Tuesday, August 17, 2010

“If You Really Knew Me” Part 1 – Separation Anxiety, Much?

In my last post, the introduction to this “If You Really Knew Me” series, I encouraged readers to stay tuned for Part 1, titled, “Sweet Home…”  And, in true “Chrissy fashion,” I planned to follow up the title with this:
 “…Chicago.”
 Yup, that’s right.

I envisioned using a cheeky reference to the song “Sweet Home Chicago” as an intro to my reflection on the process of moving far away from my hometown.  From my family.  From my friends.  From my history.  From my life.

It would have possibly progressed a little something like this:

“I was born in Chicago.  Grew up in Chicago.  Went to undergrad in Indiana.  Started my post-grad life back in Chicago.  My parents and brothers – born in Chicago.  School – Chicago.  Life – Chicago.  One exception – my older brother – college in Indiana.  Back to Chicago.
Certainly, I’m not the only 30-something in Denver to be considered as a “transplant.”  I’m sure I’m not the first to admit that moving away from “home” to start a new life was really, really, really hard. 

I mean…REALLY.”

Well, a few days have passed since my initial “Chicago-style” brainstorm.  Since then, a more suitable idea (in my opinion, of course) for a theme for Part 1 emerged randomly after chatting to a stranger about dogs.

(Perfectionist, much?)

Stick with me.  It’ll click…

Mark and I walked to the Einstein Bagels in our neighborhood last Sunday and ate breakfast outside on the patio.  As Tucker lounged on the ground next to us, basking in the beautiful Denver weather, a man who was about our age and also had a dog with him asked us,

“Does your dog chew through his leash?” 

Thankfully, we answered,

“Nope.”  

Before we could even explain that he does chew through back doors and entire couches, he followed up with,

“Mine does.  He will chew through an entire leash and break free if we tie him up.  I mean…separation anxiety, much?”

We simply grinned and said something along the lines of,

“Sorry to hear that, man,”

and before we knew it, he was on his way.  We were both thinking to ourselves,

“If you only knew what Tucker’s separation anxiety has done to our house, pal.”

Well, that seemingly insignificant exchange got me to thinking (I know…watch out!).  The contemplative side of me saw an opportunity for reflection on my own experience with separation and anxiety, and the much-more-difficult-to-detect destruction it has unfortunately done to our home.

Separation = anxiety, and so much more

I often have conversations with my best friend about how “we all have our thing.”  Because we do.  We all have something in our lives that we wish we didn’t have to deal with that makes us who we are.  We’re human.  We’re imperfect.  We learn and grow and evolve through the process of how we handle said “things.”  I like to call them thingportants.

You could be a struggling single parent.  Or have a chronic illness.  Lost your job, perhaps.  Made a life-changing decision.  Maybe you recently lost a loved one.  The list goes on. 

From this list, many of us seem to have generated quite a collection of thingportants.  Plural.  Mucho.  Many.  More than one.  To the extent that if you can only count your thingportants on one hand, there might be something seriously wrong with you.

Well.  For me, it took a move to Denver for my thingportants to surface high enough to where I had no choice but to take notice. Separation from the comforts of “home” was enough to kick them into overdrive.  They’ve been there, deep down, but I never really could quite put my finger on exactly what they were.  I was, however, aware of "The King of My Thingportants," who had a little voice who constantly whispered to me ever since I could remember,

“You can’t,”
and  
“You’re clearly not good enough!”    

I’m just now figuring out (hence the purpose of this series), that this person -- voice, crown and all -- is (and always was)…

…me.

Here's me.  King of My Thingportants.  My own worst enemy

Note-to-self (-doubt)

If you really knew me…

…you’d know that the phrase, “and at the end of the day…” bothers the living daylights out of me.  Sure, it’s popular right now, but at the end of the day, it will fall by the wayside.  Just you wait.

…you’d also know that I consider another hot phrase of the moment, “(insert word here), much?”, i.e., “separation anxiety, much?” or “sarcastic, much?” makes me chuckle just as much as, say, “Thanks, Captain Obvious!”

…you’d know that Part 2 of this series will probably focus on self-doubt, because I sometimes like to use my quirky sub-headings as creative reminders. 

…you’d know that it’s possible that a future post in this series might include a mention or two of ADHD, because you’d know I also need lots of reminders.

...you'd know that it's killing me right now that I didn't say "focus on ADHD" because I pretty much never pass up a chance to make up a fun pun.  I absolutely adore awesome puns.  Oh, and alliteration as well.  

Geez, Chrissy.  Quite a long post for Part 1.
“Ramble, much?”

-King of My Thingportants (and as you'll learn in Part 2, Self-Doubt), aka, DTL

1 comment:

Single Mom in the City said...

I'm going to be so self conscious about saying "at the end of the day" now...noted :)

Recognizing that those little voices and things telling us who we are and what we can can and can't do is are voices that we're in control of is huge...easier said than done to turn those negative thoughts into positives, but realizing you have the power to is the first step. Loving this series! It's very open and honest...just like my best friend Chrissy :)

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