Broken Promises to Others and Self

After resurrecting the Bizzartifacts blog, I read through the three posts I had published. I found this gem from “Untitled Positive Song” (12/19/17):

I'll start by writing new lyrics that express the same sentiments as these, but with 50% fewer words. Hopefully this process will inspire me to finish the song, starting with a proper refrain.

From there, I'll start playing around with music. Until I see the new words in front of me, I don't know what the music will sound like. But I am definitely excited to find out!

Anyway, long story short, I didn’t do any of that. It's not a sin to abandon ship when a piece isn’t promising, but it got me thinking about my attitude and habits over the past few years.

To oversimplify, I’ve let a lot fall by the wayside, unable to muster up enough self-love to believe that anything I wanted to create, say, or share was worth the bits it would be transmitted on. In the end, all that pity party gave me was a half-finished musical and a string of broken promises. I’m finally starting to unbreak some of them, but for many it’s impossible to turn back that clock. In those cases, all I can do is live my best life starting today.

I think to do that, though, I need to list out all of the best intentions that paved my particular road to…well, let’s just say limbo. I’m too privileged to call any version of my existence hell.

OK, with that, let’s begin!

BROKEN PROMISES TO OTHERS AND SELF

I would write every day

I would exercise every day

I would blog regularly

I would be kinder

I would make time to see and/or call my friends and family

I would record proper, full demos of every song I wrote for Infinite

I would talk less and listen more

I would take control of my finances

I would hold space for my romantic partner without giving unsolicited advice or trying fix what I perceived as “the problem”

I would do the internal work necessary to be more emotionally intimate and available in all contexts

I would let go of my controlling tendencies, especially in my workplace

I would develop a habit of mindful meditation

I would read every day

I would keep myself connected to the news of my world, and not only through comedic television programs

I would develop a healthier relationship with my own ego and check myself whenever it got out of control — which would have helped me achieve a lot of the above

I would take a step back from music direction to focus on writing and composing, even if it meant taking a job outside of the arts

The only promise to myself that I kept — and it took a long time to keep it — was to come out as trans and begin gender-affirming therapy.

(my protracted coming out timeline is something I’ve forgiven myself for, but in retrospect it definitely was not ideal)

(although, in fairness to me, I didn’t have the language to describe it as “gender affirming therapy” until very recently; if I did maybe things would be different)

Now that I’ve written it all down, I feel like I’m being hard on myself. But on the other hand, there is more that I didn’t write because of either (1) a desire for privacy, or (2) my inability to remember them.

And I don’t know. It feels like it’s time for me to be hard on myself. Not abusive toward myself — I’m a pro at that, which is definitely Not Good™️ — but also not shying away from reality just because it hurts to acknowledge. And reality is this: I haven’t been cultivating my best self in the years since I wrote those starry-eyed promises on December 19, 2017.

That needs to change, and this time I’m certain it will. This version of self-love I’m starting to uncover in myself includes accountability for myself, and it feels good.

(listing image from VectorStock via Wallpapers Tumblr)