Vail Valley Voices: The meaning of life, or how best to cope
Vail, CO, Colorado
Sometimes somebody says something unexpected, and its exactly what you need to hear.
One night, I returned to my car to find that the battery had died. I noticed that I had also received a parking ticket. After my friend had come and jumped my car back to life, we found out that between the time I had entered the lot a few hours earlier and now, the card key that opens the gate to the lot had stopped working. We got the cars out by manually lifting the gate and hoping that no cops were passing by.
A few days later I was late to work and parked in a different, covered lot, which costs $25 if you are parked there for more than two hours. I later realized that I did not have $25.
My car ended up sitting in this parking lot for more than a week while I devised and executed a plan to get it out sans paying my now very, very large lot tab. (This plan did not work, and I ended up paying up.)
I handled these events with my usual positive attitude, but when my boss commented on the similarity of all these occurrences, I could not help but notice that I, indeed, was feeling trapped lately.
And by lately, I mean my whole current life. Pretty much.
Living inside of me is a beautiful limitless being who feels trapped by all the rules that I put upon myself. The rules about what it means to be beautiful, accepted and cared about. About what it means to love and be loved and what it means to be worthy of love.
All of these rules that we make up or adopt from society, our mothers, whoever about what it means to be “good enough” trap us by letting us believe that we are not good enough. That we must prove our worth by doing the best tricks on the mountain, having so much money, flaunting our assets or whatever else you think you need to do or have to be happy.
Since starting to do massage therapy, I am more in tune with my body and notice that as soon as I get caught up worrying about fixing some part of myself, my shoulders begin to ache.
I become Atlas, carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders, becoming crushed under the pressure of wanting to fit in, be accepted and loved by the world according to my own misconceptions and hallucinations about what I need to do to achieve that.
I often forget that I am perfect. That we are all perfect just the way we are and that our differences are awesome.
When I take some time to become more centered and grounded, I begin to re-realize that the first thing I need to do is accept myself the way I am now. The good, the bad and the ugly. To be free of comparing myself to others and just do things my own way.
No, there’s no manual for anything brand new, and I am still learning to accept the challenge of paving my own path with confidence and willingness to make mistakes (opportunities for feedback).
But I’m sticking to it because there is much to learn and experience in breaking your own rules and realizing that the way things are for you (good, bad, happy, sad) are always a matter of your own perspective, no matter what the circumstances.
Sofie Kovalenko is a Vail resident.
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