Friday, January 13, 2017

No animals were harmed in the making of this blog......

....however I cannot promise that feelings won't be hurt. I will NOT name anyone so as to protect them, and perhaps myself, from harm.

I have this recurring vision. The wedding reception is over, the bride and groom have had their send-off through a tunnel of smiling family and friends holding sparklers with shouts of encouragement and well wishes.  But the voices are now quiet where once people were hugging and telling each other goodbye...yet there I stand...alone...the fire in the sparkler has long since flamed out. All the guests and employees are gone, except for me there, in the dark, cold, and rain, just staring at what once was bright and full of life...and I can't move. I'm paralyzed.  More on that later.....

As a PSA, The paragraph you are about to read below is from a relationship that occurred FAR in the past...nothing recent:

A little while back, I received an unexpected email from someone which whom I'd had a past relationship. She sent it to me not even knowing if my email address was still valid or not. She took a chance that I'd see it, and I most certainly did.  This email, from the start, proceeded to rip me to shreds from one end to the other. As I read each sentence, my mind was already pushing my finger to hit the "reply" button and proceed with telling her how completely off base she was. This was literally the worst scolding I've ever endured in my life. I had to read it more than once to fully comprehend how much of a lowlife piece of scum she was portraying me to be. If you know me well, you know that I am who I am and I feel as though if others don't like that, it's their problem not mine. But this really bugged me because it was sooooooooo off base and uncalled for and I REALLY wanted to hit that "reply" button and proceed to tell her how wrong she was, and that by saying what she said, that she really didn't know who I am. Never in my life did I want to defend myself more than I did while reading that email. For the record, she interpreted things differently than they actually were, and it just made me realize how people absorb things differently. I never did acknowledge or reply to the email, just let sleeping, rabid, blood-thirsty dogs lie. It did make me think about how, in general, our actions and words are interpreted by others.

I've been confused about a lot of things lately, and sometimes with that confusion comes over-analyzing of every little thing. I've made some life-altering decisions as a result of things building up inside me over a long period of time. These decisions have not come without consequences that have had negative effects on others as well as for me. But I've had to make some tough choices, and some of that was based on gut, others on analyzing, and no doubt some have been a result of over-analyzing. The results have been mixed, with some good and some bad coming out of it. I haven't handled everything in the way that I'm most capable of, but sometimes pressure from outside collides with those pressures coming from within. The results can be disastrous if not handled with care.

I'm a friend, father, uncle, great uncle, brother, son, and an "ex" to some.  By no means have I been the best at all those....jack of all trades and master of none.  But at the same time, I do not believe I've been the worst either. The email I referred to earlier did make me think though....was there even a small chance that what I felt was off base, while highly exaggerated, true?  I can see how battles from outside and internal pressures can create a situation that reaches beyond one's grasp and give a sense of a loss of control. After all, we are not only a product of who we are as individuals, but a product of what we do and the environment around us.

I've suffered from anxiety and depression. Decisions I've made can be interpreted in many ways; are my choices due to thoughts related to anxiety or am I in "self defense" mode and doing what's best for me?  Am I delusional?  Don't answer that. I moved myself into a small condo to try and figure out where I'm supposed to be, both physically and mentally. At times it's s a struggle, and at times I feel it makes perfect sense. I've come to terms with the notion that if I'm going to be alone for the rest of my life...if that's my destiny...that I'm ok with it. I can be happy being a friend, father, uncle, etc. and nothing more to anyone. Is that what I want?  I don't really know. I don't have expectations, because with that comes disappointment if things don't go my way. I've done a pretty good job of controlling that way of thinking. I am grateful for anything that comes my way, be it a simple "thank you" or some payoff for working hard. If I never hear a "thank you" again, I won't be disappointed...because I don't expect it. See how that works?  It may be a bit unconventional but I'll never be upset if someone doesn't thank me for anything. On the other hand, I like to be appreciative and thank those who deserve it.

As I see myself standing there alone in the cold with a skinny piece if metal that was once a sign of life and celebration, I don't feel sad. I feel happy and excited about what's next. In my vision, the paralysis is overtaken by possibilities. I can sulk in the fact that the party is over and everyone has left, or I can celebrate the fact that something wonderful has just begun...for a young couple on a new journey, and for what's next for me. Maybe I'll grab my camera and take a road trip. Maybe I'll call someone to chat about life. Maybe I'll go home and rest. Or maybe I'll go find a pizza joint and enjoy a hot pizza and cold beer. I don't let the vision end with me just sitting there helpless, lonely, and sad. I'm too strong for that. I have too much that I want to do. More and more I'm looking at the positive side of everything. Lord knows the start of 2017 has been quite the test for me. But I haven't been beaten yet. I'm still going strong.  Life is full of possibilities. Some of the roads are bumpy and some are smooth sailing. Either way, I'm traveling it. I'm determined to make this a better year than 2016. Like a good friend tells me when he ruffles the feathers of others; "you have to crack some eggs to make an omelet". Well, I don't like eggs so I'll put it my way; "you have to squeeze and destroy some tomatoes to make pizza sauce".  I'll try to do a better job at dealing with the damaged tomatoes than I have in the past. J

As for the very slim chance that the person who sent me that email reads this blog, just know that while those words may have stung at first, I know who I am.  You obviously don't. I'll just leave it at that.

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