Thursday, November 29, 2012


    How much sharing is too much? When does it move from sharing to TMI? Days when there are things banging on the inside of my skull, refusing to be silenced until they are released on the world, days such as these I can't and don't really care if I am giving out To Much Information. The alternative is explosive decompression. Which would be messy at best. From the moment I awoke, even in dreams before I woke, Brain has been in full blown panicspaz. Spirit is sliding from the chair and into a puddle on the floor. Body is hanging in there, solid, as usual, but so tired, anemic, and yet all a-jitter with nervous energy. It is not a comfortable state to be out in public. I do have the stoic mask in place, looking in a mirror I look placid and care-worn, but without a flicker of the inner turmoil. This is a good thing, it lets me get through the day without having to explain myself to anyone. But I see beyond the mask, the passivity, the calm demeanor. The mirror hides nothing from me. I can see beneath the skin, behind the eyes, to the chaos, the maelstrom, the tempest. Eyes closed is even more revealing as I tune in to the clamor and cacophony of incomprehensible noise that echoes in a seemingly empty skull. Echo upon echo, until the din takes on a life of its own that can be felt pounding into flesh, coursing through veins and vibrating me to the marrow. I force myself to write, to bring order to the chaos, to make comprehensible the cacophony, an attempt to restore order and calm. To force words into logical sequence, to form solid thoughts from shapeless handfuls of grey matter as an artist works in clay.
    So, is this TMI? Should I, dare I, share so much of the inner workings of me? It feels as if the choice was taken from me long ago, as if my only option is to flay myself open for the world to see in order to regain a modicum of control. To release it all into the universe with the hopes that all will coalesce, evolve from primordial ooze to sentient being. For now, the ooze is in charge, leaking from my ears, spilling out over my life, slowly absorbing all around me. So, flayed, vivisected, excoriated for the world to see, for me to see within myself. It is all I know to do when dissonance drowns ataraxis, when serenity is subjugated by pandemonium, when confusion and bedlam reign supreme. I do what I can, messy as it is.

Caught Off Guard

    I think I knew what was coming after my recent plunge into panic, anxiety, and struggling to put a brave face on life. It was lurking just around the corner, waiting for fatigue to give it a chance to slip in like a grey cat sneaking in the door. It came on feather light feet, stealthy, silent, insidious. It is here now, whispering in my ear, quietly reasserting a cold grip, a malaise, dejection. I know it for what it is, and am usually more alert to its approach. This time it has caught me off guard. It may be the cold, the grey, the wet weather that opened the door a sliver, just enough to let in the frigid fingers of Melancholy. Maybe it is merely fatigue, I have not had a day off, down time, in so long I have lost count. So much to do, so much to see, so little time, so many expectations. I understand the old adage, "burning the candle at both ends." Sometimes I feel as if I am burning it in the middle as well. It is overwhelming. And my spirit pays the price. Brain becomes brittle, over-analyzing the smallest, insignificant details, reading between the lines, seeing dilemma where there is none, feeling hurt by a breeze, loneliness and tears threaten like a roiling storm. It is far easier to stave off Melancholy when I read the signs of its approach. I have so many tricks in my bag, so many workable solutions, remedies, therapies, but they are more a preventative than a cure. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." It is true, and I feel it profoundly at times like this. If I can head off Melancholy, stop it where it lives, lock the door, barricade the windows, then I can regroup easily and return Brain and Spirit to a state of calm. Once inside my skull Melancholy grips me with tentacles invasive and pervasive, brutal and belittling, draining and damaging. Now comes the battle to regain control over my own emotions, sense of self, self esteem, without withdrawing from the world, as is my wont. Yes, I do have weapons to fight the good fight, but having the strength to shoulder them, the willpower to use them, the fortitude keep a brave face, is not easy when tears burn hot and threaten to leak between my lashes. I have to struggle for control, breathe in breathe out, focus, shut out the pejorative whispers. I know I will not plunge to the depths of previous winters, I have too much going right in my life, too many reasons for Melancholy to take an extended leave of absence. I know I am battling my own chemical makeup, my Nature, even my own past, but I am so tired of this particular foe rising from the ashes, even when I know it is weaker than in the past, I am heartily weary of this fight. But as always, I soldier on, let the world believe that everything is okay, that I am okay. I am good at pretending, it is what gets me through each and every episode, pretending until it become truth. I will be okay, I am okay. I'm okay. Really.

Monday, November 26, 2012

No Fear

    I realize that I often scare the shit out of myself. No, not in a scary-guy-in-mask-leaping-from-the-shadows kind of way, but more of an oh-dear-gods-what-was-I-thinking kind of way. I find I often set myself up for grand and epic potential failure. I put myself out there, in far over my head, and just hope to all hell that I will have the moxie to not run screaming to the horizon, or curl up in a fetal position under my down comforter. I don't set out to step outside of my comfort zone, or in some cases leap outside of it. That is never my intention. What seems to happen is my imagination takes off, thinking of all the adventures I want to experience, and then Brain and Body just have to follow along. My imagination takes me far afield. I can visualize things in my mind more vividly than if they were playing out in technicolor and surround sound in a home theater. The film festival in my skull has led me astray, lured me into the fog, nudged me over the edge more than once. It is a frequent trip, actually. And every once in a while it will sink in, what I am doing, where I am going, what I am expecting of myself, and I will freak. I will panic. I will be hit with the knowledge that once again I am stepping up to the plate to have 120mph fastballs thrown at my head. And it scares the holy hell out of me. I am on the cusp of some major shit right now, epic adventures, a leap off the edge into the unknown. I am risking the potential for major failure, not only of my own, but letting others down as well. I am getting ready to embark on a new avocation that is beyond hobby, far beyond a casual fling. I will be pledging my body and spirit, my time and energy, a pound of flesh to be one of a few, select individuals who are willing to be first responders, the ones who run in when all sane people are running out. I become overwhelmed with the reality, the responsibility, of what I am promising. It really does scare the hell out of me when I think how much others will be expecting of me, how others will trust that I have their backs, that I will be there, and be brave and strong. My self doubts assail me, on this and other dreams, hopes, ambitions, objectives, plans and schemes. So much that I want to do, to try, to prove to myself. But reality strikes and I am terrified. Terrified that I will not only let myself down, disappoint myself, but far worse, that I will disappoint others, that I will not make the cut, that I will fail. What to do when panic and fear clutch at my soul? I certainly cannot back out now, so there is nothing left but to keep moving forward. Pretend to be brave long enough that my excitement and enthusiasm can return the fire to my imagination, and then I will be off again. There is no time for fear. So I must just ignore it, and it will go away. Ignore it and it will go away. No fear. Just my imagination.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


    Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, our national holiday commemorating the earliest days of our nation, when the handful of European settlers were saved from starvation by the native people, who were later laid to waste by land hungry Europeans. But, it is a day to give thanks, to spend a day with friends and family, feasting and overindulging. This year led me down a path of reminiscing back to one year ago. Where I was then versus where I am now. Last year, I was trying to buy my little house, and should have been moving during the four day weekend of Thanksgiving. Instead, closing had been delayed, again, and I was furiously packing and cleaning with the hope that I would be moving the following weekend. It was a remarkable stressful time. I was only 2 months out of a long term, toxic relationship, feeling alone, stressed, depressed, anxious, and thoroughly overwhelmed by my life. It was all I could do to keep my head up, and keep moving forward one painful step at a time. One year ago, instead of happily baking for friends and family I was clearing out my kitchen, packing, scrubbing, focusing all my pent up, nervous energy on cleaning everything to perfection. The task of moving was letting me avoid turning my mind's eye inward to the turmoil, pain, anger, frustration, and bitterness that had built to the breaking point. The downside of ignoring such pent up emotions? They do not allow themselves to stay imprisoned and they will break free in a horrific, chaotic, devastating, cataclysmic flood. But that was still a month or two in my future.
    I look back, and see with clarity where I was, how I was coping and marvel at my strength and fortitude. It would have been easy to relapse, apologize, try to make amends and "fix" a relationship that was really damaged far beyond repair. I knew then, as I know now, I could not take that step. "Easy" has never been my style. Granted, not long after, I was trying to make amends, trying to regain the relationship that really only existed in my imagination, because I was so desperately alone, and felt I had no where else to turn. The reality? The relationship I was trying to recapture truly only ever existed in my hopes and dreams, it was never really more than smoke and shadows, promises, vapors, insubstantial. I know this now, as I learn more of reality. As I learn more of myself and what I deserve, what I am capable of, where I am and where I am going.
    This year, Thanksgiving has been exactly that, a time to give thanks for what I have, what I have achieved by strength of character and sweat of brow. Thanks for my family which grows by glorious leaps and bounds, and the love of those around me who truly do cherish me as I cherish them. My life has become a fantastic adventure, that is satisfying, wondrous, exciting, loving, fulfilling. Yes, there are areas that still need work, but life is always a work of art in progress.
    To look back one year, one short year, and see just how far I have come amazes me. Truly, deep down, to the core, stunningly, amazes me. Some would say it is like having woke from a bad dream to find you are safe in your own bed. I say it is more like having fought a long, dirty battle, against greater forces, and won victory after victory on sheer cussedness and determination  even as defeat fluttered around the edges. This was not so simple as waking from a bad dream, and to say so would be doing me a great disservice. I fought and won. Fought hard, so victory has been all the sweeter. For truly, anything worth having is worth the price.
    Now, I sit on the cusp of an even greater year to come. I had long ago dubbed 2012 as "The Year of Win," and it has lived up to that moniker on so many levels and in such a wide realm encompassing all my loved ones. Now, as 2013 nears I am making my To Do List. Life is too short to not make plans, goals, reach for new heights and scheme on epic adventures. 2013 will be rife with adventure.
As I look ahead my To Do List is starting to fill in:
Attend and graduate Fire Fighter Academy
Get Passport, get stamp in Passport
Get SCUBA certified, dive in foreign Country
Learn Rappelling through the Fire District
Compete in Olympic Distance Triathlons
Complete a Half-Ironman
Run a Half Marathon
Do the Portland Tri and Firefighter's Stairclimb on the same day (again) and totally Kick Ass
Climb a Mountain (there are so many nearby to chose from)
Learn to Rock Climb
Flying Lessons
And of course continue to work on my awesome little house, which was a catalyst for so many changes, and for filling me with a solid sense of accomplishment.

I have said it before, and I will say it again and again, because I mean it with all my heart: I Love My Life!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Notes To Self

    As the weather shifts towards wintery conditions, coats are being pulled out of the closet that have not seen the light of day for 8 months. I am inclined to jot down thoughts, quotes, ruminations, while out and about, and shove them into pockets where they become a crumpled wad of insight. Finding these notes, so many months, and an entirely new life later sheds some interesting light into my own dark ages.
    "The problem with chasing the storm is that it wears you down." A quote from a movie character. I don't remember when I wrote this, but I know why it struck a chord. The last few years had worn me down, fighting the good fight, struggling over what seemed to me insurmountable obstacles, and alone, always alone. Which inspired a self revelations, and another note, "I have myself, I need no one else."
    It is all too easy for me to think back on last winter, the cold, grey days that seemed unending. The melancholy that wrapped me in its dark, clammy embrace, refusing to release me. Depression brought on by the sheer, overwhelming nature of major life changes. The birthing pains of a new life and love of self. Days and weeks that turned into months of crying. I lost track of how many days passed without a single tear-less day. And then slowly, oh so slowly, I began to have 24 hours with no tears. Then several days without sinking into the black morass. Soon, crying returned to its regular status of rare and justified. During this phase, my return to sanity, my notes were encouraging, "It is not what we carry with us, but what we leave behind that defines us." "If you do not like where you are, change it. You are not a tree." "I am Me. No excuses. No regrets. Simply, inexplicably Me." "What I want. What I need. What is right for me." And, "I will become who I was meant to be all along."  Yes, it may seem like so much happy horseshit, blithe cliches. But there are times when words can help reinforce vague notions, support shaky ideals, protect the child within. Sometimes we need to be soothed by platitudes, even when self inflicted. We need to be reassured that "Everything will be okay, you will be okay."
    Some of these catch phrases became mantras to ward off demon attacks, and as a way to quiet Brain when it was gibbering and running in circles. Yes, my most often used was nothing more than, "I'm okay. I'm okay. I'm okay..." over and over and over, until I could breathe again. Sometimes, lying alone through the night, staring into the darkness, passing time until I could justify getting out of bed and hitting the treadmill is when my phrase, "I have myself, I need no one else," would pound on the inside of my skull.
    The point of all this rambling, and there was one, is that I find these Notes To Self written last winter, and am made mindful of how far my life has come in a few short months. I have long stopped hanging my hopes on the actions of others, and have taken the helm firmly in my own hand, the mistress of my own destiny. I don't let the failings of others rule my life. I feel as if I am in a whole new world. As if I am a new Me. As if all the jagged shards of my life finally formed into cohesive pieces of the complicated puzzle that is the Life I Deserve. I am piecing together my world, my reality, my own Nirvana. The task is not complete by any stretch of the imagination. It is a work in progress, and will remain so throughout my life. But now I feel as if I have enough pieces in place that I can see the overall picture, with my imagination happily filling in the blanks. Yes I am a work in progress. Life is  work in progress. But my Notes To Self remind me of just how much progress I have made.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Specialize in Weird

    Amazing how a series of unconnected events can skew my reality, derail Brain, and make focusing on even the most trivial of tasks to be an arduous endeavor. This has been a week of skewing. It has shrouded Brain in a preoccupying, pensive fog. Even a quick foray for groceries ends up a rambling, disjointed trip through aisle after aisle, wandering, distracted, dysfunctional. It is possible that the series of unconnected events just happens to coincide with one of my naturally occurring episodes of muddled mental musings. I am the first to admit that Brain goes on vacations with alarming regularity as the sun dips lower on the southern horizon with the approach of winter. Maybe Brain is a Sunbird? One who travels south once the weather takes its inevitable turn into the short, grey, wet days that seem to stretch on for an eternity. Irregardless of they whys and wheretofores, I find myself desiring escape from reality, a chance to hide away and absorb data. There is so much swirling about me, events far beyond my control that still effect my life at a deep level. Not in the negative, mind you, but definitely in the weird. I am well equipped to deal with Weird, even as it skews my reality. One could say that I have specialized in Weird, it seems drawn to me, or I to it. Weird knows that I am accepting and nonjudgmental where Weird is concerned. I do not readily dismiss an idea, notion, concept that ranks high in the Weird spectrum, if anything it makes me more open and willing. But this last week or two has fallen outside of what I would normally perceive as Weird, and into a category that I can only think of as skewed and reality changing. Let me reiterate, not for the negative, at all, but something quite different. Different enough that I do not know how to categorize or name this. I do not like being unable to pinpoint a name, a diagnosis, a definition. To know something's name is to give one power over it, a modicum of control, a path towards better understanding. As it is I feel as if I am floundering about in my own fogged mind trying to lay a hand on the specter that flits about, just out of reach, and almost out of sight. I catch glimpses, believe I may be reaching an understanding, and then it is gone like a wisp of vapor. Is it me? My Brain? Or is it the new reality that seems to be crystallizing around me? Is it the events that are skewing my reality? Or my perception that is doing the skewing? Until I can take hold, and name this corporeal concept I will not know. I think I must sit still, stop wandering the fog, let it press in against my skin, find stillness, watch and wait for events to play out. But waiting, patience. stillness are not in my Nature, foreign concepts, difficult. But I will try, as I specialize in Weird, and try to find understanding.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


    Clarity, a gift and a burden, freedom and prison, wings and shackles. To see the world with clarity can be a beauteous experience. It can also feel like an assault on raw nerves. I see the insanities of those around me, those who are unwilling to admit that they are anything but sane and normal. Is this an easy route to calm? An easy path to feeling sane, despite incontrovertible evidence of crazed behaviors and eruptions of psychotic breaks? I see it happening to others. I see their crazy hiding just beneath the surface like demon possession waiting for the watchful priest to succumb to sleep. Yes, I keep my lunacies on a tight leash as best I can, but I am cognizant of their presence, aware of the warning signs, watchful for the early schisms that can forewarn a pending episode. I watch, carefully, and act accordingly. I possess the clarity of inner vision, insight, awareness that allows me predict impending erratic behavior and shelter myself and others. Does this make me sane? Or does Clarity lie at the heart of an episode? To see what goes on around me, see what others willfully ignore, see the rough beast slouching towards Bethlehem. To be unable to turn a blind eye, it is an assault on my senses, on my sensibilities. And so I watch with horrified fascination, the crazed actions and reactions of others, the downward spirals that I am unable to rectify, unable to mend, unable to halt. In their deluded insanities they are unwilling to accept even the slightest aid, not only unwilling but made hostile by even a hint of assistance. What can I do against odds like these? Nothing. Nothing at all, except to try and protect myself from the eventual backlash, explosion, implosion, psychotic break. But Clarity and Empathy make protection impossible. I will feel the angst, bitterness, pain, hostility, blame, apathy, inertia, feel it all down to my marrow. The best I can hope for is to be solidly grounded enough that it will wash around me like foamy surf, and not knock me off my feet to tumble in the waves, nostrils full of sand and sea water.
    The gift of Clarity makes my world multidimensional, every sense alive to input and stimulation. I taste.touch.smell.feel.see the world with Xray vision, penetrating beneath the surfaces to see inner beauty, radiant life, spirits coalesced and intermingled. I taste the sky, breath in the glory of trees, see the life force of earth, feel the air like a lover's caress. If I open my heart and eyes to my life I am filled to overflowing with the grandiosity, love, warmth. If I can withstand the barrage, hold myself upright and strong, absorb the perfection until I can hold no more, then be allowed to retreat and assimilate. That is the key, selective assimilation, the ability to retreat and process, a chance to let my overworked nerves rest and be at peace.
    Gift or Burden? I choose Gift, the other is the price I pay to live life with eyes wide open, senses honed and vibrant. Is is sanity or insanity? Are my lunacies the result of Clarity? Or is my ability to manage my Lunacies, lessen the carnage, protect those I love, because I see deeply into my own soul? Cause and effect? I do not know, I may never know. What I do know it that Clarity and Empathy are cornerstones of my foundation, my nature, they are a huge part of who I am. For better or worse, Clarity is mine, forever.         

Monday, November 12, 2012

Oh So Alive

    My life keeps propelling me forward at a pace that is nigh on impossible to maintain. Or so I keep thinking. I am awaiting The Crash, burnout, exhaustion, depletion, but so far there is no indication that it will happen. My stamina amazes me. As I race forward, busy, frenetic, sleep deprived, I can't help but feel smug with my ability to keep apace. Just when I think life will slow to a mundane pace, another factor gets tossed into the mix. And I admit, I am loving it. Yes, I am often tired, but manage to keep fatigue at bay through sheer force of will until it is time to crawl into my cozy bed. I am falling behind on the mundane tasks of life, they seem so banal, pedestrian, and common. But they are relevant aspects of life, chores that must be done,  elements of life that are, in reality, essential to my peace and comfort.
    A distinct advantage (or disadvantage, depending on P.O.V.) of life in high gear is that it makes it nearly impossible to sit still for any length of time. I work, workout, get home and find more things to do. I gleefully go until I drop. How long can I go? How far will I get? Will it end? Will I find overdrive? 
    Sometimes I do wish for a few moments of silence, calm, nothingness. To sit still and let life wash around me, warm waves lapping at my feet, soft breeze warm on my skin, eyes closed, listening to silence. Such moments do present themselves, and I taste test them, relish the flavor for a moment, then Body and Brain insist I get up and start moving. There is too much living to be done.
    So I allow life to shoot me forward, breakneck pace, high gear, screaming RPMs. I hang on for dear life, eyes watering, teeth clenched, pulse pounding, adrenaline surging, riotous, exciting, innervating, thrilling. Tiring, true. But, oh so Alive.      

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Managing Demons

    I so often find myself surrounded by negativity, pessimism and defeatism, that it can be nigh on impossible to maintain my eternal optimism. I won't lie, I have my ups and downs. I have bouts with self-doubt, panic, melancholy, mania, low self-esteem. There are times when I want to hide my head in the sand and let the chaos and uncertainty of my world swirl about me ignored. There are days when all I want to do is curl into a fetal position, wrapped in my down comforter, and cry silently into my pillow. Yes, all this and more. But I do not allow myself the luxury of such self-pity, defeatism, sadness. When bleakness threatens, I fight against it with all the weapons in my Bag of Tricks. When melancholy wraps frigid digits around my heart and soul I seek out ways to break the grip of those merciless fingers. I have developed a vast array of weapons, an arsenal, a veritable munitions warehouse, my own cold war missile silos. And I am not at all adverse to pulling out all the stops in a full frontal attack. I choose to be happy. I choose to be strong. I choose to stand up to all the foes that would vanquish my sunny disposition if for no other reason than that Misery Loves Company. I say No. I will not be companion to Misery. True, I struggle against my own inner Demons, my own Melancholy, my own Chemistry. But I am not at the mercy of my nature, and most definitely not at the mercy of the nature of others. We choose our own paths. We can choose to perceive our lives as good, happy, satisfying. Or we can chose to feel the victim of events beyond our control, influenced by those who swirl around us. Yes, we have people in our lives that we must associate with, maintain connections with, that may be the root of animosity, stress, depression. But it is our choice to decide just how much we will allow the actions and reactions, choices and moods of the incidental people within our sphere to effect the spark that is sheltered deep within each of us. I protect this Vital Spark, tend to it, shelter it from storms that rage,   shield it from dark rains that would extinguish it. It is within my power to protect myself from assault, from darkness, pervasive gloom, dark anti-matter. I may not always be able to fully protect myself from myself, but I damned sure can and will use every available skill and tactic at my disposal to protect myself from the demons of others. I will manage my own Demons, thank you very much. But keep your's to yourself.

Monday, November 5, 2012

I Did It

    This year Life seems to be filled with milestones, large and small, sweet and painful, debilitating and healing. As the year progresses the milestones have turned far from the negative, and into the great and positive. I have written of many of the great moments; the birth of the Bright Bean, joining the fire department, weddings, physical triumphs, mental victories. In this, The Year of Win, there have been so many moments of triumph and joy, that I can look back at the long winter and the deep, cold abyss that nearly consumed me, and it feels like a fading dream. My journey to the abyss has become nothing more than a nocturnal aberration, fast disappearing in the morning sun. As I stride forward into my new dawn, new day, new beginning, I let past troubles fall away until they are nothing but dusty cobwebs of faint memories. It seems I find another moment of revelation, another personal victory, with the regularity of the moon. Some great and glorious, others small but filling me with pride. I have come so far in so short a time. As if I were held back as my life moved forward, pulling away, stretching into the future, then released with the suddenness of a catapult. Vaulted forward with eye-watering speed. Propelled with the pent up energies stored, held close to the heart, finally exploding forward in a rush that was not to be denied.
    Another milestone met and passed with ease this last weekend. One that had loomed over me, as a dark pillar, shadowing life. When faced it turned to nothing but ash. It crumbled before me, blown away on the winds of growth and change. It was a sweet moment, a conquest, a triumph, a delicious victory. I felt my own strength and power grow and swell as I faced the colossus and it revealed itself to be a hollow, fragile husk of insignificance. I was truly and deeply amazed at the ease in which this behemoth fell before me, with no aftershock, no painful backlash. I was amazed at my strength and stability.
    This last year has led me along dark pathways, through bleak tunnels, over massive obstacles, but I have come through the victor. Stronger, healthier, saner, stabler than ever before. I did it. Me. Myself. I did it. And I am proud.  

Fall is Here

    Fall is here. Despite the deception of warm days and gentle nights. Leaves are thick on the ground, emitting their pungent spice. Fields are harvested, plowed clean, and either lying fallow or planted with winter wheat. The winter wheat graces fields with bright, tender new growth, an echo of Spring. Livestock show shaggy coats, dappled with mud. Gardens with skeletal tomato plants, maybe the orange glint of a pumpkin forgotten. The sky grey and soft today, mist falling, saturating all, silvering grass with fine spray. Fall is here, time to reflect, restock, relax a bit, look to Winter.  

Friday, November 2, 2012

Up To The Challenge

    Some things must be done alone. Faced alone. Dealt with alone. Maybe it is my nature, I am freakishly independent, and prefer managing on my own most of the time. Yes, this is an ingrained behavior that I am trying to unlearn, but years of practice makes it like a muscle memory. Even now, when there are special people who are more than happy to lend a hand, or shoulder, or strong back, I am more than likely to go it alone. Emotionally, mentally or physically, I go it alone. I know my Introvert nature makes me inclined to go solo more often than not, but I am trying to allow myself to seek assistance when needed. Even so, there really are aspects of my life that I must do alone, for my own sense of self.
    Heading into the greyness of Winter, I am inclined to be filled with a certain sense of dread, isolation and emotional fatigue. Oddly, so far this year I am not feeling as if I am looking down a long, lonely, unlit tunnel peppered with pitfalls, shadowy lurk-lurks, boobytraps, and creepy-crawlies. I feel as if I can see into the Winter with a peace and clarity that has eluded me for an eternity. Part of this comes from facing my demons, beating them into submission and banishing them into their own darkness. Part of it comes from the love and support of friends old and new, kindred spirits that have come into my life this amazing year. Part if it comes from knowing I am facing a Winter of pursuing dreams, chasing childhood wishes, making long held secret desires become reality. My life has been moving towards ripeness, filling out with the succulence of time and age, becoming full-bodied and robust like a well aged brew.
    And still I know I am facing certain journeys and challenges alone. But it is because I choose to face them alone, to prove my strength to myself. To myself, no one else. I know that I am strong, healthy, powerful, but occasionally I am faced with a challenge that inspires me to prove it to myself once again. I have been actively seeking challenges, feats of strength, innervating experiences. Seeking and facing them alone, because I feel I need to. I have long struggled with the difficulties of being an Introvert in an Extroverted World, feeling outcast, stranger in a strange land, alien, awkward, the outsider. It has made so many simple things be difficult, painful, frightening, even terrifying. I am learning to face these challenges, rise to the occasion, prove to myself that I am not to be held captive by my own nature. I push beyond my fears, quell the panic, approach my fears with a calm facade. "You are what you pretend to be, so you had better be careful of what you pretend to be," Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. And so I pretend to be calm, self-assured, relaxed, comfortable, and it becomes so. It becomes my reality. I am what I pretend to be. I make this happen because I face terrifying challenges alone, proving my strength to myself. To myself, and no one else. It is how it must be, how I must do things. It is my nature to attack solo, to overcome, to learn, to grow, to become stronger with every struggle. I am stronger, healthier and more stable than I have been in an eternity, and I am up to the challenge.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


    Where do I go from here? The options seem wide open, and yet I am limited by reality. I pursue childhood dreams with reckless abandon, excitement an ambrosia filling me to overflowing. I lead with my heart, throttle wide open, the risk of crashing a delightful innervation. Brain is roiling with ideas. Body surging with energy to burn. Life is propelling me forward. Delirious. Enticing. Alluring. But reality is flagging behind. I am pursuing dreams, but my reality has yet to catch up. My day to day life is still a struggle, a battle against dark forces that try to drag me down with the mundane, the banal, the tedious. I want to cast aside the frustrating realities that hold me down. Cast them aside so I can fly. I stand, feet on the ground, eyes to the sky, the dream of flight as fresh, firm, pungent  juicy and raw as a sun warmed tomato. I can see/taste/touch/smell the freedom of flight as a tangible force. I want to bite into life and let the juices dribble down my chin. I know I can fly if I can lose the fetters of reality. I need to break loose of the shackles of tedium. I need to find a release from the mundane workaday world that drains me of time, energy and creativity. Life has so much to offer. I see the potential, I see my potential, as a living entity striving to grow and flourish. I watch with enraptured eyes the pulsing, verdant growth. I will nurture it, protect it, cherish it as I wait for it to reach fruition. Until then, I shall keep looking upwards, feeling the wind, flexing my wings, waiting for the shackles to fall away. I am ready, eager, for the freedom to fly. I am ready for flight.