Remember, we've all got to be here, so let's be here for each other. Sappy? Maybe. The right thing? Definitely.
Let's not let a little thing like being "tough" get in the way of being a decent human being (by the way, does anyone else find the phrase "human being" to be a little embarrassing? We don't use it for other living creatures like "mammal being" or "bird being". I fear the fact we need words to remind ourselves to be human doesn't reflect well for us, and we invented the language). And yes, I do realize it looks like I'm sitting in a public bathroom, but I didn't design the University campus. We all have to work with what we're given, even if it's ugly bricks.
A Tuesday tune to write a class essay by: Kenny Loggins "I'm Alright"
Got through my first day of classes yesterday and I only have two more nights of work before I get my first day of "me" time (which I believe translates now to "get your shit together and do your homework" day). Unfortunately I got home at six am and woke up at nine-thirty and couldn't go back to sleep.
On the plus side, I seem to be developing a cough accompanied by some pressure in my chest and a bit of an ache in my right ear (down to my jaw), as well as a scratchy throat. I know I'm not getting sick though because I can't remember the last time I was sick and it wouldn't happen now, not when things are just getting started and I haven't even attended all of my classes yet.
Nope, wouldn't happen.
Song for a Friday in denial: Barenaked Ladies "Brian Wilson"
I'm running on fourteen hours of sleep since Sunday - sandwiched between my job on campus from 9 pm to 2 am every night and the various school events, client contract work, and my annoying inability to stop thinking. My first day as a University student consists of back to back classes beginning at 9:30 am straight through until 7:30 pm, and then onto my job again at nine. I'm tired. I'm anxious. I'm borderline overwhelmed. I'm excited.
I'm loving it.
I have no idea how I'm going to make it through to the end of the year, or even the semester, but I didn't know how I was going to get here in the first place so I remind myself that anything is possible.
Song for a school day: ACDC "Who Made Who"
I've come to the inclination that the word "celebrate" is vastly undervalued in the English language.
Too often we live our lives focused on executing agendas and pushing ourselves forward while never taking the time to acknowledge how much we have and what we've already accomplished. Our mountains and mole hills, the grandiose and the obscure; our triumphs, our privileges, and even our differences. What and who we are, and simply the fact we're here. "Celebrate" shouldn't be relegated to a hit 80s song by Kool & The Gang, it should be part of our everyday lives. We need to focus more on what makes us great and less on what makes us... well, "less".
I know I have a lot to learn about this, that I continue to be a work in progress, but today - rather than disparaging that fact - I've decided to celebrate it.
I wish I had shrinking powers like Ant Man and the Wasp. I would carry a door in my pocket so whenever someone said something stupid, I could make it big and then slam it in their face while saying "Good day, Sir. I said, good day."
It seems like it would feel more satisfying than simply shaking my head and walking away while being less jail-timey than punching them in the face.
Some people get songs stuck in their head. I would love to have a song stuck in my head. The WHOLE song. I get the same two lines repeating in an infinite loop. That's not a song. That's a sadistic parrot with a grudge.
The first of my new school supplies arrived today from Amazon. No wandering around the mall for this guy. Even the few items I could only get from the university store, I ordered online and just have to pick them up tomorrow.
Of all the things I hope to learn this year, being resourceful won't need to be one of them. Or is it efficient? Who am I kidding? It's lazy. That's the one I've already nailed and unfortunately I don't think it's one I'm going to be able to utilize for success.
Ah well, it was a good run while it lasted.
Woke up with doubt and sadness this morning. Even a touch of loneliness. I've been on a positive streak for a bit and the sudden shift comes as no surprise as after all this time I'm accustomed to it. Still never something I'm happy to see return but something I've come to accept as part of who I am. It's me and always will be. I have my ups. I have my downs. Sometimes I have both at the same time.
Recently I've decided to stop fighting it so much and accept it instead. It's part of my reality, and it's not all bad. I believe it makes me a more compassionate person. I'm more conscious of how my actions affect others. I work harder and take responsibilities and commitments seriously. It's not about eliminating but integrating and accepting so I can live my life to the best of my abilities.
There is a saying that goes "Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart." That's where I want to be. I want to be more in the moment. I want to understand myself better and become a better, stronger person.
In this case, it's easy to speculate the triggers that lead to my current state. Anxiety about attending University soon, the reality of starting a new job and even with employment, the knowledge that it may not be enough to cover all my bills. Too much time spent alone. Ironically, even an event I'm attending tomorrow, which I've been looking forward to for months, but carries with it an anxiety of interacting in groups of people. Many times I'd call it off at the last minute, but not this time. This time, I'm in charge, not my insecurities. I know I'll have a good time once I'm there and the doubt riding my shoulders can wait in the car.
I can't know the future so there's no use agonizing over things that may never happen while ruining today. What I can do is look back at my forty-six years and see all the times I found myself in this same situation and recognize that no matter how much my world felt like it was destined to fall apart, I'm still here. Not everything work's out the way you plan, but it does work out. You may not always be happy with the results but each hurdle leaped introduces one more ending and allows for a new beginning.
Every minute you're here is another chance to get things right, and I'll never be perfect but I'm closer to it than I was yesterday.
Happy Friday. I hope you find some peace of your own today.
A song to welcome the weekend: The Pursuit Of Happiness "I'm An Adult Now"
Look at me getting all fancy and shit, with my shiny new name badge for my new part-time job at the University. I finished my initial orientation session and feeling great about it.
I've owned my own business, been responsible for teams, complex projects, large contracts, and even earned up to $90,000 a year at one point. Still, I was miserable and unsatisfied through the bulk of it all. Not everyone may understand how I can be so happy over a minimum wage job that has me working Thursday through Saturday nights from 9PM to 3AM, but for me, it's all about the experience of living student life to the fullest. At my age, I feel lucky to get a second chance and a fresh start that let's me work my way up to something new. I'm excited to get started; job, homework, grades and all.
I don't know if I'll fail or succeed over the next four years but I'm ready to give it my best try. Another couple of weeks and I begin to discover what I'm really made of. Depression can suck it. Now is happy time.
A song for those about to begin: Twisted Sister "I Wanna Rock".
Out for a little 80's birthday party. Except for some safety pins along the bottom of my jeans, I'm wearing what I do any other day. The 80's may be past but I'm not past the 80's, and I'm OK with that. My friend Cheryl went all out though and nailed it with a mix of colours and style.
We collect every hope.
Every dream, every wish.
Every visit home.
We gather them in baskets
or even the cradle of our t-shirts
as we stretch them out and care nothing
for the damage we may cause them.
Damage is a price we pay.
The risk we take.
Damage is a thing we will all carry -
but unlike our hopes and dreams,
eventually we will leave it by the roadside
while the rest
we store away
My brain is aflame as it rains and explains the life insane as it rolls and rocks with urges and thoughts and spills through the thrills of my energized frame. 'Tween the low and the high, I'm piercing the sky with no means to fly but my frantic supply of dreams and drive as I live and I die, minute by minute.
Do you remember that night, the night we first kissed?
Me in my Sunday best, you in that summer dress.
The one I will forever measure your best, till the end of days,
in spite of the countless fashion candidates to follow.
Standing close, your chin on my chest, breath heavy and shallow.
Aware of the spell our hearts were deftly weaving.
When finally parted, I knew mine had been stolen, and I was glad to see it go.
Glad it had found a home.
Glad it was no longer alone.
I knew even if broken, it was the only possible conclusion,
and I accepted it gladly.
Do you remember that morning, the morning we first kissed?
Me watching you rest, you in a state of undress.
The moment I will forever measure our best, till the end of days,
in spite of the countless cherished moments to follow.
The days marched on and life laid heavy hands on promises given.
We played our parts, committed to the script we had written,
but even we lie vulnerable to inner critics.
The future is uncertain.
Circumstance the final curtain.
Even the best intentions can meet the worst conclusion.
Drifting apart, a hole in my chest, breath heavy and shallow.
Aware of the fact our hearts were slowly bleeding.
When finally parted, mine remained stolen, and I was glad to see it go.
Glad it had briefly known.
Glad it had experienced a home.
I knew even if broken, it was the only possible conclusion,
and I accepted it gladly.
Here I sit in my math class, feeling fine, except for my ass.
I stretch, I yawn, let it all hang out, but I get too loose, and my tongue falls out.
There’s a girl on my left, a guy to my right, I shake my head and they watch the sight.
I start to drool, I start to shake, I forget my ass, as my head now aches.
I’m out of control, there’s just no stop, to the gruesome sight - the spit and the slop.
Everyone shouts, and they dive for cover, as I come to a stop, my tongue just hovers.
I look about and see disaster.
I try to run but my teacher’s faster.
He grabs my collar and pulls me back.
I yell and kick, but he gives no slack.
He makes me scrub, he makes me clean, I try to joke but it’s not his scene.
It wasn’t great, it wasn’t a gas, but at least I can’t feel that pain in my ass.
If you dream of flying and I dream of dying, who’s the one crying for help?
You yearn for things, only my dream can bring, while I do not lie to myself.
To dream that you can, do things beyond man is exactly what I myself do.
But you try to clasp what lies past your grasp while I, to myself remain true.
Your fantastical dreams bring your life to its knees
In the end, you must take from yourself.
So, if you dream of flying and I dream of dying, who’s the one crying for help?
The loneliest place you will ever stand,
is on the rocky shore beneath your own skin.
Trapped between your now and the past.
The "who you were" and the "who I am",
the “where you will go” and the “never began”.
An island onto yourself.
And from the jagged cliffs you will dive
to the darkest depths,
holding tight to the belief
that the weight you have carried for so long,
has made you strong enough to swim.
In these dreams I dream these days
that a secret fear I’d locked away
and hoped to never bring this way
has finally come to call.
I stumble forth from sheets still wet
in sleep I dampened them with sweat
while try I might but never yet
have I made it past these walls.
I struggle now to find a door
and running circles round the floor
my heart it breaks again once more
to hear the echo of my calls.
There’s no door that I can find.
No ladder to the top to climb.
No window shares the sweet outside.
In the corner now, I weep and hide
from fear that wells up deep inside
it bubbles up within my mind
and traps me yet again.
The open air that was my friend
has left me here to break, not bend
Claustrophobe with naught to lend
but the dreams of which I fear.
She chases her dreams like raindrops chase gravity down a pane of glass
tracing erratic patterns on their way to an end
to merge with others as they collide along the way
breaking free when it's time, taking pieces from each
not lonely but always, in the end, alone.
She believes without the benefit of leadership, moving through instinct,
trusting she'll know when she's arrived and in an act of defiance,
a "fuck you" to those who stood by, even while they moved ahead.
She carries her dreams on the outside, like armour
exposed and vulnerable to the world
even as she's wrapped tight
tight enough to hold conviction and strength
to hold her sadness at length
to hold her
I have to leave before she arrives, but I stay as long as I can.
She doesn't need my help, never did, but I think she liked me as a witness
to prove she was everything they said she wasn't
to remind her that, if not this time, she'll try again
that, without a doubt, she is that strong.
Storms can be a cleansing
a second wind
a chance to mend
and when she needs another drop to chase, the rain will come again.
Be careful how high you let your dreams carry you, my dear. My arms are not very long and if you drift beyond their reach, we will have only our memories and the air between to sustain us. Even then, I will stand with crooked neck and aching back to watch your silhouette make its stamp upon the moon, forever ready to catch you, should you fall. For what are fathers for, if not to stand guard while their daughters swim for the stars? To cheer them on while standing forever below, waving arms in triumphant pride, only to wipe the occasional tear that comes from seeing how high you go, and how far away your dreams will take you.
Time has stolen my confidence
My mind has stolen my youth
Each day is a question
Each answer - half lie, less truth
I built myself a family
Believed I had a plan
Discovered belief was for the living
Learned how to be a broken man
Gravity conspires against me
It doesn't want me on my feet
Peace hides itself to avoid me
The one, I’ll succumb to
The other, I’ll never meet
My best dreams lay behind me
Like dogs forever chasing tails
Some teased success
Most promised I’d fail
But in the end, it's just a tail
And I’m left to walk in circles
So long as I hold on
Success is X’s on a calendar
Progress, by days not spent in bed
The past, my constant jailer
While I’m locked away in my head
If I could unlock my mind
I’d be out there today, walking free
But I’ve been trapped for so long
I’ve forgotten where I hid the key
Life, I’m told, is the party
The guests, ghosts I slip between
Hope and laughter, gifts piled high
But even shoulder to shoulder
No one ever touches me
I know there's beauty in the world
But none that reaches me