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  • Writer's pictureeschaden


I arrived at the conference yesterday and immediately began to do that thing I do when surrounded by people I don’t know...distance myself. I begin by feeling less than, and then my ego steps in and tells me, NO! And then begins telling a story of how great I am.

This has happened for as long as I can remember. Every new school, every new job, everything new. I want to join but then I get there and I immediately want to leave. Yesterday was no different.

Except, I examined why:

Why am I like this?

What am I afraid of?

It was as if every cell in my body was suddenly screaming NOPE! I DO NOT WANT TO BE HERE WITH THESE PEOPLE. WHY DID I COME? HOW DO I GET OUT OF THIS?

So here I am again on the edge of myself, wondering how I got myself into this mess. If I had a nickel for every time this has happened to me, I would have a lot of nickels.

But I have a different relationship with myself today. I am not who I used to be. I am someone else. Someone who is not easily thrown, easily led down an old path just because it is there and beckoning. I have become someone who is much more curious about my reactions. Much more able to examine myself contemporaneously. What is up with E?

So I did that yesterday. It was fear. That old plaguing fucker of a head trip. Just fucking fear again. Easy to spot but a little harder to eradicate.

So I did something new with the fear. I spoke about it. Punctured it with the spoken word. Talked about how I felt inferior. How much I felt lost and unsure of myself. How my ego was going into overtime worrying about losing my own decent self concept. I spoke it.

I would love to say that I immediately was granted safe passage...but I wasn’t. Fear is still here today. It hasn’t left but now instead of commanding me, it sits idly in a corner talking to itself. I am not listening. I am too busy working on the two things I have become so much better at: being present and loving.

I am here. No need to future trip or revisit my past. Nothing to do but the next indicated thing and enjoy it or revile it or whatever it...that is all. Experience the experience. I will get more out of this later because I need to reflect. That is how I write, I live life to write it all down later. This is my becoming more and more. Be here, now. Simple, however so very often not easy.

Loving. That can also be a hard ask. Of myself. Of you. Of the world at large. But here I am with people who are here for the same reason. A love of reading and writing. The two are inseparable. With no readers, writers words and souls are lost to the pages. With no writers, readers are lonely ghosts walking the earth with nothing to do. Stuck without a ready escape...So being presented with all these souls on a similar path should make them easier to love. And they are, until my ego gets offended or worried or scared. Then I am off on a tear, ripping you to shreds or myself, it really can go either way, and I am creating distance between me and the experience.

So last night I named myself. I was commenting to my friend that I would be very unhappy if they made us wear name tags. I told her that I was going to write on mine, “Nope!” We started laughing like fools...she said she felt the same about the name tags. I told her that she could be “Uh Uh!” (We are still having a debate about how to spell this...I am going to ask that tomorrow in the question and answer section...). And we laughed. And it eased the mind, the ego’s fragile grasp on it anyway. And just like that, I became the Nope instead of becoming an asshole. I didn’t have to run away and hide. I could just sit in the shrine hall and listen, be open, and love. Love me, love them, love Cheryl, love the process. Love it all regardless of whatever fucked up shit my mind threw at me.

So Nope is my alter ego this weekend. She capable of holding myself in good check while remaining present and loving. Nope is capable of things I am not. Nope is kind of a badass. Now let’s see if she can write like a mother fucker...

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