When you’re a human feeling, not just a human being.

I started a new journey this past week. It’s been ripping into me emotionally and mentally and the irony is, it’s meditation. Who’d have thought a practise I used to do faithfully would suddenly upset my equilibrium so drastically. Yesterday, I was yelling at everything. The fridge. Some part of the doohickey is on the fritz, so it makes a ticking sound. But not a regular one like a clock. More of a, “there might be a bomb about to go off” type of sound. It always kicks in when the bird is also yapping out of his mind. I told him to fuck off and immediately felt like a jerk. The poor little Pi. I later apologized and he just looked at me.  He’s a sentient being. He must think I’m off my rocker. 

The thing is, I might be.

I seem to have nothing left in the tank. I want to be the person people come to, the one who gives empathy and kindness and an ear. But I’m done, in a way. Or maybe I just need a rest. Then I think, rest? There’s been more than enough lolly-gagging around. At least, that’s my perception when I have nothing tangible to show for my day owing to frequent interruptions and my inability to draw boundaries for myself.  

I believe there is a massive shift happening. My body, mind and spirit are in chaos while I try to sort through the pieces. What is what. What fits where. Where is my life going. What have I done to myself. What does the future hold. The questions are unending and so are the tears these days.

I’m annoyed by the tears, but Deepak says it’s the body releasing stress. I’ll buy that, I guess.  

So I try to plaster on a reasonably chipper face. This is a failing proposition, however. I’ve always been a lousy poker player. I can’t lie to save my life — my left eye twitches and I sigh too much. (Direct from my playbook should you ever wish to try and catch me in a tall tale.) When it all gets to be too much, I shut my phone down — like on airplane mode — but that feels like a betrayal to the people who might need to call me for something. And I’ve been needed a lot lately. It’s a privilege to be needed. I think I’m just depleted, myself. 

Life can’t always be full of stupendous insights and blogs that people will rally behind. It’s not always green grass and butterflies and ice cream and cotton seed floating in the air. Sometimes it’s tumultuous and dark. Sometimes it feels like an exercise in madness. Intellectually I know this is the process of being turned inside out, which is what always happens when we try to take a new approach. Such as — “quiet your damn mind, girl. Allow space for things to come up. Process the garbled feelings of this last year. Of the last many years.” 

But didn’t I do that on the Camino, I think? 

Why yes, I did. 

So why am I not done? 

Why are there tears streaming down my face even as I type this? 

I feel like a little beetle who’s been trapped in a glass dome. I keep bumping up against the edges and not getting anywhere. I can see outside the dome and desperately want a slice of that. This is my natural state — out in the world. Perhaps at some point soon, someone will come and lift the lid. And then I can breathe. 

I have one hundred percent under-estimated a bunch of shit. I thought it would be easier. I thought “feeling free” would be a welcome trade-off to kissing goodbye financial independence. And sometimes it is. Lately it’s been a swirling compost of old fears drudged up by my meditations. Same old themes: what if I fail. What if it goes nowhere. What if I just want a simple, boring life where I cut fruit all day. Would that be so terrible? Why do I need to be extraordinary. Who even gives a flying fuck. 

I’m not feeling sorry for myself. 

I’m just — feeling. I am a human being, and a human doing. I am accustomed to making things happen when I want and when I need them to. I am not in control and trying to surrender is my constant achilles heel. And these feelings are getting in my way.

The older I get the louder the question becomes “what is the point of all this?” It’s shaking me and nattering in my ear 24-7, amid the incessant chirping and chaos of 1430 Broadway Ave. I know it will get easier. Soon, I hope, I’ll be able to head out to a coffee shop and maybe experience the peace and quiet of Starbucks din. Or get in my car and drive across the country, far away from all the things I’m not tending to around here, because I no longer give a shit. And yes the laundry is piling up in all corners of our house these days. If you need a clean face cloth, best throw in a load yourself. Oh, you don’t know how to do laundry? Let me show you. You’re 13-years old. Why have I never done this before?

I need to let go of any expectations and stop having faith selectively. I do this so well in some areas of my life. My dad’s health? Pass the faith. I pray on the nightly and trust it will all work out. Whatever we’ll be called upon to do will be the path that is supposed to unfold. So why can’t I have faith in this new Sam Plavins path? What’s the dealio with that? On a soul level I know everything will work out. I just need patience and further clarity and to get going on planning these extraordinary journeys I’ve imagined. 

And the book. Insert a whole bunch of procrastination right here. I need solid concentration time and that stuff is a luxury these days. June is always like this. Piper turns 18 and she graduates, then she’s moving back out west. Then she comes back and goes off to university. Am I just experiencing the gradual unfolding of letting my baby go? All these things bubbling to the surface, the top of which is where the last 18 years of my life have gone. And feeling the sands of time slip through my fingers. 

I’m under no illusion about this piece. It’s a brain dump — be that crow who picks away at my garbage bag left uncovered at the end of the driveway. There might be a bone in here for you, but mostly, I’ve written it for me. And if you want to send me a message inquiring about my sanity, that’s cool. I think about it daily. I take nothing for granted. It’s quite possible I have lost the plot thank you very much. I’m sure I’ll find it again. It’s got to be somewhere in this pile of towels … 


  1. Hi Sam, Rachel here. I’m a kindred soul I suppose having bobblehead nodded and bit my cheeks as I read this entry. I also underestimated all the things when I walked away from my perfectly fine life. I went through the highest vibrations to the deepest darkest lows these past 14 months and sometimes in the last 10 minutes ?. I’m reading Martha Beck’s novel on integrity. It helps a bit. I’m reading Sarah Lawsons book about the myriad ways we’ve effed up the planet and our SELVES (the big inner selves) and although she provides some thoughts on how to fix things, I’m presently too emotionally constipated to do anything. Being an awakened human during this time of utter mayhem is to feel the collective heaviness. We’re not alone. It won’t always feel like this. Do a Metta meditation tonight. I’ll do one for you, and me, and all the others too. I see you. ?

    1. Rachel… thank you for showing up here. Your vulnerable message makes me want to know the whole story. I know that we aren’t alone and that does provide me with some solace, and community! Days I think I’ve totally lost my last marble. Then I wake up and a pile of new ones have been added to the bag for me to play around with. I have not heard of metta meditation and confess I’m an old meditation practitioner who is jumping back in. My head is swimming, even though I’m trying to generate calm lol. Where are you from Rachel? Thank you for the super supportive comment and the honesty. Means the world. Heading over to google to check out those books. :)

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