Right Just Feels So Wrong

Posted | 14 comments

Right Just Feels So Wrong

I woke up at 4:48 A.M. feeling out of sorts. Normally, I would roll over and wait for the 5:30 A.M. alarm, but this morning I decide to go ahead and get up. As my morning cup of java brewed, I began my gmail/google+/fb/ twitter routine. Nothing caught my eye. After making sure my kids were up, I threw on some warm clothing, brushed my teeth, started their breakfast, and waited for them to be ready to leave.

Returning home from the morning carpool, I ate breakfast and moved through a couple of tasks when I was overtaken with a wave of melancholy. It’s 7:00 A.M. Pulling up to my computer, I powered through another dozen or so items on the to-do list. I can’t shake the feeling.

I head to a nearby park with Lucy, my dog, for a run. I’m not looking forward to the trip. Only the novelty of taking the dog, distracts me enough to go. Otherwise, I’d probably talk myself out of it. Lucy has a grand time traipsing along the wooded trail. Me, not so much. My right knee aches, I adjust my body focusing on my form to no avail. Once my right hip starts to hurt, I decide to call it a day.

I come home, eat lunch, and power through a few more tasks before being hit with a wave of exhaustion. I set my timer for 30 minutes and curl up next to Lucy on the couch. When the timer goes off, I awake confused. I feel like I’ve been asleep for a lifetime. I need to do something. I need to make this day count for something.

As I head to the kitchen for a cup of tea, it hits me: I don’t know how to feel different.


I realized years ago that I was not living the life that I was meant to live. In my people pleasing, society conforming fog, I forgot, literally forgot, who I was. I felt vulnerable and scared and so I built walls and then walls around the walls to protect myself. I know how to dress and behave. I know how to decorate and dine. I know which things to buy and where to hang out. I know what to say and when to say it. I know exactly how to live the wrong life.

What I don’t know is how to live MY life.

Now I’m placed in a position and given an opportunity to dig deep and I’m taking the opportunity. I’m digging deep. I’m tearing down the walls. I’m asking myself all the hard questions. I’m seeking out wise people and taking their advice. I’m searching, for myself and trying to put myself, my true self, out there.

I’m finding pieces of the puzzle. While they are reluctant to come together, I’m starting to see patterns and am gravitating towards what moves my soul. The problem, the issue, is that after so many years of being an impostor in my own life, I don’t know how to be just me.

This scares me.

Everything I’m doing right now, the radical self care, the strip mining of my soul, the research, the running, the reading is exactly what I feel in my heart of hearts  I need to be doing. The problem is that right just feels so wrong.

When I’m done, what will my life look like? I have no idea. I only know that everything will be different. I will be different.

All I want to do is run, run screaming back into the arms of what’s familiar, what I know, what I did for so many years. I want my walls. I just want to go get a job doing something I’m not passionate about and buy a new wardrobe so that I look like my co-workers and redecorate my house so it is similar to my neighbors houses and spend my time volunteering for causes just so I have something to do. That feels familiar, that feels comfortable, and that is how I know how to feel.

This new path sucks.

As I write this, hot tears are running down my cheeks. I’m paralyzed. Paralyzed by fear of the unknown. But being paralyzed is no longer an option. I know I have to move forward. I know I have to risk failure, looking like a fool, and ridicule. I know I have to keep doing what’s good for me even if it feels makes me uncomfortable and scared. There’s no other way to become who I am.


  1. Well, I suppose running is better than being stuck. I know the path seems murky and uncharted. And that it’s scary. I don’t know where you sit on the spiritual spectrum, but for me, being unsettled heightens my awareness of God, and my overwhelming need for Him. Just knowing that when I feel out of control, I take great comfort in knowing that He is in control, and He relishes my obedience in coming to Him. To sit at His feet and listen.
    On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand… all other ground is sinking sand.
    I love how you’re tearing down walls and are unsatisfied with the status quo.
    Much like a new regime of exercise, this moving of new muscles is painful… but with consistent movement, this too shall pass.
    Run, sister, run.

    • You are right, it’s just like sore muscles. Love that analogy. Oh, and I’m a pray like it’s all up God and work like it’s all up to me kind of girl.

  2. Maybe you’re digging too hard and too fast. Sometimes I find if I just let myself be, the old me comes out…you know, that someone who somehow got lost in the shuffle of being a wife, stepmom, mom, “his new wife,” coworker , etc. I am in a new town where not a soul knows me…no ex-wife, old classmates to judge, no posers who think they know me or only want to know me so they can carry dirt. And in this move 12 hours from home, I am finally getting back to me. It feels good and I know you will get back to you too. Just let go! Love you, my sweet friend.

    • It is nice to be in a new environment. I know you miss your friends and family, but being able to start fresh is good. You can bring out those parts of you want to emphasize and move away from that which you no longer want as part of your identity. With each paragraph I write, book I read, step I take, I get closer to my center. It’s just not a comfortable journey and that’s ok. Love you too.

  3. Denise, I don’t know you as well as I’d like to, but my sense is that you are an “A” type and you drive yourself hard for what matters to you. I certainly can identify with the frustration of not being sure of my path or what my life will look like a year from now. I will share what comes to my brain if I put myself into a mindset like yours. I can’t come up with the dogma about this but it has something to do with non-resistance. I saw many definitions for non-resistance when I googled it. Maybe something within that word is what I was thinking might get you to where you want to be without powering through to find the answer. I am not sure if this fits for you and I am sorry this is so vague but you probably know what I mean already.
    The other thing that came to mind was this: I am being drawn back to things that meant so much to me as a child. Without going into a lot of detail, one example is that I have gotten this sudden outburst of “writing” through my blog. I’d forgotten how much I loved writing as a kid. That all got lost along the way to becoming an adult. There are other things that I have rediscovered. Are there things in Denise the child that need to be rediscovered?

    • Pat, you will love Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art. It will probably go down as one of the most influential books I’ve ever read. Keep writing.

  4. You know how hard it is to sit still while a body part wakes up after “falling asleep”? You almost don’t notice as it slowly becomes numb but, boy howdy, it is almost impossible to sit still through that painful tingling while feeling is restored. Similarly, imagine the last time you lost feeling in a hand or foot due to extreme cold; frozen doesn’t hurt, but as the extremity warms it hurts like crazy. Miserable as it is right now, Denise, I think that’s what you are experiencing right now: an awakening after a slumber, a thaw after a long winter. There’s no way around it; you just have to go through it. In the end, the suffering you are experiencing will be worth it, and you will wonder how you ever even thought about returning to frozen numbness. Take it from someone who has been there.

    • There’s no going back. I’m all in, baby.

  5. Be water my friend.

    • Oh, don’t you know it.

  6. Nice.

  7. Nice blog. I enjoy reading it.

  8. Great stuff.

  9. Superb! I’ve read all your posts, and I’m lovin’ it! I’ve really enjoyed your blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *