T is a big fan of Taj Mahal and yesterday I couldn’t get this song out of my head. Big fan. I love how songs, scents, clothes can bring back strong reminders of just about anything. Last week I bought Herbal Essences shampoo because let’s be honest my $25/bottle Aveda shampoo was hardly justifiable on my youth group director income, plus I am far from being a hair model. Anyways, the minute I opened the bottle and smelled its contents I could picture myself in Swig Hall as a college freshman at Santa Clara University. I remember we had this theory that the smell was so wonderful it masked the smell of cigarette smoke. ha! Another scent that reminds me of college is Eternity perfume because my roommate wore it all of the time.
So this song by Taj Mahal tends to bring up memories of driving around with T either running errands or heading somewhere for dinner…nothing crazy special or memorable, just comfort and contentment I guess. Don’t know how or why this song got stuck in my head, but it seemed appropriate on another manic Monday: dog tired after work, dreading making dinner because of course it was this complicated lasagna thing that I had promised to make two weeks ago, AND T had a miserable day at work. What better way to leave the funk behind than to focus on the days that are not necessarily super blissful, but just normal. It seems like everywhere you turn there are articles or reports on “how to be happier” or some iteration of that sentiment. However, coming from a person who has had some not so happy days in the recent months, trying to work on being happy was just weird pressure. As if not being happy was another goal to work towards. I decided that I would start with loving the normal days instead. The routine stuff. Herbal Essences shampoo was normal for college. Taj Mahal signifies normal, as well as fires during cold winter nights, running in the morning to get ready for my 5K, and terrible reruns of Gold Rush on Friday nights.
Happy February! Today I spent most of the morning reading more of Daring Greatly. I am not kidding when I say I am taking my time with this book. Just got through Ch.4 and I had to stop because my brain was processing too much with the uh-huhs, yes, totally, and oh my god that is so true. The part where I paused was when she introduces the difference between connecting wholeheartedly with a trusted person, and floodlighting. She defines floodlighting as sharing too much with someone you don’t necessarily trust or know, and they are left with big eyes staring into a floodlight, a hand covered over their mouth, or a screwy face because they are taken by surprise. I was laughing out loud because I started to think of all the “crazy” people I meet at the store who during the five minute interaction of paying for their clothes, have casually shared everything from “my daughter is addicted to heroin” to “my husband doesn’t like it when I attract attention to myself at these parties.” Then I started reflecting about myself, and recalled how I have done this myself to unsuspecting people, whether knowingly or unknowingly. I think when moving to a new place, it happens more frequently because the one thing you’re looking for is connection. With someone. Anyone. And then later you look back and realize, oh so I SHOULDN’T have shared that I was once prescribed Ambien to sleep because my depression was causing insomnia? Too much information too soon? 🙂 Of course that didn’t really happen, but what did happen was a lot of shame about even admitting that I was unhappy to my own family and friends.
To put herself in check, she goes through a list before sharing: Have I entirely worked through this issue with my loved ones before sharing? Why am I sharing this now? Is it to show connection and help another person? If so, go for it. If not, re-think if this person is part of your trust circle. I love that she even carries around a list in her purse of the people she trusts the most to remind herself not to overshare.
I would say that today I am more confident about my trust circle than ever before, and it feels good to be aware of that. At the same time, I am also building awareness of those who are not yet there. So find your circle of trust! Today! And don’t lose sight of it just because you have a new zip code. Love and support can be felt from miles away.