I have gotten really bad at keeping up. I promise I’ve been writing every day, and it was time to keep some of it private. I spent last year asking questions. This year I’ve been getting the answers but it took half the year for
me to realize I needed to be quiet if I wanted to hear them.
This year has been hard on everyone for many different reasons. I think there was no escaping that it was a year of difficulty. The near constant slew of tragedy and loss was almost too much to bare. By the end I’ve stopped being shocked. It wouldn’t be twenty sixteen without one more bomb. I think we’re all ready to close the book on this year and start over.
But it won’t be a number on the calendar that makes the difference. It isn’t about where we are in our path around the sun. It’s what you choose to happen in your life that makes it a new year. Otherwise you’re just repeating the same history over and over.
I’m grateful for the amazing things that have happened in my life this year. I took on a lot of responsibility and I took on positions of leadership. Whether or not I was ready for those things is a matter for the historians because it’s in the past. I can’t sit and fret about the things I wish I would have done better. The only option now is it be certain I do them the next time the opportunity arises. I took a first step toward something I’ve been wanting to accomplish at work for a long time but never started because I feared I wasn’t good enough. I got a dog, something I’ve been fearing because I didn’t want to be proven irresponsible. I wrote anddirected a show that was performed in highly competitive realm, something that terrified me and I had never really meant to do in the first place. From all these things I have learned a lot about the person I am, the person I’ve been, and the person I’m becoming.
Change is inevitable. Even in death, our spirit transcends and our bodies decay. Embracing and accepting change is the only way we may have any control over it. Control may be the wrong word. Influence would be a better choice. There is no control, only influence. Somethings are more susceptible to influence but, ultimately, if a thing is meant to happen, it’s going to happen. And all we can do is learn for next time.
This past year certainly has had a feeling of being pulled back. I firmly believe that in the next year, we are all capable of accomplishing incredible things. We have access and resources to do what was once impossible. Now we must actively choose to do those things. It’s as simply as making the choice to get off the couch and go for a walk. Choosing to take a risk and trusting that the people who truly matter will support you and love you no matter what. I can choose what I let have control over my emotional state. I can choose to have faith. I encourage you, if you want change, to choose to participate in the local community. I challenge you to choose to not agonize and focus on the failures of others. That word “choose” is what I repeat to myself when I hear Anxiety or Fear try to take control. When I can’t trust what’s happening in my head I remember that I steer the ship and I can choose to move my body and make it do whatever I damn well please. I can choose to get up and walk away, I can choose how much time I really want to spend staring at glowing screens. I can choose to be subject to my surroundings and my environment or I can choose to get up and do something about it. And that is what aiming is.
Yesterday I wrote a poem “Too Drunk to be on a Bicycle’. It’s going to win me that there Nobel.
I don’t care for competition dance. It’s like being forced to watch a recital for people I don’t know. It’s dance for the sake of “Look what I can do”. It doesn’t move me, but it does surprise me and I guess that’s why I always end up watching clips from youtube.
I guess I feel the same about reality tv.
I forget I have an audience. I forget people are reading this. Hi reader! I hope your day went well. I’m writing to find my voice, but it seems you’ve found it as well. Thank you, and remember, like myself, this is a work in progress.
I’m ready for the home that exists in my mind. The one where we live somewhere with seasons and we can survive happily in all of them. The home with the studio for all the art projects I don’t have time for now. The home office that will bestow upon me magical powers of organization, focus, and will power. The home gym where my husband and I will regirously maintain our firm young bodies with dedication past child rearing and well into retirement. The home that will be so easy to care for that the two to three children that will run through it will never be scolded for muddy footprints. A home with space for two dogs, a cat, a pot bellied pig and a few chickens and goats in the yard. The home that is centrally located, rural but not far from metropolitan delights. A home that is our and we’ll never have to worry about the hassles of renting ever again. Oh and the mortgage that will one day prompt laugh when we think of what we’ve paid in rent. Where the fireflies light up the night but mosquitos are only a problem on vacation. Oh the home that will never break, never mold, never fall down in the middle of the night or be hit by a tree. THe home that is in my mind is where I’m longing to be.
I forgot what I sat down to write. I had some grand thing in mind. Something witty and timely, but then I got caught up reading articles about people crashing their car and finding a dead body while playing Pokémon GO.
I am so enamored by the village of Yellow Springs. Every time I come here I never want to leave. It’s hard to imagine anywhere quite like it. It’s what Norman Rockwell would have painted after he went through a phase of LSD experimentation. I think I reach a point where I lose perception of the fact that at some point, I have to go home.
That’s what I like about travel. I get to leave my reality and enter another. I let go of the world back home and become as fully present as one can in the world I have entered. I get to become someone unconcerned with the politics and social niceties of home. I’m more than happy to forget about the bills to be paid or the job I work to pay those bills. Easy to forget the ever forward march of time and mounting responsibilities that come from living long enough to be an adult.
I’m bored by details. I like vacation the way my husband and I vacation. We arrive, we make it up as we go, and then we begrudgingly return home. The question “What do you want to do for dinner tonight” when asked at home is like a rock on my chest. I don’t care, just make sure I’m fed by 7pm. On vacation, that same question is an invitation to adventure. “What do you want to eat” means “What do you want to experience?” I don’t buy clothes at home, but on vacation that 50$ top also counts as a souvenir. Unless there is an excursion booked, we wake up and go to sleep when our bodies have said “enough!” On vacation, the red light runners and the too slow people in front of me at the grocery line are not my problem. The property taxes are not my problem. The weather is not my problem. What those people in the store might have thought about me is not my problem. Why should I worry about any of it, this is not my town, not my home, not my problem. Clothes strewn on the bed are not my problem. Dishes at the end of the meal are not my problem. The water bill is not my problem.
The only thing I have to remember is to write it all down.
Why do I write? More specifically why do I blog? I guess because I have something to say. I’ve given myself permission for my blog to be a place to take risks and to just put it out there. If I’ve got a huge draft folder of pieces I spent hours on but then due to over thinking, will probably never publish. But’s that’s fine because I’ve found that I have a tendency to find what I was actually trying to say later. Typically in something unrelated or in a round about way.
I published an essay yesterday that I almost immediately regretted. I nearly retracted it, worried of the repercussions of my underdeveloped voice. It’s important to know the audience but I’ll hamstring myself if I spend all my time trying to cater to them. Little fun fact about me, satire and sarcasm are basically my entire wheel house. I think the best way to make a point is to say the complete opposite of what I meant and hope the reader is so shocked that they understand that no rational human thinks like this and the use of hyperbole is meant to break stagnant thought patterns. Done well, this is an excellent way of making a bold statement. Done carelessly or without clear voice and it’s easy to sound like the side you wish to protest.
But to know if you’re making the right point, I suppose I’m going to have to let someone else read it. Call me irresponsible, but I’m going to think of myself as brave. I know full well one day I will look back on my early writings and cringe at the amateur and trigger happy use of inflammatory language. But in the mean time I’m going to just keep doing it, reread my word, listen to critique and carve out a voice worth listening to from it.
Today a young woman identified herself as “sis gendered”, another addressed the group by asking “Where my queers at?” If you were to ask me, what’s your gender identity, I’d chuckle and reply “Married”. I don’t know what category you’d put me in. I suppose I’m straight but simply because I’ve only ever been interested in having sex with men. It’s not like I never made it a rule to not sleep with women I just never really felt like bothering with it. Although I do find myself preoccupied by breasts. Maybe it’s envy, since I don’t have them, or maybe I’ve been brainwashed by male oriented television programming. I sometimes wish I were a man for the convenience, the freedom, and the privilege but I wouldn’t trade in my vagina for the world. And I just like feeling pretty too much to ever consider myself a cross-dresser but there is something to be said for the practicality, comfort, and ease of a man’s trousers.
I just don’t want to have to explain to my children all the labels and the PC ways of interacting with people of alternative lifestyles. I don’t want them to come to me at ten years old confused because they don’t know what gender they identify with yet, because I want them to not care about gender. I want them to know their sexuality does not define them as a person. If my child confesses to me that they’re gay or bi, or whatever new sexuality we will have come up with, I’m going to look them in the eye and tell them I don’t care who they want to have sex with, as long as it’s consensual and that they use protection. If my daughter doesn’t want to wear pretty dresses, or my son does, I’m not going to stress them to conform. I’d rather spend that energy on making sure they are respectful, well adjusted, and have their priorities in order.
I know right now it’s important that we recognize that there’s such diversity in the world, that for every deep dark fantasy you might harbor, there’s at least ten internet chat rooms that will cater to that. But we need to stop making “celeb turns out to be gay” a headline because unless you’re the one fucking them, it’s none of our business. Maybe one day gender and sexuality will as inconsequential as…. well fuck now that I think about it even country vs rock and roll is contentious. So maybe it’s not so simple. Still, maybe one day we can breed out the boundaries by not teaching them to our children.
Because it’s all the same love. hashtag no lives matter yall.
I’ve been unwittingly thrust into the job market during a recession. I hadn’t planned for this, although I haven’t been planning at all.
When I first started working out of college, I was lucky enough to make a connection that put me in a guaranteed position. The work was seasonal but I was good about saving for the dry months and working all I could when the work poured in. A few years ago I had the fortune to stumble into another lucrative job, and the excitement of a change in career field was exhilarating. I heard people whispering of economic downturns, rising unemployment, woes and strife, but I paid it no mind since I was turning down work because I simply didn’t feel like it and I could afford to do so. Then came I decided I could do better and and used my contract as kindling to burn the bridge.
I was doing fine. The first year the toll of not working was hardly noticeable. First there was all the to-do of getting married and being a newlywed. That all settled down right as a very busy season rolled in and I was working so much that I forgot it wasn’t guaranteed anymore. I was taking home a good serving of hubris with every fat paycheck. But when I missed the vital winter holiday season and changes were made within that made getting the work even harder. Like a factory closing down a floor and shoving all those people into another, suddenly I had competition. It was no longer simply good enough to be just available all the time.
As money started going out more than it was coming it, I began to panic. It was getting harder and harder to not worry about all the little things and I was making myself a nervous wreck sweating the small stuff. The worry about money combined with the understimulation of not working took a hard toll on my relationships. I just about gave into the depression of it all. The stress of being bored was just too much for me.
I can’t exactly tell you when the turning point it. I’m certainly still hurting for the work but at least I’m branching out now. I’m looking into alternatives that still utilize my skills. I think I let that old bastard Pride narrow down my field of options but I’m taking back control. Pride should be reserved for the worker I am, not the work I do. It doesn’t matter if you’re a shit shoveler or a CEO, there’s something in the work you do to be proud of. I find myself sometimes thinking I can’t go back to my old field of work or that taking something not in the limelight is going to somehow be a sign of failure to others. But you know what, fuck them, they don’t know my path and for that matter neither do I. I just know the destination and as long as I’m still walking I know I’m going to get there.
Sometimes I worry that my disinterest in the rules of society make me look ignorant of the rules entirely. I exist in this paradoxical state where I just don’t care about superficially impressing others but then I worry someone will see this as ignorant or disrespectful. I don’t want to care about my hair and makeup or my clothes, but because society does I feel pressured to at least make an effort. I don’t want to care if I look provocative or unprofessional but since we continue to insist on being a visually driven animal, then it behooves pride that I strive to fit the image that I want people to see of me.
Pride is going to be what kills me. My last words will most certainly be “It’s the principle of the thing.” I will stubbornly hold out because pride says not to give in. Pride says I don’t need help, that I’ll get it on my own eventually. My steam-engine drive is stoked with pride but throw on too many coals and the whole thing is likely to blow. Pride will feed and pride will starve. Pride demands the best and laments anything less.
Say what you will about pride, however, it’s what’s kept me alive today. Too proud to quit when I want to give up, too proud to settle for less than best. In my darkest hours, it’s been my pride that’s kept me from giving into the voices that say “you can’t”. Pride drives my work ethic, keeps me determined to be the best, no matter how menial the task. The pride I feel over my health keeps maintenance a priority.
Do the western philosophies not recognize the balance and order of the east? Do we not understand that equivalent exchange is in fact a natural law? To appreciate rest, one must work. To experience relief, pain must be applied first. All things rise and swell then release and collapse. Pride in one’s work, one’s accomplishments is not sin because it is not hubristic in nature. Be proud of what you’ve done, not boastful. Be confident, not foolish. The pride that dooms our souls is the kind that pulls us from our path, that tempts us to take more than we give, to claim more than we own. But take pride in a job well done, a good deed enacted.
I hear by declare that in the one woman nation of me, it is okay to feel proud. Feel good about the good that you do for goodness sake. You are no-where near the limits of “overly confident” and this self sabotaging doubt will not clear your soul. This dismissive modesty is like trying to clean a window with a dirty rag, how will anyone see the beauty on the other side if you keep smearing grime on the glass? Take credit where it is given, no one can take away what you know in your heart what you’ve accomplished.