Hello, friends. It’s been a while It’s hard to imagine, but I used to blog about chronic pain every week as a means of trying to figure this all out and share what I felt in a way I never had before. All those years bottled up and here I was just trying to find the language of myself. Spoons. Mana. Just keep swimming. However small these exercises seemed at the time, they laid the groundwork for the strength it took for action and ultimate victory. The past three years have been unlike anything before and I’m working hard on learning to find the adventure in it.
I never thought re-framing my perspective in and of itself would be my biggest struggle.
Before I could get better, I needed a story. Starting the blog in 2010, I created a fresh life-narrative to get flow. Flow gave me the momentum to stand. From there it was just one step above the last, gradually climbing up higher and higher. And then, after all the struggle to find the tools of stability, control, freedom, bravery, the right doctors and the right treatment - all in pursuit of this life experience everyone else seemed to be having - I abruptly reached the summit.
I didn’t even know I was on an adventure.
But enough about before. At a certain point in the last year or so, I realized that I was in an epilogue. Not that I didn’t deserve the respite, but I came to accept that it was time for something new. A journey initiated by me. Not some malady thrust upon me or a dire situation that I found myself in. Now that I triumphed and possessed some basic pieces, what did I want to do wth my life?
No pressure 😉
I started weekly counseling at the beginning of 2015. It took longer than I’d like to admit to get me there. Despite the initial reluctance, it has been overwhelmingly worth it. I never really considered that an ongoing, long, intentional conversation about yourself could actually change how you think and feel. With enough work, this can eventually change how you live.
One of the hardest things I’ve had to accept is that I’ve missed out on a lot, and that horrifyingly no one noticed. Fear of missing out in reverse. Not regret exactly, but learning that there was more going on than I could have ever actually experienced at the time. For example: having emotions is not only a privilege but generally everyone just walks around having them. Mind. Blown. How do you get thru a whole day while feeling… things? How do you even get anything done that way when everything around and inside of you is screaming in HD THX Technicolor madness? Nothing is mind dullingly simple anymore, for better or for worse.
So now when I challenge myself to do something basic yet more ambitious than I ever used to, I start by grabbing the simple tools I’d improvised over the years that worked so well for so long. I set the goal. I stare it down, but it just seems so impossibly far away. So I panic. I freeze. I feel guilty. I withdraw. I’ve given myself this gift of life, but how do I even?
Life is strange. Feeling is strange. When we read existentialism in high school, I basically went, “ Yeah, that sounds pretty accurate…” not realizing that most people weren’t literally stuck in an irrational yet totally tangible labyrinth of such depth and challenge- or that there was even a way out. That there was something more.
Now I try to embrace the challenge; remembering in these tough moments that “this is an adventure”. Trying is an adventure. Failure is an adventure.
Aside from the day to day challenges and some residual pain, how do you even know where to begin? I’m trying to break out of this prisoner’s mentality. I am free to choose and I’m trying not to get overwhelmed by that. Freedom one day at a time.
Somedays I wake up and feel like I’m falling. I’m trying to remember that a little plastic spaceman once taught me that, “flying is just falling with style”.
P.S. I just picked up my guitar and started playing again after years of it sitting dormant in its case. With a little practice and some new callouses, I recorded a couple songs I wrote back when I was 17. It feels so good to play again
I usually stick with the ruins or heights of a future dystopia as the setting for my art. I feel it connects me with my diverse family's close relationship with World War II, from the bombing of Hiroshima to the right to survive beyond barbed wire on both sides of the Atlantic. It is a privilege that I can look at these events from a distance. The truth is that the brutality of war has never left us.
This is happening right now in Syria. It hurts to realize that, for most of the world, it is the brief glimpses of peace, not the Wars, that are remembered with such austere reverence and nostalgia.
What are we fighting for?
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
— Edmund Burke —
"The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."
— Ferdinand Foch —
"Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive,
and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."
— Anais Nin —
Rey: There are stories about what happened…
Han: It's true. All of it. The Dark Side, the Jedi. They're real.
Luke: The Force is strong in my family. My father has it. My sister has it. You have that power, too…
— Star Wars: The Force Awakens —
“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its return.”
– Hal Borland —