Factory Reset

Hi friends. There’s a reason for this heat wave we are experiencing; miracles happen and I’m finally dusting off and reviving my old blog. 🙂 This is because I’ve finally taken the time to get it to work properly again, feel in the mood to write, and actually have something to say. I’m also putting it down in writing so I can be accountable.

It’s a little late for New Year’s resolutions, but I don’t make those anyway. I’m usually good at sticking to commitments, but New Year’s Resolutions are some that I never stick to. I’ve got a New Year’s Factory Reset. I started 2021 off contracting COVID, and so I was too busy fighting for my life and worrying about my folks to care about anything else. But All good in Traceland now. 🙂 Except for my mind that needs a factory reset.

So here goes:

I’ve done some thinking about my life, yesterday, today and a confused tomorrow. When I compare how I am today to a few years back I realize how much I’ve drawn into my own shell and isolated myself. I think there could be two reasons:

Part of it has to do with the isolating effects of struggling with hearing loss. It’s easier to withdraw into yourself than to struggle to hear and to make yourself heard. Helen Keller said that when you lose your sight you lose touch with things, but when you lose your hearing you lose touch with people. That is really how it is.

The other reason I withdraw is due to my inability to be understood. After my dad died I felt like my world was ripped out from under me – I lost one of the handful of people who truly gets me. Whether I was right or wrong, he heard what I say, without pre-interpreting my meaning. I get so frustrated with the fact that no-one truly listens to me, but now I’m starting to wonder if the fault doesn’t lie with me. Perhaps I’m not assertive enough; or perhaps people smell the scent of someone who doesn’t feel worthy, and good enough to say anything that counts. Sometimes I try so hard to be heard that I find myself hoot-hooting at all the wrong places. I also tend to want to be right all the time; I can’t always be right 100% of the time, but I can’t always be wrong 100% of the time either. Somewhere there must be something of value that I can bring. Or maybe it’s none of that; maybe we’ve all become so busy that none of us have time to listen, and we’re trying to interpret each other’s words so we can get to the point sooner. Who knows? But with all the effort of trying to make myself understood, it’s easier to pull back. Problem is: I like talking.

But since I’ve become a leader at DeafBlind SA, I’ve decided that 2021 will be a year of change. It’s time to break down the shell and shine. Leaders are not timid back-seat drivers. Time for a factory reset. Here goes:

Reset Switch 1: I’m done living my life as an apology. I must learn to celebrate the good, accept that my faults are part of what makes me me, and just be myself. I can work on improving on my faults, but I don’t have to bash myself for them. I’ve been so afraid of possibly hurting or offending someone that I’ve suppressed my own individuality and lost touch with my own feelings, because maybe somewhere in my inferiority complex system, I’ve conditioned myself to believe that other people matter more than I do. Feelings are never meant to be bottled up and I’m slowly turning the lid and letting the gas come out. I know I’m not very balanced – I’m either too soft and I let people walk over me, or I’m extremely hard, bash my way forward with my hooter mouth, say what I want to say, and unintentionally hurt those I care about. At the moment I’m feeling fed-up, and I’m in hard mode; so I know I’ll probably make unintentional mess-ups that I will have to apologize for. I will apologize for my mistakes – not for being me. I am what I am – no excuses provided, no permission required.

Reset Switch 2: I’m going to live like hell – and do it my way. I quit my job 4 or 5 years ago at Blind SA and moved to the coast to be with my family. That was the most foolish thing I’ve ever done in my life, but I don’t regret it one bit. But I’m learning that finding a steady job is harder than threading a needle with your toes. So on the days where I feel like an extra burden, I’ve often Told God that He took the wrong person home. I should’ve gone in my Dad’s place. But in the beginning of the year when I got sick I went into a panic. So many people told me that because COVID seems to hit fat people harder, and because of my breathing issues, I won’t survive it. So my mind played tricks on me and I stressed, but I also realized how much I really want to live. And I fought like hell; I even came up with a ridiculous song that still makes me feel good when I sing it. I sat on the bed, so weak I could hardly bounce, and started singing “I ain’t going down, oonk, oonk, oonk …” Ridiculous! I can’t stop thanking God for bringing us through this. Anyway, I’m digressing I guess. Living like hell and doing it my way – this is what I plan to do: I need to stop taking on a thousand little streams that go nowhere. It’s starting to make me feel like I’m burning myself out, and there is no point to it. So I’m cutting back and focusing on the things I’m passionate about: My God, working towards getting some independence back (in other words doing something that brings in a steady income), helping do my bit to improve the lives of Deafblind and blind people, my knitting and music. If anything does not line up with those core things, I must learn to say no. Yeah, right – like that’s ever going to happen. 🙂

Part of my plan to force myself to open up and get out of my shell is … Hmm, this post is faaaarrr too long; I’ll tell you tomorrow. But I think it’s going to be awesome. When I eventually stop procrastinating and do it. See you tomorrow. 🙂

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