Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013, Winding Down

    Hah! I made the conscious decision to neither go out and party for New Year's or stay home moping. How, you may ask yourself, can she not do one or the other? Easy-peasy, just take matters into my own hands. From the moment I got off work I raced around accomplishing small errands that lead to greater things. Some quite mundane: hauling loads of stuff to the dump and Goodwill to help free myself of clutter. Others, still mundane but slightly more creative: Hit Home Depot for a hallway light fixture, semi-gloss paint to freshen the molding in my home, and a sample tile to re-do the bathroom floor, and hit the grocery store for delicious, nutritious, delightful food to fuel the amazing engine that is Me. Then I hit the pool for an epic swim: Three miles; 107 Laps = 5350 Yards = 3.039 Miles = 4.89K. If I would have known I was about 100 meters shy of swimming a 5K I would have done 3 more laps... Next time.
    There is a deep sense of satisfaction to be found in even minor personal achievements. Simple things like clearing the clutter from my life, hauling it away, simplifying, calming the chaos of my personal space. Also, having the materials on hand to work on my long To-Do List. I have a To-Do list that covers half of my refrigerator. I'm not kidding. A list that I have not made much headway on this last year or so. I worked so hard the first six months that I was in my little house that I burned myself out. I needed to take a break from always being the responsible adult, with some project always underway, needing my attention, taking me away from being able to just go have fun and play. Now I want to find the middle ground, finish a few of the projects hanging over my head. Top on the list are some of the electrical and lighting issues plaguing my house. Of course, when one is in Home Depot, one can't just walk out with the one thing that was on the original list, there are so many materials to lure in the pie-eyed do-it-yourselfer. And now I am on a vendetta against clutter and chaos, I am sorely tempted to tear out the manky rug in my living room.
    But what has really left me feeling accomplished tonight is my swim. Honestly. It was a helluva thing. It is said that a 3 mile swim is the equivalent energy output to a half-marathon. I believe it. I didn't sleep well last night, not that  have been sleeping well on any night lately, so I was tired when I got to the pool at 4:00. The first mile was tough, and my goggles didn't want to hold a seal, so I kept having to stop and adjust them. It didn't help that my left shoulder and right elbow were giving me grief. But I knew I would swim until I either hit my goal, or had to give up due to injury. After the first mile it got easier, I settled into my I-can-do-this-all-day pace, and just swam. Half the time my eyes were glazed over and nearly closed,  the chaos in my head calmed down to peaceful murmuring, and I just swam. Yes, by the end I was feeling the fatigue in my arms and shoulders, but I kept good form, and swam long and strong clear through the final lap. It felt great. Beyond great, amazing. To know I can set a goal, and push myself hard, without any outside influence, and no reward other than the knowledge that I can do it, gives me an inner peace that is unmatched. 2 hours and 20 minutes of steady swimming, with minuscule breaks to tweak goggles or take a mouthful of honey water. It was totally cool.
    Now home, with a fire crackling in the wood stove, a belly full of homemade chicken pupusas piled high with fresh guacamole, a cup of rosemary and mint tea at my elbow, muscles still tingling from my workout, my beloved dog snoozing at my feet, and a cat draped across the back of my chair purring loudly, I am content. As 2013 winds down and quietly passes, I can look back over the year and see my triumphs. I had declared 2013 as The Year of Grand Adventures, and then made it be so. I attended and graduated Firefighter Academy as Firefighter 1, passed the Emergency Medical Responder course to become a certified First Responder, learned to drive a fire engine (which is totally epic, by the way), got a job at the Harley-Davidson dealership, ran a multitude of small road races from 10K to 10 miles, an obstacle course race, several adventure runs, two trail half-marathons, swam countless miles and overcame my phobia of open water to the point that swimming in The Cove became my escape from the world, cycled hundreds of miles on my dear Joshua, trained hard day after day, and followed the number one rule of Ironman training; Train Every Day. All the training culminated in one fabulous, magnificent day, when I completed my first half-Ironman race, but in reality, I enjoyed the journey as much as I enjoyed the destination. I love to train. The most astonishing, exhilarating adventure of 2013 was being on the first engine in on a 4 alarm fire, getting to man the first attack line on a massive structure fire, and knowing that our district kept a tragic structure fire from becoming a devastating, deadly conflagration. 2013 was epic.
    Yes, there were disappointments and defeats, but there always are in life. I choose to look past those, count them up to "lessons learned," and move on. It is my victories that I see in my highlight reel, victories that are mine and mine alone. Triumphs won by sheer determination, stubbornness, and my own desire to chase after my dreams. In 2013 I reached for the stars, and found myself with armloads. 2014 will be a continuation of journeys started, the excitement of journeys yet to begin, and the thrill of new beginnings. 2014 The Year of New Beginnings.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Out With The Old

    Tomorrow is New Year's Eve, one of my very least favorite holidays. Yeah, it's cool to get New Year's Day off, but I don't get paid for it, and won't have tales of epic debauchery to make up for less money on the next paycheck. I have become increasingly disillusioned with New Year's, it is another opportunity to feel like there is something, or someone, lacking in my life. The big hoo-haw over getting kissed at the stroke of midnight hasn't been in the cards for me in a very long time. Last New Year's at least I was at a party, and had a date, but I felt out of place, alone in a crowded room, and I don't remember there being any epic midnight kiss. This year's plans have gone askew, granted it is now apparent that they were only plans in my imagination, a fantasy to be played out in short skirt and tall boots, but it seems the scheme was one sided. Oh sure, I have been invited to several parties, and have played out scenarios in my head, all of them with me totally rockin' the short skirt and boots, but all end with me standing alone at the stroke of midnight, feeling out of place, alone in a crowd. So, in typical introvert fashion, I have made my Out-With-The-Old-And-In-With-The-New Plan. I am off work early tomorrow so the first stop is the dump. Intriguing, yes? I have my truck loaded with detritus and clutter, garbage and chaos, all to be left at the county dump, and the Goodwill donation site. Nothing like clearing the unwanted from hearth and home to make way for New Beginnings. Then I am hitting the pool. I am going to swim until I ache. I will have three solid hours at the pool, and plan on swimming three miles. That will be my longest swim to date, and according to those who know these kinds of things, the energy output equivalent of running a half-marathon. I think that is a great way to end 2013. Then I will come home to the one who loves me with every fiber of his mighty heart, Hugo, my big, lunkhead mutt. He is one who will never be "done" with me, cast me aside, let me slip away, or be just "not that into it." Yes, feeling a bit lonely and bitter tonight, which has been my traditional New Year's feeling for over a decade. Tomorrow though, I will purge chaos, both material and emotional. I will swim until the ache in my muscles makes me forget the ache in my heart. I will come home to my tidy little house, and adoring dog. I will relax over good food and hot rosemary tea. And if I have the fortitude, I will do some much needed soul searching, take my heart in my hands and examine it for damage, find it strong and worthy and return it to my sleeve, where I always wear it. Out with the old, in with the New Beginnings.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

All Things All At Once

    It's not one thing or another, it's all things all at once. That always seems the way of it. One thing at a time I can face down and manage, but when it seems to come from all sides I meltdown. I realized this after a long conversation with my beloved eldest son, who is currently living nearly as far away as he could possibly be and still reside in the continental USA. We hadn't talked in quite some time, and to say I miss him would be like saying Alexandria had a decent library. After we talked I felt a calm restored to my soul that had been missing for a bit, and I realized that the angst of not knowing how life was treating him had been weighing heavy on my heart. Add to this the strain of long hours at work, the pressure of the holidays, cold weather, car problems, too much month at the end of the money, recent heartache and the self esteem bashing that goes along with it, and abject loneliness all piling up during the darkest days of the year, and I am set up for a cataclysmic crash. The key is to see all things all at once, separate them, understand them, and deal with each in its own way. I have gotten better at this over the last few years, having spent so much time flaying myself open in an attempt to understand and mitigate cause and effect. I was told recently that I think too much, over-analyze everything, and my first reaction was a desire to apologize and change. Apologize? Change? That is like asking the tiger to apologize for her stripes, and change them to spots. It ain't gonna happen. I am who I am. I have to remind myself of this, especially at times like these. I am who I am, no apologies, no changing. Yes, I do try to modify behaviors that I know are not healthy for me, and I have done this quite well over the years. One behavior that I have tried to change is my desire to make everyone happy, even at the expense of my own happiness and sanity. I can be too compliant, to malleable, shaping myself to fit whatever I think is expected of me, accepting blame when it is not mine to accept, apologizing. This is one trait that is fabulous in the workplace, as I can fit into nearly any setting, blend in, become "one of the guys." But it is not a great trait out in the real world. Sometimes I feel like a schizophrenic chameleon being forced to run across a multitude of colors and patterns, trying to shift my coloring to blend with each one, until Brain wants to implode, Body is exhausted, and Spirit feels wrung out like a manky dishtowel. I have gotten much better over the last few years, though I catch myself sliding back into my chameleon role when I feel alone, lonely. I find  myself wanting to say, "But I can change..." Yes, I can, but I won't. Not this time. Not again. I have spent too many tears over the past few years, bartering. Bartering away what makes me unique, offering to lose my stripes. Being malleable is blessing and curse, like that super power no one really wants. I would much rather be Wolverine, unbreakable, tough, super healing powers, bad attitude, nearly invincible.
    But, I digress. I had not meant for this to be a rant about my malleability. Funny the roads my mind goes down the moment I peel open my skull and start to tinker with the contents. All things all at once, with a straw that breaks the camel's back, that is actually where this was supposed to go. Having a talk with my son removed enough of the burden that I have regained some sense of balance, an ability to shoulder my load once again, instead of wanting to just drop it and sit in the middle of the road weeping. Speaking of balance, we all know that you can lift and carry so much more if you can balance the load. A good portion of my balance comes from finding and holding on to a strong sense of self. Knowing who I am, understanding my own nature, remaining true to myself. If nothing else, I know, I have to remain true to myself.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Making Sense

    I come so close to wanting to turn this into a weepy, woe-is-me, pity party. Days like today. I want to write, words are ricocheting around inside my skull like essays on crack. Thoughts, emotions, pain, rolling around in a molten morass too thick to pour out into a comprehensible stream of consciousness. So I sit, staring at the black and white of my keyboard, typing and erasing, typing and erasing, trying to make sense of the mess. There is no sense, really. And I tell myself I should just stop trying, stop trying and move ahead. Move on. Get back to finding my own path, my own life, my own reality, my own true reality instead allowing myself the luxury of hoping, wishing, dreaming of living a life that seems meant for all others in the sphere of my little world. Once again, I think my path does not resemble that of other people, try as I might, I keep finding myself alone, in the shadows, forging my own way through the brambles that seem to grow up around my feet. It is okay, I am not afraid, it is a path I am quite familiar with. I wonder why I even try to walk other paths, paths of light and ease, companionship and trust. As delightful as those easy paths appear to be, they are not my reality, they are fantasy, smoke and mirrors, on them I am a stranger in a strange land. Always, I come back to my narrow, single track path, nearly too narrow for myself as I feel the tugging of tendrils of underbrush growing in the shade, definitely no room for two. I walk the narrow path, through the shadows, in the deep silence of solitude. So soundless the air is a pressure on my ear drums, and I can hear the blood coursing through my veins, hear my pulse pounding, and no voice is there to break the silence. I know I can find peace in the solitude, calm in the quiet, ease in the shadows, if I can only sort through the chaos inside my own head. So I write, or attempt to. I spill words across the page, meaningless, incomprehensible, blatherings of a fool. I pick through them as an archaeologist sifts through soil, hoping to find the smallest tidbits of truth, sanity, stability. I sort through my brain, knowing that somewhere within the cacophony is balance, peace, serenity. If I can only make sense of it all.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Keep Moving Forward

    Funny, when I convince myself that the voices are merely my demons, whispering  falsities, scheming to drag me down into melancholy, it turns out that the voices were truly my own insights into truths that were hiding in plain sight. The nuances, so subtle as to fool the naked eye, did not fool the inner eye. My inner eye saw with clarity, but my mind would not pay heed. This has happened often enough in the past, and my writings bear this out. I have gone back and read, gone back in time and listened to my own scrambled ramblings, and seen the foreknowledge that lay in black and white for all the world to see. I have pondered this before, musing to myself, is it prescience? Am I foreseeing? Or am I writing a script that I will unconsciously play out over time? Do I somehow manage to manipulate my life to fit into some scattered idea of what is bound to happen? My writer's imagination manufacturing worst case scenarios, then following the notion, step by step, until what once seemed a paranoid fantasy becomes a foregone conclusion? I can't imagine that I am that clever, that manipulative. It is far more reasonable to conclude that I am just optimistic, naive and gullible, but deep down inside I know that my trusting nature is just leading me along the garden path, setting myself up for another failure. Each time, as I look around at the shambles my gullibility has brought about, I wish I could be less trusting, more guarded, more reserved. But I can't. It is not my nature. I can't hold myself back, keep myself in check, be the responsible grown up. It is not my nature to take it slow and cautiously. I am not reserved. I think this is where and how I fail. Leap before I look, again. I did see it coming, but had convinced myself that it was only my insecurities and rampant imagination at work. But no, it was reality. Reality sucks. So here I sit, in nappy, leopard print housecoat, rosemary tea at my elbow, shoulders aching from a punishing swim that was an attempt to leave problems in the pool, belly full of ridiculously healthy food instead of the rum and chocolate for dinner that had sounded like a solid plan earlier today. Here I sit, pouring out incoherent ramblings in an attempt to wrap Brain around the fact that I am alone again. Alone again, naturally. I will say, this time is a bit less painful, mostly because I have tangible defenses and remedies already actively in play. I have my training, and that keeps me level headed, and doped up on endorphin and dopamine. There have, and will continue to be, bouts of weeping. I can't help that. But I feel solid, stable, secure. I am not sure why, or if it will last, but for the moment I am okay. I have yet to let myself stop moving, or let Brain dwell too long over what I have lost. Okay, that is incorrect, because what I thought I had was not reality, so I imagine it can't be lost, but I still feel the loss, reality or fantasy.
    Today has been rough, I won't lie, but the actuality is that it changes very little of what I have been moving towards. I still feel that I am at the dawn of new beginnings, it is just that some things end before new things can begin. And that hurts. As well as alters some of my hopes and dreams. But it will not keep me from moving forward, taking on new challenges, reaching for new stars, I still refuse to settle for the mundane, the ordinary, the plebeian. I am well down the path of a journey that has taken me to some interesting places physically, mentally and spiritually, and that will continue as planned. I am on a path to bring together Body, Brain, and Spirit into an invincible, unstoppable force. This has not changed. If anything today's events have solidified my resolve to attain balance, inner peace, and calm. I will not let myself be beaten down by woes of the heart. But I do need to learn to stop leading with my chin.
    For now, tonight, I will try to suppress the wailing of my heart, at least long enough for me to get some sleep. If I can just hold my heartache at arm's length for a few days, then when I am ready to deal with it, it should have cooled down from a fierce pain, to a dull ache. Until then I will keep moving ahead, working Body until Brain and Heart are quieted. I can do this. It has happened before. I am good at being alone. Alone again, naturally.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hot and Cold.

   As always, this time of year, I never know from day to day just where I will land. Oddly, of late, it seems as if Body has taken over from Brain the task of running hot and cold. Literally. It is as if Body has shouldered the bulk of the burden by fluctuating wildly from feverishly hot to chilled to the core. Frequently making me frantically shed clothing in an attempt to dump heat into the atmosphere before I am consumed in an inferno. Then, as suddenly, I am cold to the touch, hands icy, joints stiff with cold. It has given me an excellent physical focus for the insanity that often lurks about the edges, quivering in my peripheral vision, soughing in the shadows, whispering unintelligibly from just over my shoulder. In the night, instead of being roused by demons, I am rousted by the urgent need to kick off blankets and expose sweat drenched skin to winter's frigid night air, then to toss and turn, feeling heat emanating from me in near visible waves, until I cool enough to drop back into restless slumber. Wakening again, cold, shivering, to huddle under the blankets, alone, lonely, with no source of warmth to soothe Body and Soul.
    Through this all, I am fighting to remain balanced, centered, calm. For the most part I have things well in hand, but some days, some days, like today, are harder than others. It is when out of the depths stir the feelings I had thought long buried, things too strong to remain buried for long, those feelings of my Strange Aloneness. Those moments, hours, days, when I feel at odds with the world, an outcast, misfit, stranger in a strange land. Try as I might, it seems as if there is no place in the world that I truly fit. Always the loner, the hermit. By choice or consequence? Nature or necessity? I have wondered this often enough in the past. Am I so alone because I don't fit in? Or because I throw up bulwarks to protect myself? Or am I just unworthy? Or am I just sleep deprived and worn out, making every internal dialogue that much more dramatic? But it seems as though when I do steel myself to extend a hand, to ask, to allow myself to need, that it goes unanswered, or ignored, and then I feel more alone than ever before. I open myself up, allow a crack in the armor, lower my defenses, and just find myself alone, standing in a field, feeling vulnerable, melancholy, lonely. So is it just easier, safer, to retreat to my hermitage, my solitary confinement, my fortress of solitude.
     Tonight I find myself  retreating to my armory, repairing the chinks in my armor, barring the windows, bolting the door. I have pulled out many of the weapons at my disposal to fight off the melancholy that lurks in the night, just beyond my stalwart walls. I have a slew of weapons, amassed and honed over the years, years of battling the same enemy that comes at me with different visages. Tonight it comes in the body of loneliness, this melancholy of mine, and my strongest weapon against it is the reminder that Alone and Lonely are not one and the same. I am alone, but that does not equate to being lonely. Or so I tell myself. Repeatedly. And now, as I wrestle with such nuances, Body comes to the rescue, distracting me with a flush of hellish heat, so strong my skin feels sunburnt and fiery. I am even beginning to flush, looking the part of one who has stood too close to the fire for too long. Shedding clothes between sentences, I am suddenly distracted from whatever morose maunderings have been wreaking havoc on delicate Brain. Hot and cold, better for Body than for Brain. Once again, Body to the rescue.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Dawn Of New Beginnings

    Once again I feel on the verge of new beginnings. I am always trying to keep moving, moving ahead, growing, changing, challenging myself. It is a journey that began a few years back, after years of letting myself coast through life, taking it on the chin, being led about by situations that I told myself I had no control over. Then I took control. It was not easy, but not nearly as hard as I had imagined in my mind for those years. Now, I am so far removed from the person I was then, yet somehow the person I used to be, and more of the person I want to be. I strive, always, to be a better person in Mind, Body, and Spirit. Every day I hope that I can make one small step towards becoming the person I know I should be, will be. I have set challenges for myself, material, physical, mental, emotional. And met them. I own my own home, am a firefighter and drive a fire engine, am a triathlete and completed a half-Ironman, I am in the best condition of my life physically and mentally. All this in two years. Not too bad. Yet I still know that there is so much more to be done, challenges to set and meet, improvements to be made. Although I know that perfection is impossible, I yearn to be as near it as I can, in my own imperfect way. Perfectly imperfect, or imperfectly perfect.
    Even with all I have done of late, I want more. I refuse to settle for the mundane, the easy, the plebeian. I am not one for New Year's resolutions, I never have been. But with the ending of this year, and the dawn of 2014 just a few weeks away, I am mindful of what I want to do, and where I want to be next year. The last 18 months have been a time for me to work diligently on the physical, and now that is such standard routine that I can afford to shift my focus a bit without concern that I will slack off in any way. As a matter of fact, I am already setting new goals, and instigating the training plans to achieve them. But this coming year I will turn my attentions inward, to continue my path towards mental and spiritual enlightenment and balance. I know that I can't achieve all I wish to without Brain and Spirit being totally onboard with Body. To move ahead I need to quiet my demons, hush their negative, belittling commentaries, banish them to a far off cavern where they will be unlikely to ever interfere with my dreams and plans. This has been a heavy burden for me over the years, those naysaying voices in my head that try to convince me that I am a failure, second rate, girl on the side, from the wrong side of the tracks, a nobody that would not be missed. I know that no matter what achievements and successes I may enjoy, until I can silence the demons, I will never be able to think of myself as successful, in any way. So, this is my goal for 2014, to merge Brain, Spirit, and Body into an unstoppable force, a vehicle that will take me wherever I wish to go. I will find balance and peace, calm and quiet, strength and power. I am on the verge, my feet are heading down this path, towards new beginnings, new challenges, new victories, my imperfect perfection.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


    Though I have found it in my heart to forgive, I cannot manage to forget. My own self esteem has been shattered so often I realize that it is brittle and easily cracked. I try to remain solid, strong, impenetrable, but when my heart thaws and opens up I become vulnerable again. I had thought that with acceptance and forgiveness I would find inner peace, and at times I have. But too often there is turmoil, fear, doubt, insecurity. The result of so many scars. Yes, I am proud of my scars, they show that I am a survivor, but scar tissue can be fragile and easily torn. I do my best to protect these scars, shelter them, cradle them tight against my chest, keep them from harm. But it is not my nature to remain closed off, cold, hard. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I do not hide my emotions well, except for the painful ones, those I hide very well indeed. There are moments when painful emotions will damn near bring me to my knees, but I bottle them up, stuff them down my own throat until I nearly choke. I don't want people to think me unbalanced, fragile, insecure, damaged, flawed. It is so much easier when people think I am intimidating, tough, invulnerable. But to open up, be myself, relax, allow the inner me to be seen, and hopefully understood, is almost more than I can manage. It is terrifying. My past does not give me great hope that sharing the real me will end in anything but the need for damage control. Am I fatally flawed? Not enough? Too much? For once, just once, I would like to be just right, enough, the one. I know it is the darkness and chill of winter speaking, channeling cold, dark thoughts through me like a charlatan soothsayer speaking in tongues. But winter or not, I fight the urge to hide away, armor my heart, close myself off, protect myself. But I won't. It is not my nature, truly. Instead I will flay myself wide and await what will come. Trembling with fear of what may come, but knowing that someday I will be enough. Someday.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Me, Right Here, Right Now.

    Today was a series of events, small snapshots of happy, reminders of joy, tasty tidbits of life. Throughout my day I was reminded of how fortunate I am to be me, right here, right now. My day was a series of positive interactions with the people that surround me. From the everyday "good mornings," simple smiles from coworkers, jokes, teasing, light banter, to the crazy adorable little towhead shopping with her big, biker daddy as he let her make her own selections, paying with dollars from her little, black leather, studded purse. Her seriousness during the purchase, him gently coaxing, yet allowing her to be "in charge," was a tender reminder that there are sweet, kind people out there, everywhere, in all shapes and sizes. It was a dark, gloomy, typically rainy fall day here in the glorious Willamette Valley, rain pounding on the metal roof, and sheeting down the windows. At one point, my my coworker comes bursting out of her office into my workspace, points at the small, high window behind me and yells, "Look! The Sun! Oh my god!" Then scampers back to her office giggling. I turned, the sun was beaming, and I had to laugh. Such interactions are invaluable in times such these, times when the whole world seems rife with chaos, and teetering on the brink of a global abyss. For years, I have been saying, "In times like these we need to be kind to each other." But for so long I was in an environment where it seemed I was the only one who made the effort. Now my life abounds with people who believe in the power of kindness, the power of laughter, the power of love.
    To be me, right here, right now, living in the moment, feels as if I have "arrived." Arrived at a life that I have known should be mine, could be mine, would be mine. A life I have been working steadily towards for what sometimes feels like an eternity. I am not saying my life is perfect. There are certainly days when my demons come out to play. There are days when I have fears and doubts, but they are few, and not very powerful these days. Sure, I could be making more money, but I make enough. Sure, my life could be a bit tidier, but it is tidy enough. During the week I work with people who make me laugh. Drill night I am surrounded by the tightknit brotherhood that has welcomed me with open arms, who make me laugh. My family is happy, healthy, loving, and they make me laugh. Weekends are spent in a dreamy haze with the one I love, who makes me laugh. My life is full of love and laughter, what more could anyone want? Honestly. I am so fortunate to be me, right here, right now.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Brain Unchained

    Brain Unchained. A writer's imagination is both blessing and curse. It is a curse in that I have all too often been able to imagine the progression of events from beginning through to an inevitable, and tragic conclusion. I have yet to discern if this is prescience, logic, imagination, or if I am merely living up to my own expectations. On the flip side of this, I have a rich life going on inside Brain. Thoughts ricochet around inside my skull like hyperactive four year olds penned into a small room and cranked up on sugar and caffeine. Some days my thoughts are organized into lucid essays. Some days they are random, scattered, scrambled, chaotic, beautiful, and highly entertaining. Other days Brain is haunted and taunted by demons whispering disparagement, discouragement, deprecation. The demon days let Brain rampage about the delicate terrain of my psyche, crushing, smashing, damaging my fragile ego with unfounded fears. Even on the demon inhabited days Brain wants to compile thoughts into tidy essays, assessments, analysis. On the demon days my imagination is the curse, but my writer's mind is the blessing as I dissect, analyze, study, flay Brain wide open, and turn scrambled dissonance into comprehensible composition. This has saved me many a day. Brain runs gibbering in circles, caught in the hamster wheel craze of fear, doubt, anxiety, and panic, when the writer steps in and forces those slavering thoughts into logical order. Amazing how the cause and cure for Brain Unchained are truly one and the same.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Only Winter

    I am glad of my hat today, so I can hide the vulnerability I know must be so apparent in my eyes to anyone who bothers to look. I know what it is. It is fear. Fear of the encroaching winter with its cold, grey days, long frigid nights, and the demons that seem to thrive in such a climate. Reminding me too easily of past winters that were cold, dark, and achingly lonely. Fear that I may have said too much, or too little. Fear that I am heading down a path destined to circle me right back to where I was before, back to my strange aloneness, my solitude. Fear that history will repeat itself. I fight the urge to flee, retreat, hide, protect myself. I feel a chink opening in the armor I have worked so hard to construct, allowing my vulnerability to rise to the surface, leaving me open to a coup de grace.
    Brain assures me that the fears of today are merely vapors rising off the surface of fatigue, sleeplessness, restlessness. Brain knows how easily I become fragile, brittle, vulnerable, especially at this time of year, and even more so when I have started to inch my way out on a limb. Brain has kept me reined in quite well these last few months, despite my Leap Before I Look nature, urging caution, maturity, some iota of restraint. Maturity and restraint, it almost makes me laugh. But it has not been easy, and is likely a causal link between restlessness and fatigue, as I try to do too much in too little time.
    As is my nature, I flay myself open, looking for forensic evidence, the root of my angst. Honestly, I cannot readily identify the cause.  As always, there is some stress to life, but it is negligible. I am content with myself, happy with myself, not reliant on anyone else to reach a state of bliss. Brain, Body, and Spirit are all healthy and happy. I am not looking down the barrel of a long, cold, winter alone, instead I have found a possible kindred spirit, Heart is happy. So what then? Everything is falling so neatly into place, smooth and sweet.
    Is it just the coming of the cold? Could it be so simple a trigger? But the Cold reminds me so much of my first winter in my little home, when the nights were freezing, and I was struggling to fight clear of the abyss that nearly claimed me. Cold, dark, alone, exhausted, tormented by demons. I begin to think that my fear is linked to the cold, fear of finding myself returned to that bleakness, PTSD being triggered by cold hands and feet. But I am much more than I was then; more confident, more self assured, more resilient, stronger. Since then I have reclaimed my sense of self, my  integrity, my sense of self worth. I have healed myself, and come through scarred but strong, solid, balanced. If it is just the cold, then there are remedies for that; a blazing fire, hot tea, warm hands, warm heart. My fear is unfounded, it is not the abyss looming, it is only winter.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


    Ssshhhh. Be very still. My demons are stirring. I hear them, restless, drowsy murmurings, soughing, unintelligible whispering. I feel them skritching at Brain with icy talons, poking Heart with bony fingers, blowing on Spirit with dank breath. Familiar little bastards, with their familiar little games. If I am calm, quiet, still, then they may fall back asleep, return to somnolence, leave me be. So be still my heart, be very still.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Lead With My Chin

    Like a punch drunk boxer, I lead with my chin. It is a fatal flaw, one that I can't seem to train myself out of, no matter how I self-coach. It does go hand in hand with my leap-before-I-look personality and impetuous nature. I wade in, head high, fists up, heart pounding, waiting for the knock out punch, hoping I can deflect it. I had vowed that I would protect myself better this time, keep my defense strong, chin down, eyes up, lead with my left. Instead, here I am, chin high, misty-eyed, heart on my sleeve, Spidey-sense tingling a warning that I am about to get clobbered. But do I back down? Throw in the towel? Beat a hasty retreat? No. I duck and feint, tell myself that a little fancy footwork will get me through to the next round, suppress rising panic. I often feel like I am in the wrong place at the wrong time, that I shouldn't even be in the ring, but here I am, shaky, queasy, nervous, in over my head. Not that long ago I had vowed that I was done with the whole thing, I was too battered, too drained, too often sucker-punched. But I am the ragged, old fighter that keeps thinking that all I need is one more chance to prove myself a winner, the champ. One last chance to be on top of the world. It is the eternal optimist in me. "You lead with your heart, strong and true, loyal to a fault." Lead with my heart, far more painful and potentially devastating than leading with my chin, but the only way I know. The punch drunk boxer, battered and scarred, yet defiant and stubborn. It is the only way I know. Terrifying as it is, I lead with my chin.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Custom Build

    I am beginning to view my life as a custom kit. A box full of parts to be sorted, polished, fit together, sometimes retooled to fit, sometimes discarded all together as damaged or just plain wrong. It has been a long, arduous, knuckle busting build. At times I think that the fates have tossed in random pieces, just to watch me wrack my brain trying to make something fit that really just doesn't belong. And I know the fates have stolen a piece here and there, letting me search fruitlessly until I come to the realization that I will either need to do without, or make shit up. And time and time again, I think I have all the pieces laid out in logical order, ready to be wrenched together into the masterpiece I know it will be, when someone comes along and upends my workbench, scattering the pieces of my life all over the concrete floor. So I start over, laying pieces out, polishing, beating out dents, searching for loose screws and lost bolts. I really feel like I have most of the pieces at hand. Some are solid, oiled and ready, already working for me. Other pieces I am holding, turning over in my hands, polishing up the rough spots, eager to see how well they fit. Some things slide into place with ease, others need a little body English. I think I have discarded most, if not all of the pieces that weren't meant to be, though I am sure I will find more tucked into corners, or dropped suddenly into my lap. Yes, there will always be pieces to add, tune up, change out, but I think my custom build is starting to look real sweet.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Old Man Dog

    I lost another of my furred housemates today. It was the funny Old Man Dog I have been fostering since I had to have my beloved Tonks put to sleep. He was a quirky, geriatric gentleman, and got along with everyone in the household. This morning, with no forewarning or foreshadowing, he went into a grand mal seizure, and it just did not end. It was a reminder of my solitude, as I cradled his head, unable to even get to my phone as I kept him from damaging himself. It was also a blunt reminder that my trauma is mine and not deemed high on the docket to anyone else,  it does not make me the center of the universe. There are so many times when I wish I could be rescued, but there is no one to rescue me but me. I so wanted someone to take charge, "fix" it, shoulder the burden of responsibility. Someone did, me. For the first hour or so, there was no possibility of transporting him by myself, the seizure was far too active. But then it slowed to over all body spasms. I was finally able to load him into my little pickup for the hour drive out to the shelter. Again, reminding me that I am not the center of the universe, I felt as if no one was hearing me when I was saying, "He has been in active seizure for over 2 hours," and "I have a dying dog in my truck." I knew I was taking him in to be euthanized, he was geriatric, with various health problems, and had been in full seizure for so long I knew he would not come out of it well. When someone asked, "Is he able to walk in?" I wanted to yell, "NO! he cannot walk. He is dying. He is not conscious." But I refrained. Again, my trauma is mine. So I went out, wrapped my arms around his quivering body, that seemed suddenly frail despite his 60+ pounds. Once we were inside, there was no doubt in anyone's mind what needed to be done, and it was taken care of quickly, efficiently, and with compassion. I kissed his wrinkled face, hoping he would at least be aware enough to know I loved him, and watched as he slipped away, to cross the Rainbow Bridge. I left. Walked to my truck, alone. Drove home, alone. And now sit, teary eyed, not alone, because my Hugo is with me. At least I have my lovable, goofball mutt. At least I am the center of his universe. I will miss the Old Man, he was sweet and loyal, loved me, and just wanted what we all want; a safe, comfortable life. I am glad I could give him that.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Well Earned Fatigue

    Exhausted. Drained. Hungry. Worn out. Exultant. Jubilant. Triumphant. Blissful. Life continues to hurtle me through time and space. Chronically short on sleep as I try to cram as much adventure, experience, living, loving, and laughter into the time I have. Today, The Firefighter Stairclimb, 41 flights up the Bancorp building in 60+ pounds of full bunker gear with battalions of firefighters from quite literally around the world. Of course, having opted for a wee bit too much fun yesterday, and not enough sleep last night, it was a tougher climb than it should have been. But that is the penalty I pay for my desire to make every waking hour count. Even if it means some of those waking hours really should be spent sleeping. I'll sleep when I'm dead, right? I do know that chronic lack of sleep can contribute to moments of near meltdown, but when that happens, I can look back, remembering the sights, sounds, emotions, and sensations of life that lead me to opt out of wasting time sleeping. Yeah, remind me of this sentiment next time I am whining about insecurities, loneliness, and other self-imposed, self-inflicted stupidities. Yes, I am sure I will have more than a few moments of frailty, I am only human after all, but most of these are echoes from my past, not realities of my present. There is a certain amount of wry amusement as I read recent posts and the underlying currents of self-flagellation. I know it is the change in the weather, encroaching winter, trepidation on my part as memories of the derangements of past winters encroach. Truly though, last winter was mellow, with my only source of chronic aggravation being my employment at the job from hell. Well, that has all changed. This year, for the first time in half a decade, I am heading into the grey days in a job that I love, with co-workers who are sane and amusing, and a boss who is appreciative. Not only is the job situation finally resolved, my personal life is on track, as a matter of fact, it is a major source of bliss. And add to all that, I am setting higher goals, reaching for the stars, the gold ring. So, exhausted, drained, hungry, worn out, and rightfully so. This is well earned fatigue, and I revel in the memories that caused it.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Demons Be Damned

  Despite how glorious my life is, how blissed out I am, how strong, capable and independent I am, even I have my weak moments. Despite life changing achievements, life goals set and met, more goals and dreams on the horizon, even I can feel second best, unworthy. Despite knowing I am loved, cherished, desired, even I have moments when I feel alone, lonely, and unwanted. These moments come at unexpected times, blindsiding me. When my slumbering demons manage to stir, wake, and sneak up behind me to whisper in my ear. Yesterday was one of those days. I started to write, then stopped myself, ashamed, angry, frustrated. To have worked so hard, come so far, to still feel insecure. To allow self-flagellation, negative self thoughts, doubts. These are the self-pitying, mewling, unworthy words that I wrote yesterday, before stopping myself:
   "Why, oh why, is it so hard for me to stop feeling like the girl on the side, winner by default, second choice, a stopgap measure? Am I merely a pleasant diversion, a comfy way to pass the time, a dear friend, a buddy? Jebus, don't let me be a buddy. The buddy with boobs. That has been a moniker from the past, "like a guy buddy, but with boobs." I just can't seem to shake the deep rooted insecurity of a lifetime of these relationships. No, I don't think that I am presently in any of these degrading situations. So why can't I manage to step away from that particular baggage? I have been quite adept at shedding myself of many of my insecurities and doubts, but this is one area that seems to cling to me like a cobweb. How is it, even when I am faced with evidence to the contrary I still manage to flagellate myself with these doubts? Past experience. My track record is not great. As a matter of fact, it is quite dismal. Am I merely jaded?"
    Bah. Sometimes I amaze myself with my own insecurity, doubts, and what can amount to self loathing. Honestly, I don't know what dredges these feelings to the surface. I have been on an even keel of late, triumphant, delirious, blissful, even epic. So why the sudden gush of self-pity? I blame the change in the weather. It is as good an excuse as any. Maybe it is that I have accomplished my major event of the year, my big goal, and now, without the diligence of physical training, too much attention is turned inward. I do remind myself that everyone, and I mean everyone, has bad days. Days of doubt. "Fat days," if you will. Even those who seem to have it all still fall prey to whispers of their demons. The key here is to make sure the demons know that they can just go fuck themselves. There is no simpler way of putting it. The demons want to come out and play? Kick up a little dust? Toy with my delicately balanced sense of self? Get all up in my face? Fuck with my shit? Well then, gloves are off, I'm not going to put up with any of their shit right now. My life is too grand and glorious, epic and  amazing, fun and fantastic. I don't have time to spend weeping into my Wheaties, crying into my coffee. What a ridiculous waste of time and energy. So yesterday, after writing those pathetic lines, I left my fabulous job, got on my Harley, rode through the splendid autumn evening, swung by the fire station, breathed in the scent of the engine bays, headed home, wrassled the dog, worked out until the sweat was dripping off my chin, ate a grand, healthy dinner, and reminded myself that my life is amazing. Tonight I swam until my shoulders burned, ate a glorious dinner, peeled apples for pie to take to a fish fry tomorrow, planned out my crazy, fun filled weekend (firefighter stairclimb on sunday), and now am drooping with well earned fatigue. Demons be damned, I have no time for their carping. My life is too mind-blowingly astonishing to waste energy on insecurities. I love my life.  

Monday, September 16, 2013

More Stirrings

    More stirrings. Strange, yet familiar. A brief visit from my demons, just a few whispers, reminders, ticklings of self doubt. I felt them coming earlier in the day, but they always wait until I am tired, hungry, and have nothing to keep me busy and distracted. I did not allow them to follow me into the water, where I swam until exhaustion, and endorphins reconstructed my protective shield wall. A belly full of healthy food put the last bit of mortar in the hastily constructed repair. Mania has been propelling me forward, and innervating Brain and Body, but it is exhausting. I know I have to tend to my needs, keep the fortress secure, maintain my even keel. I know what to do, and how to do it. I keep my head high, eyes looking forward, set goals, push my body, extend myself, reach for the stars. I know what to do, know how to do it. No longer do my demons hold domain over me, though they do try to reassert control, sneak in if they think my defenses are weakened. But I know what needs to be done.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


    I am beginning to feel the stirrings of Mania. That itch behind the eyelids that makes sleep a rare commodity. On the one hand, I am hoping it is just that my workout schedule has been off the last few weeks as I was tapering for my big race last weekend, and then taking a few days of gentle training to let my abused body recover. This entire week sleep has been elusive, sporadic, intermittent, scarce. Under normal circumstance I would expect to be feeling the ill effects of sleep deprivation, instead I am feeling that all too familiar brain scrambling, innervating, bursting, creative, productive, life-on-speed lunacy that is always the charming upside of life as I know it. I have completely weened myself off of the sleep meds prescribed to me what seems a lifetime ago, when I was taking the scenic route through The Abyss. One might think this would have something to do with my recent visits into the land of long, restless nights. But actually, I tapered off, and stopped completely nearly a month ago. I confess, this last week of abysmal sleep has made me consider refilling my prescription. But no. I don't want to. I have also, long ago, quit taking the anti-depressants. They became totally unnecessary once I got my life on track, my emotional stability on solid ground, shed myself of heavy baggage from my past, kept my mind focused on my epic present, and my eyes looking ahead to my magnificent future. I am feeling more stable and grounded, unaided by meds, than I have in more than a decade. Some of it may be the bliss of my every day existence, some due to my arduous physical regimine, some to my carefully natural eating habits. Whatever it is, I am doing it right. I am healthier, happier, more balanced than I think I have ever been. So, even if Mania is starting to rear its head just a bit, I am pretty sure it is just a good time to get a lot of shit done. I'm not going to let myself worry about a possible future crash, Melancholy revisiting for old time's sake, or demons raising their shaggy heads. Mania is an old friend, a familiar, welcome companion. I say, bring it on, Mania, bring it on.  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

What I Imagine, I Become

    What we Think, we Create.

    What we Feel, we Attract.

    What we Imagine, we Become.

    For several weeks I have been mulling over a diatribe on choosing to be happy. A rant against those who allow themselves to be bitter, resentful, complaining, joyless, miserable. I had started and stalled several times. I realized why words faltered, there is no sense in railing against those who seem to choose miserable and morose over joyful and jovial. To throw bitter words into the morass does no good, helps no one, improves nothing.
    Instead, "What we Think, We Create. What we Feel, we Attract. What we Imagine, we Become." These words came up today, and were so very perfect. I believe this with all my heart to be truth in its purest form. We mold our emotional lives out of the tenuous filaments of our own imaginings. Strand by gossamer strand, slowly creating the fabric of life. We choose who we become. It goes far beyond Nature or Nurture. We can choose to unshackle ourselves from our past and step boldly into whatever future we desire.
    I choose to not allow my life to be defined by my past. Yes, it has shaped me into the person I am today, and for that, I am grateful for every minute. Instead, I am trying to live in the moment, in the now. To appreciate the magic of every day life, as well as the magic of each new experience, each grand adventure. I am experiencing the joy of my day to day existence, and reveling in the wonders that present themselves. I am living in the moment, but also looking ahead, choosing paths that will lead me into continued contentment. More frequently I find myself moving through the day in a state of peaceful bliss. Yes, I backslide, have moments of doubt, fears, insecurities. My demons do stir on occasion, whispering in my ear, attempting to bring me down from this near perpetual high. But I choose to ignore them, just as I choose to find my bliss.
    I also choose to not allow my happiness to be defined by others. Yes, there are those in my life that bring me absolute joy. Family, new friends and old, that are cherished, loved, and contribute mightily to a life of bliss. These are the people I choose to have in my life. But my happiness is not dependent on any one person. My happiness is my own. I accept full responsibility for it.
    What I Think, I Create. I think long and hard about my happiness, joy, bliss, and peace. And I have created a life that is near to overflowing with all that is sweet and right.
    What I Feel, I Attract. I feel love, acceptance, understanding, compassion, passion, exuberance, glee, wonderment, excitement, peace, bliss. And by the threefold rule, what I send out into the Universe comes back to me threefold, this is manifesting daily.
    What I Imagine, I Become. Or as I have said for over 30 years, "You are what you pretend to be..." I imagined that I am loved, independent, successful in the ways that truly matter, healthy beyond reason, athletic, confident, a free spirit, an unstoppable force, the whirlwind. And just look where that has taken me. Where will it take me from here? I can only imagine.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Dropping The Reins

    Caught on the cusp between no holds barred, balls to the wall, full speed ahead, ride the whirlwind, and haul the reins, armor up, protect the vitals, tactical retreat. I have been told that I "never do anything by halves," and it is true. I seem to have two gears; fast forward, and reverse. Try as I might, I can never seem to find the middle ground. I am Leap Before I Look Girl, often to my detriment, dismay, and damage. Impetuous, impulsive, mercurial, quixotic, headlong, reckless, imprudent. It is a sure fire way to get myself neck deep in trouble of one kind or another. Rash and heedless. The fool to rush in where angels fear to tread. The internal struggles that this brings about are prodigious, and mind-bending. As my Nature tries to propel me forward with glorious recklessness, my oft ignored logical side steps forward in a vain attempt to prevent cataclysmic devastation. Yes, we have been down that road often enough. By now, it is a well traveled, familiar path. One would think that by now I would know every rock, pothole, and washout, but I am surprised by its altered topography every time.
    In a sense it is Nature Versus Nurture. My Nature is to be the whirlwind, race ahead pell-mell, let my emotions and excitement carry me away, put me in harms way. But it is my Nurturing side, my logical side, that attempts to protect me from myself, shelter me from the ravages of the world around me, tries to build armor around the trust and naivete that is my Achilles's Heel. That is the crux, my trust and naivete. I am inclined to take everyone and everything at face value, believe what I am told, trust. For as often as I have been proven wrong, I cannot break free of the habit of trust. I can't step back and cry "bullshit." I believe, and trust with tragic, wide-eyed innocence that is unwise, and unseemly for one my age. This is why I have been told to "grow up," and that, "the world will beat that out of you," and this was by one I trusted. But no matter how I try to convince myself that it will lead me down another path of desolation and devastation, I continue to trust, believe, keep the faith. I have also been told that I lead with my heart, am "loyal to a fault," and "have a hero's heart." Hero? I would wish for Bedivere of dark magic and fearsome lance, but instead I am Parcival, the Fool. Although, truth be told, in the story of Parcival, in his darkest despair he wandered the woods, finally dropping the reins and allowing his horse to take him where it pleased. It took him to the Holy Grail. Maybe, just maybe, the lesson to be learned is to let go of the reins, stop trying to control my nature, and let it take me where it will. No quest is complete without pitfalls, traps, battles to save fair maidens, wrestling with demons, egregious betrayal, grievous injury, and eventual triumph. Oh, that I could find the balance between hell bent for leather, and merely dropping the reins. But it is a leap of faith, an act of trust, and trust I can do.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


    This is how the conversations have gone:
    "Hey, remember the last time? You were really hammered."
    Me, "No, I wasn't."
    "Yeah you were. You were totally lit!"
    "I was drinking coffee."
    "No way, but I saw you..."
    "And then you..."
    "Uh huh. Stone cold sober."
    "But you were.... and it was hilarious."
    "Wow. Really?"
    Rambunctious. Eager. Enthusiastic. Excitable. Delirious. Intense. Joyful. Enraptured. Rowdy.
    Or... Hyper. Obsessive. Manic. Spastic. Dysfunctional. Childish. Fixated. Intimidating.
    "Relax." "Breathe." "Take it easy." "Grow up." "Knock it off." "Take it easy." "Settle down."  "Simmer down." "Slow down." "Sit down." Down, down, down.
    No! No I will not. I will not take it easy, settle down, or grow up. I will not rein myself in for propriety's sake. I want to bounce off the walls. Run down the halls singing at the top of my lungs. I want to do cartwheels in the grass. I want to live my life to the utmost. I have spent too many years of my life trying to obey some unspoken rules on "Grownup" behavior. I call bullshit. I want to charge ahead, full speed, feeling the winds of my very existence with the same physicality as 85 mph on the back of my beloved Bob. My life is my own, to enjoy, to revel in, to share, and I will not be tightfisted. I want to consume life with both hands, wrap myself around it, let it explode all around me, revel in the messy glory of it all. I want to feel life, laughter, and love with every fiber of my being. I want to experience all that the Universe has to offer. I will  not Settle Down. I will not Rein Myself In. I am rambunctious. It is who I am. I am and always have been the Whirlwind, the Maelstrom, the Fire Within. There is far too much joy to be experienced, too much laughter to release upon the world, too much love to share, too much life to even think about trying to rein myself in. I am me. I am Rambunctious.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Universe Answers

    My life is amazing. I believe the Universe is striving to teach me to live my life fully. The last few years I have walked through fire, fallen into the Abyss and climbed my way out, stumbled down pathways that lead to dead ends and briar patches, fallen, been knocked down, trampled, picked myself up and wiped the blood from my nose. I have cried and raged against the darkness, battled demons, wept at tragic loss. I have felt discarded, used up and tossed aside, second best, winner by default only, never the first choice. Through it all I knew, knew in my heart that my happiness depended on me, myself, no one else. Against the assaults of the chaos that reigns around me I have held tight to the belief that I am the mistress of my destiny, that my life and happiness depend on me. I have held tight to my eternal optimism, the Fire that burns within my heart. I have not allowed myself to become tarnished, jaded, disillusioned. I have accepted my injuries, taken the hits, massaged balm into the wounds as they heal, cherishing the scars that I wear as a tiger wears her stripes. But I know I try to force things to happen, often when the time is not ripe. I struggle to make change happen, burning energy until I exhaust myself. Then, when I finally relax, realize I am content with who and where I am, allow the Universe to come to me, and fill my eyes with the beauty of the night sky, then and only then, do events to slip into place. Smooth, sweet, and easy. When I open myself to the possibilities the Universe has to offer, the Universe answers. My life is amazing.

Friday, August 9, 2013


    I love my life. I do. I am living My Dream in ways I had only barely imagined just a few short years ago. So why then do I have the itch of dissatisfaction niggling at me? I can hear it whispering, but can't make out the words. I am plummeting through my life at an astonishing pace, a pace of my choosing. I am careening from one week to the next, enjoying the ride, eagerly anticipating the upcoming twists and turns. My life is a helluva ride, and I am loving every minute. So what is the problem? Why do I feel the quiver of my demons trying to make a reappearance? Of course I know that they are never really gone, they just slumber in the shadows, waiting for the slightest tremor, the merest hint of a crack in my armor, the barest breath of doubt to wake them from their somnolence. They are still sleeping, though restless. I do not expect any nocturnal visits from them, but then, they often show up as unexpected and unwanted guests. So what is it that is trying to disturb the peace? Right now I feel as if I have it all; my own little home, a job that I love, I am in the best physical condition of my life, I am enjoying the now and anticipating the future. So what could be lacking? As much as I try to deny it, as much as I relish my freedom, as much pride as I take in my independence, the truth is that I am lonely. Funny thing, I am currently getting in more socializing on a daily basis than I think I ever have before. Between work, time spent at the station, races, neighborly visits over the fence, cuddling the grandbaby, I am truly having a wonderful social life. There should be nothing more that I need. Should be. But should rarely ever is. This feeling comes and goes. More often than not I am more than content. But some nights, like tonight, I miss having someone out there who cares that I am lonely. Someone who wants to tell me "goodnight," even if it is only via text.Someone who wishes I was with them. Truth be told, I think I am too much for most. Too independent, too free spirited, too busy, too active, too happy, too honest, too giving, too loving. I am not for the faint of heart, the insecure, the broken. Neither am I for the brash, the arrogant, the egotistical, for that is nothing but a mask for the faint of heart, the insecure, the broken. Maybe I see too deeply into the hearts of others, and give too willingly my own heart. Whatever the reason, the rationale, I am left standing alone, rejected. Rejected, or set free? I cherish my freedom, maybe the occasional bout of loneliness is the price I will always have to pay. But right now, at this moment, I am lonely. And tired of being alone. Tomorrow I will wake, independent, wild and free, as it should be. I am free to be who I was meant to be.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Farewell, My Sweet, Goofy, Loving Girl

    Monday was the day I had to make the tough decision, set my own selfish needs aside and think of the best interests of a beloved friend. Monday was the day I had to have my dear, sweet, goofy Wolfhound put down. She developed bone cancer earlier this year, and I knew I was counting my time with her, waiting, watching, feeling helpless. I knew a day would come when she would tell me it was time to let her go, to help her cross the Rainbow Bridge so she could join the Wild Hunt with her father, my beloved Tork. The day was actually last friday, but in my selfishness I did not want to listen to what she was telling me. I did everything in my power to make her last few days as sweet as possible, petting, brushing, massaging, cuddling, indulging. I can't count how many times over the months that I wept into her wiry coat as I rubbed her ears, scratched her chin, kissed her grizzled face. It has been painful, watching the progression of the vile growth as it slowly robbed her of her mobility. It was only the last few days though, that seemed painful for her, before that it was more an annoyance, troublesome, an inconvenience. Monday, when I knew it was the day, my final day with her, I had to struggle against bouts of weeping at work. I cried most of the drive home, and had to fight hysterics when she greeted me at the door for the last time. I fed her a tasty dinner and gave her a smoked bone to keep her happy. She lay in the shady backyard, crunching the bone with her mighty jaws while I dug her grave. The physical aspect of digging let me find my center, reel in my emotions for a bit. But when the time came for her to cross over I hed to go in the house with Hugo, and cry. I thought my heart would break, Hugo was worried for me, and I for him, knowing that his bonded mate was taking the long journey home. My sweet, darling, sloppy faced girl. I miss her giant head resting on my lap, or on the bed next to my face. My bed, high as it is, was just the perfect height for her to stand and plunk her face down next to mine, and breathe her warm, doggy breath on me. Last night as I was getting ready for bed, the room seemed so empty without her massive presence that I cried myself into exhaustion. Even now, as I write, tears flow freely. She was such a gentle soul, a loving companion, a sweet spirit, a loyal friend. She was there for me in my darkest of hours, always strong and silent, yet comical and adoring. She was truly a Gentle Giant, in every sense of the word. I will always love my sweet, goofy, loving Girl. Tonks. a truer friend there never was. My sloppy-face girl, my goofball, my rock, my irreplaceable friend.

Thursday, July 18, 2013


    I revel in my freedom. Lonely as it is sometimes, I still cherish my freedom almost beyond all else. I think this is reflected in my life and lifestyle. I live alone, and don't see that changing any time soon. I chose a home with one neighbor, a bit out in the boonies, and it is mine, just mine. I ride a Harley, alone, no one talking to me, no distractions. I have chosen sports that are solitary, not team efforts. I train alone almost exclusively. I swim endlessly, the only sounds are often my own breathing and the near silent entrance of my hand into the water, with smooth strokes. I cycle for miles and miles, either up on the trainer in the privacy of my home, or alone on narrow roads in rolling farmland. Trail running, even in a race or with a group, I tend to maneuver out of groups so I can enjoy the solitude, the sound of my breathing, the lightness of my step. As I motorcycle, swim, bike, run, garden, cook, live, workout, meditate, I take pleasure in my freedom. The freedom to be who I am. True to myself. Yes, there are times when it is lonely. Usually late at night when there is no one to share the triumphs of the day with. No one I can text, call, or crawl into bed with. I have had opportunities, but after a lifetime of feeling restricted, or even shackled, by life, it is hard for me to relinquish my hard won freedom. I love the feel of the wind in my face at 60 plus miles an hour, barreling through the backcountry on a balmy summer afternoon. I love the feel of my body slipping through emerald waters. I love loping along sun dappled forest trails. I love my shaggy little house and the freedom to do with it what I want. So I will feel a little lonely now and then. But I will feel the power of my freedom always.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Trust. And A Promise.

    Trust. Promises. Promises made and broken. By me, to me. I have not lost my ability to trust whole heartedly, but I have learned to guard myself. This is why I have made the promise to myself, that in eight weeks (oh my god, only eight weeks?!!!) that I will begin, and complete my first half-Ironman. It is a promise made that I know will not be broken, unless by some unforeseeable cataclysmic act of fate. I will not break this promise, I have made the vow to myself. So I devote much of my energies towards being ready. Not only will I complete 70.3 miles under my own power, but I am hoping to do it well. I know I am unlikely to place, even in my age category. That is not the point. This is not a competition with anyone but myself. I am pushing myself far beyond what I ever thought I might be capable of. I do wish I could have started this journey 10 or 15 years ago, but I will not waste energy on could haves and should haves. Instead I am focused, pushing forward, making changes within myself that will last me throughout my life. I have chosen to change my life, and myself. I refuse to let myself stagnate, to let fate toss me about willy-nilly, to feel trapped. Instead I am reveling in the freedoms that I have pursued, found, created. Whether it is swimming alone in an emerald green lake, cycling through rolling farmlands alone, or as a solitary runner finding trails and the splendor of the woods. I relish and treasure my freedom, the kiss of cool waters, the delicate touch of the wind, the glory of my body. I have made a vow to Self, a promise that I will not break, a pact with my Spirit. I trust myself completely.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

My Son

    Anyone who knows me knows how much I love my sons. They are my moon and stars, I would readily give my life for them. I don't need to tell them this, they know it deep in their hearts. Tonight my older son and his family hit the road for South Carolina. Just about as far away as they can get and still be within the continental U.S. of A. Not just for a vacation, but a permanent move. To say I am saddened by this is akin to saying that The Titanic was a bit of a bummer. When I said my goodbyes tonight and saw them on their way, I cried. I cried all the way home, until my nose was swollen shut and my eyes were puffy and burning. I will miss my child. The strong, quiet, intelligent man who I can still clearly see as the impish child he was. As much as I hate seeing them leave, I totally understand it. I get it. I know why he must go. So as much as I wanted to plead, cry, pound my fists on his broad chest, beg him to stay, I did not. I let him go, to take on this great adventure that is ahead of him. I held my tongue, knowing that what he has chosen to do is right for him, even if it is horribly rough for me. This is the hardest thing I think I have faced as a mother, letting him go out into the world and be his own man. I trust him, trust his judgement, and trust his upbringing. But g'damn, I am going to miss him. A little voice, one of my demons no doubt, makes me fear that I will never see him again. I know this is not true, just a mother's fears bubbling to the surface. Rationally, I know I am being silly. But rationality has little or nothing to do with a mother's love. I will miss my baby boy, I will miss the amazing man he has grown up to be. I don't know if he even knows just how much I will miss him, but I know he should go. He will face the world, make a place in it for him and his. That is what children do. And I cry, because that is what mothers do.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Return To Center

    One distinct advantage of being the Whirlwind is the ability to fly from one end of the spectrum to the other, and quickly return to center. I rant and rage, weep, dissolve, wrap myself around my hurt and let it mature to fruition. I analyze, pick apart, dissect, flay. I debride the wound, no matter how painful, peeling away the unhealthy layers, the scorched flesh, necrotic tissue, until I am left with a clean, though raw, gaping hole. Much as a snake sheds its skin, revealing supple, shiny scales, bigger and healthier than before. It is how I cope. How I heal. Today I feel supple, shiny, healthy, revitalized, pure. A return to center. A return to myself.

Sunday, June 9, 2013


    "You lead with your heart, strong and true, loyal to a fault." These words, spoken to me by a dear friend during a rocky patch in my past that is all too similar to my current state of mind. I do lead with my heart. I wear my heart on my sleeve. It is open, inviting, and easily bruised by careless handling. My heart does not know how the game is played, it does not understand the rules. Are there rules? Isn't trust, honesty, kindness, openness, and love enough? No. It is not. So my heart, playing fair, thinking the game is going well, is easily blindsided by the realities of a game without rules, where it seems everyone is out for themselves. My heart and I do not understand. I am beginning to think that my heart is not meant to play this game, not meant for careless hands, not meant to be shared with mortal man. I do not want to become jaded and bitter, I do not want to feel like I must hold back out of fear. In truth, my heart is fearless, it is my brain that must put on the brakes, throw up shields, protect and defend. Heart feels no fear. I do lead with my heart, and it is strong and true, it deserves to be appreciated for what it is. My heart is strong, and will find other, deserving, avenues. Heart is fearless, even when damaged, it is fearless.

Chemical Makeup

    Oh Optimism, you refuse to leave my side even when I would gladly chuck you out the door. I should have known that you, of all creatures, would not abandon me in my time of need. Despite broken heart, damaged trust, crushed self esteem, life on the financial edge, and wolves at the door, you return with your rose colored glasses. Of course, in my self analytic way, I do wonder if you are actually delusion in optimism's clothing. That would make more sense, at this particular fork in the road. But then, as I have stated often enough before, I am the eternal optimist. When I say that I am not just blowing smoke, it is an ingrained, to the marrow, element of my base formula. I could give it the chemical abbreviation of EO, you would find it in my cells along side of C, Fe, O2, and Ca. An essential, binding element that holds together the very essence of my being. Without EO I would likely shatter into a million shards, and blow away on the wind. It is the part of me that motivates, drives, restores, rejuvenates, heals. The part of me that will not allow me to permanently give in to pressures, defeats, failures, rejections. It prevents lasting bitterness, grief, dismay, disillusionment, defeat. EO picks me up when I am all alone, tends to my needs, tucks me in at night, and protects me from my demons. Even when I rage against it, beat my fists upon it, attempt to dislodge it from my system, even try to wish it away, it remains steadfast and true. Yes, it may just be Delusion in Optimism's clothing, but it is my delusion, to have and to hold, until death do we part.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Alone Again. Naturally.

    Alone again. Naturally. Some things get easier with practice. Other things it just gets easier to pretend everything is okay. One thing I have had more practice than I deserve is learning to be alone. I am good at it. As a matter of fact it is something I excel at. I have developed advanced coping skills to manage depression, weeping, cumulative stress, loneliness, and grief. Hell, I can cook a healthy, delicious meal while crying non-stop. That takes some serious skill and practice. I get up every day, take care of the menagerie, pack a healthy lunchbox, and get myself off to work where  put in a hard eight hour day, every day, maintaining a cheerful demeanor. Again, serious skill. I get off of work, come home, feed the menagerie and delve into an arduous workout, sometimes going until it is perilously close to bedtime. Then I top my day with a ridiculously healthy dinner, and maybe some homework. All the while, just under the surface, lying in wait for the slightest waver in my resolve, is the pain. Failure, rejection, disappointment, the taint of betrayal, death of trust, another battering of my self esteem. It is all there, barely contained within my skin. Oddly, no matter how deep the pain, I still analyze, appraise, dissect, eviscerate, flay, study, reflect. Assess the damage. Stop the hemorrhaging. I cannot help but turn events over and over and over in my mind, trying to make sense of it all. Trying to comprehend how life can diverge so far from where it was a few short weeks ago. Bliss to disarray, contentment to utter confusion, elation to anguish. I do not deserve this turn of events, so oddly familiar to me, a near deja vu, a disjointed feel that I have been forced down this path before. It is different, and yet the same. This feeling of being cast off, left in the ditch, my luggage in my hand as I watch in bewilderment, my ride heading off into the sunset. Leaving me stranded by the side of the road, puzzled, alone, mouth gaping in utter disbelief. How could this happen again? I think, I do, that it really is not me. Not me, but the choices I make? Am I destined to be drawn to those who need me for all the wrong reasons? Is it my desire to heal, repair, fix the damaged? My helpful, giving nature, my kind heart, the spirit that draws orphaned kittens and neglected children into my sphere. Is this what leads me down these paths? A desire to heal the broken? Is that what this is all about? Then maybe it is me. My fault. My own nature that leads me to be left alone again, naturally. Now I will turn my healing powers, my kind heart, my nurturing nature onto myself. I am the one that needs healing, comforting, repair. The damage wrought was deep and devastating, but neither permanent nor fatal. I am stronger than that. I will heal. I understand myself well enough to know that I am fully capable of standing tall and straight, and on my own two feet, alone again, naturally.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Happy Horseshit

    Eternal Optimist. Contrary to popular belief, this is more a curse than a blessing. With me through it all, thick and thin, up and down, crawling through the dark abyss or running across the mountain tops, it is a heavy burden. My optimism. It always keeps hope alive, even when I need to let it die. I cling to things, knowing it will get better, when it won't. I talk myself off the ledge when there is no one else to do it for me, as I talk others off the ledge when I would rather crawl into my shell and weep with sheer misery. Optimism does this to me. It keeps my heart wishing, hoping, dreaming, desiring, where it has no right or reason to do so. Optimism makes the happy horseshit scenarios play through my mind on an endless loop, even when I beg for them to stop. Eternal optimism brings misery and heartache more often than not. Eternal optimism makes it hard for me to turn my back and walk away. It whispers, "Where there is life there is hope." But the reality is that sometimes, often times, optimism leans precariously close to delusion. It lies to the logical, plays to the emotional, misleads the practical. Optimism lies. Not always. But often. My eternal optimism allows me to lie to myself, lead myself on, buoy my spirits, lift myself up just in time for another stumble. I wish I could trade in my eternal optimism for a more healthy realism, but that has never been who I am. I am sure that soon enough, my eternal optimism will convince me, once again, that this time it will work, this time everything will go smoothly, this time I will have the happy ending. Honestly though, I am losing faith. Even the eternal optimist can only handle so much. But ask me again in a few weeks, I'm sure the happy horseshit will be back.  

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Life Is About Change

    Two weeks. A rocky two weeks. Has it only been that long? It feels like a slow motion eternity. Today I feel more balanced, less derailed, than I have these last 14 days. I have kept myself busy, frenetically busy, moving, always moving, it is all I know to do during dark days. Perpetual motion has pulled me out of deeper murk than this. Yes, there were deep feelings of failure, rejection, pain, and anguish. I blamed myself, flayed myself with all my imagined shortcomings. Why could I not fix this? Why was I not enough to make it work? In truth, it is not me. I know this now. I know this, and cannot cast blame or aspersions. It really was an inevitable conclusion at this particular point. Respect, kindness, love. I have not lost these. I deserve these, and truly attained what I deserve. I realize that I am okay with it, this time around. There was no betrayal, and truly no rejection. It's not me, it isn't. I wish there was a fix, a remedy, a cure, that could have healed and repaired. But for some things there is no easy fix, and nothing I could have done, try as I might. I can't fix everything, I can't cure all the ills in the world. All I can do is love, live, share, care, protect, help when I can. I have learned, slowly and stubbornly, that the one person I am capable of curing is myself. To love, care, and protect myself makes me able to be there when others need me. It has been a rocky two weeks, but every misadventure, mischance, misfortune, mishap, meltdown, collapse, crash, is a chance to learn, grow, change, flower, flourish, and evolve. Life is about change, moving forward, learning from the past, but not letting it shackle your future.

Saturday, May 18, 2013


Adrift. Disjointed. Unfocused. Disordered. Bedraggled. Confused. Let go and drifting. Drifting away. Farther. Farther. Trying to regain balance, a tether, a grasp of reality. My tenuous grip is failing, slipping. I know I will slide into a new reality, eventually. But for now I am fumbling for a foothold that is denied me. So I drift away. I narrow my focus. See, understand, grasp what is still mine to control. There is little that I feel is within my power, my command, my control at the moment. What little there is I clutch to my chest, hold tight for fear of losing all direction. While Brain sits numbly, with a hundred yard stare, Body is still on my side and strong, even as Heart has lay down on the floor, curled into fetal position, shellshocked, tremulously awaiting the next round of fire. PTSD. Body lay in defilade, waiting, watching, sheltering Heart. Body is a fortress. Without the strong walls and fortifications of Body, Brain and Heart would have lost the war long ago. What is in my control is Body. So Body will be fed, trained, pushed, while Brain and Heart are allowed a leave of absence. Medical leave. The chance to drift, knowing Body will be their lifeline back to the new reality. Yes, we are adrift, but we will find our way back.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Just A Girl

  I am just a girl. Really. Bone and skin. Hair and muscle. Heart. Brain. Body. Just a girl. I am not a super hero. I do not have super powers. I am not invincible. I am fragile. Delicate. Frail. There seems to be a misguided vibe out there that has made me out to be an unstoppable force, all powerful, unbreakable. I feel broken. And powerless. I am, after all, just a girl. An unraveled, tattered, grubby, bruised, aching, sad girl. Yes, I keep moving forward, making plans, head up, eyes forward, mask in place. I want, just once in a while, to feel safe and protected. I know, in time, I will put the pieces back together, rebuild the armor that has served me well in the past, retreat to my fortress of solitude. Once the retreat is final, I may not venture forth so boldly again, it is a dangerous world out there. A dangerous world, and I am just a girl.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


    I have long known I was an empath, subjected to the emotions swirling about me, unable to filter the cacophony. Last week, ghosts and demons were haunting and taunting me, keeping me on the ragged edge. I was at a loss as to why they should chose such a time to rear their ugly heads. Even in the swimming pool, one of my sanctuaries, they came and rode my shoulder, hissing in my ear, raising self doubt, and feelings of abject failure. One good thing about crying at the pool? No one will see the tears. All week long I was assailed, tormented, harassed. Brought to tears more than once, and for no reason I could fathom. Then, with the coming of the weekend came the cosmic upheaval, kick in the teeth, emotional beat-down that has been a complete game changer. I am still reeling. It does make me push myself physically, that is one, maybe the only, upside. One ill effect, the return of my "nervous stomach," I have lost 3 pounds since saturday. With 20/20 hindsight I do understand last week's visitations. They were not my ghosts and demons, I was just channeling the energy flow for another. This is the real downside of empathy, getting to ride on the coattails of someone else's travails. As I struggled through last week, feeling failure, misery, loneliness, despite all that I have achieved recently, I could not wrap Brain around my sudden stumbling. I could not make sense of what was going on in my mind, heart, and spirit. I blamed it on stress and fatigue, as I usually do. That is my go-to excuse to the world when I am teetering on the brink, but this time I was telling it to myself. But I did not really believe it. Now, as I have every reason to have feelings of abject failure, rejection, self-doubt I can see last week for what it was: my empathic nature being fed by what was swirling unseen and unexpected all around me. Oh that I could be less sensitive, less emotional, less susceptible, less gullible, less trusting, less fragile. But it is how I am structured, I cannot change it. Once again, Trial by Fire. Time to prove my mettle. Once again I have to pick myself up, wash off the blood and road grime, spit dirt out of my mouth, wrap my tattered self-worth and frayed emotions around my spirit like a moth-eaten pall. I will regain my footing, find the path, and stumble forward, as usual. I am not beaten, I never will be. But g'damn it, I am tired of empathy. Empathy is one super-power I wish I could shed myself of.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Acceptance? Or Surrender?

    It has been a brutal week, I won't lie. The stress of a new job has been wearing me down. I realized that my beloved wolfhound has likely developed bone cancer, and very well may not live through the summer. I am suddenly, and unexpectedly single again. And to top it all off, my motorcycle is still nonfunctional. It is a lot of hits to withstand, even for one who has gotten used to being knocked back a few steps every time I seem to be making some headway. Oddly, at the moment, I have found a peaceful acceptance of it all. It is life, my life, as it is, was and always will be. Mine is not the easy path, ever. I wonder if I would even know how to function if life suddenly became easy. I don't know if my current sense of acceptance is real and honest, of merely the eye of the storm. Very likely I will know in the predawn chill, for that is when I normally awaken for a few moments, and am vulnerable to demons and self doubt. Such easy acceptance of the brutality that life has thrown at me has me almost worried. Concerned that I have come to expect such calamities  and so am immured to them. Maybe it is battle fatigue, the hundred yard stare. A feeling of surrender to the inevitable. The eternal optimist, defeated. A false sense of calm. I don't know, won't know for a few days, I think. I need time to assimilate and understand everything that has transpired in the last five days or so. I know that with understanding comes acceptance, with acceptance comes forgiveness, and with forgiveness comes peace. But is it acceptance, or surrender?

Wrong Side Of The Tracks

    This has been on my mind a bit lately, and brought sharply home recently. Bi-polar, punk rock, earth mother, biker chick does not mix well with the white collar world. I had thought it was only my demons talking, they have been rather vocal of late, but it seems to be a truth that cannot be denied. Maybe it was my demons whispering in my ear, a warning, prescient, yet cruel. Maybe we cannot escape how we were brought up, who we became through a life of hard knocks. There is no such thing as the goose girl who can become a princess. A goose girl is a goose girl. Maybe it is best. The goose girl would always be more comfortable in the company of geese, than within the walls of a palace. This knowledge does not dull the cutting edges of the cruelty of reality, I still bleed when cut so deep. This knowledge does not make me want to accept the fact that maybe my lot in life is to be poor and lonely, admired for being hard working and driven, because at the end of the day I still sleep alone.

The Punishment For Hard Work

    I think that life is conspiring to train me for some arduous ordeal. Just when I think I have fought my way through the worst of it, and that I am finally, finally reaching a point where life will be easier, calmer, the battle won, peace and love to the victor, I am hit with the the equivalent of an IED. I find it truly amazing, horrifically amazing, that every time I see the light at the end of the tunnel, it is snatched away. I know I am strong, and will get through this, as I have managed to get through all past travails. But god damn it, I am so fucking tired of having to "get through it" time and time again. Game over! I don't want to play anymore. I don't want to play when the rules are constantly shifting. But this is no game, this is my reality, my life, and it is not fun. Not fun at all.
    Every time I get knocked down, blasted, wounded, I try to think of a new approach, a new battle plan, a different strategy. Because obviously, what I am doing is wrong, or I wouldn't keep getting beaten down so badly. I try to lead a good life, I am giving, forgiving, loving, caring. I work hard, damned hard, to make my life be the life of my dreams. I give of myself, to family, friends, and strangers. I am poor, but pay my bills, not expecting a handout. I care for the weak and injured. So honestly, what the hell is wrong with the gods of this world that I must be toyed with, taunted, shown glorious possibilities only to have them snatched away the moment I think I can finally relax just a bit? Seriously, what the hell?
    I work so hard, to the point of exhaustion, trying to make a better life for myself. I joined the fire department so I can give back to the world, fulfill a destiny I have long known was mine. Does this earn me any bonus points? No. I fight to make a good life for myself, work to exhaustion, try to improve my conditions, and this leaves so little time. I feel I am living on a treadmill with the speed set just a little too high, so I can barely keep from falling, but if I run hard enough I can just manage to keep pace. I fought long and hard to get a new job with the potential for more money, enough to pay the bills with just a little left over, but the days are long. I work long and hard for my life, and am proud that I do, but it seems this is a failing in the game with changing rules. I put in long hours in firefighter academy, studying, training, fighting to be the best I can possibly be, and graduated at the top of my class. I set goals, high standards for myself, am always reaching for the stars, striving to improve, maybe this is also a failing in this game with changing rules.
    I was once told that I have "a hero's heart," and maybe this is my fatal flaw. I give of myself, squeeze out time from an already hectic life to train, learn, improve myself. This does not lead to a comfortable, easy life. It does not lead to a life of leisure. Instead what it has led me to, besides a satisfying sense of self, is a return to a solitary life. Once again, I find myself alone. Maybe a hero is destined to a lonely life? But I am no hero, I am just me, weary, weepy, alone and lonely.
    Whoever said, "Hard work is its own reward," was very likely either an idiot, or a hermit. The reward for hard work is more hard work, rejection, exhaustion, and strife. I must be a glutton for punishment though, because now I will work harder for the life I know I deserve, because I sure don't deserve a kick in the teeth.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Blue Collar Ramblings

    Blue collar Girl in a white collar world. As usual, finding myself adrift in a world I do not truly understand. A world of otherness, where my own strange aloneness seems all the more pronounced. I have stepped into this other world as one steps through the turnstile of a carnival. All around me the sights, sounds, and smells are bigger, brighter, unreal to me. It is not my world and I am easily overwhelmed by the cacophony. I try to observe, enjoy the sights, take them with a grain of salt. I try to take pleasure in the shiny. But as always, I cannot help but see past the facade. The veil lifts and I see the noisy inner workings. And once seen, cannot be unseen. At times I feel the Country Mouse, overwhelmed. At times I feel more like the hedgewitch come down off the mountain, content within my own simplicity, and aghast at the conspicuous consumption. I wonder, am I alone in this world of otherness out of bitterness, envy, covetousness? A blue collar girl, raised with simple tastes because there were not the means for extravagance? I am content with my simple tastes, the simple joys of life. I have worked hard for what I have, and it is mine by right. Hard fought and well earned. I have not had a privileged life, not for a moment. I see it around me, and am amazed how it is taken for granted. Am I bitter? Resentful? Does envy tint my interpretation of the psychology of acquisition? Maybe. But I think that as one with simple tastes, a simple life, and a contentment deep within my soul, it is not hard for me to see the constant chase of the next shiny thing as a vain hope to fill a void. Our world has become so much the world of conspicuous consumption, the need for bigger and brighter, faster and newer. Maybe the search for the next great thing needs to happen within. Blue collar girl in a white collar world? Or the only voice of reason in a world driven by vacuous desires. I am rambling, barely coherent, feeling devastated and down, skirting the abyss, fighting for a tenuous grip, stressed and overloaded, but despite it all I know I am content with my life. How many people can say that? And I do not need a new shiny, I just need some sleep.

Monday, April 15, 2013

External Forces

    So many times I have wished that I could shelter myself from the brutal impact of external forces. As strong as Body is, it is not strong enough to deflect the myriad of external forces that batter at Brain and Spirit. I have felt under constant assault for far too long, and am not only battle weary but suffering from PTSD. I have become brittle and over-reactive. Only my stubborn will, coupled with dogged determination, as kept me upright and moving forward. I am fighting to alter my surroundings, remove myself from the situations that are most likely to beat holy hell out of me. One by one, I have managed, through sheer force of will and sacrifice, to rid myself of external forces that are toxic, negative, unhealthy, unhappy, bleak, dismal, and soul sucking. I have rid myself of many, but there are more waiting in line, holding their place in the queue for their chance to to be the next jack-booted thug to kick me in the teeth and toss me in the ditch. You would think that after so many years, so many attempts to beat my psyche into submission, that these bullyboys would have learned that I am not one to surrender to their heavy-handed ministrations. The best I can hope for is that I can out-stubborn them. The downside is that there is only one of me, and a seemingly endless supply of these thuggish external forces. They tag team me. Leaving me lying in a heap as they chuckle at ringside, watching me stagger to my feet, wipe the blood from my nose, and give them my best steely stare. They laugh, and send in a fresh fighter. I tell myself that it is fresh meat, a target rich environment. But I am lying to myself in a vain attempt to keep myself upright and slugging it out. If I could just beat back these hooligan external forces, keep upright long enough for the bleeding to stop, maybe a chance for a sip of water. But they just keep coming. Well, you know what? Come at me, bro, bring it on. I will do my g'damn best to keep hitting back. But damn, I am tired.

Friday, April 12, 2013


    One of my finely honed skills is the ability to internalize emotions, thoughts, rants, raves, and near psychotic breaks. I keep myself on a very tight rein, and wish I didn't have to. I want to unleash the Whirlwind, in full public view, without censor. But I can't. Too much hinges on my ability to practice restraint. Instead the Whirlwind rages in my heart, mind, and soul. I feel it bruising and battering, pounding on the shell that is me, seeking escape, screaming for freedom. The brutality of it can leave me trembling, exhausted, nauseated. My head pounds, my stomach churns, my blood burns. My vision is effected, tinging the world with red. My mouth is dry, acrid. I feel as if I have swallowed a spoonful of lye. This is a near daily occurrence  at different levels of intensity. Sometimes the Whirlwind is more bluster, at others it is full blown, gale force, EF-5 tornado leveling everything in its path. That was the weather report for today. EF-5. The internal carnage is devastating. The aftermath will take days to clear. I want to unleash the furies that are held so tightly within, to let them exhaust their energies pounding against something other than my psyche. But I can't. It cannot be allowed. Not now. Not in the foreseeable future. So retain my grip, hold the reins tight in both hands, grit my teeth, and  hope I can ride it out.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


    I write, here on this page, this blog, this little world within my brain that I have chosen to nakedly share with the world, not to seek help, or sympathy, or, gods forbid, pity. I write because it is one sure way to rid Brain of the weird randomness that rolls around inside, battering on skull in an attempt to escape and wreak havoc on my world, my real world. I also write, flaying myself open for all to see, so that others might read and feel less alone. I know too well the feeling of my strange aloneness, that feeling of always being the outsider, the square peg, and I also know that there is nothing wrong with that. It is who I am. It is how I feel. I do not seek to change vital aspects of my Self that make me who I am. True, I do sometimes wish I cold walk into any room and feel like I owned it, owned the crowd, instead of faking my way through many social gatherings, presenting the tough, confident, self assured exterior. Those who know me know how fragile that facade can be. I have friends who know that I have a limit to how much, or how little, time I can spend in social gatherings before becoming exhausted and brittle. That is when Brain tunes everything out, voices become unintelligible white noise, as if Brain is overflowing and cannot accept any more input. Like a glass filled to overflowing. Yes, I hide this well, too. I will reach a point when I want to sneak away, find a dark corner to just sit, quietly and in the quiet, but I know if I find that space, I am not likely to leave it willingly. It is me. It is who I am.
    I also write, here on these pages, to sort through what often feels like chaos, constant noise, the garbled ramblings of my own voices. Truly it is just too many thoughts all vying for attention, clamoring, wanting to be heard. It is difficult to sort through at times. That is why I write. It is also why I exercise, nothing sorts through the chaos like the monotony of swimming lap after lap, or cycling and counting revolutions, or running and being lulled by the metronome of my steps. It is soothing. Soothing like the ticking of a clock, or the purr of a cat. Today, if I could, I would sequester myself away, lock myself in, and write. I would avoid all contact, all social interaction. But not today. I would if I could, but I can't today. So I will put up the facade and go out to face the world. It is what I do. It is who I am. Me, for better or worse, just me. And I like me that way.