There’s Gotta Be More

I had an entire post written. Then I deleted it because, well, it was pathetic and self depreciating and no on wants to hear that.

I found myself journal-ing about not really having the desire to seek out new things. Not having the desire to have ‘life altering conversations’. I do have them, few and far between, usually via text to a friend in Oregon or Pennsylvania or Colorado. Conversations about fear, desires, dreams: I used to have over a coffee, or a beer, or after too many beers. These are good, earth shattering conversations. Ones that are meant to change the world, change my life, or change the life of someone else.

Now most of conversations consist of topics like: beer, farm to table food, the proper form to do a lateral pull down. Running. How bad the winter sucks in Chicago. How bad the CTA sucks in Chicago. How we can’t wait for summer. Day drinking on patios.  All legit conversations to have, but pretty easy and unremarkable. Though Chicago does have some really great patios to drink on…

But wait. Wait wait wait. What I can’t figure out is if have changed or gotten lazy. Or if I don’t have the people around me to have these convos with. OR everyone around me actually has their shit so together that they don’t crave conversations about life, energy, love, nature… I do believe that I’ve changed, changed in the sense that I recognized my need to stop running away from what ever it is I run from. But that recognition shouldn’t hinder me from exploration connections. Is this what getting old is like?

[Side note, I’m in Chicago another year guys… this’ll be a record for me]

But I do think we need to go back to conversations about more than just patio drinking and money. I dream of traveling. I dream of being successful and stable. I dream of doing more than just going through the motions.

I guess that’s what life feels like at the moment. Just going through the motions.

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Disconnection vs. Investment

Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Where have the last two months gone? What have I been doing. What have YOU been doing? Winter has finally, hopefully, left us, and were on our path to Spring time. My birthday (in January) came and went, Valentine’s Day smacked us in the face, we sprung our clocks forward and now March Maddness status updates are taking over my Facebook feed and I don’t understand any of them. But now to personify a couple words that have been huge influencers in my life.

Disconnection is something one feels when they hit the road after 10 months of ‘living’ somewhere. Investing in a community is not priority, friendships don’t seem as sincere because there is no depth to them. A bedroom doesn’t develop personality and warmth after just a few months. Disconnection is a hard state to live in and a super easy state to leave.
Where do you lean towards? Where do you road trip to and have a hard time leaving? Is Disconnection a place that’s on your map marked with a star? Disconnection used to be my only home, I had a house on wheels and a backpack full of books, a journal and a tooth brush. Disconnection and I… we flourished together, knowing that happiness was just one stop away, one more plane ride, one more move, one more man in my bed, drinking buddy at the local pub or a cute coffee shop to waste my day in. Happiness, she was coming, she had to be around the corner somewhere, right? Disconnection promised me happiness elsewhere and I believed her every step of the way.

This is what I thought until I met Investment. Investment is a sneaky little bitch that crawls out of hole somewhere, trips you and makes you stop looking towards the horizon and just see the sunset. She and I together freak each other out. She’s not good at hanging out with curly haired, independent ladies that love an adventure away from where she is. She doesn’t move quite as fast as I’m used to but we’ve become friends so I’ve learned to slow down for her, to take a little more time and think a bit more about each move, each choice I’m making.

Investment has encouraged me to sign up for a certification program. She’s helped me find ways to read the words I write to an audience. She’s taken my heart and began giving it to another person so I can’t just leave even if I thought I wanted to. Investment knows me and knows that I can’t end my relationship with Disconnection but she knows that right now we’re not a good fit. Right now I’m starting a garden for the summer and I’m planning trips to far away states and I’m becoming a regular at my favorite coffee shop. She knows that I wonder about my lease ending in August and respects the fleeting thoughts of mountain paths and crashing oceans but understands that now we’re friends I’m sticking around for a while.

As much as my heart wants to fly away I am here. I am present and I am navigating this new friendship with an open mind and adventurous soul.

shutupshutupshutup

I’ve been mean lately. Like, nasty, snarky and rude. The person on the other end of my meanness should probably unfriend me on Facebook and basically cut me out of her life. The things that have popped up and have been communicated are hard to hear, probably not true and borderline insane.
I can’t, however, unfriend myself. I can’t turn and walk away from my inner voice. I can’t yell and scream and tell her to “SHUT UP” and expect it to stop. My brain, my inner voice and inner self talk has been crude and awful for the past week.

You’re so anti-social.
You should have gone for a longer run.
Why did you eat that?
What are you doing with your life?
How are you paying rent this month?
You’re really not good at anything, just quit.
Why are you like her?

I sit here and type some of the things that run through my head, think other things and can’t bring myself to share everything. It’s that bad.

SHUT UP.

Doesn’t work. Damnit. I’m truly, in general, a happy person here in Chicago. Happier than I have been in the past, but this voice… who is she and how do we silence her? Sometimes I go for a run and listen to her, try and reason and argue. Other times I convince people to meet me at the bar and I shut her up with a few beverages, she’s quiet while I’m surrounded by friends, but she gets angry when I’m home alone in bed–Why did you have that last glass of wine? You spent too much money. Are those people really even your friends? This voice makes me cancel Skype dates with my best friends, she pulls me down onto the couch, turns on Netflix and says “Tomorrow, tomorrow will be clearer and sunnier, and better. Tomorrow.”

Tomorrow is bullshit. What if there is no tomorrow? You can’t just turn a voice off. I’m trying to end this post on a positive note without sounding cheesy and I’m not sure how to do that. Cheese might be the only answer. Since we can’t shut our inner voices up, maybe take what they say with a grain of salt–work as hard as you have been, and also acknowledge “at least I WENT for a run today…” Being kinder to ourselves can be hard, we’re all our own worse critic and have the tendency to just be mean. So I guess it comes down to treating yourself with respect, realizing that the things that pop into my head I would NEVER say aloud to another person–so why am I treating myself like that.

Not cool Sloan, not cool.

So on that cheese filled note, a new goal is set in place for myself and I challenge you all to join, be nice. Be nice to yourself, take note and acknowledge your accomplishments as well as the path you are on. I’m writing this to pump myself up for it–it’s a daily struggle and I’m on that bus trying to be happy and live a life full of learning and moving forward. Because forward is the only way to go.