Santa Fe, NM
As Joe Manganiello once said (bear with me): “I wanted to stop seeing what I could get away with, and start seeing how great I could be.”
Joe was talking about his sobriety, but still, this quote made me think – I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on this trip, because that’s what miles and miles of empty road will do to you – about my anxiety. Remember when I used to write – oh, I don’t know, constantly – about the not-sleeping and the thump-thump-thump of my heart, all night long and for much of the day? Ever since I started a course of medication following Goldie’s birth, it’s been pretty much…gone. I was trying to explain it to a friend the other day, and I can’t describe it in any other way than by saying that it feels like I woke up, returned somehow to the person I used to be. I don’t feel drugged; I feel clear. Like my mind is free to think about all the millions of things there are in the world to think about, not just that one thing that it felt like getting hung up on today. I want to say that medication has been “an unbelievable gift”…but it wasn’t a gift. It’s something that I took. And that’s even better.
The last few weeks have been remarkable, exciting, all those great things, but they’ve also essentially been an emotional hurricane. And these past few days I’ve started to feel it creeping in at the edges: waking me up at three o’clock in the morning, making my heart pound when we’re driving through the desert and a slow song is on the radio and my mind wanders to what’s waiting for us out there in California. Thump thump thump.
This time around, though, there’s a difference, and the difference is that I know it doesn’t have to be this way.
Kendrick and I have been talking a lot on this trip about mindfulness – basically, trying to be in the moment and pay attention to what you see and what you smell and what you hear and what you feel – and I’ve been trying to do this, trying so hard. When I’m sitting in a hot spring, watching water trickle out a hole in the wall towards the Rio Grande; when I’m standing next to my son at sunrise watching a horse drinking water out of a tire; when I’m eating a Moon Pie. Mindfulness.
It is so hard. I can’t believe how hard it is, to just BE there.
But the coolest thing about it: it’s the trying that matters.
I don’t want to just “see what I can get away with” anymore. I’d like to be great. As a mother, as a wife, as a person.
It’s so hard.
On Me: No-name dress from the Santa Fe Plaza Market; Tom Ford Sunglasses.