I’ve been listening to a few specific songs by Rag’n’Bone Man lately. This is him:
And he sings with his fucking soul.
Songs that I can feel in my bones: Human, Grace, Skin, and As You Are.
There are these few lines in “Human” that I find myself repeating throughout the day: I’m only human, after all. I’m only human, after all. Don’t put the blame on me.
And, y’know, it’s helpful that it’s uber catchy. But I think that my Inner Wisdom (or psyche or whatever the fuck I want to call it on any given day) chooses these repeating lyrics as nice reminders to myself.
JEN. YOU ARE ONLY HUMAN. RE-FUCKIN-LAX.
The amount of pressure I put on myself is outrageous. And it’s not a conscious choice to hold myself to such a high standard. It’s been a part of who I am for as long as I can remember. That’s not to say that I can’t train myself out of it; I work every day to do so.
But there comes a point when it’s like… When do I invite in grace and acceptance instead of this constant drive to retrain myself? When do I let go of my obsession with becoming a better version of myself and instead settle in to exactly who I am right now?
I’ve come a long way. I really have. People in my life now tell me I’m a great listener and a great friend and that I’m kind and giving and honest. And there’s this part of me that’s like, “Fuck. When did I become all these things?” Because years ago, I was none of those things.
I’m grateful to be here. I’m grateful to now have integrity and subsequent trusting relationships. I’m grateful to have worked so hard to cultivate who I’ve become.
It also gets really exhausting to be so good all the time. And I mean “good” like well-behaved. On my best behavior. Mindful and aware and patient and understanding. To eat so well and to meditate every day and exercise 5+ times a week, pushing myself just enough and not too much. Posting here every day. Helping people navigate their beautiful messy emotions.
These are all wonderful things on their own. Even together. But the attachment I have to them is what makes it an unhealthy experience. The belief that I must do or be these things is where the issue resides.
And so tonight, I’m sad. I am feeling sad, and scared, and really tired. And I feel like some TLC is in order.
So I’m going to sit and listen to music and journal and do my introvert recharge time. I’ll probably take an unplug day tomorrow.
But then another part of me is like… “Isn’t that just you hiding? Unplugging because you’re sad, dealing with your sadness and burnout behind the scenes so no one else sees it? Then you feel better and show them the after-effect of this transformation… Sharing an eloquent blog entry about whichever realizations…?”
Yea. It is me hiding.
But maybe that’s okay sometimes.
(I’m only human, after all.)