will think I’m lazy or disappointing and they will stop believing in me.)  The ironic and fascinating thing is that these things I’m calling external are often projections of the internalized negative messages from my childhood, messages I received on a daily basis from people who thought they were helping me to be healthy.  And now these messages are mine, and they are my biggest challenge.

But they are my challenge.  That means I have control, and that means there is hope.  I just need to stop turning my back on these issues when they feel overwhelming.  I need to work through the fears and own the internalizations, and then I will see that the world is a more loving and supportive place than I fear it to be.

My ultimate goals are agency and health.  Accountability to others is only important so far as it supports these goals, as I have discovered that this particular process is not best served as a collaboration, at least not at this stage.  I actually foresee that external support will, at some point, become wildly important, but I have more work to do first.  This year I will be writing in here as much or as little as I need to in order to support these goals, but I won’t just disappear again.  There is such a difference between fading away and purposefully trying other things.  This year, I will be purposeful, and I will try other things, but I will check in here now and then to test the waters and to say hi.

Wishing you all a vivacious journey in 2013!

❤ Diana Banana

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Eileen Levy permalink
    January 2, 2013 2:56 pm

    I love you for your honesty and willingness to show up and bare your innermost thoughts and feelings. You are truly an inspiration for me, who can totally identify with everything you’ve written, and who, at 60 years old, still struggles with the external messages and the internal dialogue around body. Thank you Diana. I’m ready for more whenever you’re ready to put words onto these pages!

    • January 4, 2013 11:25 am

      I cannot thank you enough for your loving response, Eileen. It is so healing to be received in this way. Sending love and best wishes for 2013!

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