September 29th, 2016 | 1 Comment »
let there be light

let there be light – photo credit to the Resonant German

Depression is an ugly beast.  It’s incomprehensible.  It is vile.  A trap.  It is a vile trap.  And it’s an experiential thing that others who haven’t tasted it can even begin to understand.  You want to be reached, but you don’t know how to let yourself be reached, because you’re trapped, in the dark.  You want to be helped, but you don’t know how to let yourself be helped, because you’re trapped, in the dark.  You want to live, but you don’t know how to let yourself live, because you’re trapped, in the dark,  where you’re running out of air and you can no longer breathe.

Sometimes, it’s too late.

There aren’t any do overs.

LIFE IS SO FRAGILE!!!!!

Life is such a beautiful and precious thing.  We all get it, a gift, without asking.  It’s so random, who we are, where we ended up when we entered this world and took our first breath.  We got what we got.  Nobody asks to be a Star Bellied Sneetch.  Or a North Going Zax.  We just are who we are.  Why is it so hard to just be?

I AM SO ANGRY!!!!!

I am angry because I am helpless.  And because it’s too late.

There were signals that drifted to me and through me from across the universe, but I didn’t pay enough attention, or I didn’t understand.  I reached out, but not far enough.  In retrospect, it’s as though her spirit was crying out from the place where she was trapped and otherwise unable to call for help, and those were the messages that drifted to me.  Because I have been thinking of her.  I wish I had reached her.  Maybe, just maybe, it would have made a difference.

So yes, I am angry.  Not at her, not at myself.  I am angry with the ugly beast, and I want to wage war against it.  I want to tell everyone I see, everyone I know, everyone at all, that THEY MATTER.  I don’t know where it comes from or how it happens, this despicable beast called mental illness, but I will battle it any way that I can.  I want to pierce the darkness that any part of any person might be trapped in.  Because that’s all it is.  A trap.  A dark, despicable trap.  The con of the ages.  I want to blast it apart with nuclear force and set it ablaze with the brightest of lights so that the preciousness of who they are is evident, that their life is treasure, and that I am privileged to be someone with whom they share breath.  I want to infuse hope and vigor, to spark enthusiasm and joy.

Who can ever truly know what’s going on within another?  How many people do we know who are suffering inside, wrestling with incomprehensible things?  What if we were to take a moment to just say hi, or smile.  An unexpected greeting can disrupt the grip of the ugly beast, and it only takes a little light to break the darkness.  It could save a life.

My heart is broken for her, for our family, for everyone.  Her anguish is over, but in its place is a heavy blanket of sorrow and new anguish in the hearts of those who love her, those who need her.  It’s a shame.  A complete and terrible and horrible shame.  A beautiful, vibrant, strong, loving, courageous, intelligent, capable, talented, and amazing person with so much to live for has been tricked out of her own life.  Nobody saw it coming, so nobody was there to help.  Nobody could help.  It’s a tragic deja vu.  History has repeated itself, and I wish I had been paying better attention.

I’m holding my children tight, taking extra moments to make sure that they know they matter, they are important, they are wanted, they are loved.  I’m listening more.  I’m sending out my love.  To everyone.  Because everyone matters.

February 6th, 2016 | No Comments »

Put your dreams away for now, I won’t see you for some time…
I am lost in my mind, I get lost in my mind…
Mama once told me “you’re already home where you feel loved”
I am lost in my mind, I get lost in my mind…

Oh my brother, your wisdom is older than me.  Oh my brother, don’t you worry about me!
Don’t you worry, don’t you worry, don’t worry about me…

all you need is love ... love is all you need

all you need is love … love is all you need

I’ve been thinking a lot lately. Again.  I’m making a serious effort to understand myself and the way I form my thoughts and the channels that I follow… I’m very conscious of time these days. I’m very aware of the years. I’ve arrived at this place called mid-life. My indentured servitude spans nearly 30 years. I have two young children. It’s up to me to shape them, form them and prepare them for life. And how can I do that, if I don’t have it figured out myself?! There’s a whole new generation of young people in my life, looking to me for guidance, and what can I give them? I’m fumbling along under a facade waving the fake it till you make it flag and hoping that nobody notices that I really don’t have it all going on. (To be fair to myself, I do actually have almost everything going on –I’m just trying to wrangle this emotional thangggggg…..)

I’ve been thinking about human behaviors. I’ve been observing the way insecurity manifests in people and myself. I’ve been thinking about self destructive thoughts a lot lately, and wondering where they come from, why they’re there, how to obliterate them, etc… It occurs to me that they are entirely manufactured! Not that that is any big news. I’ve known that all along, but somehow I am beginning to let it sink in, that any negative thoughts originate within myself. So if they’re coming from me, I can change my mind, and turn that ship around.  Easily enough said.

Certain thought streams tend to short circuit to emotionally unattractive destinations.  I intend to repair my mother board so that my thought streams lead to healthy destinations.

One of the show stoppers is that dangerous zone of caring what others think.  Why so much concern?  Why ANY concern?  Judgment…   It’s such a slippery slope!  The reality of the matter is that I don’t know what another person thinks or feels. Those thoughts are entirely theirs. Am I spending my time passing judgment on the people in my sphere?  Or  do I simply love them?  Ummm.  I simply love them.  So, uhhhh, hello?  Stands to reason, doesn’t it, in the most simplistic way, that not too many, if any for that matter, are spending time passing judgment on me.  Why would I bother to waste any brain space on wondering or dreading what others might think of me?  Good grief! And even if I were to play the devil’s advocate, what kind of ugliness might someone dredge up on me?  Her.  Yeah her.  She goes to work every day.  Yeah.  Imagine that.  She pays her bills.  Amazing. She lives within her means.  Unbelievable.  She takes care of her family.  Whoa.  She saves for a rainy day.  What the what?  She tries to make people smile.  Crazy.  Oh sure, she gets emo once in a while. She’s a sensitive creature with an empathetic nature, so of course the travails of others can take their toll if she’s not careful, but she’s wicked smart and kind of funny, so hey.  She’s all right.  Mmmmm hmmmmm, yes ma’am.  She’s all right.

Seriously.  It’s ridiculous to waste time and life energy on wondering what others think, and worse yet, assuming what they think.  That’s a one-man-band, honey.  It’s ALL IN YOUR HEAD!!!!  SMH…

Okay.  Sure.  I have issues.  Daddy issues.  I’ve written about it before.  WHY DIDN’T HE CARE ABOUT ME?  WHY DIDN’T I MATTER TO HIM?  etc etc etc.  The thing is, I did matter to him.  I just didn’t recognize it.  Where he could display his love, affection and admiration to and for my sisters, somehow he was unable to convey it to me.  Maybe, all along, I’ve felt irrelevant only because I’m not the charming vivacious spitfires that my sisters are.  Maybe it was difficult for him to find a way to reach me.  Who knows?!  But the fact is that I’ve carried an invalid assumption along with me for most of my life, that I somehow just don’t quite measure up to what I should.  And don’t you see?  That’s the comparison game!  Comparing myself to my sisters!  We are apples and oranges (as well as peas in a pod).  Oh how I love my sisters!!!  They are amazing people!  And we are beautiful in our differences and in our similarities.  As beautiful and amazing as they are, I am as well!  I just wasn’t tuned in to the same bat channel.  So I didn’t get the message.  That is SO tragic!!!  Fifty years old and only now just dawning.

Anyway.

One way or another, this post was meant to be about love, and how you’re home where you feel loved.  All this blah blah blah about the great “why am I the way I am?” question, but the crux of the matter and the bottom line is that happiness is that place where we feel home, where we are home.

I feel home.

This.

This is what life and love are all about.  This is everything.  Now is now. I’m living it. Now! I laugh, I smile, I hug my children. I listen.  I act silly.  I cook. I eat. I work. I take care of business. I keep up my home. I do laundry. I do dishes. I love.

I am happy.

January 15th, 2016 | No Comments »

Black boxes. Those mysterious entities of which the knowns are made visible on a strictly limited basis. You know. The need to know basis. The guzzintahs (inputs – what goes in) and the guzzoutahs (outputs – what goes out) might be evident, but the inner workings? Good luck with that.

I’m no stranger to depression.  Good gravy, that’s an understatement.  I’m the queen of understatements.

I’ve recently experienced new-to-me forms to which the only explanation I can muster is the tangled cocktail of hormones clashing within my body, wherever it is that they wage war.  Probably some minuscule region in my big giant convoluted and messy brain.  I dunno.  The ‘m’ word surfaces.  It’s probably the culprit.  Most likely.  But what do I know?

I will say, this latest bout was short-lived, and THANK GOD FOR THAT, because it was a whole new level of numbness and confinement that I’d never before experienced.  In a way, if I’d had the capability for emotion beyond numbness, I’d have been terrified.  Terrified because I could see clearly that I was absolutely stuck in a place that had no way in and no way out.  I didn’t know how I got there.  I didn’t know how I could get out of there.  I was just there.  Stuck.  In a box.  Stuck in a black box.  Stuck with no will for anything.  Living?  Sure.  Fine.  Whatever.  Existing?  Sure.  Fine.  Whatever.  Dying?  Sure.  Fine.  Whatever.

While I was there, I was at least able to battle myself with self-talk.  It went like this:

depression1

depression2

depression3

depression4

depression5

 

I did snap out of it later that afternoon.  Maybe the tides changed with the latest hot flash.  Who knows.  I’m left with mixed yearnings.  I want to be helpful to someone, anyone, with the experiential knowledge that I have.  If someone else at least knows that they are understood, even if there’s little to no explanation for the given emotional state, it gives a sense of comfort and hope.  I’m generalizing based on my own perceptions, of course.  The conflicting yearning is one that wants to distance myself as far as possible from things of this nature.  This is not a pleasant place to be. Or to think about.  Ever.

I’m calling a truce and settling for the moment with a blog post.  I seldom have the energy to actually polish my thoughts, so I throw this out as a placeholder and maybe one day I’ll revisit it.  Or not.

October 20th, 2015 | 2 Comments »
a matter of perspective

a matter of perspective

Night time, alone, I sit in my bed with my thoughts.  Music softly fills the background.  I sit with my back against the leather headboard. Toni Childs sings The Dead are Dancing. I sit, letting thoughts of my life drift through my mind. Tears stream down my face. My thoughts are in parallel with unuttered prayers. What is expected of me, come tomorrow? Mother. I’m a mother. Yet here I sit, late at night, cleaving to whatever fragments of thought I can visualize that represent me.  My essence. My spirit. My soul. My self.  I take this moment to find myself, to honor myself.  Otherwise, through the day, I live from moment to moment to moment, consumed by the myriad tasks and responsibilities that never end.

Tears.

Tears.

Tears.

So healing.

Could I even do this, sit in silence with my thoughts and my tears, if I were married? How do people who are coupled survive? They must be able to find the moments they need, no matter their life situation. Or maybe most people aren’t like me.

Probably.

I suppose I’m a rare bird.

Part of me hungers and aches for the feeling of being wanted. It seems so ridiculous, to spend a lifetime chasing such a fleeting experience. As if I’m missing something. Does anybody else feel this? Why do I? I feel so alone. I always feel so alone. Why? I am NOT alone! So how can I feel this? Why do the tears continue to stream down my face? I wish I knew.

~*~*~*~

Coping. How do people learn to cope? How do they learn about coping? When I was young, I had lots of headaches and tummy aches. As in, every day. Every single day. My sensitive nature has been with me all along. As an adult, here I am, 50 years old, pondering the notion of coping. I have a gin with olives that I’m nurturing, and a playlist of some of my favorite tunes set on shuffle, keeping me company. The boys are peacefully retired for the night. The morning reality includes a commute — 1.5 hours realistically; 2+ hours if conditions aren’t favorable. It’s excruciating for the gentle soul that I am to face that in the morning. Daily. Its so hard for me. So I sit here, again propped in my bed, tears streaming, thinking of the word ‘cope’. I’m coping.

Why am I not shaking my fist at the sky and triumphing? Why am I just coping? Everything is SO GOOD.

SO. GOOD.

My life is truly GOOD! So why am I struggling so? Will I ever make peace with myself? Is it all about me, when it boils down to it?

~*~*~*~

I don’t mind being raw. I don’t mind being vulnerable in writing these things that represent my moment, my now, my thoughts and emotions as they travel across the landscape of my mind and my heart.  Truth is truth. It’s courageous. I rock! I say what others might not have the courage to say.

And the dead are dancing again. Probably it’s meant to be, the way the music shuffles and certain songs repeat. All things have a reason.

Love. <3 I’m writing love everywhere. <3 Leaving love everywhere. <3  Cuz that’s all I am, when it boils down to it. Love.  <3

~*~*~*~

I don’t mind being raw. Truth is truth.

September 14th, 2015 | No Comments »
cherish is the word I use to describe...

cherish is the word I use to describe…

The word popped into my head a few minutes ago, and I had a train of thought I planned to explore, but have since forgotten.  Still, I will hold the title and keep on writing. Maybe it will come back to me.

There are so many interesting thoughts of late that I want to capture and ponder.  My boys spent three weeks with their dad.  Unprecedented.  During that time, I had the opportunity to take a grown up camping vacation.  I haven’t had so much grown up time in YEARS!

It was hard, to be separated from my boys for so long.  I had a few tearful moments.  I sort of wished that I had been able to plan ahead for that particular window of time.  I might have spent it differently, rather than work through the first two weeks.  I was ecstatic to be able to go camping, though.  It was important to me on so many levels.

When I picked up my boys, the early evening sun was shining and the color of their eyes in the sunlight was dazzling and mesmerizing.  Their eyes are a grey green rainbow of sparkling color.  They are so beautiful — they take my breath away.  I wanted to take a picture and capture those colors and that beauty, but my phone camera skills are lacking.  The emotion of the moment was pure joy.  Reuniting with my boys.  Oh how I lufffffff them.

~*~*~*~

While camping, I experienced a plethora of thoughts, sensations, and emotions.  Granted, it was likely due to a mixture of erratic blood sugar control, substance consumption, and the heat.  One day, I had a series of out of body thoughts that I found perplexing and worthy of further exploration.  It was almost as though I had a starkly defined split personality.  On the one hand, I was so peacefully content that I had found my way to this stage in life where I have the most amazing, comfortable relationship with a truly decent, kind, loving, capable, intelligent, fun and interesting man, with whom I can clearly imagine growing old with and loving deeply until the end of time.  On the other hand, there was this nearly over powering persona that I’d call Doom, who stood by, authoritatively looking down on me, telling me that I couldn’t or shouldn’t live like this, that it couldn’t be real, that I should just walk away and spend my life alone where I belong.  It was such a strong and defeating sensation, so physical, in fact, that I could almost feel myself being compelled to stand up, start walking, and just leave it all behind.  All the while, the other persona (who I will call the real me) looked on with disbelief and horror, saying, good grief, you’re not buying into this bullshit, are you?

In the end, I reasoned with myself that I have no control over another’s thoughts or feelings, nor do I wish for such control.  He’ll never purposefully hurt me.  If he loves me, he loves me.  If he wants to be with me, he will be with me.  If he decides we don’t fit after all, he will say so, and we will part on kind terms.  There is no need for fear or anxiety or second guessing or anything at all.  And the converse holds true in all cases.  I will never purposefully hurt him.  If I love him, I love him.  If I want to be with him, I’ll be with him.  If I decide we don’t fit after all, I will say so, and we will part on kind terms.  He isn’t worried or concerned about us.  It’s all very simple for him.  He loves me, he respects me, and that’s that.  Similarly, I love him, respect him, and that’s that.  So why does this nemesis of a personality emerge?  I suppose it’s a manifestation of fear, and it’s not welcome here!  I have to acknowledge that it tried to grip me, though.  I’m also grateful that he’s not saddled with these ridiculous emotions.  He is so very steady.  Unflinching.  Unwavering.  I truly admire that in him.  He is solid.

~*~*~*~

I wrote this ages ago, and it’s been hanging out in my drafts, along with the 200+ spam comments attached to my Presence and Life post that I can’t for the life of me figure out.  Search engines are blocked.  Somehow there must be a thread or fragment somewhere that the bots have found.  I don’t find it when I inspect my code, so I am perplexed.  Maddening.  Anyway.  Even though the moment is long over, and my emotions haven’t taken too much of a dark turn (in general) since then, I think it’s good to be able to preserve some of these thoughts for further exploration, should they ever resurface.

The photo is taken from the cover of this year’s journal.  I was diligent until mid-July, and not a word since.  Interestingly enough, that time frame seems to coincide with the time frame when my kids were away.  I’ve either been too busy, too stressed, or having too much fun to bother with daily summaries.  Certainly, life overall has been wonderful, as evidenced by the lack of lengthy self-psychoanalyzing posts (since June, at any rate).  One of these days I may find my way back to blogging about the beauties of this simple life I’m leading.  Facebook and Snapchat, while fun, are nowhere near as fulfilling, and the seeming constant monotony of working through difficult emotions makes for a very lopsided blog.  So.  Posts of alpaca adventures, tree felling, trail blazing, carburetor rebuilding, farmer’s markets, fantastical Lego creations, gorgeous grey-eyed kids, road trips, country vistas, water sport shenanigans, and such may be on the horizon.  Or not.

June 18th, 2015 | No Comments »

I have a LOT of time to think during my commute.  This morning I was watching my thoughts and my emotions as they swirled about, playing with and against each other.  There was nothing concrete; it was all very nebulous.  I noted that thoughts and emotions are completely different animals, so it’s almost futile to even attempt to manage or  understand them in the same manner.  Thoughts can be concrete and follow reason, so they can be grasped, given the effort.  Emotions,  however, are entirely different.  They are a form of data that requires a completely different translator.  The same rules of analysis don’t apply.

I’ve been wondering why certain emotions are surfacing.  Logically, there is little to no reason for anything but giddy happiness.  Life is so GOODMY life is so good!  Yet these emotions are surfacing and overtaking me.  Just when I think I’m all sorted out, grounded, steady, solid — BAM, tears are streaming from my face and my heart feels as though it’s clenched by an iron fist.

For some reason, I thought of PTSD.  It’s not reserved for battle scarred war heroes, you know.  Not that I want to assign another disorder to the list of labels already attached to me, but the words themselves –post, trauma, stress– align well with the emotional experience that I’m trying to describe.  I also thought of memories and associations.  So many associations stir fragments of memories that evoke buried emotions.  A song, the color of the sky, a turn in the road, the sound of a voice –so many random things in any given day can stir something up.

Memories are things of the past, and the experiences are over.  Any traumas and stresses were overcome, because they are in the past.  I am here.  I am healthy.  I am strong.  So why and how can an associated memory bring me to my knees and knock the wind from me and rob me of my now?  As I was pondering this, I wondered in terms of PTSD.  Maybe at the time I couldn’t actually process or deal with whatever it was.  Maybe survival was the only thing that I had the bandwidth for (and may the gods and my departed dad forgive my overabundant use of stranded prepositions).  Maybe, when caught up in the fray of whatever drama I was caught up in, all I could do was stay afloat and suppress rather than address the emotions and stresses du jour.  So maybe, because I’m no longer in sheer survival mode, the associations that stir memories release those emotions as though they are fresh.  BAM!  Ouch!  Me no likey.

I wanted to write these thoughts down, and I thought I’d entitle this post, “memories and associations” — it has a certain flair.  But it also rings a bell (hello?  how many things are endless repeats in this blog?), and so it happens that I’ve written at length about memories and associations before.  I re-read that post and thought, oh shit.  More tears.  I really needed more tears.

So here I am again.  I wish I knew a healthy way to address the emotions that overtake me.  I wish I knew how to pick and choose which emotions could overtake me.  I’d love to keep the giddy highs and dismiss the dark lows.  I bet it’s possible.  I just need to find the right decoder ring.

June 16th, 2015 | No Comments »

Stage I.  Darkness

I’ve had an epiphany of sorts regarding depression. Maybe it’s best not to make a global statement here and I will simply qualify this conclusion as a description of my own particular depression.

The state of being depressed is the inability to feel, see, hear, remember or understand love.  When I say love, I mean all love.  The love that others have for me, the love that I have for others, and the love I have for myself.  In short, a love eclipse.  Complete and utter darkness.

In the moments when I am stuck there, it’s almost impossible to imagine being elsewhere, because at those times there IS no elsewhere.  It’s a lost land.  Another world. Breaking free from that place is almost unfathomable. During those moments of darkness,my thoughts drift to the conclusion that life (in this form) is pointless and empty, and being gone would mean no longer feeling the desolation of the absence of love.  Add to that the vile voice from without, sneering the words “you are unlovable”.  At the same time, I yearn for loving arms to hold me, without judgment over my ridiculous display of ego, while my tears release the poison that somehow got stuck inside me.  Clearly (now that I am collecting my thoughts), the yearning for the external expression of loving kindness is to thwart those acrid words, proving that I am, in fact, lovable.  So yes, I feel the need for an outside source to envelop me, accept me, and let me be me, while I flush the icky stuff out.  Also at the same time, I am tempted to flee and sequester myself from humanity altogether.  I want to hide somewhere alone, curled up in fetal position, and weep until I am strong enough to emerge.  Meanwhile, another part of my brain also derides me for this despicable self absorptive indulgence.  I am well aware that in this place, my ego is running wild, an untamed beast.  I am also fully aware that, logically, reasonably, the balance of positive things in my life so far outweighs any measly negatives, that in reality there is absolutely no shortage of love in my life, and it’s almost inconceivable that I would or could ever get to such a place of despair.  I don’t want to feel like this.  Ever.  And yet I do.

It’s perplexing.  It’s embarrassing.

I got stuck there for a little while yesterday.  I felt it coming on the day before, and tried to power through it with various thoughts and reasonings.  I even went so far as to try the prescription my doctor gave me when I tried to describe this phenomenon of getting stuck once in a while.   In all fairness, the pill did help a little.  I could feel that I had taken something, and I could feel it maybe keep the wave at bay, but it didn’t keep it from hitting.  In fact, I felt disoriented the next morning, and that could be due, in part, to the effects of the medication.  At any rate, the eclipse happened.  I knew it was coming and I didn’t know how to diffuse it.  Bam.

Stage II.  Anger

I come out of it when I get some sleep and rest, and distance myself with a little time, but I noticed this morning that, although the darkness and despair is gone, something else lingers.  It’s like a constipation of the brain.  I’m nearly full up, blocked up, and have barely any margin for throughput, so the slightest inconveniences or irks or frustrations push me to the ragged edge where I feel like I’m gonna blow, and I just want to explode somehow, or smash something, break something, do something, anything, to get this detritus OUT of me.  It manifests as anger.  I start dredging up thoughts of other frustrations or experiences, etc etc etc, and think about how awful so and so was, and how horrible such and such was, then immediately turn it back on myself, because ultimately, I’m the one who made the choices that put me in the situations that resulted in the various unpleasant outcomes.  So then I chastise myself for my poor choices, for wafting through life with my idealistic notions that all people are good and nice and honest and loving and kind, and everyone deserves a chance because who am I to think that I am better than someone, or that someone is unworthy of me –rather than exercise a little bit of common sense and self respect to protect my heart and my soul, for God’s sake.  Ohhhhhh, I’ve already been down this thought path before, and established that I am The Fool.  I may yet come out of this diatribe emotionally intact.  So.  Anger.  Because I am not at liberty to break or smash things, I manifest with tears.  I must be quite the vision, should passersby glance in my car as I’m driving to or from work.  Sobbing, otherwise attractive woman behind the wheel.

Stage III.  Back in the Saddle

I’m glad that I took the time to try to capture these thoughts.  Well intentioned friends and family members may point out that I don’t love myself (enough, not necessarily at all), or don’t respect myself (enough, not necessarily at all), or that I don’t treat myself as though I am complete or whole.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  It’s a whole helluva lot easier to see things from another perspective when you’re on the outside.  I don’t know.  This blog is testimony to my emotional struggles.  I should probably take some time to write about the joys and wins, but I’m generally too busy enjoying and living those days and moments to bother documenting them.  Writing out and working through my struggles helps me get back to my normal self.  I suppose it’s true to say that when I am caught up in a dark place, of course I’m not whole, of course I’m not complete, of course I’m not self-loving, of course I’m not self-respectful.  Which causes which?  If I were whole, etc, would I ever get caught in that dark place?  Or am I whole, except when I get caught in that dark place?

The mere fact that I felt it coming leads me to think that with proper and rigorous vigilance, I could thwart it.  And if that’s the case, maybe I don’t have depression at all.  Maybe I just have an untrained, untamed mind.  And if’n that’s the case, well I’munna beat that thang into submission.

Posted in depression, ego, me
June 2nd, 2015 | 1 Comment »

I’m glad that I wrote about exploitation the other day.  It helped me process thoughts more productively.

Exploitation suggests an offender –the one exploiting, and a victim –the one exploited.  It absolves, somewhat, the one exploited from the responsibility of the situation.  Not that I am advocating transferring responsibility for a situation to someone, anyone, or anything other than myself….

Now that some thoughts have had a chance to mill about outside of the coulda woulda shoulda trap, I’ve finally been able to get somewhere.  Now I can and do reclaim responsibility for all of it.  Maybe I was a victim, maybe not.  Well, that man on the train had no right to invade my space, and that Iranian dude had no right to amuse himself with me in the manner that he did…    ….and that ex boyfriend really had no right to do me while I was asleep.  Had I woken up and gotten involved, well hello, that would be a different matter altogether (what’s better than barely waking and reaching for the one you love, and moving together in union and harmony in a semi conscious state?  How sexy and amazing is that?!), but I did not (wake up or respond in any way), and he proceeded, so yeah, he had no right to do that.  I was curious, truth be told.  Curious as to whether he would proceed or not.  It was a test, I suppose, and he failed….    Anyway.  I am not a victim.  I don’t know why or even how some things happen the way they do.  I am no longer hungry for an explanation for any of it.  I’ve decided to let it all go.  It’s something from the past, and the minute that it became history, it lost its power over me.  I don’t know why it took me almost 25  years to figure that out, though.

I’m learning the value of the now.  The only moment for which I have complete control is the moment that I’m experiencing now.  Now!  I am who I am.  I am who I choose to be.  I am who I want to be.  I can draw from the wisdom that has accumulated through the years and the experiences of other times, and I can choose to let all of the experiences be just that.  Wisdom.  Nothing else.  They can’t bring me down.  They aren’t an anchor, holding me down or holding me back.  I don’t want to be sad.  I don’t want to be angry.  I don’t want to be depressed.  I don’t want to be gloomy.  I don’t want to be hurt.  I have no desire for vengeance.  Besides all that, I’m a firm believer that good things come, always, always, always, somehow, from the ashes and anguish and sorrows and tears.  Always, good things come.  So in addition to that certainty, I now have this revelation, this added bonus, this wellspring of effervescent joy.  This is my moment, my life, this time that I am breathing, this instant.  This is mine!  This is my life!  I’m not going to be duped into allowing the past to steal my present.  No more!! And I’m not going to let the future steal my present either.  While I may have some input as to what my future holds, there is absolutely nothing that is certain.  Nothing except for the now.  My now.  My present.  This is what I have.  It’s all that any of  us has.  I’m claiming it.  Owning it.  It’s MINE!  This is life!  THIS.  IS.  LIFE.

brown eyed girl

I am exactly who, what, and how I want to be in this very moment.  I am good!  I am kind!  I am loving!  I am gentle!  I am strong!  I am smart!  I am capable!  I am resourceful!  I am responsible!  I am lovely!  I am fun!  I am creative!  I am happy!  I am healthy!  I am joyful!  I am alive!

Hello world.  It’s me.

Me!

January 12th, 2015 | 1 Comment »

I’m tired, I’m worn
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes
To keep on breathing
I’ve made mistakes
I’ve let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed
By the weight of this world

And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn

I’m feeling worn today.  As though the myriad fragments of thoughts of recent sorrows and former sorrows are all pooling together and finding their way to the surface, wanting to break through.  I’m feeling like a meltdown is pending.  Or else in progress.

I know that I’m tired, physically, and that a good long sleep would likely make these feelings go away.  Maybe they’re not so large at all, and would be nothing, if I could rest some more and let them drift off to a safe and peaceful place where they can feed my wisdom, but not hurt my heart.

So many of us are working through such struggles.  Some of monumental proportion. Some, not so much, but in their own estimation, they are monumental.  The struggle exists for us all.  Add to that the burden of misperceptions and misunderstandings.  All these unnecessary emotional struggles!

I think about the role I’ve played in other people’s lives.  The things I’ve done to give a helping hand.  Small things.  Big things.  In some ways and at some times it’s been sort of like helping a child learn to swing or ride a bike.  I give them a push, get them started, explain how to pump the legs or pedal the bike, so that they can go forth on their own.  Sometimes a push is all that’s needed.  And sometimes the push does little at all.  If they just move forward on the original momentum without adding their own force of pumping or peddling, whichever the case may be, inertia eventually wins and all things come to a stop.  In real life, with my own kids, in the same example of trying to teach them to swing or ride, I find myself frustrated when they give up and don’t try to propel themselves.  They want the easy road.  Mama, keep pushing!  But I don’t want to push any more.  I want them to learn and become self-sufficient.

In the adult world, I guess the wise thing to do is acknowledge that when another has allowed inertia to set them back to where they were, the consequential struggle isn’t my responsibility or my concern.  It would also be wise not to conclude that my efforts were ever wasted.  I shouldn’t rue the choices I’ve made, because always, in some manner, something positive and good comes.  Even if it doesn’t look like it, or seem possible.   Always it does.  Always.

It’s hard to watch the struggle.  I don’t know why so many people don’t believe in themselves.  What is there that can’t be done?  So much can be accomplished if one just tries.  Maybe we don’t know where to start, or how to start, but if we just try, we can get somewhere.  Maybe it’s not the right direction.  Then adjust.  And maybe that’s not quite right.  Adjust again.  Just keep on.  Almost anything is possible.

Of course, this only pertains to the struggle of managing our own lives in the realm of things that can be controlled.  It has nothing to do with the struggle of coping with things that are dumped on us from who knows where for who knows why.  Like cancer.  Or mental illness.  It’s an unfair battle.  The only thing I can see there is to do, for those who are caught in this kind of struggle, is to fight, and keep on fighting.  My heart aches and weeps for the unfair battles like these that people are thrown into.

I’m struggling with my own job of single parenting.  Wanting to nip things in the bud, and not knowing how to.  Wanting to impart harmony and peace, cooperation and consideration.  Not knowing how.

I’m struggling with my own sense of self.  I know who I am, but I wonder if anybody else does.  I spill out pages upon pages of words that describe my emotional being.  I have this cloud of emotion I’m swimming in right now, and I can’t fathom anybody else being able to understand it, and therefore understand me.  And that adds a sense of loneliness to the whole mix.  But why would it even matter if anybody understood what I feel and why?  This is just a part of me.  It’s my own journey.  It’s mine.  Why would a sense of loneliness even surface?  By definition it’s supposed to be singular.  Because it’s just me, and I am only one.  And that, by extension, makes me wonder how togetherness is possible, when it’s almost impossible to completely understand one another.  Maybe that’s the crux of it.  I want to understand (everyone, everything).  And I want to be understood.  It seems that I want the impossible, therefore the crushing awareness that what I want I can’t have.

I don’t know.  I’m blathering on about I don’t know what.  Today is my departed brother’s birthday.  Probably that has much to do with what I’m thinking and feeling.  He would be 44 today.  I miss him.

And I’m tired.

November 27th, 2014 | No Comments »

It has been a long time since I’ve written about my work.  I maintain a level of ambiguity, so as not to jeopardize my professional life.  Last spring we underwent a massive restructuring, and the announcement came like a sucker punch to the gut.  Unexpected.

that day cometh like a thief in the night…

A year later, doubled over and trying to catch our breath from the first sucker punch, we took another jab.

moving and shaking…

So there we were, in the ring, so to speak, engaged in a fight that we didn’t ask for and didn’t want.  I wasn’t (yet) personally affected, but I could see the writing on the wall.

carrying the weight of a word on her shoulders…

From my perspective, if I take a step back, it looks like corporate leadership behaves like a bunch of kids playing pick up sticks, only we are the sticks.  Throw the lot up in the air, see where they land, and try to piece things back together.  Who gets the most sticks before the stack collapses?  Winner!!!!  What about the remaining stack?  Yep.  That’s us.  That’s where we are now.  Discarded on a whim.

I don’t remember when they made the announcement, but they did.  And lo it came to pass.  The ax did fall.  I don’t recall the exact date, but there is one (May or June 2015), and on that day, the lights will be shut off.  We shall cease to be.

So it’s been a mad scramble.  The ship is sinking and the rats are jumping.

I thought about looking for other work, but decided not to give in to fear and uncertainty, and not to desert my team.  My specialized team consists of only three people, one of whom is new.  Our young padawan, we call him.  We are training him in the ways of the masters.  Ha!  Seriously, though.  My partner IS the master.  He is literally a world expert in his field.  I am the other master, and I am most decidedly not a world expert in that field, but I bring to the table those proficiencies that make our team a complete, high power unit.  We are a little tiny team of three, serving the entire company of thousands upon thousands.  We could be considered a bottle neck, which in business is not a positive thing, or we could be considered a vital asset.  Both are true.  Single threadedness carries a lot of business risk.  If the thread breaks, the business can be severely impacted.  It brings to mind the saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”  Not that the company truly recognizes its vital assets.  I’ve probably blathered on about that elsewhere in this blog.

Even with the leadership making these changes, we are still in business NOW, and we, individually, care about what we do and have a personal sense of responsibility to see things through.  So we have been pressing along, trying to keep afloat amidst the flotsam and jetsam that we are immersed in, simultaneously working on marketing ourselves, making our little niche visible to the echelons so that they will recognize that it would behoove them to preserve our function.  Miraculously, we have succeeded, and we have been given a life raft.  We’ve climbed aboard, soaking wet, and are paddling our way against the current towards the safety of the big ship.

~*~*~*~*~

I am grateful to have a job!  Grateful that I didn’t actually have to hit the streets and look for something different.  At the same time, these many months since the spring of 2013 have been so exhausting.  It’s been like a long and drawn out sickness in which bits of pieces of life connections are dying, and with each loss there is mourning and sorrow.  I’ve spent my life with these people.  This relationship has been thriving for 28 years, and now it’s nearly over.  The goodbyes are so hard.  I walk down the hall and peer into the cubicles and see only a few scattered faces here and there.  It’s empty.  It’s sad.  It’s like gazing upon a hospital ward during a war or a plague, with a few mangled hollow-eyed bedridden people holding on for dear life amidst rows and rows of empty beds left by those who  have departed.

A job is a job, and I can do almost anything, really, so the trauma is not so much about the job itself, other than the huge expectations levied upon us when we are already loaded past most people’s breaking points.  Even so, I’m a performer, and I will perform.  I can do that.  I will do that.

The trauma I am suffering is the loss of life, the life we have spent together for the last 28 years.  There is a lot of life that takes place in that many years.  It’s being forced to say goodbye.  I’ve been dragging my feet, not wanting it to end.  My new desk is thankfully in the next tower, rather than another city, so I’ve had the luxury of dragging my feet over the move.  I’ve been making the transition last as long as possible.  Everything besides my computer itself is moved, but I park my body stubbornly in the spot I’ve inhabited for the last twenty years, just so that I can see the occasional familiar face and hear the occasional familiar voice.  These are my people.  I love them.  Even though we have little to no connection once we leave the office, we are connected in the depths of our selves, from the years upon years upon years of time that we’ve spent together.  But it’s time to cut the cord and it’s time to leave.  I think that next week I will have to occupy the new desk.  I don’t even know how to express how this makes me feel.  It’s the end of an era.  I am a frazzled, emotional mess, and have been for quite some time now.

I’ve done all that I could.  I need to make peace with this and let it go.

It’s been so hard for me, and I don’t really know HOW to make that peace and let it go.  So I’m writing it out, hoping it will help.  Maybe it’s only something that time will ease, the way a scar will ever so slowly fade as it heals.

I don’t know.  But I have to move on and find new joys, rather than remain stuck under this cloud of sorrow.

I am so, so tired.