Editor’s note: These posts were written back when my brand name was Remodel Fitness. I’ve decided to include them here without editing them, in the interest of…well… transparency. 😉
It’s been a wild year for me.
Just over a year ago, I left NYC to explore the world and get to know myself. I spent a few months traveling around to spend time with various friends, family, and my then-boyfriend. I spent 3 months in Costa Rica, and 3 months in Thailand. I got super tan, felt all the feels, explored different sides of myself, and learned a ton.
I wish I could tell you that’s the end of that story. I wish the end of the story is that it perfectly suits me to live out of a suitcase and be unattached all the time because I’m naturally a free-spirited gypsy nomad!! Buuuuut, alas. This is a perfect example of the never-friggin-ending nature of self-exploration and self-care, and I want to share with you how things are shifting, and how I’ve decided to listen.
Honestly, I liked the other story better. It was more fun and sparkly! This one strikes me as kinda boring. A little embarrassing, even. But we don’t get to choose the inner work; the inner work chooses us.
So what’s going on with me lately?
Well I’ve been staying near my family upstate NY for the last few weeks. In a recent conversation with a wonderful human, I was explaining how where I live just doesn’t matter to me on account of me being such a free gypsy spirit. Later in the conversation, I mentioned how part of me wishes I could stay here longer, to spend more time with my family and little nephew.
This wonderful human, who was listening with genuine curiosity and no judgment, asked “…Well you just said it doesn’t matter where you live. Why not live here?”
My kneejerk reaction was really inappropriate and out of proportion, as though he had just spat in my face. “Live here? HOW DARE YOU.”
Whoooaaa, nelly. Hello, deep-resistance-I-didn’t-know-I-had, lovely to see you.
As always, I had been secretly hoping that even though I know there are endless layers to the deep process of knowing yourself, that maybe– just maybe– I was done this time? Maybe I had healed and listened and forgiven and loved and accepted everything that needed to be accepted, and all the hard processing stuff was just… done?
One of my most important life-long policies is to follow my own resistance, leaning into it and seeing what it has to show me. Sooo I spent the next week trying to put my ego aside, and thinking about why I got so offended and mad at the suggestion I live upstate NY.
What I’ve come up with is this:
In NYC I had an identity that I loved– I was tough and successful; busy and honestly a bit numb. I left NYC because I wanted to see who else I was, and challenge my attachment to that identity. I celebrated my own courage when I left, and congratulated myself on being so very unattached. “I’m such a free spirit!” I said to myself. “I can’t be held down!”
The problem is that I now seem to have gotten attached… to being unattached. Grrr.
The idea of permanently living anywhere that isn’t NYC (the best city in the world IMO) feels like a step down somehow. It feels like quitting, or giving up. I hadn’t even realized I felt that way until now, since I created the genius work-around when I left of leaving to live… nowhere.
I have so much resistance to settling in any way, and to living a “normal” life. The idea of getting an apartment, or driving a car, or being anywhere near a godforsaken SUBURB makes everything in my body say NO NO NO!!
Same goes for the thought of choosing a life partner, buying a house, or having a family. I can feel my stomach clench up even as I write this, picturing myself in a stupid little house in a stupid little neighborhood, doing stupid “normal” stuff like gardening, and paying bills, and going to target.
The problem is, in the last few weeks I have uncovered a strong desire to do some of that shit. Well not the paying bills part maybe, but the part about enjoying simple pleasures, spending time with loved ones, and not living out of a suitcase. It’s been so long since I’ve been able to “rest” that the idea of some stability and roots sounds pretty damn soothing and nourishing right now.
Which is really fucking with my head.
I’ve been anti-stability for as long as I can remember. Or rather, I thought I was one of the lucky few who simply didn’t need or want stability. I love change, and I live for growth. Stability sounds like a slow and quiet death-by-boredom-and-stagnancy to me. But the last year of complete and total freedom and constant change has (apparently) created what I can only describe as my very first-ever cravings for stability.
I’m acknowledging these cravings now. I’m recognizing them. And I hate them. Oh boy, do I hate them. Me, craving stability and roots? Whattttt who am I, even??
I share this all with you because I think it’s important to acknowledge that ALL OF US are constantly growing and learning and uncovering and changing and being surprised by what we discover if we listen closely.
Your desires are your desires– they’re how your heart speaks to you, and only by listening closely can you create a life that nourishes and fulfills you. Your brain can’t decide what you want, only your heart can.
My brain would have me travelling the world full-time, visiting exotic locations, and never wearing more than a bikini. But my heart…. Well right now, my heart wants to wear boots and sweaters and feel cozy. My heart wants to spend less time on social media, and more time having deep conversations with the people who matter to me. My heart wants to be there as my nephew learns to talk, and to enjoy the rare moments that my siblings are all together. My heart wants to fall in love and pick apples and wear sweatpants.
My heart wants to belong somewhere again.
So here I am, diving through the difficult muck of my new discovery. Leaning into my resistance to “normal” life, and giving myself permission to imagine myself having one and being happy. It’s not easy. It’s never easy. But the self-exploration journey never ends, and this is where I am right now.
Trust me though, it’s worth it.
That having been said, it’s a lot easier to go through life this way with the continual support and inspiration of like-minded people. I could never do this without the support of my people, and I encourage you to surround yourself with your “people.” In general, these aren’t just people who love you, although that’s a good start, but they’re actually people who are doing their own work, and willing to hold a space for you while you do yours.
I appreciate you taking the time to read what I write, more than you could ever know.
Wishing you a deeply heart-centered Tuesday,
<3 Jessi Kneeland Get strong. Feel confident. Look amazing.
P.S. If you want some like-minded community support, please come join my private Facebook community Women Who Empower Other Women, Unite!
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