When is the last time you spent a considerable amount of time thinking about the underpants you wore yesterday? This may seem like an odd question to even ask in the first place but let me walk you through my morning and things will start to make more sense…
I woke up early from a very vivid dream where, while driving, my friend Andres Rios took his hands off the wheel and drew his blood right in front of me. As I woke up to the real world with the dream in mind I proceeded to squirm around like a fish out of water, fighting the inevitable, until finally I fully blacked out(A head trauma I had when I was little causes my brain to shut down and I lose consciousness when things are realistically gory.) I gained consciousness feeling like I was now going to yack, or potentially pass out again. Checked my phone for the time and noticed a voicemail from an unknown number. I took a listen. It was from a current girlfriend of a former ex-boyfriend of mine. This voicemail is one of many attempts this poor girl has engaged in to cut at me. Mind you.. said ex-boyfriend and I dated damn near 8 years ago and he and I haven’t had communication in ages. Other than genuinely wishing the best for him there is no intimate connection between us. At this point I don’t know where he lives, I don’t have his phone number, and I don’t know have any social media connect with him… Yet, for reasons unknown to me his current girlfriend DESPISES my very existence (okay, maybe he is still in love with me and it is interfering with his love for her. BUT this is not my problem. As I mentioned before he and I are not in any form of contact, what more can I do?!), and I quote her words from a Happy Thanks Giving message she left me… “I Hope you get raped, and killed in Asia.” Much to her despair I survived Asia with only amazing experiences to report.
My brain a touch foggy from blacking out and energy icky from the voicemail, I took my fanny outside for a much needed footie pajama pool side yoga session in efforts to ground myself and clear my mind. Feeling more balanced, and ready for the day I headed inside. I was gym bound and needed to change (unfortunately footie pajamas aren’t a universal outfit). I grabbed the pants I wore yesterday off the floor to toss on real quick and I came across my underwear from yesterday still in them (it makes sense to take it all off at once, time efficiency, duh.) Anyway, upon seeing my underwear from yesterday I had a deeper thought. Wouldn’t it be cool if more people could treat things that didn’t serve their lives productively like they treated yesterdays underpants. Putting no importance on them today because just the thought of doing that seems a touch ridiculous. Not harboring anger or emotions toward them for being dirty. Simply getting them into the dirty clothes pile so they can be washed and eventually worn again.
I personally can not say I have spent time in my present day thinking about the panties I had on yesterday because it holds no relevance in my current moment. Now, this isn’t to say I am perfect because I too get hung up on “old panty” type situations. For instance, up until recently I was still devoting quiet a bit of thought to Oliver, my Cambodian lover boy. Key word, boy. When in reality if we look at it on paper, the guy chain smokes, makes out with his mates girlfriend when his mate is away, drinking booze is in his job description and since I have left has broken all but two planned skype dates. Crazy, right? Why on earth would I keep investing precious energy that direction? The right side of my brain chimes in on defense… BECAUSE, the way he looked at me turned my insides to jello, the way he held me made me feel like a million bucks, his accent made my heart speed up, the way we worked together as a team during our romantic whirl wind fling was out of this world, and the photographs we took together… #puzzelpieces (so it seemed). Well while all that is cute, long term it counts for jack shit. I will cut myself some slack because of the extreme circumstances: I was in a foreign country, alone, first time, looking for adventure, no commitments, no expectations, no idea what was around which corner or when. So mentally I let down every wall I built for 4 years and allowed Oliver to completely fill the companion void in my life without hesitation or concern for tomorrow. I would’t change it for the world, but keeping the correct perspective around the whole experience, and not creating expectations is crucial because the only reason it worked in the first place was that there were no expectations. This article by Mark Manson helped me reframe my thoughts quiet a bit.
Now, if your a grown adult and you shit your pants yesterday at work and you feel a wave of embarrassment/anxiety heading back into work today, you can cut yourself a break. Who wouldn’t be having flashbacks to attempting to clean up a shit storm from their drawers in the middle of their work shift. BUT, if you are still thinking about a pair of underwear your boyfriend had on 8 years ago that he lost and will never wear again. . . For fuck sakes, wash your mind of them and start caring about things that matter.
I challenge you to take a moment and step out of your own picture… be completely honest with yourself. Where might you be allowing “old underpants” type scenarios get the best of your thoughts and energy? How can you get a new perspective? How can you learn to categorize yesterdays panties vs yesterday I shit my pants at work? This is another article by Mark Manson that has helped me with sorting my dirty panties(so to speak).
My grandpa is an excellent roll model in this department. I swear by the time he takes his metaphoric underpants off their already washed and he is putting them away. He bottles up NOTHING. I mean NOTHING. If he experiences frustration at the dishes he is loading, himself, solicitors, he expresses that frustration vocally and then lets it go. He calls it his release valve. Everyone needs one. I aspire to be more like this. When I was younger Grandpas release valve sort of freaked me out, but when Grandpa is cursing at himself like a mad man in the hotel in third person because he placed sodas to close to the freezer area in the mini fridge, and they burst; an 11 year old girl is bound to think Grandpa has lost his marbles. Looking back at this moment, I see his wisdom(maybe back then it was unrefined wisdom but he has since honed his release valve skills). Yes- maybe at times his reactions to somewhat mundane things seem a bit drastic. However- the person who is constantly blowing off steam, letting go, and moving forward is ultimately much better off than the person who takes the bottling up approach to life constantly building up pressure and one day has an explosion of epic proportion at something ridiculous like.. they took off their underwear and realized they need to be washed before another use. Was it really the underwear that caused the melt down? Or was it the last three months of small things building up? Self expression is KEY folks! Working through emotions, and moving forward is so critical for thriving in our crazy world.
Thanks for tuning in. 🙂