Mine and others...
I am pretty bad at making adequate and accurate assessments. Of your capacity and my own. I tend to over estimate, always.
I want so much in this world. To work hard, play hard, love hard and be hard. It is just how I am built. I have tried to temper this fiery spirit, with little success. And now have arrived at such an age that I am cold all the time and so turning down my own heat seems counterintuitive. So I don’t intend to.
But exactly how does one make an accurate assessment of someone else’s or even their own capacity for things. Things like intelligence, work ethic, love ability, sexuality, money management, showing up for life. These all seem to me to be incredibly important arenas to develop and work on throughout one’s life. Like all of them.
I have to be smart enough and keep my mind sharp enough that I do not go quietly into that good night.
I have to work hard and well in order to provide a life for myself and my children. I can’t wait and expect someone else to do it. It is my work, my task, my purpose. I cannot outsource it to others and expect much of a return.
I love easily and that for me has been a problem...seriously. I see so much beauty in others...things, animals, places, people. I become enchanted and then I make poor decisions based on my first blush reaction to being exposed to something or someone that lights me up. And then I am impatient so I tend to leap before I really look.
Regardless, this is still my work to do. It is my loving capacity that I need to limit, expand, curtail or endeavor to understand more fully. It IS my work to do.
I have tended to partner with people with whom I am not sexually compatible with because I feel terrified to own this part of myself fully in the most intimate capacity. But how can I ever really get myself satisfied if I am not willing to be honest about my own capacity, interests, likes and dislikes in this area? And I know for me, my sexuality capacity has been grossly limited by my intimacy capacity.
I have never been a saver. I am much more an immediate gratification person. I like to have what I want, now. Not later. And this has driven almost all of my financial decisions forever. I get the idea, then I spend the money. Not unlike my whole loving capacity mentioned above - hereto I have this innate tendency to leap then look. Again, my capacity to work on here.
Showing up capacity...this is also an area that I get wrong a lot. I tend to think that I am way more capable to show up for things than I actually am. I want to do all the things until I don’t. I fail to take into consideration that I may want to join you in a hike across Europe next August, but come July, I would really rather do something else entirely. I don’t take that into consideration when I make the commitment to walk the Camino de Santiago.
In reflection, and I have done a great deal of reflection on all my various capacities, and what I see as my most glaring defect in all areas, is my unwillingness or inability to wait. Do not take that first job offered, do not love that person just yet, do not sleep with that person just yet, do not buy that thing just yet and do not say you will go to Uganda on a camping trip just yet.
I have spent all my life in a hurry and I cannot for the life of me tell you why. I was born 23 days late and it feels like I have been trying to make up for lost time ever since. This is all I have been able to come up with...seriously.
Well, also that I feel like I must hurry up in order to be seen or heard or loved or hired or wanted or whatever. I talk fast partly because my mind moves fast, but really if I am very honest, it is because I feel pressured to get out what I need and want to say before you cut me off and stop listening to me. I have to hurry or you will be gone and I will be forgotten.
Ouch. That hurt to write.
But it is the truth. I have always felt like I have to justify my existence. I am here living and you require daily explanations as to why I keep doing this, this whole being alive thing.
I also know where this comes from...but I will save that for another blog on another day.
So what I am learning about my capacity issues is that slowing down is critical. You get a more thoughtful and reasonable version of me when I do not give you what you want, or succumb to what I want immediately. Waiting, is better. But so fucking hard. I suck at it and yet I keep trying.
My other issue is to heal this pervasive feeling that I don’t have the right to be here. To take up space, oxygen, life, time. Time is the one that gets me the most. I am a relatively small person, so I take up little space. Oxygen, again small person, I figure I am using less than many. Life, well I am really not in charge of that so I can let it go. But time, that one really kicks my ass. I feel like I am racing the clock always. Too much to do and too little time to do it in. I envy those people who tend to wait, ruminate and linger in the indecision. To grant themselves time to think, feel and intuit what is the best likely progression for them.
For me, that really doesn’t work because I come from the place that I better hurry the fuck up or that person, opportunity, love, friendship, job, home, sex will be gone forever.
It does help when I realize that my only job in this life is to show up as authentically as I possibly can. To let you see that person instead of all the distracted variants I have dreamed up to keep you at the safe distance I have conjured in my mind. When I step back into this “my job is to show up in my skin, do my best and be honest” I live pretty contentedly. When I think that I should be somewhere else, doing something else, with someone else, this is where I get into trouble.
So circling back to capacity - I have amazing capacity for a great number of things. And so far in this life, I keep getting opportunities to develop all the above areas more deeply. What I am working on for 2024 though is giving myself this gift of time. Time to think and feel and intuit BEFORE I commit, fall in love, sleep with you, accept work, spend money or commit my time and energy to an endeavor.
2024 is the year to develop the capacity for waiting...though I am not sure for what. Love? Sex? Money? Who knows...I just know that my life always enlarges and expands when I am willing and able to take some long hard looks at who I really am and how I really show up and then get super honest with myself about myself.
Not the most fun endeavor I am not going to lie. I would really rather date it, fuck it, eat it, shop it, spend it and send it. But that way of living has an expiration date of 2024. So here I am. Willing to wait while I sort through all the very complicated emotions that waiting generates in me. It is hard to trust the process, but I have found that every time I get honest about my capacity issues, my life expands exponentially in ways and manners that I could never bring about all by myself.
As usual, my life is amazing when I get out of my own way. And it turns out, my capacity is increasing in this arena ten fold.