Erin Foster
April 04, 2013 10:32 am

That’s right, I’m in The Bahamas. I won’t tell you anything more location specific, because I’ve always felt like I’m someone worthy of a stalker and I don’t want to encourage that kind of behavior. I’ve also always felt like I deserve a fist fight between two guys over me, but I still have time to make that happen.

So, I’ve been here in on this tropical island for three days and I’m having a hard time relaxing. The first day I attributed it to the time change and just adjusting in general to a sudden vacation day on a Monday. But it’s now Thursday and I keep having to remind myself to relax. Am I that obnoxious that I don’t know how to just sit back and enjoy a free trip when it’s handed to me? Oh, I forgot to mention that this trip was free for me. The perks of inviting yourself on your sister’s family vacation.

Now, I understand that you might be struggling with feelings of not being happy for me or having a tough time feeling sorry for me, even, which I find rude. But I’m bringing it all back to something I think you might be able to relate to. All day, every day we are faced with small decisions. Forks in the road. Deal with this, or blow it off. Clean the mess, or leave it for later. Work or take a nap. Call the person I’m fighting with or push it to the back of my mind. Respond to that email or ignore it. Work out or find an excuse why you can’t. Pay the bill now or wait until the reminder comes….

I’m guilty of doing the latter on a lot of these. And sometimes when I feel torn between these kinds of decisions, I literally can sit at the end of my bed in a daze wondering how to take the first step. And they seem like simple steps. Like, incredibly simple. But something stops me from dealing. I can’t deal. I say that a lot. I CAN’T DEAL. What can’t we deal with? If you take them apart and look at them all separately, they are absolutely manageable. But sometimes I don’t know which one to do first, or I get mad that I have to do any of them at all. Not in an entitled way, but in a panicked way. In a way that it feels like life is pushing so fast and so constantly that I think if I just sit at the end of my bed and zone out, it will all go away. Or that the next day I might wake up as someone who is highly skilled at DEALING. But that day doesn’t come. What comes are moments of clarity when I emotionally slap myself in the face and get it together.

What we don’t see are how these things pile up. How, when enough of them haven’t been dealt with, you find yourself on an island in The Bahamas and you don’t know how to relax. Being able to relax is the result of one of two things; A. Having dealt with your shit or B. Being in denial. Plenty of people are relaxed that shouldn’t be. They just float through life without a care in the world, while meanwhile, their life is a wreck. But these people think they have a free pass. They think they can talk their way out of the mess. They think they can trick the universe into forgetting them. Or the IRS.

I know this is a little pretentious of me, but there’s a Robert Frost quote that I have next to my bed, that I think is the most important lesson of all. It says, “The best way out is always through.” When there is something that needs to be dealt with, you have to go right through the middle. You can’t tip toe on the edge. There is one way in and one way out, and it’s best to rip the band aid off. Run through the middle, where it is the darkest and hardest. I’ve been avoiding things lately. And it’s taken a toll. I was supposed to be practicing my meditation on this trip. I was supposed to be doing yoga every day. I was supposed to be writing. Guess what I’ve been doing the whole time instead? (See above picture.)

But it’s never too late! We have to not be too hard on ourselves. We are human, after all, and it’s that voice in our head that gets frustrated with ourselves which keeps us doing the right thing. It keeps us in check. I always have that voice giving me a hard time. And she’s such a bitch. She’s like little miss perfect. She expects me to always do the right thing. She expects me to apologize to people, and to be kind, and to swallow my pride ALL THE TIME. And to believe in myself. And to work hard. And she’s always right.

Relax. But do the work it takes to get there.

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