Sunday, August 21, 2016

Found: A Sense of Self-Respect

Found: A Sense of Self-Respect

It was hiding in a gift shop down in the Old Port, which contained dozens of magnets, cards, bumper stickers and every other kind of, as my grandma would say, tchotchke with inspirational and just plain funny sayings. I also found some of it in the toy shop where I bought a small rubber foot. The second shop had a rubber hand. The sychronicity was amusing.

Due to circumstances out of my control, including personality conflicts with certain employees, I have made a goal to stay away from the market.

This is a lot harder than it sounds for anyone who doesn't know me well and how much time I would spend in there every single day (6 days a week), and how I arranged my entire life around it, and refused to go anywhere else.

Physical symptoms and emotional symptoms interact to make going anywhere else a very difficult proposition for me, but I did it today.

After many months of refusing.

My targets were the toy store (because who doesn't want a bit of nostalgia), and the store that used to be Communiques many years ago, the novelty store on the corner of Exchange and Commercial. They were the two stores I'd walk past and always say "Some day, I'm going back in there again" but never did.

After the first store: felt a little off but proud of self, feeling a sense of contentment that I did it, sitting resting on wharf by water and listening to a lovely band perform next door.

Second store: felt like a truck ran over me. But hey. There were a lot of cute things in there.

Despite my avoidance of the market, I did manage to score a juice at the smoothie place's second location, which was also at the bottom of Exchange. I have never been so grateful to call and hear names I didn't know. I was hoping it wouldn't be the same people working at the market. It wasn't. They were nice enough to bring the juice outside without hesitation and made it right, (because 2 new places was my limit and I couldn't add a third), and at least I had a reward for all my hard work. And a way to use the gift card my friend had bought me.

So, I still feel as a truck ran over me, but I'm also remembering that it will likely pass.

And I'm remembering that spending all my energy trying to avoid feeling like this was getting me into a lot more trouble, and creating a lot more anxiety, than hopefully this (eventually) will. Because I still have anxiety but I also have self-respect. And that's something you can't put a price tag on.

And the hope that if I take it slow and try not to completely overwhelm myself, that this will lead somewhere, somewhere where that self respect can increase and I can have at least some parts of the life I have always wanted.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Or in this case, a foot that takes that step. (Shows you my new rubber foot). Can you say that this was quite a feat? (This would work better if I was showing you my new cute rubber foot.)