I was once labeled a drama queen. Okay, if I’m being honest, it was more than once - and not in the queen-who-wears-the-crown-because-she-was-voted-on kind of way. In college, an acquaintance bluntly told me I loved drama. I was literally appalled. There was no way! From my perspective, I did whatever possible to avoid drama and the people who attracted drama, or so I thought.
Now I can reflect on my 35 years and say definitively that I was addicted to the highs and lows of life. I’d either be really happy with life, or really depressed. I didn’t know anything in between. And when life was coasting, something felt wrong. It felt awkward. I didn’t know how to just be. So I’d chase the sensations that came with drama - the attention, the excitement, the depression, the tears.
I see this similar instance when I teach yin yoga. Students get into a pose and the stretch can be very intense. After they’ve held the pose a few minutes, the tension begins to release and the stretch becomes milder. That’s when the fidgeting begins. Students begin to move and shuffle seeking the sensation that was once there but is now absent. It’s as if they must be doing something wrong since the pose no longer feels so strong.
They’re chasing sensation. That’s exactly what I did for years. When there wasn’t drama, I’d create it. I’d delve into work or a project with so much enthusiasm and then complain to anyone who’d listen that I was SO busy, seeking their empathy or praise depending on the situation.
If things were coasting at home, I’d find the smallest thing to be upset over and nitpick until an argument broke out. I would claim that I wanted to do less and live simpler. However, my actions said otherwise.
I had become so addicted to the highs and lows, I truly thought that was how life worked. If there was something in between, it was unfamiliar and therefore wrong. I didn’t know how to live without the chaos, busyness and drama of life.
Now, I’m learning to sit in stillness. I’m embracing the silence and slower pace. These moments are what I was claiming to want. And you know what, they’re actually pretty nice. They’re peaceful. They’re content. They’re simple. And there is nothing wrong with any of those things.
Life doesn’t have to be so extreme all the time. I still enjoy the highs and ride out the lows, but with much less gusto. It’s the in between that I crave now. The peace. The simplicity. The contentment. That’s where I find my joy. That’s where I get to be Simply Mandi.