Seeing Red, Again

Speed. Never knew how much I’d come to rely on expediency, my own forward propelling, as a marker of my identity. I was a “runner” as a child, escaping adult supervision so frequently in stores, xeroxed renditions graced registers of Safeways and Mall information centers. I ate through the courses and theses of my bachelor’s and master’s degrees within 3.5 years.  I careened myself across 16 different “trips” my first year living abroad.  I am the annoying tour participant that asks the question that the guide was “just getting to.”

I crave a quick and breathless pace. I burn like the sun, which can exhilarate and equip others….and also wear and annoy them out. They inquire “when are you going to stop? slow and settle down?”

Quite frankly, when they stop building roads, I’ll still need gravity  to hold me down.

The pitfalls of this: missing details, annoying others, being too future oriented, a need to achieve and thus, side effects of anxiety and restlessness.

I am unpeeling myself in front of others during this “recovery” process….well, really, again I am re-inventing myself.  Some one pointed out that  my discomfort at self irritation at STAYING DOWN and resting indicated a RED personality:

Reds boldly move forward with logic, vision and determination. These qualities make them natural born leaders, as they make things happen by sheer force of will. From a Red perspective, emotion has little to do with accomplishing a task.

Sure, that’s me. I live fast and furiously. But, like the sun…my slowness seeps in around the gloaming hour. Reluctant to pick up the phone, or perform academic or professional endeavors, I cocoon myself at home six nights of the week. Slowly preparing a meal, taking the better half of an hour to enjoy wine and nibbles before hand. Letting music and a book  sweep into my blood in order to  recover ambulatory potential.  I am in PJS and bed by 9:30 faithfully 85% of the time.

The benefits of this: mindfulness, pleasure, rejuvenation.

In heart I love the adventure of growing and learning and going. and yet, in spirit, I require the predictability of  my tried and trues.

I am a roaming homebody.

However, at my core, I am driven by doing. by creating. by producing, and fulfilling a hunger . I will always crave….and be hungry

….for more…

This recovery only punctuates my internal gumption, longing, tendency to speed.  It pronounces my belongingness to myself a bit more easily, as I become more aware of what drives me, and embrace my strengths and limitations for all that they are (interestingly, some one called me “red-ness” this week…and then my shoes spoke to me. I donned them on, and immediately, felt at home.

What drives you?

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11 thoughts on “Seeing Red, Again

  1. Thank you for this post, K. Because I am also a red but I am also something else — not sure what color — but the opposite of red. And so I’ve always had this battle. In high school I could see the conflicting parts of myself (the ambition and the stubborn rebellion against that ambition) duking it out in my mind. One set wore red and the other blue. There were knights and they had a joust over almost every decision I should make.

    I’ve slowed down in the past 5 years as I’ve let the blue in. (Not sure if this is blue in the personality color scheme that you are talking about but it is the blue knights who fought for laziness when I was in high school).

    My red self gets so angry with what my red self perceives to be an injury in my soul. I am not as fast as I was in general. I keep holding myself back but I can’t figure out why. Every morning the red knights and the blue knights still do battle. I feel that my red self is a more true self and the blue self is merely a rebellion — some kind of switch that got flipped when I burned out three years ago and which I now can’t turn off.

    Anyways. Yes, slowing down is good. For me, finding some kind of lasting peace between my ambition and my stubborn lazy rebellion would be wonderful.

  2. this is what I think. We fear rejection because we have experienced other people’s discomfort and displeasure at our ambition and largeness that we shrink in order to gain approval, validation, a sense of worth. MOSTLY FROM OURSELVES

    I think it is self distrust and self fear of being as bold and as big as we are. We are afraid of the voracity of our appetites and afraid that we will never be satisfied. I am learning more and more that my hunger is valid, and yet, also to bring kindness when it is not appeased, rather than criticism of my failures to prevent chaos, or dissappointment, or to blame others for not being as hungry as we are

    But I will always be red. I will always desire more…and rather than fear that or question it or negate or hate that part of it. I embrace it (today) and honor it. Knowing that I will be able to live with integrity when it falls apart on me.

    Thank you for your comments

  3. As I was reading this post, I thought I might be a red. But then I kept reading about the description of a red. I let my emotions into everything I do.
    There are definitely times when I don’t know how to slow myself down. Lately, I have been having a hard time even relaxing. I need to work on that for sure.

  4. i am so a red too. slowing down is SO HARD. but SO NECESSARY. i’m such a perfectionist that it’s hard to chill out. slowly though, with the help of good friends, i’m finding balance and being better and being in the moment.

  5. I will always be a red too – there is no way around it. I have fought this long enough and now I’ve learned to accept that I was brought up to be this way!

    I must say that having a child has really put many things into perspective though – she’s the anti-thesis of red!

  6. I am in the fast lane with you! I think I am a little red and I am not sure but there was another color maybe Ryan once mentioned to me. I think I border on insane at times.

  7. I have always been a “fast” and driven person too. Graduated high school with almost a perfect 4.0, cried if I got an A-, graduating from an Ivy at 21, getting ready to go to law school and graduate at 24. Sometimes I wonder if it’s too fast, but other times I really truly believe that I am stubborn and fast because I am driven because I know what I want. But I also know that what I want can change, and I am accepting of the fact that change may happen. I do, however, know two things: first, I want to write, always — poetry and prose, mostly, and that will always be a part of my personal and professional life, and second, I want to work for the UN or another NGO that does human rights work. I just know these things, deep in my heart.

    I love how you associated all that with a color! How would I learn what color I am?

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