Hastily written notes on a phone often become moments of confession. Peering into the depths of my soul, I often tread dangerous waters. Where I question my own purpose, my own sanity, my own life. Yet I find comfort in the uncomfortable. Filling volumes with public confusions most would dare not write. So here I am, my wife softly snoring next to me. While I am wide awake exercising the demons in my soul.
And yet she’s supposed to be the special one. Peacefully sleeping in the oblivion, I so dearly miss. So I close my eyes and breathe in the moment. Embracing the cold and silence. Years ago, silence would have frightened me. The sound of my own thoughts was a pain I hated to endure. Yet here and now, I listen to those thoughts. Detached in a way, giving them room to breathe and be heard.
So often we flow through our lives like an open tap. Letting the precious gift of life flow unnoticed down the drain. That realization has caused me a many a sleepless night. My only solace is to give away the parts of myself that I have learned and unlearned. Creating no profit from this, maybe I should just call it a hobby instead of a talent. It has taken me a really long time to understand, we are each given a gift. Rather through our physical labor or more executive task. We are here for each other. And that my friend is purpose.
97.3°…that’s what was taped to my chest as I entered the clinic. When I got my cardiologist office, I became a birth date. Then in the exam room, I became a name on a chart. But after my echocardiogram, I became a follow-up appointment. At some point life often loses its meaning. Like the moment when your kids are grown and gone. Or some life changing incident that scrambles the course of your existence.
I don’t mean to be so melodramatic, but my life often likes to remind me that I’m not indestructible. That the pains I wish to ignore are based on real problems. I used to think my life as finite, but that was only a fool’s dream. So I do my best to live my life fully. But I find myself bound to the harness of duty. But don’t call me a cad or worse yet, a saint. For even Christ was given a moment of relief from his cross.
I had dreams, I had purpose. Even as life slowly changed those dreams, I felt drive and passion. Now I just feel tried wishing for a soft pillow to lay my head. But even pillows these days are in short supply. Dragged away by time and obligations all their own. So I sit in the sterile mist of another waiting room. Feeling forgotten, feeling abandoned, feeling alone. I have so few tricks left in my bag to cheer myself on. Torn between companionship and reflection, and a desire to just be left alone.
Down this foggy road I’ve driven a thousand times. I see the same cars, the same trucks every day. Where they’re heading is anyone’s guess. All I know is we travel the same direction every day.
Are they heading to work? Or to some appointment? One never knows from the blank stares in their eyes.
Travelling the same familiar path, a thousand times. I often wonder, if I’m coming or going. But does one ever really know? For the road is straight and hilly. For us travelers repeating the route, over and over again.
Against my better judgement I’m now outside. After having taken a 120-mile round trip to one of my doctor’s today. I still have two more dates left on my three-day Doctors Office Tour this week. Fortunately, today’s visit was the longest of the three, but the next two are still 60 mile around trips to two different cities. How lucky can one man get? Needless to say, I feel worse since leaving the doctor’s office. Nothing much was accomplished, considering I don’t believe the doctor actually remembers me. At least not by the way she kept staring at the charts.
With the next two I probably won’t fare much better. But one is a simple six-month check-up (to see if I’m still breathing and can still pay the bill). The other’s a new doctor (to see if I’m dying from something new). I don’t mean to be so cynical, well maybe I do. But out of the dozens and dozens of doctors I’ve seen, only a handful actually saved my life. So to them I remain loyal the rest…uh.
I guess the point to all this is, take charge of how you’re living. Remain aware of all the facets of your life. Now that may seem strange coming from me, the poster child for laissez-faire. But even my seemingly causal way of living has a purpose. You see, I am very much aware of my limitations and conduct my life accordingly. When I tell people I’m “retired” it pretty much means I don’t do that anymore because I can’t. So do what you have to do. Always do your best to remain positive. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll end up luckier than me.
Today is my chill day. After about three weeks of running around like a chicken with its head cut off. I got up, took a bath, washed my head, then made a toilet paper run to the store. Right now, I’m outside in the sunshine, with a nice cool breeze blowing, and mess of migrating birds singing their brains out overhead. I for one am quite content to just sit here all day.
Like I said, I went to the local Dollar store to pick up some TP and coffee creamer. As usual I said, “How are you doing?” to the clerk. She replied, “Working, working, working.” For a minute I thought about how leisurely my life is now and I kinda felt bad for her. But sitting here and thinking about the last few weeks, I remembered how I thought about nothing but getting ahead and ending up getting nothing.
I got nothing against motivation, ambition, and drive. What I’m saying is simply based on my own experiences. I read a book by Thich Nhat Hanh a few years back titled, “Power”. The book discussed the proper use of power and ability, not only in the business world, but the real world itself. Pushing one’s self towards a set of goals may fulfill you. But often it’s an empty kind of fulfillment. In business and school, every goal I met only left me unfilled. Happiness never truly came until I discovered that my drive and motivation were only bandages for my broken heart. I never found to true peace and satisfaction until I confronted my wounded soul and learned to love all parts of me.
It’s been a busy, but weird past few days. Other than that, it’s been a damn near perfect weather. Got some business taken care of “in town” and even more business waiting for me on my desk. So between that and other crap I’m dealing with, I hardly have time to create. Even now I got a pot roast waiting on me to cook it. But I needed a moment alone after dealing with family and business issues all morning. Being a caregiver for two adults is a challenge I wouldn’t wish on someone I didn’t even like.
But I keep telling myself, “It is what it is”. But even that gets a bit old and you just want to run away. Listen, I love my wife and I love my son, it’s just that sometimes you want to be a little selfish. I guess since this is turning into some kind of confessional, I should point out, I am far from perfect. I get frustrated and I get mad at loved ones when I shouldn’t. My only excuse is exhaustion, both mentality and physically. But this world doesn’t seem to care for those that are “less than perfect”. The one’s hard to deal with, the less than. It’s a hard thing to hear, but an even more frustrating thing to say.
So as caregivers are left dealing with the public outburst, changing the messy diapers, and getting the dirty looks with the “glad that ain’t my kid” whispers. Still we press on. So maybe I am a little too chatty and a little too noisy with strangers. But hell, who else is there to talk too? The isolation can often be deafening. When all you do is check behind those that don’t know any better. I’m sure as hell not writing this to make myself out to be a saint. I’m just a human being, no more, no less. So excuse me, I hear a pot roast calling my name.
Woke up a little bit early this morning. Earlier than I wanted to in fact. But here I am an hour into my day and still two hours from sunrise. Wasn’t doing too well yesterday, an old friend came back to visit. A friend that brings a lot of discomfort and pain. I’m still having discomfort in my gut. But don’t worry, just as soon as the talking heads get done dissecting last night’s rhetoric, I’m sure my belly will be fine.
Two old men fussing at each other, that's all I heard. At least when my son-in-law and I disagree about politics, we have enough respect for each other to pause and listen. But most of us just scream over each other for the sake of being heard. And for what, to prove we are right? To slay your opponent? To be the winner? There are no winners in this game of emotions. Only losers and hurt feelings. What are we so afraid of if we are wrong?
Oh, I done my fair share of bragging. But at the moment I’m tuckered out. Exhausted by all the confrontation. Stuck in the house while my body dictates my actions. But I pray, I pray for better days. Maybe not the same way you pray, but I pray. I’m trying to keep my emotions in check about how I feeling right now. But it’s safe to say I’m tired. My gut is tight and I’m cramping up, while my heart aches. Not only for myself, but for the world. As two tired old men just fuss at each other, over the fate of the world.
Overcast skies drape the windows of my mind. As hopelessness and dread foretell my future. Much like the lines of a poem, I do my best to seek optimism. But when I look to the horizon the realities of the coming days say otherwise. I guess I’m too much of a realist to think differently. But such as it is, for I gave up a long time ago trying to purge myself of negative thought.
What I have learned from Zen teaching is that positive and negative thought exist to serve each other. That one cannot be acknowledged without the other. That balance between the two is essential for a healthy existence. So I acknowledge and embrace the negative when it occurs. I listen it I say to it, I understand.
I like to think I am aware enough of my self that I can acknowledge my short comings. I don’t live in some fairy tale world where if I pray or embrace mantras enough; that negativity will magically go away. That my friend is a Slippery Slope that can lead to even deeper depression and hopelessness. The key is to accept your shortcomings and then work to overcome them. You see, I can wish for a good harvest from my garden. But without hard work, wishes reap nothing.
I can’t help but look up into the sky. Sweeping thin clouds of white tapered in front of a blue backdrop. I’m a little light-headed, as I work through this fast. But the clarity it brings is intoxicating. But I do my best to monitor my vitals, in case you were worried. But often circumstance causes sacrifice. Choices are made, so obligations can be met.
We live in a world that feeds off self-gratification. Where selfishness is a virtue and compassion is for losers. We scream as the awaken majority. Yet we’re drowned out the voices of the damned. In a world stoked by fear, the occasional happy whistle is enough to cause hope. But as time passes my side starts to cramp, as the morning sun burns my face.
I suppose it’s time to return to my cave. Put the heating pad to my side and drink some water. To pull oneself from the daily routine, can be a respite from fear. For staying in the game, can often be life shortening. But to pull yourself from reality can be just as bad. So fight for what you believe is right. But remember, peaceful resistance is better than war.
I am one strange bird, when I should be happy, I’m not; and when I should be upset or depressed, I ain’t. Well round here it’s face the music week. I got the last of the monthly bills to pay, I’m over extended due to extra doctor visits, and I got taxes that are due. (As all 1099’ers know so well.) So while anything’s looking a little “thread-bare” around here, for some damn reason I’m optimistic. In a world that is so hyped on keeping us afraid (to sell ad space, in case you didn’t know). We drown in a sea of pessimism searching for a way out, only to be dragged down again.
Our forefathers lived under tyranny where the few ruled the many. (Sound familiar?) But they remained focused, they didn’t let what stared them in the face take away from their vision of enlightenment and free will. Today we tend to get a little lazy. We’ve grown comfortable with the status que, accepting the crumbs given to us by the few. Allowing ourselves to be herded like cattle to the slaughter.
You may ask yourself, what does this have to do with optimism and pessimism? My answer would be, your situation good or bad is real. How you treat that situation depends on you. You can either look at your place in this world and see hopelessness, or you can tighten your belt and seize the day. God knows I got a crappy few weeks coming up, but I also know “this too shall pass”. Fight for what you believe in, but not at the expense of hurting others. Compromise and compassion will always prevail over anger, bitterness, and hate.
There are days when I feel like a folded-up accordion. The skin on my neck over laps the skin on my chest. My knees have little flaps of loose skin and my underarms look like water doodles. Ah, don’t worry if you wanta laugh, I really don’t mind. I can remember decades ago, when I was l teased for quite the opposite. It’s a little sad now, that most of those people that teased me are now alcoholics, drug attacks, perpetual losers, or worse yet dead.
I know, I know I shouldn’t think that way. But when I see these people on the interwebs, they’re all bitter, mad, or in an obituary. I guess I should be one of those sad statistics, flat broke in a one red light town, just 130 miles from where I began. Without a permanent home, no deed, no title, just an 18 year old pick up truck and a pretty steady lawn chair.
But I got friends, people that will check on me if they don’t hear anything. I got kids that stay on my ass and argue back at me like I taught them too. I got a following, it’s no more than a handful, but isn’t more than a handful just too much? Through all my wondrous imperfections, it’s nice to know that I’m still breathing. That I still got most of my wits about me. And rather I admit it or not, I am still capable of love.
Several days of sleep deprivation have taken a toll on my body. It’s amazing how a $15 piece of plastic for a CPAP machine can upset my life. Yet here I am at 2:30 in the morning, my mind in a fog and my body clock all messed up. But I don’t wish to bother you anymore with of my medical misadventures. If anything, I’d just assume make you laugh or at least roll your eyes at something I’ve said. Still even while the conditions are pretty good for sleeping, I lay here, my heart pounding, and sleep nowhere to be found.
It’s funny how beautiful words seem to pour off my fingers, but never out of my mouth. How thoughts of gentle perspective can flow to the screen, yet always bypassing my tongue. I get a lot of comments about my words that often mystify me. Because I am well aware of who I am. An ill-tempered old man, without a kind word passing my lips without some sort of cynical remark. I suppose I can always throw out the being verbally abused card as an excuse. But at 58 years old, is that still the right card to play? But then again is blaming myself for every wrong in my life okay? It’s a slippery slope, one that I don’t wish to travel.
Life is often a long journey of repeating ourselves. Rather it’s dating the same incompatible people or making other stupid life choices. We can’t seem to help ourselves. I pause for a moment searching my mind for the right thing to say. But all I hear are the desperate cries of that hurting child deep within my soul. Closing my eyes that child tells me to carry on. To forge ahead and to not stop. Living is so exhausting at times. But on many occasions, it’s nothing more than minor setbacks in the road. We need to remind ourselves to be patient. For lasting change never comes unless it’s repeated time and time again.
Some things aren’t worth the words I use to describe them. Looking at this world turned so narcissistic, I barely recognize it anyone. I’ve literally spent years of my life discussing and believing in our “better angels”. Yet all I see right now is a world hell bent on falling down a rabbit hole selfishness and self-destruction.
My latest reading has been on the correct use of power. On having compassion and empathy for our fellow human beings. It was debate and disagreement that created this “more perfect union”. But lately it’s been the fear of losing power that has driven us. Survival is one thing, to speak out against injustice another. But to pigeon hole every protestor a terrorist, and every cop a killer is insane.
There are problems with this world, yes. There is injustice and heavy handedness of the law. But the screaming has to stop. I am not always right and either are you. But watering seeds of hatred and fear weeps a bitter chop. I know of the pressures of life. I have the damaged heart and deteriorating muscles to prove it. Let’s step beyond the fear and lack of civil discourse, to allow compromise to win. I fight enough battles with myself both physically and mentally to take up all my precious time. Isn’t it time for you to go to our corner and wait for the next round?
If life were only as simple as our dreams. At 46 years old, I decided to pursue my college dreams. A dream I had stopped and started since 1980. A dream that had haunted me, telling I would never be happy without it. After a number of tries throughout the 1990’s and early 2000’s, I found a good fit through online schooling. Through five and a half years of struggle, I finally earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology Business Systems Analysis. But in what I dreamed would be the proudest moment of my life, I felt nothing.
It was almost like “buyer’s remorse”. Where you buy something you thought you needed, only to put it on the shelf. Now this is not to say I didn’t get the education I desired. In fact, I walked away with a wealth of knowledge and tons of conference I didn’t know I had. Even now it’s hard to explain. All I know is I fought like hell went on to earn my MBA after my undergrad study. Literally nearly losing my life in the process. But during those months of recuperation, my life, my mindset had to completely change.
You see the driving force behind my dreams was my total hatred of myself. Even through college, with every good grade or excellent report from my classmates and instructors. I still hated myself. All the low self-esteem, the lack of confidence, the overeating; it all stemmed from my total hatred of self. Think about it, if you were verbally and/or physically abused nearly from minute one. What other model of behavior do you have to follow? It’s still taking me a lot of time to break this cycle of self-abuse. But every day I still reach out to overcome another obstacle. Listen dreams are great, dreams are beautiful. But look deep within yourself and ask, is this a life changing moment or just another quick fix for my wounded soul.
For whatever reason, I woke up with a shout this morning. I think I’ll chalk this one up to a good old-fashioned panic attack. This kinda shit would have really worried me years ago. But at this point you tend to just deal with it as it comes. I don’t mean to belittle anyone else going through this or to make light of it. I mean hell, I’ve been dealing with Panic Disorder since 1999. I’ve gone through so many treatment sessions and so many different medication combos. That after a while it’s easy to feel more like a lab rat then a patient.
At this point in my life, I’ve spoken so many times about my illness and treatments, that maybe I gloss over it a bit. But never the less, I’m here and it’s here like an unwanted guest at my party. For a person with enough physical ailments to stop a freight train, you can imagine the health anxiety I often experience. But along with that, I have the strange ability to remain calm during a crisis. My family and physicians often find that irritating, but for some strange reason I’m able to compartmentalize my fear from analytical side of thinking.
Hell, I don’t know why I’m rambling on about this other than to waste time while this episode passes. I suppose the point is to be proactive with your treatment. Question everything, do your own research into treatment opinions. Be honest with your therapist and doctors about your experiences. But most importantly, don’t be ashamed. There are thousands of individuals out that live miserable lives because of shame and fear. And I should know I was one of them. For the better part of 15 years no one but few knew I suffered from mental illness. So be vocal, be proactive, and don’t let the stigma of mental illness keep you from fighting back. Goodnight.
My mind is a blank canvas open to whatever possibilities that come my way. For a while, my mind had so much to say, but it was locked away behind a wall of fear and doubt. While I have been dealing with my mental health issues going on 22 years. It wasn’t until around 2007 that I started making real progress dealing with those demons that haunted me. It was during this time that I starting following the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh utilizing the philosophy of mindfulness and compassionate listening.
It opened my eyes to the idea of self-forgiveness and self-love by quieting the noise my head through awareness and nonjudgement. Listen, even in the Judeo-Christian teaching of forgiveness from God, one must still learn to forgive oneself. I’ve seen so many friends and family that have extended the olive branch of faith to others. Yet deep within themselves, they harbor seeds of guilt and self-hatred.
By allowing yourself to become aware of the noise going on inside. You’re allowing yourself to listen to your broken soul and say, “it’s okay”. This is not some magical cure to all your problems. But it can be a first step towards healing a broken heart and mind. Well this story ain’t going finish itself. And my EMC neighbors seemed to be jacked-up to get back to work. So I will take a moment to clear my head of today’s garbage and breathe.
Taking my last two pills of the morning, I stare at this blank screen, unaware of where it will take me. My head still carries the residual effect of last night’s pain. The aftereffect of a broken-down CPAP machine awaiting repair. I don’t have much to say while I’m confined to quarters, waiting for these high humidity and high temperatures to subside. I often think of the extreme weather I once endured in the name of a paycheck, and how such extremes today would probably kill me.
The persistent pain in my shoulder and neck are little reminders of my newfound fragility. Of how my world is not the same as it was even five years ago. Maybe I shouldn’t harp on such limitations, but when you’re locked in a temperature-controlled closet, what else is there to think about. Yesterday was an unholy 97° with a heat index of 107. At the moment the temperature has already hit 90°, and it’s not even noon. So me and the Calico are stretched out on the bed. Waiting impatiently for cooler days and lower humidity.
One of life’s sweet sorrows is the fact that eventually it has to end. We go about our lives wishing we were the center of the universe. But when outside voices scream, you are not, then the pain settles in. Seeds were planted at our birth. Seeds of comfort and seeds of fear. For so many us we let the garden go unattended. Allowing bad seed to choke away at a good harvest. But it doesn’t have to be that way. By becoming aware one learns how to prune and trim and how to fertilize the garden. Ignoring what is wrong never brings a good harvest. So no matter what the situation, it is you that ultimately has power to create change.
Funny how this little town wakes up in the late afternoon. Everybody’s getting off work and turning onto these streets trying to make it home. I smell the distant scent of underbrush burning. A volunteer fireman is driving the fire engine around, just the crank it up. The loggers are heading home in the backs of their bosses F-250’s cashing their checks and getting beer.
I remember those days, after a 12-hour shift at a job site. Cashing my check at the bar, having a few Miller’s, shooting some pool, while downing a few pickled hot sausages. By the time I got home, I’d grab a shower and still have enough energy to take Sherri out on the town. Well that shit hasn’t happened in a while. Sherri's on her sixed or seventh marriage by now and I’m sitting here under a fig tree, retired from all those shenanigans of days gone by.
Old memories can either haunt you or set you free. At the moment I’m looking at this with a little of both. Wishing for the energy I had and content with the decisions I’ve made. Time either teaches you or wastes you away. But at the moment sitting under this fig tree, I’m just happy to still be able to feel the breeze. Impatiently waiting for yet another day. While dreaming of bonfires, and an ice-cold bottle of beer, while bullshitting with long lost friends just passing the time away.
Well for the first time this week I’m outside. Not that it’s been all the hot or rainy, but mostly because of the humidity. It is stifling. But the irony is I haven’t gotten settled in my lawn chair yet, before the Baptist next door decided to mow their grass. But such as it is living in the “burbs”, even in a small town.
September is right around the corner and the two main farmers almanacs can’t decide what the upcoming winter will be like. With one predicting rain and cold, while the other predicting dry and mild. I for one am just waiting on this humidity go away and just be hot.
But life offers no guarantees as the Gnats swarming around my head will agree. But the slightest breeze has picked up and my stomach’s already growling. So I guess pick this conversation back up around November.
It’s five in the morning, not exactly my golden hour. But late enough that I did get a decent night’s sleep. The world is still, the fans on high with its rhythm setting the pace. I spent yesterday processing my latest lab results from my doctor. Already compounded by fear and anxiety, the news and referrals I received did not help the situation. At times it seems like my PCP enjoys delivering bad news. But I understand she’s only looking after my overall health.
So I spent the better part of yesterday loathing and feeling sorry for myself. Unlike some, I find that accepting those emotions cleansing in a way. Instead just “whitewashing” over the strains. Acceptance gives me the ability to clean up those parts of my life that were neglected for so long. To deny yourself the chance to mourn, is to deny yourself the chance to heal. My parents are not buried together. Although they were married some 30+ years. My mother remarried and was buried not far from where I live now. My father lies with my infant younger brother at a cemetery at home in Bloomingdale, Georgia.
The separation symbolizes a division of our family unity. A division within myself, believing that in some way I am an outsider to my own name. But the acceptance of my flaws and failures gives me a chance to do over whatever disappointments life brings. That we are more than our collected history. That we all have the potential to be better. That through it all history doesn’t have to define us. Instead it gives us the ability to do better. To correct course and face whatever challenges we must face. To look truth straight in the eye and be at peace.
The old sun can’t make up its mind today rather it wants to come out today or not. But the cicadas sure have come out making a racket. It’s about mid-afternoon and I said the hell with it and come outside. I didn’t realize Mr. Brown had come by and mowed the grass. But the smell of the fresh cut lawn fills my nostrils with the pleasant scent green memories. Texting a friend, the other day brought back memories of hot summer afternoons. Sitting around kitchen tables, drinking iced tea, and listening to my parents and family jarr on about whatever thought crossed their mind.
Time wasn’t so restrictive, nobody seem to be in a hurry. You eat whatever momma or grandma had on the stove. There weren't any beers drank around our kitchen table. But more than likely, Uncle Perry had something sitting in his truck. But there was plenty of smoking, and every ashtray in the house was full, even though my parents didn’t smoke. It was a two-block walk to grandma’s house. So conversations tended to spill over between one or the other. Weekends were never really boring, because there was always someone dropping by.
There’s no real rhyme or reason for me telling you this, other than the fact that it used to happen. Before we ever got so wrapped up in ourselves and family were people you actually wanted to hang around. Spinning talk tales and telling stories of this life or the next. But in this world, all I can do is reminisce and socially distance myself. Trying not to take up too much of other people’s time. But at least the cicadas are keeping me company, while the rest of the world burns gas apparently going nowhere.
Well, let’s try this again. I’m in the backyard, a slight breeze is blowing, and it’s only 86° although it’s only 10:30 in the morning. My neighbor is having his hedges trimmed, I guess to keep up with mine (Insert smiley face). I don’t see any clouds in the sky and I don’t seem to be sticking to my clothes, so I’ll assume the humidity is down. I often wonder why anyone ever reads my shit. It usually always starts the same way. With me talking about something in the yard, while complaining about an obnoxious squirrel or a noisy neighbor. But if your glutton’s for punishment, who am I to argue.
Having to repeat things every day builds muscle memory, which is important for work and even play. It can also be important for self-discovery and self-discipline. A little while ago I realized it as getting close to lunch time. Rather you know it or not, I’ve lost 125lbs over the last five years. It was mostly due to dietary changes and some recent health issues. But the bulk of my weight loss came through breaking my food addiction. Recognizing that I was using food as a coping mechanism. Basically, I was eating my feelings.
You may ask, what does this have to do with muscle memory? Well though mindfulness, becoming aware of myself, and being honest about my feelings. I was able to embrace the pain inside me and eventually was able to let it go. I know this is a very abbreviated explanation of mindfulness. But the gist of it is, burying pain, hurt, and anger only allows those seeds to germinate and grow. By learning better habits and forgiving myself. I learned that the destructive habits I was using to cope. Can be replaced with the muscle memory of love and forgiveness. Allowing me to pursue even greater paths in life.
Staring in the mirror, I never imagined being this old. Back when I was in high school, we had a class discussion about the year 2000. About how we would live to see that new millennium, and what we thought we would be doing. I don’t remember what I had said, though I’m sure it was cynical. But the thing I do remember is that in the year 2000 I would be 38 years old. At that time in the late-1970’s, my Dad was just in his mid-40’s. Now in 2020, I’m approaching the age in which both my parents pasted away. Now, I call that irony.
My wife and kids think I am over-obsessed with these facts. But I like to think of it as a goal. To somehow break through that barrier, and then live in a wild unpredictable future. I know, I know that sounds silly as shit. That I should focused on living in the moment. While that may be true, my creative focus pushes me to keep creating, like I have a timer strapped to my back. I am haunted by the thoughts of wasted time. Time, I lost losing the person who I was. Creating this image, that I thought everyone else wanted to see.
The scares of those days are slow to heal. From the moment when I was rediscovering myself till now; I hear a distant yet familiar drumbeat of time wasting away. It scares me a little to be in this holding pattern. To watch the world turn, while I have to stay put. Discovering myself being drawn to the negative influences of world speak. Pulled away from nature to become a prisoner in my own home. Unmoved, uninspired, waiting on my greatest enemy…time.
It’s just another anticlimactic moment, in an ocean of anticlimactic moments. I had finally saved up enough money to have my eyes checked and get a new pair of glasses. I know that seems trivial, but for those of us on the low-end of the poverty line, it’s a pretty good achievement. It’s been nearly 5 years since my last exam. When optometrist asked why I simply told him, “You priced me out of the market”.
But the point here isn’t to glorify my impoverished life. The story is, once I set a goal for myself, such as this one, and then achieve it. I don’t know, I sorta feel let down. Even while I was struggling to get through college and eventually achieving that goal, I just felt empty and wasted. Like every achievement I made, led to me having to prove myself worthy time and time again.
I hope this is making sense, because I feel like I’m rambling. I mean, shouldn’t there be a certain amount of pride in achieving something? Because all I seem to feel is, “Oh well, I guess that’s that”. Over the last few years my focus has been on achieving peace of mind. I’ve learned that achieving goals is to allow growth and to do better. It’s not just a competition to prove yourself worthy. It’s not like I want to sit around the house in a paper diaper and do doing nothing. It’s just that by replacing the future with the present moment, it has given me a clearer perspective. Not only about myself, but for the things around me.
With a cup of decaf next to me, I begin my day. But it’s not necessarily the beginning of my day. It all started about two hours before when I woke up checking messages sent to me through the night. Some well-wishers, a few haters, and lots of scammers pledging their undying love to me for an account number. God knows how many bots are out there with my face on them. Shit, who I’m kidding. Anyway, after making up the bed, going poppy, and taking my daily dose of meds. Here I am sitting in front of this screen, till my ass gets numb.
I went to sleep last night listening to political newscast (yes, I know). So I woke up with a tension headache around 3am, got up and went to the bathroom. Then came back to bed, and listened to a binaural recording with subliminal massaging. I went back to sleep, but my head was full of weird vivid dreams. With messages that put on full display every flaw and fear I have. What was funny was is after waking up, I felt a certain amount of clarity. Like I just passed a test I was worried about. Rather it was meditative or therapeutic or both, it definitely cleared my head.
But then again, who am I kidding? It won’t too long before my delusions of grandeur are soon wiped away by the troubles of the day. That’s the way it goes in this ever-connected world. Where distractions pull you away from your focus. Leaving you frustrated, confused, and fearful. It’s in those moments when we need a little “me time”. If for a few seconds look outside yourself, maybe at a tree moving outside the window or look at the people walking by. Either way, your stepping away from the madness inside your head. Giving yourself a bird’s eye view of the world and stillness around you.