An exert from “On Repair” by The Wander Society:
“Spend time observing the object to be repaired or mended: look at the tear, the hole, the worn area. Listen to it, feel it, be curious about it.
Go through the process of repair in your mind and keep your mind ready for an inspired thought or idea.
Gather your materials and tools.
Begin the repair.
Be slow, be attentive.
Be attentive and focused about the motions you are making, feel the substance of the materials, be deliberate about your movements.
When your attention goes away, be tender and place it back on your work, on your body, on your materials and hands.
Be generous with your expectations about time.
Repair requires time…”
I have never read anything so close to the process of healing. All of the parts of myself that I dislike are direct results of not repairing the tear. Every time I’ve lashed out in anger, at myself or others, or for all of the times that I’ve hid behind a lie or compensated a feeling of loss by acquiring material things – all of this is because I wasn’t actively repairing. I was avoiding.
“Listen to it” is invaluable advice. It’s something my therapist used to tell me. As soon as we would get close to a traumatic memory, I would pull back, afraid to open myself back up to that pain. He used to tell me, “listen to your reaction, what does that tell you?”.
It’s okay to take time to repair your tears, holes, and worn areas. Even if other people don’t understand your pain, or your processes. It’s your divine right.
A thought kept occurring to me on my morning commute, as I went over and over the changes I’ve been through in the past year. To think back to January of 2017 is to imagine a completely different life than what I have now.
The thought that kept coming up this morning was related to escapism, and how I used to use it as a crutch. All my life, since childhood, I’ve used books and stories as a way to escape reality. Fiction was always more comforting, more exciting, and easier to digest than truth.
As I started reaching the apex of my emotional transition, my reality became so overwhelming that I started writing fiction into my real life. I was no longer escaping into books, but I was escaping into an imagined version of myself. While I think it is incredibly important to try on different versions of yourself, the truth is that I wasn’t even playing the role of myself – I was trying to be someone else entirely.
The problem with creating a fiction of yourself is that you start to lose the truth. Looking back, I can see the slow process of me chipping away at the things which are important to me. It’s not until I finally dropped the facade, put down the book, and looked around that I realized what I had done, and what I had lost. Rebuilding the destruction of yourself can be a slow processes, but it’s worth ever inch of ground covered.
Is true what they say, that often truth is stranger than fiction. Whatever role I was trying to play is small potatoes compared to the person I am now. And I wouldn’t trade the person I am now for anything.