Morning Walk and a Cup of Tea

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It’s just after 5:00 a.m. The sidewalk is connection of pools of water, the sky a sleepy silvery grey, and sounds of nature a reminder of the silence of my voice.

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I am greeted by the road signs that reflect life (“Caution curve ahead”) and old men walking their dogs (“Ohayougozaimasu”). A lifetime is, indeed, a short-long experience…or perhaps do I mean ‘long-short.’ It’s only 5:20 and far too early to sort through this thought. I walk on.

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I pass a field opposite a factory. I watch a crow fly from one powerline to the next. A flock of sparrows cruise noisily from the top of a building to a nearby tree, and I am aware of the sounds of traffic.

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I live in a city that bustles with industry and fosters nature. It’s easy to enjoy wild flowers, buy from local farmers, be concerned about the potentially toxic smoke from some factory lazily clouding the sky, and contemplate ‘globalization’ while drinking a matcha latte at one of the two local Starbucks and gazing at the large concrete box that is Costco across the street. That’s not the point of why I am living here, though.

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6:30 a.m., I am back home. A pillow and a cup of Earl Grey mint tea–the simplicities of my life. My mind quietly enjoys the warmth.

Growing moment by moment

1523937809058It’s been ages…well, almost a year. During that time, I’ve been working on my clearing through the clutter of my mind, redefining my path, discovering love in multiple forms, finding community, and learning to cherish each moment.

I’ve laughed a great deal, cried a heck of a lot, and worked hard to nurture my child-self.  I suppose that will always be a part of what it means for me to be living.

Speaking of living: I’m still living in Japan, finishing up my second year. I’m still teaching English, and I truly love my work. I love being around children, and I especially love sharing knowledge.

I’m learning Japanese (it’s a process), and I wish I had the chance to speak Italian and German more regularly–now, I’m just reading books and doing some personal writing in those two languages. I’m learning how challenging it is to keep language skills when you aren’t able to use them. So, I’m sorting through how I’d like to resolve this particular issue.

Well, this has been quite the ramble. Still, I wanted to write something, and so I have.

Until Next Time,

D

Poetry | Now Nowhere

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Photograph by Diedré M Blake, 2018

Cicadas call now,

10,000 steps to nowhere,

“Will I find myself?”

-db

 

 

 

Poetry | Ambivalence

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Photograph by M. Beddingfield, 2018 (edited by D. Blake)

I stop. This moment

dances on petals–my heart

unfrozen freezes.

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Poetry | Fallen Blossoms

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Blossoms, Diedré M. Blake

Let me hold you now

as sakura blossoms fall,

welcoming spring.

-db.

 

 

Self-Care| Letting Go of Promises & Finding Peace of Mind

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Untitled. D. Blake, 2017

It’s a grey day, I’m at Starbucks, eating a strawberry cheesecake scone and drinking iced tea, and I feel a little tired. I started my morning by taking a long walk, looking at flowers, and listening to The Tao of Fully Feeling by Pete Walker. Yesterday, I finished Walker’s Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving. On a daily basis, I consume books, articles and videos on childhood and adult trauma, self-care, fibromyalgia, personality disorders, and how to keep it together when you’re broken and involved. It’s a healthy diet of I’m ready to change.

This year marks a decade since I received my diagnosis of fibromyalgia. However, it’s been a life marked by a host of diagnoses: depression, SAD, OCD, PCOS, IBS, Raynaud’s syndrome, overweight, underweight, high blood pressure, etc.; and I was a walking pharmacy–there always seemed to be some new and improved medication to fix whatever was broken inside me.

All the while, I was doing the arduous work of unpacking my childhood, being therapized and therapizing myself, while codependently trying to fix everyone else’s problems, whether they wanted me to or not. I was without clear boundaries in my personal life, struggling with a compulsion to solve sadness, my own and others.

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Places to go. D. Blake, 2017.

Letting Go of Promises

You see, I made two promises a long time ago–not to myself, but to my family. I can’t recall my exact age, but I remember the moment with clarity. An incredible argument took place between one of my older siblings and my parents. Without going into the details, that moment represented the totality of my family’s dynamics: unbounded dysfunction.

Nothing was ever a discussion, always a war zone…and the children were used as  landmines against each other and seen as acceptable collateral damage. I made a promise aloud to my mother on that day. I told her that I would 1) become a therapist and 2) fix my family.

I had forgotten about those promises for two decades. Unearthing them again in a therapy session, back in December 2014, shook my world. I had to face the fact that I had been unconsciously living a life based on these promises…

In 2006, I became an art therapist and mental health counselor. I spent years, prior to and thereafter, confronting my parents on their unacceptable behaviors towards my siblings and me. I tried to create dialogue. I tried to be a bridge. I tried…until I realized, in 2016, that I couldn’t do that anymore.

I can’t keep these promises that my younger self made. I can’t undo what was done to my siblings and me. I can’t fix my parents, nor do I wish to anymore.

Still, I was raised to cater to others. I was raised to take the blame for others. I was raised to disregard myself and defer to others. It’s no simple task living within and for myself.

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Self-portrait, D. Blake, 2017

Peace of Mind

So, I’ve been reading, watching, confronting and comforting myself. I take daily walks, I remind myself that change is a moment by moment act of meeting yourself wherever you are. I can’t walk back my childhood nor the harrowing moments of my adulthood. However, I can walk toward the type of future I would like to have and the future self I would like to be.

In the past, fixating on the emotions of others and even myself, and trying to control the outcome of everything was what brought me a sense of fragile peace–as long as I knew what someone was going to do or what was going to happen next, then everything was okay.

Now, it’s the simple things that give me peace of mind: flowers, stones, water, changes in the weather, the sound of laughter, singing, and dancing–flowing with what is rather than what I would like to be.

Change seems to happen with the smallest and simplest of actions…at least, this is what trying to live within myself has been showing me lately.  If you’re on a similar journey, then I hope it’s the same for you.

Until Next Time,
D

Vlog | Mini Life Update & Get To Know Me (30 Questions)

It’s been ages since I’ve posted a vlog on YouTube. Today, I decided to change that. 🙂