Choosing You

It is easier to lose yourself than it is to find yourself.

We start out in life with amazement and awe and courage. Over time we give in to bravado and, most of us, give into society.

Imagination and differences are frowned upon. A special few are born with the strength to defy all and do what is in their best interest all the time and never lose sight of that. Some give in without knowing it; little by little they take the easy way and put aside what is in their best interest and by extension, they put aside them.

Over time those of us that took the easy way, come to realize that the sacrifice of putting aside what they believe was in their best interest means giving up a part of them.

The delusions we take on in the guise of acceptance, in the guise of going with the flow, in the guise of contentment changes us forever. I have come over recent years to realize that I had given up on me, the world, people, family and friends because it was easier to listen to those that I held in high regard, those that I trusted — whom I should have been able to trust. I perpetuated this false illusion by thinking I was content. It is a word I have come to look at with contempt.

Why must we give away or compromise what and who we are?

Content is not happy, content is just good enough. Content lowers your expectations of who and what you are; who and what you want to be.

We need to find the inner courage to return to our original path. The scariest question of all time: can I find me?

Sad Sign by Regina HerryJersey | Writing Rants

Once the decision is made to bushwhack back to who we are, what is in our best interest, we realize just how much we lost, how much we gave away in time, dreams, and happiness.

It is these first steps which are the easiest (only realized in hindsight). The darker times wait a few months and in my case a couple, of years. It showed me who my friends truly are. It showed me that my family was still there. None of them in the same way as I had left them, but still the support to pull me through, to focus on the light and not the dark was enough to keep me going.

I chose me. I chose the harder path of finding me again, of reaching outside my comfort zone to get back to who I had aspired to be growing up. Little by painful little steps, I have brought back into my life the joys I had lost along the way.

I have reached beyond what was a contented delusion to find new friends, a new place to live, a better support system. I have brought back into my life the joy of riding, writing, traveling, and exploring nature on land and on water. While some key components have yet to materialize, I have better happier days knowing I am choosing to find me again and to be OK with that, to be accepting of the time lost, to be OK with knowing that better happier times are ahead of me, just waiting for me to be in the right place and time.

Do you have the courage, the stamina to return to your path, follow your dreams, be who you want to be?

Aftermath: 3 Steps to Recovery

I’ve spent the last week on the beach. It was a smooth flight from start to finish. Not easy to say when the trip involves flying.

This trip combined every major life changing events with the exceptions of death and birth, that was possible in one punch. It ranged from stressful to relief to laughter.  vb_sunrise

This next week is about putting things into perspective and completing clean up work before heading back to the daily grind. Through this journey I realized there are 3 steps in the aftermath of drama/trauma.

Accept Your Part

The first step is to accept your part in the situation. No matter the obstacle, mental, physical, or emotional, you have to recognize the issue. I mean completely recognize it. Not blaming others or life or God because that’s not only the easy way out, but also detracts from your involvement too. You must accept your part of the trauma. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but you cannot grow, cannot move on unless you recognize all the parts of the issue; from the people involved to the circumstances contributing to it, which includes you. Once you lay out the pieces you can map a path to get through it and in some cases that means you need to stand up for yourself and/or those that you love.

Step Into the Fight

The second step to recovering from past drama/trauma is to get through it. Unfortunately, sometimes the only way to the other side is to fight your way there. Whether it be for justice in the courts, physical therapy from injury or breaking free from negative people, the only way to move on is through it. It will not be easy, it will be painful, but it can be done. This is where you learn who your friends and family are. Those that stand next to you free of judgment are the ones you want to be in your life, now and in the future. You need to do what is in your best interest, there is nothing wrong with fighting for what you want. Fight if you must, not for the activity of fighting, but for becoming a better you.

Move On

This third step is not as easy as it sounds. When you fight for so long, when you try, and keep trying, to get past the pain and the illusions of the past, it’s easy to forget not only who you are, but who you wanted to be. You need to recognize when the fight is over, win or lose. You cannot carry on the fight forever. If you lose the fight then you need to accept it and let go. Carrying on a battle, no matter how righteous, is self defeating. Let go, step back, and find yourself. Who do you want to be? What did the fight cost you (take into account mental, emotional, physical, and financial costs)? After all that, ask yourself: Who Am I? No matter how short the fight was, no matter how little the cost was, you have changed. You are not the same person you were before. After you take stock, are you happy with the new you? Are you who you wanted to be at this point?

My particular battle has include a little of everything, but I have finally reached a point where I can say I recognize and accept my part in the drama/trauma, that this last week was the end of the fight, now I can step back and let go. I am taking a couple weeks off from life to figure out how to move on and do clean up work.

I took time to remind myself who I was before the drama by reconnecting with old friends, talking about the before, during, and aftermath. I took time to enjoy the sand and sunrises, and waves. I thought about everything and nothing. Most importantly, I slept. Good long deep sleeps that I have not had in a long time.

Some of my moving on was started a few months ago. I started planting seeds for the person I was meant to be before all this drama/trauma started. Some of my plants are starting to bloom. Now I am going to create some structure and nurture the seeds that have not come to light — yet.

Friendshp

Friendship — it’s a very simple word that has so many different meanings it’s hard to tell which one is best. I have several friends who have been in and out of my life, some who have known me for more years that I can count, and others who have slipped away unnoticed.

Over the last 5 years, I have had some very special friends. Despite my awkwardness at times of asking for help, they have been there without question.

In the last week I have had 4 friends, in 3 different states, stand up for me. It wasn’t something they expected, or for that matter, I expected. Past drama reared it’s ugly head — yes drama is ugly. I knew it was coming, they did not, but I did not expect it at the moment it appeared.

I spent a handful of hours with one of my far distant friends, who graciously listened to me and then listened some more. She was supportive and patient as I repeated the issues again and again. She let me vent, she told me to calm down, and for a few hours that worked.

I called another friend. We hadn’t spoken in some time. It was a long call, half of it to catch up and the other half to listen to my drama. She was very familiar with my on and off drama, but like friend one, she let me vent. She was quiet and listened, she offered her opinion when I took a breath and, as long standing friendships are, she listened — without judgment, without angst, and without impatience.

My third friend walked into the storm without knowing it. She made the mistake of asking about the upcoming drama without realizing the storm had blown in early. She got an earful, not as much as the first two friends, but still more than she expected.

Number four did not get an earful, she did not get a lot of details, but she knew drama was there, she knew that I needed a distraction. She threw out a life preserver and for one of the rare times in my life, I grabbed on to it.

I hate leaning on people, I hate asking for help; both smack of weakness and insecurity. I could easily list all the reasons why, but I won’t. Suffice it to say that past baggage has been delivered by the airport personnel (of all the luggage they cannot lose!)

In the last few years I have painfully, awkwardly, embarrassingly asked for and received help from several friends. These 4 (2 long time friends, 2 very very new friends) have listened to me, have supported me, have provided distractions for me.

These 4 currently have been most present in my life, but are not the only ones that came to my rescue.

A few short years ago when drama started there were a good half dozen people who rescued me. I should have listened better, I should have realized that my intuition was cloudy and unreliable, but I didn’t. My faulty intuition aside,the drama would have come no matter what, but maybe my stress level would have been less.

6 friends on the spur of the moment rode to my rescue, secured me, and even through exhaustion, made me feel loved and safe.

Now, as drama comes back into my life, I have reaching out for help again; this time it is easier. I don’t feel I am the one bringing the unknown into their life. I am comfortable asking for their support. I have grown and learned that the friends I thought weren’t real are. As Sally Field once said, “You like me, you really like me.”

It took a long time for me to leave the darkness and come to terms that I was not the one in the dark, that I had friends, that I was loved for who I am. That is a huge wall to scale, but past determination came back and I scaled that wall — with some help from friends.

I am eternally grateful for my friends, near and far. I’m quite sure without these friends (and half a dozen others) I would not be here today or I would be at the bottom of the wall looking up instead of at the top looking down the other side.

My friends have shown me what friendship is, they have shown me that I can be happy and when times get rough, they will be there. I will not be alone, I am not an island.

Even in the depth of pain, of confusion, or loneliness, there are people who care.

I am grateful that my friends are there, that even in the darkest days, most awkward and embarrassing days, I could call any of them — I can talk to them, and no matter what.

When the clouds clear and the drama comes to an end, we are going to celebrate. I owe them — all of them — more than words can say, more than I can show. So this post is going to have to do everything I cannot find the words for — that I cannot show:

Thank you for being there for me, thank you for listening to me, thank you for loving me.

Thank you for showing me what Friendship is.

Thanksgiving Gratitudes

They tell me it’s Thanksgiving.  Well — almost.

They had to tell me because there are no falling leavings, no cooling of the air with threats of rain or snow on the horizon. There are no homes with fireplaces sending luscious scents of burning wood into the open air.

There were no markers that the seasons had changed and the opening salvo of the holidays were upon us.

As I sit in a local coffee shop, no decorations for Thanksgiving or Christmas for that matter, are on display.

English: Turkey (bird)

English: Turkey (bird) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am perplexed and not sure if I like the anonymity of the season or long for the days where Thanksgiving and Christmas are rammed down your throat with every step from October 31 to Jan 3.

Part of me misses my childhood where the holidays brought friends and family from all corners of the planet to celebrate the time of year and each other. It felt and smelled like home.

As I grew up and moved on, I tried to replicate those occasions as closely as I could like my mother did. I liked the smell, the camaraderie, the seasonal changes.

In the last few years, ten to be exact, I started to dread the holidays. It felt like more of a chore than a party. I was distant with my family and closest friends; due to circumstances beyond my control (and frankly some that were in my control), I fell silent. Partly, so I didn’t think of all that had been and partly because it was an easier way to weather the stormy seas I was in.

Now as I stand on the other side of the rough water, I find it is still choppy, but not threatening. I brace for the impact of Thanksgiving quickly drowned out by the worse holiday — Christmas.

I have moved on in my life, but not sure how to reclaim all that I let slip away. How does one reach back without appearing needy or mean? How does one move forward into the past?

It’s funny. I have moved into a place where I hear people talk about thanksgiving, but I don’t feel the warmth and love that used to be in the holiday. Like people are just going through the motions  — or maybe it’s just me.

I am lucky enough to have found other foreigners in my current land to spend Bird day with. I am looking forward to not working, but playing and spending time with good people and new friends.

I am grateful for my life and the direction I am heading in.

I hope this year brings back some of the old time feelings of past holidays of warmth, laughter, and good cheer.

May you have an awesome and happy thanksgiving surrounded by those you love.