In-between thoughts: dreams are happening

Thoughts between sets at the gym.

~ I have been having the weirdest, most vivid dreams lately. They haven’t been particularly stressful (no recurrence of the dream where I’m a waitress and can’t seem to get to a table and they’re getting super pissed, thankfully), they’ve just been… Chaotic? Vividly chaotic. I wonder why my brain is producing these kinds of dreams.

~ The main dream I mean by the title, though, is… I passed my philosophy MA oral exam with distinction!!! That means I am basically admitted into the PhD program (pending box-check full departmental approval) with some of my MA courses counting towards my requirements!! I am just over the moon excited. Earning a philosophy PhD has been a dream of mine since I was 24 and it’s been a weirdly bumpy, tortuous road to get to the point where it feels attainable and I feel competent. My absolute elation at getting the news yesterday made the path forward pretty dang clear.

Celebrating with a glass of champagne my husband made me drink after learning I passed with distinction even though I still had a presentation on Plato to give and he is brilliant and knows what is good.

~ On a purely vain note, I am also starting to see the back of my dreams. Consistent hard work pays off! (So does losing weight, let’s be very honest. I had to be slimmer than I have been in years to see this definition. I had to put in the work to create and stick to a healthy food plan to achieve this look.)

I also kind of look like I’m wearing a diaper in this photo, though, so there’s that.

I’m also up to 11 Pullups in a row! #iamtheHegelofpullups. Next I think I might get a belt and start adding weight.

Today is also the first time in a couple weeks that I’ve lifted legs. My herniated disc was feeling pretty bad, so I decided to ease off lower body lifting to give my body a chance to heal that part. The rest helped so much. Today I am doing a fairly light and easy leg day (mostly isolated movements and machines) and paying super strict attention to form. Quality over quantity. So far it feels great to be back to it even in a small way.

~ I am in a weird stage of personal development. I have been reconnecting with some longtime friends in a deeper way than ever and… I feel seen and loved in a very different and kind of new way. I have been able to be so deeply honest with one of my friends, opening up about struggles I’ve never told anyone, and sharing highs and lows that really allow me to show the complexity of my very human life. It’s made me feel settled in myself in a way I haven’t felt in so long.

I just can’t really believe how much we need friends who have been along our similar journey and appreciate and love us in all our understood messiness. That is a truly transformative kind of love. (How odd that someone loving our authentic selves can be transformative. Relationships are amazing.) This is just a constitutive need of humans, too. We crave and need connection, to be recognized. Yes, I am tempted to dive into an argument of why Hegel’s theory of recognition is fundamentally a theory of empathy in the tradition do the Scottish Enlightenment philosophers BUT I WON’T, RELAX.

~ This is a very reductionist thought if I were to apply it to trauma healing in general, but lately it seems like the trauma I am currently working through and feeling is the big bump before the release of that toxic pain and a harmful belief system. Trauma doesn’t always surface just so we can release it (trauma just is and has no purpose or intention), this is simply how it is working for me lately. I feel like there are some things I have been feeling ready to release for a while but haven’t had the right situation to be able to. Because I have TRIED. Years of therapy and I still felt bound up.

It just goes to show that we have to let our brains, minds, and bodies heal in their own time. We can’t force healing. We can only work to put ourselves in healthy situations and in the kind of open frame of mind where when our bodies signal a readiness to release into deeper healing, we can be responsive. Or at least more responsive. I wish healing were easier and more predictable. Alas.

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