When I laid eyes on this photo, I felt an immediate identification via a deep sense of uncertainty I wrestle with daily. There are some things I know: My name, place of birth, general location on the planet earth at this moment. There are things that I do not know: Whether I’m going to raise enough money to attend this program I want to so badly. What am going to do if I fall short of my financial goals and don’t end up going? What I’m having for breakfast? Lunch? Dinner? As usual, its the what I don’t know that’s eating my lunch right now.
Like the photographic subject I am a soldier in the middle of a war. Unlike the subject, my war is unfolding between my ears. I battle myself for my attention constantly. I battle to stay focused on the task at hand. “Eyes. On. The. Prize.” has been my mantra lately. But with atomic bombs of distraction going on, it makes it pretty hard to stay in the fight. If I played the sound track to the feature film Inside Stacey’s Fugged Up Mind, you’d hear the sickest mash up of shit that makes absolutely no sense together. Broadway tunes, story ideas, to do lists, disaster scenarios, positive affirmations, negative affirmations, and *clears throat* unnatural/unhealthy desires are all doing the shimmy shake around my psyche. It’s a wonder I can walk, think, and breathe at the same time. Some how I manage to.
I first try to remember that I have tools that point me in a Good Orderly Direction. Prayer, meditation, a network of people that love me. It’s just making myself use them! It’s riding out the feelings of not falling back into my old familiar boobie traps like my ex-husband or the Cheddar Chicken Melt at Cook Out. When I do use my tools and I don’t do things that are going to make me feel like shit about myself later, it gets better. It doesn’t always free great, but I avoid self made disaster scenarios that often lead to me hitting the self-destruct button and checkin’ out all together.
Mostly, I just want to be at peace. I want to feel “at home”, which I’ve not felt in a long while. If I had to guess I’d say it was before this whole grad school process began. Hell, maybe even before that. Riding out emotions straight no chaser is definitely not for the faint of heart, but bit I’m doing it. I’m glad I know that nothing impermanent is certain. I am practicing the art of war against self. Against the false belief that my happiness can be born from anywhere else but right inside of me. Understanding all this on a gut level? Well, that will come with time I hope. According to Mick Jagger, it’s on my side