i tend to live out loud. keeps me authentic. it's a lot easier to falsify aspects of life when you keep them hidden. so don't be shocked when i say on my blog (and thus on facebook) that i saw my therapist today.
i really love my rock star of a shrink, who i'll call juana. she helped me acclimate post-africa as i tried to remember my identity, and as i tried to re-learn emotions. i think she did a pretty good job. we met regularly last summer.
and we met once in january, in a moment of freaking out over how awkward my new dating relationship was, which ended shortly after. (no worries).
but i hadn't seen her since. it's not that i haven't had my ups and downs... i have. but i am a) extremely self aware, b) practical, and c) an external processor. meaning i walk into a counseling session knowing exactly how i feel, understanding why i feel that way, and i've likely processed it with several girlfriends.
the current downer: i'm lonely.
on one level, it's absolutely ridiculous. i have the most amazing friends, and lots of 'em. my social calendar is full. my work is fulfilling. life is balanced. life is good. God is great.
on another level, it makes perfect sense. there's an empty space, and it is what it is.
so when i told my boss i was in a funk (i mean, he's a priest, i can tell him anything)... he responded, "when's the last time you talked to juana?"
i said, "dude, i know why i'm lonely."
at which point he laughed and said, "oh, you do?"
"fine," i said.
and i called juana.
she pretty much said what i expected... i'm not in need of real "therapy" because it's ok to feel lonely. it's real. it's part of life. i'm aware, i'm balanced, i'm good to go.
but she did say one thing that kinda stood out... this little nugget will somehow help me cope... though i don't know how... i just know it will.
basically, i've opened myself up to loneliness. i've allowed myself to be open to love, i've put myself out there, i've been crushed and broken and hurt, but i've also opened a door that i could-not-would-not open this time last year.
in a sense, it's a good thing.
you know when you're not really hungry, but then somebody gives you a bite of a cookie, and then suddenly your stomach starts growling and you're like, 'when's dinner?!"
well that's where i am right now. i didn't know i was hungry. i had a little taste of something good, and now i'm eager for the main course.
i'm hungry, but not starving. lonely, but not desperate.
and somehow, that little juana-ism is like the sherbet they serve between courses... a pallet-cleanser of sorts. so i share it with you, free of charge. but i recommend you back it up with a strong dose of self-care if you feel you're in the same boat. laughter, prayer, exercise, acupuncture, short-term attainable goals, pedicures, mountains, dogs and best friends come to mind.