Monday, March 23, 2015

Monday Mantra: The Awkwardness that Lives in Me

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: Find the harmony within yourself, by yourself first
Andys ArtWorks
Thanks to The Boyfriend, I recently discovered author Patrick Lee, whose books Runner and The Breach have me dying to read each and every other book he's written. In The Breach specifically, one of the characters has a special tool that allows him the ability to observe people when they think they're alone, getting a true glimpse into who they are. He notes that only in these instances has he ever seen people who aren't acting for the rest of the world, who aren't pretending, who aren't self conscious of their every move or how they're perceived. People who are at complete and utter ease with themselves, only in their solitude.

I relate to that more than I would like to admit. Even after all of my years of education on awareness and acceptance and understanding the psychology of the mind, I still fail. Like, a lot, you guys. A lot.

A couple of weeks ago I attended a friends engagement party. I was the first to arrive, having promised my other friend that I'd help him set up. On my own in this crowded bar/restaurant, I was instantly aware of how out of place I felt, and paid far too much attention to how I walked, how I stood, how I was. Throughout the night people showed up- some I knew, some I didn't. I mingled. I made small talk. I laughed and I did truly enjoy myself. But one particular moment in the night stands out to me.

Within the larger group of people that evening, there were only three people I truly knew well, the four of us as a whole being a close knit group of friends who sincerely and genuinely care about one another. Two of the four, my seeeester and my Office Best Friend Forever, as I call them, have what I can only describe as this natural harmony between them. They laugh, they joke, they dance to a music that only they can hear. It's one of the most beautiful and unique friendships I've ever seen, but it also makes me massively aware of my own awkwardness. Of my lack of being able to laugh and joke and flow in and out like everyone else. It makes me aware of how I still somehow feel like this person who just doesn't quite belong.

This is why I understood what the character in The Breach was saying. Only in my aloneness am I able to somewhat shrug that away. To be completely honest, even then that feeling lingers like a residue that won't quite wash away. It's not a bad feeling or a sad feeling or anything negative, necessarily. It's just a feeling like maybe I'm just South of everyone else's North and no matter how hard I try, I'll never be able to navigate my way to them because the two can and never will belong together.

I've decided the only way to deal with this is to become that much more aware of who I am when I am truly alone. How do I feel, how do I compose myself- what are my thoughts and my actions and my emotions? What music am I dancing to in my solitude? I believe if I can focus in on those moments - really etch them into my memory - I can find or create a place of inner harmony within myself that I can call upon when needed. That can then become the foundation on which I stand in every other moment of my life, awkward and otherwise. 

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