"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

***A Quote From The Velveteen Rabbit


XXI Days Deep

ORIGINALLY POSTED:   Thursday, April 03, 2008      

XXI Days Deep.....Twenty0ne Days Deep.....21 Days Deep.....Saturday the 29th of March I was XXI Days Deep. I’d been waiting almost 3 weeks, waiting for those 20 days and nights to pass, for the morning light of the 21st day to greet my waking, searching eyes. It meant so much to me, so much that at midnight the night before, I branded my left wrist with a simple affirmation. A band I had made that said "<3XXI<3<3DAYS<3<3DEEP<3." There was no doubt in my mind that I could make it to the 21st day. Past the 21st day.

But since they say it takes 21 days to break a habit, I had somehow mentally attached the hope that some things would magically change at the end of the 21st day. Maybe after the 21st day I would start to realize other ways to overcome creative roadblocks, perhaps I would magically start to sleep better. Perhaps when I would suffer from anxiety I would think of different solution to it first, instead of automatically yearning for the one thing, the only thing that, for so many years, almost half of my life, was the only thing I felt I could turn to. It was always there. It was always reliable. It was my best friend, my lover, my family, ME.

So many aspects of my existence had relied on it, I had given so much of my life, of myself to it. For a long time, until recently, I had not put any thought into life outside of that space, to the point that I was always there, every day, my favorite place, the one spot where I’ve always felt safe. And happy.

Happiness is a powerful thing. Everyone wants to be happy, and when we can’t find it within, we find it without. With no regard to reality, with negligence to humanity, because I know, that I, for one, maintained that space just for me. Living constantly in that space provided for me, when I couldn’t provide for myself, and I became dependent on that. It was easier to get the quick fix than to struggle toward the long term solution. And I knew that, I didn’t care. When you don’t care for yourself you can’t care for anyone else. Negligence toward humanity is irresponsible. Not loving yourself is the only sin. This is not happiness. Just immediate gratification.

20 days and nights of doubt. When anxiety would strike, I had nothing to fall back on, I had to work hard to fill the void, to be ok. I knew I was ready for this when I talked myself down the first time. If I can find a new space, fill that void and quiet my thoughts, focus on something else, something positive, I can beat this. DO SOMETHING! Get out of the house, out of my room. Into the sun. Play! For once, think about tomorrow, and the next day. Life’s worth living!

20 days and nights of building. Talk. Plan. Make real goals I intend on reaching and start working toward them NOW! Focus! There are so many things I want to do, so many things I want to accomplish. Am I not worth it? Are my dreams not worth achieving? All that we have is the future, everything in everyday is a building block, a tool that will help me get there. Work! The most valuable things in life are the things we work hardest for. Time is short, MOVE!

20 days and nights of making my own happiness. That’s right. Making my own. Happiness doesn’t just happen, and it doesn’t come from someone else. DO something, anything, but love it! Find joy in the little things, smile at the simple things.....Smile at myself. I started finding it easier to do these things, very quickly, once I accepted that it’s easy. It’s easy to love me, and it’s easy to love life. Revel in it, it’s a fleeting thing.

Those 20 days and nights were hard. I had to do it on my own, all alone. Sure, I had support, friends and loved ones that encouraged me, and let me know that they were proud and there behind me. But, no one held my hand. It was Just me, Jamie, all on my own. Sleepless nights spent wondering if it would ever feel better. But it already did. And it does, every day more, and more. There’s nothing better than being ok just being you, and loving it. Loving it through the hardest times, the anxiety, the creative roadblocks. The sleepless nights. The loneliness. Yeah, I was lonely, for the old me. But I realized my own love for me. And I am never alone. I am one. Those days are gone.

The morning of the 22nd day came, and I rolled over, sat up, and as I was kneeling over my boyfriend, looking down at him, coaxing him out of sleep with a smile, genuinely happy, loving eyes and a soft, sweet good morning voice, a slight movement near my left hand caught my eye. My personal reminder, "<3XXI<3<3DAYS<3<3DEEP<3" had fallen onto the sheets. It had not merely come undone and fallen off, it had broken. It had broken and left me. It’s over, it’s over. At least the angst I felt waiting to make it past 21 days is over.

And with that, I can happily continue to evolve, metamorphosing like a caterpillar inside her cocoon. All the pieces of my life like the segments of the caterpillar, changing, growing into something new. Something more. I like it inside my chrysalis, it’s safe and warm. But I am anxious for the day to come.....When I’ll crawl out of my little shell into the sunlight, and for the first time spread my wings, wings I’ve waited for all my life. To feel the warmth of the world on my new skin, to allow the wind to sweep me up and take me where it will. I’m ready to fly.


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