I began sitting on the proverbial and literal couch, spilling my life story, my innermost thoughts and feelings, my fears and demons, in February of this year. When I started, I figured I would do this for about 6-8 months and then see where things were and either continue or cut back, knowing that it’s not something you can put a definitive timeline on. Because how can you put a timeline on self-discovery and resolution of everything that’s ever challenged you? It’s not like, “Get laundry done by Tuesday. Pay bills by Oct. 31. Call Grandma on Sunday.” Figuring out what’s “wrong” isn’t an item on the checklist, and neither is fixing the wrong.
Why? Because it’s not really about what’s wrong or right. And nor is there usually an easy solution to the things that actually bring you to a therapist/shrink/counselor/insert your medicine of choice here. It’s not a math problem that always has an answer, and it’s not a maze that has an opening and an exit. Well, it may be a maze, but there’s not always an exit.
The funny thing I’ve begun to realize lately is that I don’t HAVE to have a tidy solution or bottom line either. I can stop and walk away for a few months, and come back later. Or I can keep going…and going…and going….for the rest of my life if I need to. What’s interesting and challenging to figure out is when can I begin to be me again on my own? Because that’s the overall purpose of this journey, right? To be me. To be Jenna without the past – the negative, turmoiled past, that is. To be Jenna, daughter of Mom & Dad Sauber, sister to Harrison and Casey Sauber (yes, the dogs), girlfriend of the Boyfriend, friend to Friends. To be Jenna, lover of Sinatra and good Cajun cooking, Dad Sauber’s pancakes and lattes, puzzling with Mom Sauber, and watching sports with Boyfriend. To be Jenna, writer, reader, DC resident, non-profit employee.
Some might say, aren’t you all those things already? What is different now? Yes, I am all those things, have been many of those things for years, for life. But, the difference is that I am feeling those things, living those things, breathing those things whole-heartedly more than I used to, accepting those things, and looking to the future for more of those things – without the strings attached – namely guilt, fear, confusion, and Names of People who led me to feel those things.
The DIFFERENCE is that I don’t have to let those strings attach to me anymore, because I’m in control of it. Only me. It’s a funny thing, control. These several months have been a lesson in Control, which has a vice-like grip on me at times, which makes me feel crazy ups and downs, which ruins my ability to love and be loved as freely as I could and should. So, ironically, it’s learning to control Control, and tell it to go away, tell it that everything is okay, and Jenna is here – Jenna isn’t going anywhere.
Oh, silly Jenna, talking to herself. (Yes, i do that a lot. And you do it, too.)
But what now? is still a question that lingers. Because there is no THING clearly set on paper for me to do, no timeframe to do it in, no chart to put a gold star on, figuring out what is next is sometimes the hardest part of the journey. Or maybe, it should be the easiest? Bring on the pancakes.