Traveling Man: Toss it in the dumpster and light it on fire

Reading Time: 3 minutes

When the morning is quiet I hear everything. I used to hate this, now it only kind of annoys me.

The fridge is humming. The water is shifting in the pipes. Birds are outside. My pulse in my ear sounds like the ocean. My breathing – sometimes steady, sometimes sounding forced, but not quite like a sigh.

I have a hard time with the quiet. It makes me be more present and attune to what is happening around me, which is uncomfortable. I’m more ok with this than I used to be. Being uncomfortable helps us learn. I also find that I get lost in my thoughts and honestly, it’s not avoidance, but I want a break from my own thoughts from time to time, but not this morning I guess.

I over-analyze. It’s a skill that is highly regarded professionally, but personally, it’s problematic. I can take light things and make them serious. I can deep dive like a scuba diver wanting to find something hidden and work myself up: sometimes there’s no subtext to that text.

This is the last post of the year and usually that’s my favorite.

This year was hard for a variety of reasons I’ve loosely talked about and for some that aren’t anyone’s business but my own and my small circle. Oversharing is a favorite past time of mine and I’ve had to really think about where it comes from and what benefits it gives me – if any. Here’s what I’ve thought of.

Connection. I want connection. I want meaningful connection and conversation that helps me grow and be a better person. but I don’t always get that and that’s what has helped me back up a bit over the past few years.

Looking back on this year, I think that’s a theme I noticed overall – not always, but often.

I thought harder about the kind of connections did I want and need, how could I make them and how could I set better boundaries to toss those that didn’t serve me in the dumpster and light that shit on fire (sometimes easier said that done).

I connected more with nature, which admittedly helped me connect with myself, by disconnecting. This gave me a chance to feel even when I wasn’t sure what I was feeling. Sometimes that felt like flooding and while overwhelming – that’s ok in the moment. I didn’t journal or write as much, but leaned into photography, which gave me a different way to focus.

I gave myself a chance to connect through dating – this ranged from ghosting (sometimes them and sometimes me) and superficial touches to developing friendships. I learned about what I wanted and more importantly what I didn’t want. I also realized that ghosting says something – we don’t owe strangers explanations and those connections can be severed.

I’m still working on how I can show up individually, while being part of something else because we both matter and losing yourself isn’t healthy or helpful or necessary to be a good friend and partner.

I connected with my clients and my career and left a company that I no longer aligned with to lean harder into public health spaces, nonprofit spaces and focuses on collaborative initiatives with other professionals and continue to rebuild my coaching practice. I’m also embracing opportunities like taking and teaching courses and going back to school.

I’m connecting to my new real community and creating a life that I want to show up for everyday, even on the hard days.

I want to feel purposeful and have connection because it’s less lonely, and there is a difference between being alone and lonely. It’s also ok that my purpose is starting to focus on how I can be a better me so I can do all of the other things. It feels selfish sometimes and sometimes I don’t give a fuck because it’s actually not, I’ve just been taught that making myself a priority is selfish.

While I do have goals and some plans, a question I’m thinking about right now and I want to hold onto this upcoming year is what do I want to see different and the same in myself? Then, what do I want to do to see it happen?