heart smile.

One last navel-gazing post and then I'm going to focus on writing about writing for awhile. Or at the very least, I'll throw up a couple of WTF, public education?! rants along with some WTF, Life?! rants over the next coming weeks. But no more Amy inner angst for your brain, I promise. You know why? Because it's not working for me. Sometimes, you just gotta let shit go. And when shit be gone, phew! Bullets. Dodged.

I was thinking today about how Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) did it when she went on her year-long journey of self-discovery. She made a vow to herself to be alone and just figure herself out. She ate a lot of pizza and gelato while learning Italian, took a vow of silence and got very superior at yogic meditation, and learned to smile with her heart in Bali. She made some sweet new friends on her journey, but mostly she learned how to just BE. And BE alone. And be okay with BEing alone.

Because I do this too.

This is basically what I've decided I need to do for the next year. From today until August 16, 2016, I am just going to figure ME out. I'm going to spend a lot of time in silence (when Miss M isn't around, and maybe also sometimes with soothing music on in the background), reading and meditating and doing a crap load of writing. I'm going to do what Anne Lamott said to do in Bird by Bird: seat in butt, every day, creating shitty first drafts. I'm going to get superior at this. I'm going to teach myself to smile with my heart. Even if I can't smile with it in Bali next to Javier Bardem.

Which means I'm going to have to let a lot of shit go, even if that means people. That's hard for me, because once I decide I like you I just want you around forever and ever. And especially in this day and age of social media; letting go of people who aren't good for you and you aren't good for them is very difficult to do, because letting go of social media is very difficult to do. And maybe that'll be something I'll spend the next 52 weeks or so working on as well. 

Here's the thing. Something happened tonight, I had an exchange with someone I've grown to like an awful lot, but it was weird. It's been weird for awhile now, actually. And then I talked with another friend about it, and while I was getting some pharmaceuticals to deal with the cold virus beginning to overtake my body, as I was standing in front of the Cold-EEZE boxes? The Universe or my heart or some Thing, just kind of gently placed itself on my shoulder so it could whisper in my ear: Amy, stop. Stop placing yourself in situations from which you'll only find disappointment in other people and yourself. And stop being distracted by shiny objects in the road and focus on where you're going, my love; just take care of YOU. Be gentle with yourself. Be kind. (and Miss M was included as well by this Thing, I'm assuming, by default.)

I've always believed every single person we cross paths with are brought to us to teach us things, as we are placed on their paths to teach them. Sometimes they're things we need to learn about how things work. Sometimes it's things we need to discover about ourselves. And some people are brought to us because simply because maybe we just need to repeat lessons we didn't learn the last time we were in this place. And when we're in those places, we have to make some hard choices, based on what we already know, what worked/didn't work last time, and what we're being shown now. And we have to take all of this learning and evaluate it, analyze it, and synthesize it so we'll get where we're hoping to end up eventually. Because when we don't, that's when the Universe sighs, throws us somewhere else really odd, and then we have to start all over again. 

For some people, that constant process of being fished from the sea and then tossed back in somewhere else and then fished out again and tossed back in lasts an entire life time. I do not wish to be one of those people.

My student teaching mentor told me our last day together: "Give everything you do a good year before you make any major decisions. You can do anything for a year." So I'm just going to be alone for the next 365 days, and learn to embrace solitude (when not being hounded for attention by a 6 year old drama queen). I'm going to write a novel. And I'm going to focus, really, really focus. I'm going to be really gentle with myself, and very kind. I'm not going to put myself into anymore situations that will cause me anger or distress or angst or sadness. Okay, fine. I'll probably be in about 3,655 situations that cause me anger or sadness over the next 365 days. But if I am, I promise it won't be because I put myself there; it'll just be because that particular situation has something to teach me. And when not being put in learning situations, I'm going to spend a lot of time looking for beauty and art and things that, you know, make me smile with my heart. And people too - I will always be on the lookout for people who make me smile with my heart. And if they are wild and eccentric, then my heart shall beam with joy to have stumbled upon them.

Because where I hope to end up eventually is somewhere like Bali, where I'm smiling with my heart. I want to be able to smile with my whole heart.

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