Photo Credit: feel like you’d like to be closer to everyone, yet there’s some weird wall you’ve built up? I think we all have them. Somewhere inside someone hurt you or something bad happened and you put up an energetic wall, not allowing the outside world to come in to that piece of you (or all of you?). I’d like to consider myself a pretty open person, but I realized this evening at a spiritual gathering that it’s quite possible I’m uncovering another onion layer of walls.

I think self discovery and self exploration is healthy. I think I’ve built up a few walls (still discovering what those are exactly) because I feel like I had to grow up real fast. Other people I know have had the luxury of their parents taking care of them, really being there for them in their lives… paying for things for them, being present for important and exciting life changes, birthdays, holidays, or simply just giving them fatherly or motherly advice, like how to fix up a house or a car. These things I think many people take for granted and I wish for one second I could call my dad and ask him about real estate… have him come along on an appointment with me to assess a building…help with with the bullshit meter I’m still developing. The only thing I can really ask for is to call him in a different way. Not the same. Not in the least… but my only chance at being connected now is to open myself up spiritually to him giving me answers.

Back to these walls… so I think there are some layers here that I’ve built up over time because I had to jump into the seat of self care early on. Even before my parents died, they were preparing for divorce when I was 17 and I really felt on my own. Like they had let go of themselves and there I was about to jump out of the nest with no parachute…

I’m a responsible woman. I had to get here somehow. Perhaps the jump from nest to pounding the pavement at 17 wasn’t the first. Let’s set the delorian back to 1988. At 7, I was selling friendship bracelets to my neighbors and had organized a neighborhood lemonade stand. At 11, I was flying to Texas to visit family on my own and had a paper route gig. By 12, I had flown to Brazil to visit with old neighbors and stayed for 3 weeks without knowing the language. At 14, I started working on the books at Dominos Pizza for $5.05 and hour, getting actual paychecks. 15, I was going to NYC 100% by myself, including attending concerts (and clubs?!). By 16, I was onto my second job working at Office Max. Just turning 17, I was paying car payments towards my VW Beetle. I moved out at 17 and lived alone for the first time ever. I got a single dorm room with no room mate, realized I needed to transfer schools and figured out how to do it all on my own. When I didn’t get into the Art School at Syracuse immediately, I did everything I could possibly do to build a portfolio and got in in only one semester (a feat once said to be nearly impossible by the art school administrator). At 18 and a sophomore at Syracuse, I had researched, found and lived in 1 bedroom apartment. Carpeted. Walk in closet, dishwasher, and a garbage disposal – and only $410/mo all utilities included! (Learned pretty quickly why). At 19, I was caring for my dad who had a stroke at age 51. Paid for 80% of school myself (still paying…) Worked 3 jobs for the rest of school to support myself.

I’m no stranger to responsibility or taking care of myself. It seems as if life has prepared me big time to be on my own without the help and support of having my parents after age 27. So there are walls that I am realizing this week have crept up simply due to the fact that I have been given the opportunities over my life to learn to fully take care of myself, which has prepared me to do the same post-parents. There’s nothing wrong with a few walls, so long as they aren’t getting in the way of your relationships with others and yourself. So walls, I’m sure you are serving a purpose. What and why, not quite sure in this moment… But acceptance is always the first “step”, right?

Open ended questions: What is 1 wall you wish could just come down? What would that look like? Feel like?