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Like the ceiling can’t hold us.

Before I even make my coffee this morning, I want to share what my life affords me.

I woke up this morning to this.

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There are clean dishes in the drain board from 24 hours ago. There’s crap on the island. A day’s worth of dirty dishes in the sink. Nothing’s been disinfected.

The living room was scattered with papers and some haphazard books. Gym blocks in disarray. Bath toys littering the carpet. There’s a load of laundry to be folded and another yet to be washed.

You want to know what this represents to me?

A day well spent with my attention elsewhere.

My life–my amazing freaking life–my I practice and practice and practice life–my I get back up again life–affords me this moment. I could focus yesterday without micromanaging all of the home tasks. I could eat a meal without care if the dishes were washed. My routines (even taking a day off from them) afford me only an hour of catchup time today to get everything back to normal. My mindset work afforded me the ability to not even consider that someone else should wash the dishes yesterday. Never did I play the victim and think, “well, if no one can even give me the damn day, I guess I have to stop this important conference to wash a dish.” Never did I even think to entertain “I just want to watch the speakers, but L wants attention too and now I have to give up my dream!”

No! I am so much more than that.

I didn’t give a shit about the dishes. I didn’t think someone else should do them. I was grateful for the times Chris took L to play in the other room, but I was just. as. grateful. for all the moments L spent with me too! I incorporated him into my conference. I welcomed him. And he loved it! He felt loved.

My conference ended around 6:30. I was freaking glowing. Chris was on a call outside and L and I danced around the living room for the hundredth time, as my calves burned from the day.

I could have cleaned the house then. I even considered it. Wanna know what I did instead? I went outside and I played with my kid. Because even tho I spent a great part of the day with him, my attention was split. My life affords me that too. So we went outside and chased monsters and threw Spiderman webs and enjoyed the beautiful weather.

Later we went to the store. Still no clean kitchen. Later L went to bed. Still no clean kitchen. Even later than that Chris and I had amazing freaking sex. Still no clean kitchen.

And it was never a freaking thought in my head.

And so today, when I woke up and saw my home. It was the prize. It wasn’t the burden. It was the freaking prize. Because yesterday I lived in abundance. And I loved in abundance. And today my house, which is easily pickup-able, represents all of my progress. All of my glorious progress. And there is just nothing better than that.

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Every picture you paint, I will paint myself out.

There is this thing that happens in my brain? I don’t get any say in it? I am aware of it. Sometimes. But a lot of the time I am unaware of it. I’m usually only aware of it when I mention it and someone else finds it absurd. Or someone mentions something that triggers it and then their mention feels absurd to me.

I’m getting ahead of myself tho because I feel like I’ve lost you. Lemme start again.

I am unaware of my affect on others. Like, on a deep level. I heard last week that this is a pretty significant enneagram 2 thing. I cried. I feel like maybe I should write about that soon. But for now I’ll say that for me, for the most part, I assume I am pretty disposable to people and I don’t really matter much one way or the other. People feel fine to have me around, but also, outta sight outta mind–I’m dispensable and forgotten. And I say this relatively ambivalently. It feels like fact more than feeling. It is what it is and it’s been a reoccurring theme since childhood and I’m used to it. (Or…I should be.) I don’t think to think about it too often and I don’t feel the need to feel about it even less.

But then someone will say something. Like yesterday. Chris and I were talking about the inbetween time of our relationship. Where we knew one another existed and we’d said hi, but hadn’t started dating yet. This was a four month period. We were just people that passed one another and we were both unaware that the connection was deeply and entirely mutual.

So we’re talking yesterday and he says that even if we never got together. Never became more. I would have always been the person in the back of his head he compared people to. Other people would have come in and out of his life and still, it would have been “they have beautiful eyes, but they’ll never be Jill’s eyes” or “I love when they smile, but it doesn’t quite light up the room like Jill’s smile” and he kept listing things “like Jill’s <fill in the blank>” and–this is the thing absolutely no one who knows me knows or could possibly comprehend.

Seven years of a relationship later, Chris can say this to me and my only thought is “…he knew my name?”

And I can only weep. Weep so inconsolably. Because how absurd and pathetic is that? Of course, logically, he knew my name. But logic doesn’t exist here. Only feeling brain exists here. And feeling brain tells me no one sees me and I’m not worth seeing.

It only serves to validate feeling brain more that so many people I love deeply have disappeared from my life. It feels impossible that I matter at all, if people like Kristi and Mandy can just abandon me without thought. That my dad could and my grandmother could and my mother could. Then how could I believe anyone would ever want me at all? And I know reasonably that anyone who leaves me left because of themself and not me. Left because something in them made it so they couldn’t stay. But reason does not exist in this part of my feeling brain. Only feeling exists. And feeling dictates that I am not enough to stick around for.

And I can’t stop sobbing and I can’t catch my breath and L is sitting here playing legos and I am falling apart.

. . . . . . .

I took a minute to pull myself together. And in doing so, my feeling brain has already switched itself off.

I am sickly good at the compartmenalizing.

When I sat down to write this, my intent was not this. My intent was only to give an amusing anecdote about my skewed perception. It was not so much to say I don’t have any ability to understand what I mean to people. It was not so much to say that no one has the ability to comprehend how acutely incapable I am of believing my worth to others.

And yet…here we are.

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Repeat steps one through three.

So. Hello. Welcome to the first edition of The Basement Chronicles.

I’m your host. The Incomparable Asskicker.

Ha. I get so cocky after just a week of action taking. (Okay…a couple weeks…)

Really, above anything else, I’m just really fucking proud of myself. I’m nowhere near done. I haven’t made any trash runs or donations drop offs. But I’m in the game and I’m just doing it and it feels really good.

I have pictures somewhere of my basement from a few years ago. Times it was at its worst or had just recently been organized but was still overflowing with stuff. I’ve never tackled it like this before. I’ve never led with such intent.

This is what it looked like February 6th when I began.

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That pathway was only there so we had room to get a new washer to the other side of the basement the week prior. Previously it had been a much smaller, much more treacherous pathway that was only used when we had to do laundry.

Progress #1. (2.6)

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I cleared off R’s art table because she hasn’t used it in over a year. I made it my “go through these” table. I wanted to have the hard work front and center, but know I didn’t have to put my energy there until I was ready. (I’m still not ready and that’s still perfectly okay.)

More to come of my progress soon! This is so exciting!