Bad Attitude

I just missed being expelled from high school due to my “bad attitude”.  (Okay, well, to be honest, the owner of what was then a for-profit school threatened to pull my scholarship, which would have had the same effect.)  And I’ve always found it more “natural”, whatever that means, to be angry and even unhappy than calm and happy.

I always knew these things about myself, but what I only realized a few years ago was how true it is that misery loves company.  It’s been a very tumultuous several years for me, and I finally realized I needed to make a change to continue.  I guess the first change was actually before all the upheaval, in 2005, when I started my Bikram Yoga practice.  Or maybe even in 2004, when the Evil Ex was finally out of my life – finalized by my moving into an apartment he never shared, early the next year.  Certainly my weight loss journey, which started in 2008, reached a goal in 2009, and is again a journey, was part of it.  But whatever.  Change takes time, and for me, at least, it needs to happen in stages.

And so, I made a conscious decision a few years ago (almost four years ago now, actually), to just stop.  Stop having a bad attitude – stop trying to make it someone else’s, anyone else’s, fault – stop being the force for negativity in the room.  It’s been really hard, and I catch myself backsliding all.the.time.images-5

Most recently, as part of this journey, I came to a very difficult conclusion.  I realized I cannot be part of those circles of people who are like I was.  I cannot participate in those gatherings of negative energy, that no matter what, will spill over into everything else I try to do.

And all of a sudden, I looked around, and realized that I had far fewer friends than I thought, because so many of my supposed friendships had been based on mutual unhappiness.  Now, of COURSE there is still complaining, and sometimes even whining, but now I try to vent it – appropriately – and just fucking move on already already.  It’s been hard to see that distance grow with old friends, and I’ve tried, in many cases, to explain to them how we can stay friends (generally, though I find myself reduced to stammering out something like “I just can’t do it.  I need to stop this.  This negative thing.”), but I know I’m better off.

I mean, we all know that as we move through life, we add and lose friends, for various reasons.  And sometimes, those reasons are because we have to make hard choices about personal well-being.  But in the end, you can only control your own behavior, and you are the only one you can improve, so why the hell not?  At least that’s what I think.  And I’m going to keep trying to move forward, even if it means sometimes I have to leave people behind.  After all, I’m the one person I know for sure I’ll have with me my entire life.

Oh, and this…which I just couldn’t resist: 

I Cried. Really. Seriously.

It’s been a tough week.  It doesn’t really matter why, just that it has.  And yesterday was the toughest.  I was all weepy.  I woke up this morning still dripping tears, which luckily I got under control before I hit the subway.  But then – oh, then – I walked into the studio to start this morning’s Bikram class.  First, someone came in just as I put out my mat and set up this.close. even though the room was almost empty.  So, I pulled my mat to the back row – frankly, I just didn’t think it was worth arguing about.  And THEN someone I know – that I practice next to all the time – walked in and set up directly in front of me.  I mean, directly.    You could have used the line from her mat to mine as a straightedge.

And I just couldn’t.  I moved again.  It was just too much.  I kept it together – mostly – until class started.  And then – luckily, it was hot and there was sweat – the tears started.  Not a full-on ugly cry, but tears tracking down my cheeks with the sweat.

Now, I laugh in class – at myself, usually because I have again fallen over – a lot.  And I have gotten a bit emotional at times, especially when my monkey brain just won’t let go.  But this was more so.  (Important note – thank you to my teacher today, who noticed, and gave me some loving touch during savasana.  It helped.  A lot.)

But in the end…did I feel better?  Well, no, not really.   I’m glad I went to class, and I’m grateful for my teacher, but I never did have that full-on ugly cry.  And while the moment has passed, the desire has not. So – wherever you go, there you are – and don’t hold back.

P.S.  Almost all the yoga images I could find were of lovely serene moments – many of them with babies.  Well, damn.  I guess that’s why I found this one…

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