journal 03. sand in my purse

Maybe it’s meant to be this way?

Perhaps all the pieces that are in the process of death, or that have recently withered were meant too?

It’s such a totally weird place to be, this spot I stand right now. Looking down I can see my feet standing on top of ash + rich soil from the life I lived previously that burnt down and gave way to this new, meaningful, beautiful potential that has begun to emerge. Little buds of greenery, life, hope - it’s all here, right beneath my feet. But also, parts of the garden still seem to be struggling, trying to catch a breath, dying. I’m unsure if the parts that wither are because I didn't water them enough, I didn't care enough, I didn't put my whole heart into its nourishment, or perhaps these pieces are simply shifting; because that’s life, pieces shift, we outgrow things, and places, and people, and beliefs. I don’t know if I fucked it up, or if I’m simply struggling to let go, to allow death to take place. Maybe I am so busy trying to grow + save an evergreen tree on the beach, instead of resting at the base of the thriving palm tree that is meant to exist on the beach? Maybe I am frantically trying to save the old, when the new is screaming at me, “I am here, and I am good, and you are supposed to be here. It is safe to rest on the palm tree. Stop trying to save the evergreen, it’s supposed to be in the cold mountains… let it die, Kori.”

Let go.

This is a new life. Sobriety gave me a new chance, a second chance, but fuck, wow, omg, it’s so big, and weird, and different.

It’s so pretty.

It’s so strange.

On many levels I am beginning to see how much of an outsider I really feel. I don’t know if it’s the wiring in my brain that tells me that I am different; unique; special, or if it’s an upbringing, or a thing that happened to me, or the disease of alcoholism - but my brain tells me, in the most subtle of ways that I am un-understandable, that I am meant to be alone. Perhaps right now it has become more obvious simply because I am in a new city, and literally more alone than I was in the familiarity of my day-to-day routine in the city I was born and raised in, the place I know so well. I’m not lonely and (thankfully) I no longer suffer from the painful and debilitating sensation of 'aloneness' the way I used too; it no longer takes my breath away or haunts me every second of every day and night. I have found relief from that, and yet, I still feel sort of alone. I can see that in the 22 months I have had in sobriety, I have mostly sat on the sidelines, I have not immersed myself in the community, or made friends; I did what I usually do, I buckled down and relied on fierce independence to “get the job done”. Laziness is not one of my character defects, I am highly self-motivated and sometimes it really stabs me in the back because I forget to let the people in, I forget to ask for help.

I can lead; I can coach; I can be the boss, I’m good at that. But, I'm not so sure I know how to be an 'equal', I'm not so sure I am strong in letting others in to see me in my vulnerability.

I can help; I can hold space; I can be the human who is the pillar when others need it; but I seem to really struggle (especially with women, ironically) to be anything but the "advise giver".

I don't know why, but it's become naggingly clear.

I’m not sure if the shifts and changes in my life are simply because life has started a new chapter for me - a new city, new life, new love, new community - maybe it’s supposed to really be fresh, maybe all that was a part of my life pre-sobriety was meant to fall away? Maybe not. Am I trying to grow evergreens on the beach? Am I letting go? Or, am I shutting down and closing people out - that has always been my defence. I don’t know. I really don't. How much is surrender and allowing life to unfold, and how much is heartache, protection, pain? Can I be ok with palm trees, can I give this to God, can I surrender into what is?

I don't know right now.

I’m trying.

The evergreens are dying, that I can see clearly. And the palm trees are thriving, that I can also see so clearly; clarity, no doubt, it’s not confusing when i think of it like that. God will: palm trees, or they wouldn’t be here.

What I do know is that there is not a whole lot in my control, and no matter how bad I try to cling on, no matter how much I hope the water will give it new life… it’s not. Evergreens simply do not grown on the beach. Period. It’s really not in my control, and as a control freak I sometimes struggle to give up on my agenda, I sometimes struggle to allow life to take over.

You know, it’s so odd, because amongst these enormous changes that have taken place over these past 22 months, and no matter how uncomfortable pieces still remain, I am totally blown away at the path that has emerged. I am humbled at the sprouts that are growing, the peace I am finding, the love I am experiencing. My edges are softening. I am amazed at the pieces that I once thought were d.e.a.d seem to be sprouting back to life with a vigorous force; I guess even when things appear to end, sometimes they are actually in need of space. San Diego is the perfect metaphor for my life at the moment - it’s sunny, warm, light. It’s bright here. The sky is blue. But where the fuck is the snow? I don't want the snow, but I don't know how to be in this sort of heat in October - it's good, it really is, but its new, and different, and oddly uncomfortable - in the best way possible. I am so exposed here, the good is so good; each day I have to pinch myself, ‘yes, this is your life Kori, and no, the snow is not coming'. I have my winter coat here... just in case, but there isn’t a need - the 'just in case' plan is not what my higher power intended, the sun is here to stay.

I can't seem to fully believe it, or relax into it.

I don’t know palm trees so well, I’m sorta scared to touch them, to let them in, to lean on them.

Things die.

Change occurs.

Some places have sun all year long.

Sobriety isn't boring.

I am lovable.

Palm trees are flexible, and strong, and beautiful.

Life has given me what I need, and all that has to be done is the next best step.

Nothing is meant to last forever, all the things morph into the new, it’s changing - all of it, always.

The soil of my life is so rich - and I’m still so deeply confused at where I fit, this process has completely and totally changed me. The fundamental truths of my life have gone through a major facelift, and now the foundation is new. I have sand in my purse (because I was at a 12 step meeting that took place on.the.beach!) I have never had sand in my purse, isn’t that odd? What do you do with sand in your purse? I guess laugh! How lucky to have sand in my purse.

And I'm just trying to get used to the sun, and let go of the layers of winter protection I have brought along with me; it's safe to let go, it’s safe to lean on the palm trees + stop trying to save the evergreens - life will do that shit, just go clean your purse out, Kori.

only love,

-k