No Salsa, but Something More

I keep wanting to write a post about tv shows I watched recently that made me cry (spoiler alert: all of them) but when it comes down to the moment of setting pen to paper, I can’t bring myself to do it. This time it’s because I have a headache and I don’t have the energy to be emotional right now, but I think it’s also because I am a little bit frightened about knowingly putting myself through the ordeal of feeling things intensely. I guess that’s why they say facing your feelings takes courage.

I also really want to have chips and salsa but try as I might, I cannot open the jar. My arm hurts from trying. Sometimes, it seems like the universe is trying to remind me that I’m weak and can’t do things on my own. So I have to remind myself that that’s not true, not one bit, not at all. I do plenty of hard things and plenty of them on my own. It’s just that opening a jar of salsa is not one of them. At least, not tonight. 

Lately, I’ve been in that funny stage of trying to find a balance between figuring things out on my own and reaching out for help. This might be one of the most ambiguous parts of growing up. How to know when to show up for yourself and how to know when to welcome support from others? Nobody wants to be a burden. But maybe we are also lazy. Maybe other people are willing to help us and so we let them, until we become dependent on that. And maybe we seek assurance, or validation, or permission because we don’t trust ourselves.

I am learning to trust myself. I am remembering that I can rely on myself to problem solve, and handle mishaps, and figure things out because I’ve done it before. I am fully capable of self-soothing and so, I am certain, are you. 

My Google search history is pretty indicative of my recent problem solving skills: how to dice an onion, how to use a corkscrew, how to politely decline a job offer, how to dice a bell pepper, how to zest a lemon, how to fry food without oil splatter, can I freeze pancake batter, can you eat the stem of parsley, how long does chicken take to fry, how long to bake camembert in the microwave. 

I don’t care that these are silly, and maybe embarrassing, and things that I should probably already know. I am learning them now and that’s the point. 

I didn’t end up opening the salsa jar tonight, but I did finish the remaining bottle of red wine I had on the shelf, and I took a nap to soothe my headache, and I read a disappointing email without letting it affect the rest of my day. These are little things but they are also big things. I am learning how to take care of myself, how to listen to my body. I am learning how to set boundaries, handle the unexpected, and be patient with the process. And I am doing so consciously, guiding myself through the fog, holding my own hand.

I once was blown away that someone would adjust my pillow for me. Now I adjust my own damn pillow.

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