Monday, January 25, 2016

Fear, My Dear... I'm afraid

Fear... It's what really drives most people.  Fear is something that is basal.  We feel it the moment we pop out of the womb.  "Where am I?  What am I doing here? Who the hell is that? Why is it so cold?"  These are basic, fundamental, fear-inducing questions that we face from day one. We need safety.  We need comfort.  We need these things inherently to move forward. We need them now. We don't know what safety and comfort really are until we've found them... rarely do we find them.

Eventually, we learn to manage fear.  We never get over it, we simply manage it.  By whatever means necessary, we attempt to control something that we are born to be unable to control.  We do this within the confines of that which does not kill us.  We act out as much as we can and piss all over any kind of moral compass.  If it feels good, do it.  Sometimes we find the things that feel too good... that encompass our minds and make us forget the fear.  And we forget for so long that when something happens to rush us back to reality, we turn in to newborns again and forget all we've learned and we are simply small little beings who are afraid of everything.

Then, we must re-learn how to manage the fear.  But this time, it has to be different.  It has to be fool-proof.  We can't go back to fear... not like this.  Our entire life is made up of cycles of time where we learn the wrong way to deal with fear and then it comes screaming back and then we have to learn a new wrong way... the cycle is never ending.

Why the psychology lesson?

No matter what you do in life, you are always going to be afraid of something.  You try.  You fail.  You try again.  You fail again.  My message here is one that I wish I could convey to myself.  And that message is this:  odds are good, you are going to fail.  Odds are good, you'll never escape fear on every level.  Odds are good, if you don't try, you'll never succeed. Odds are good, if you let fear run your life, you will never be able to truly live.

Take the chance. Put the emotion away and think with rationale.  Assess the risks, but don't let risks rule your brain.  Yeah, you usually have a 50/50 shot.  You either win or you lose.  And if you lose, you try again... but, if you should happen to be lucky enough to win... well, then you can look fear in the face for at least a few fleeting seconds and say, "hey, fuck you."

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Judgement Day

I was dreamin' when I wrote this
Forgive me if it goes astray...
But when I woke up this morning
I could have sworn it was judgement day...

Picture it: Late February 2010

I'm sitting at my desk doing whatever it was that I was doing and thinking to myself, "I don't want to do this anymore."  My horoscope that morning basically said something like, "today is the day to do what you are supposed to do."  It was a pretty low time in my life.  Things were rough at home, at work, in my head, and in my heart.  I felt defeated and angry because I had let myself be defeated.  Angry... that doesn't even begin to describe the level of rage that I had piled up inside myself.  I was so unhappy with everything and really felt like there was never going to be an answer.

So, I re-read my horoscope-again and again and again.  I had never really thought about what I was 'supposed' to do... not in a spiritual sense, not in a 'taking care of me' sense.  My whole life had been about taking care of (or at least trying to take care of) others.  But I knew the time had come to try and put me first.  It was a foreign concept to me  but one that I had decided must be figured out.  I spent quite a long time online that day just looking at different stuff, random stuff. And then, out of the corner of my eye, I caught an ad on a site that I was on advertising a culinary school.  I had this dream when I first got out of high school that I wanted to do that then, but circumstances just never panned out for it.  I hadn't really considered it an option since that time... but something clicked when I saw that ad.  I actually smiled.  Sitting alone, at my desk, in my office, I smiled.  I knew that was it.

So, I went to a couple of different sites and looked at the programs that were available.  I knew there was a program locally at Sullivan, but I didn't really know much about it.  I did some research and found out that it was a pretty decent program.  That day, I submitted an online request for more information... as I filled out the form and got all my info in, my heart kinda skipped a beat as I clicked the submit button.  Was I scared?  Was I excited?  I'm not really sure to this day what that emotion was really, but whatever it was, it made me feel alive again.

Later that night, I was sitting at the Pub (pretty sure it was a Tuesday, but back then, it would be hard to prove) and I got this phone call from a number I didn't know... so I of course didn't answer it.  But then I got a voice mail from a person from Sullivan responding to my request for information.  I really didn't know what to do.  Somebody ACTUALLY called me back and I was almost not really prepared for that.  So, I picked up my phone, went outside, and called her back.  After a short conversation, I had an appointment to take a tour.  The tour led to paperwork, student loans, and gear fitting.  This was happening.  I was going to culinary school.

I remember only specific moments about the last two and a half years... You can get bogged down in the details of memories if you aren't careful.  But the memories I remember the most are as powerful to me today as they were when they were made.  I remember the final in my first basic skills class...I remember being so nervous I almost puked before it started. I remember that I was the only one to get done on time and it was decent.  I remember walking out to my car after it was over and crying like a baby for about 15 minutes because I was so happy.  I remember a week later when I had my one on one meeting with my chef instructor to go over the results of my final and when it was over and I passed, I remember specifically him saying, "looks like you found what you're supposed to do."  I had found it and I knew it.

Fast forward 27 months and here I am today, getting ready to take my last practical exam for the last class I need to complete my degree... that's right, after today, I've completed what I set out to do 31 months ago.  I will have actually completed my education for something that I actually love to do.  I'm going to graduate...

This road hasn't been easy... the toll it has taken is apparent when you look at where I was then and where I am now.  But the prices paid for it all, well, they were prices that needed to be paid I suppose.  I ran across a quote not too long ago (well, someone else ran across it and shared it with me) that said, "find what you love and let it kill you."  I feel like some moments during all of this almost did... but here I am, about to be on the other side of it and I'm stronger and happier than I have ever been.  I am happier than I've ever been because I'm not happy for somebody else... I am happy for me...

I AM HAPPY FOR ME!

So, when I finish this final tonight and I go out to my car and undoubtedly sob uncontrollably for fifteen minutes, I will know that no matter what the outcome, I put everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, I had into this thing and I have no regrets and no fear about my future. The universe has gotten me this far... I have no doubt it will take me exactly where I need to go when I need to go there.


So, if perchance you see me tonight and you see me smiling, you'll now know why...  You'll know that for one actual time in my life, I followed through... I found what I love and I'm going to let it kill me and I couldn't be happier.

See ya on the other side!

Monday, May 28, 2012

This Place...

This place is just a place
Sitting between time and space
And these words are only words
Sitting between mind and soul
We will never understand the path
Twisted and turned
Too many familiar landscapes
To make heads or tails of where you've been
It is because every turn we take
Is a one way street to a place
We've never been
Every road sign is only painted
On one side

Trying to go backward
This is not strength
This is fear of foraging in the unknown

Time and space live together
But can never understand one another
They were never meant to
One occupies the other
But they never touch
A balance you should understand
When walking between
Your mind and soul...

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Is it just me...

Or does it freak anybody else out when your dog falls completely asleep with their eyes wide open?  I couldn't even get a picture because it bothered me to look at it... but seriously???

Monday, February 06, 2012

They are all just things...

Just got home from Gatlinburg a couple of hours ago... annual 'Ski' trip.  Home to a house that is a mess, to no dogs, to just me.  This weekend was a little bittersweet for me.  A whole lot has happened since the last trip.  Some bad things, some sad things, some undefinable things, but also some very good things.  Pretty sure I don't need to go through the laundry list, but the time period when I get back from the Smokies always seems to be a time of reflection for me.  I don't know why.  Maybe it is because I don't get to see everyone as much as I should and I am reminded of that by means of megadose.  Maybe it's because I consume more alcohol in one weekend than I do in a month's time.  Maybe it's because I am reminded of days gone by and sometimes I feel like I want them back.  Or maybe it's because I know I should never have those days back.

But, I always get to see people that have left such an amazing impact on my life that it always helps me put things in perspective.  Through the better part of the second half of 2011 and especially now in 2012, I am reminded that the things that I have and the things that have happened to me (things I have caused and things that I have no control over) are all just things.  They come, they go.  Memories fade, things break, and wounds heal. 

The one thing that never goes away is love.  Love of friends, love of family, love of the people that made you who you are... and love of the people who still love you in spite of yourself. 

Throughout my life, I've always felt a sense of confusion.  Most emotions never made any sense to me.  I was never good with them... understanding them, expressing them, dealing with them.  My initial reaction to emotions that I felt was a complete over-reaction in the completely opposite direction.  Or, I would overcompensate for lack of emotion by finding more things to get or things to do.  Or, even worse, I would just shut down.  Afraid that I would appear weak.  Afraid that I would appear vulnerable.  Afraid that I would be seen as the frail person that I always felt like I was on the inside.  This was my self-inflicted curse.  I did this to me.  I have blamed everyone in one way or another for this problem except the person that needed to be blamed... me.

I feel fortunate that I've made it 36 years and I still have the people in my life that are still with me.  I feel sadness that I lost some, but I don't think I could have salvaged those relationships no matter how hard I would have tried.  I feel warmth that I have found some people again that I thought were lost for good.  It helps me know that I wasn't so bad that I couldn't be forgiven... that I have a good enough heart for people to look past the 'things.'

As I start another new journey in my life, I constantly remind myself of all that I have.  None of the material things, none of the pain (self-inflicted and otherwise), none of the bad memories... these are all just things... they could all be gone tomorrow.  I remind myself of the love of the people who have been willing to share their lives with me and who have been so gracious as to allow me to share mine with them... this love can't be taken away.  This is what life is really all about.  This is why I am here.

peace

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I wonder...

It seems like lately I have been regressing... and not in a good way.  I've been running too hard, saying too much, neglecting my responsibilities, and just generally being a douche.  I'm not good at being alone.  I like the freedom of living alone, but I'm SO not good at it.  The brain starts rolling, the mind goes places it should never have returned to, and my soul is severely missing some peace.  Is it possible to stop a tailspin before it happens?  If I know I'm doing it, can I fix it?  Or is it who I am?  I certainly can't switch off my brain.  It just isn't possible.  I have been trying for the better part of my adult life to figure out how and all I can say is "EPIC FAIL".  Everything I think of reminds me of something else... usually something painful and usually of my own doing.  I am supposed to be learning how to improve myself and I can't stop living in the past.  Until that happens, I doubt there will be any peace.  Then comes the anxiety of knowing that all of this is happening and not being able to stop it - which only compounds the problem. 

But, if I go out and try to not spend time alone, I do stupid things that I know better than to do and then I feel bad about that.  I apparently have not one shred of self-control.  I think I need to go somewhere where there aren't any people... maybe for a month or so and just have it out with my head... have all the arguments, think all the thoughts, sit in silence and decide if I am going to win, or if this world is going to kick my ass.  As it stands right now, the score is The World 10, My Ass 0.

I'm usually very private about issues like this, but I have recently realized that being private means not talking, and not talking means it stays in my head.  If I know one thing for sure, there is no more fucking room in my head, so if you read this blog, you might want to get used to this... this stuff in my head is like a nose full of snot... if it doesn't come out, I think I'll suffocate.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Exposure
To hurt. To criticism. To rejection.
This is the fear that breaks me

I long to live beyond that
To become the body which
Lives within my soul

Such uncharted waters are these
Too long neglected
Too deeply buried in a sea of doubt

All the dreams have been crushed
Under an unyielding pressure
Placed upon my head

For just one moment,
I long to breathe again
Freely, as I once believed I could

I seem to feel a pulse returning
To my once shattered heart
Softly pounding as if to whisper, "hello?"

I wonder if anybody's home
To answer the faint call
Unafraid of opening that door again

Feeling the elements that surround
and breathing the fresh air
That the world outside so readily offers

To be exposed...