Tag Archives: personal growth

Blessings So Far

Blessings So FarBless me Father, for I have sinned; it’s been a month and a half since the last time I worked for a living.

I like waking up without an alarm clock and I like having the time to address diet and exercise issues. I like finally having the motivation to consult a financial planner and get my fiduciary ducks in a row. I like being able to study and learn nearly constantly. I like being able to pick a day and attack a mountain of backlog that needs shredded or filed.

In short, the blessing seems to be TIME – time I can fill with what matters to me instead of filling it with obligatory yet meaningless drivel that benefits the greedy (why do “greedy” and “needy” rhyme? Perhaps a subject for another post…)

Sent from my Nokia N97

She’s a brunette, by the way



10082010950.jpg, originally uploaded by The Single Rider.

I googled Mary Quant – she practices what she preaches!

I don’t happen to think that God gave me the right hair color. I look so much more natural with the one I invented with my colorist after chemo. I am way too pale for ashy-brown-dishwater-blond hair. Pretty much everyone I’ve asked agrees that strawberry blond was the way to go for me.

There’s this school of thought that says that you should accept yourself the way you are and that everyone else should, too. But I disagree. I think we are all empowered to change what we don’t like about ourselves, to improve, to grow. Let’s face it, we have precious little control over anything else in life but we are ALL masters of our own destiny. We can ALL make ourselves over in our OWN image.

Too few people, especially women, realize that it’s within their power to reinvent themselves either continually or until they are satisfied. I think it’s one of the things I have loved about Madonna over the years. Self-reinvention has become something of lifetime practice for her. We never, EVER have to settle if we don’t want to. We are all lumps of clay in our very own hands.

Start sculpting 🙂

(took a picture of that in a magazine and now I cannot remember which – pretty sure it was either Real Simple or else it was O.)

When all is crumbling

New York State Route 231 by dougtone via Flickr
New York State Route 231 by dougtone via Flickr
Autumn, 1977

There’s a parade coming down the main drag that connects the hamlet where I live to the village by the bay. Down here in the village, the main drag has long since dwindled to one lane in each direction. This morning, it’s brisk with traffic, each vehicle racing to avoid getting caught behind the barricade that’s going up at any moment.

We need to be on the other side. My practiced eye looks briefly in either direction, assessing the traffic for relative distance and speed. This is going to be cake. Taking off at a sprint, I easily cover the two lanes well before the oncoming traffic arrives. I look around. I see my two friends still huddled where I’d left them on the curb at the other side, faces drawn taught with thinly-disguised anxiety. Finally, they feel it’s safe, and they hurry across.

[pullquote]If you aren’t bold, then you’re destined to stand a good, long time waiting to cross at that uncontrolled intersection. Waiting, wating… who has time for that?[/pullquote]

“OMG, I thought you’d be killed!” one of them exclaims.

“What?” comes my bewildered response. “There was plenty of time. Don’t you people know how to cross a street?”

I’d grown up in the city, where you take your crossing opportunities as they come, even on wide boulevards of four and six lanes of heavy, New York driver traffic. If you aren’t bold, then you’re destined to stand a good, long time waiting to cross at that uncontrolled intersection. Waiting, wating… who has time for that?

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

NYC Street by T. Ruette via Flickr
NYC Street by T. Ruette via Flickr

It’s a few years later, and I am on my way to see a friend perform in concert with his quartet. I am traveling from Long Island with the only other person I’m aware of who also has a ticket, but I don’t know him terribly well. He’s funny and nice company for the mass transit journey into the city. His eyes are fringed with those impossibly long guy-lashes that make every woman sigh and wonder, “Why can’t *I* have lashes like that?”

(A few years into the future, I would focus on those lashes while standing under the chupah, having random thoughts about anything and everything, just to keep myself from thinking about the reason we were standing there…)

Sweet by Maureen Lunn via Flickr
Sweet by Maureen Lunn via Flickr

He pulls the cord overhead to signal the driver. We de-bus near Lincoln Center and prepare to cross Broadway. My practiced eye looks briefly in either direction… my muscles are tensing in preparation for the sprint. Although we are not physically touching, I feel him hesitate beside me, drawn taught… Before he has a chance to balk, I grab his hand and give it an encouraging tug. We have ignition, we have liftoff, running hand in hand until we reach the opposite curb. His hand immediately releases mine, but for a while after, I can still feel the shape and the weight of it in mine. How odd…

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Otters holding hands by mindluge via Flickr
Otters holding hands by mindluge via Flickr

This had happened to me only one other time, the very first time I’d ever held hands with a boy. He was funny and his eyes were an impossible shade of blue; not even a color found in nature, I don’t think, and certainly not one I’d ever seen before or since. The first time our hands touched (accidentally-on-purpose), I’d gone directly for the interlaced fingers position, but he was having none of that and quickly shifted us instead to the palm-to-palm position. I was satisfied, pleased that he hadn’t rejected the idea of hand-holding altogether, but at random times for days after, I would suddenly experience the pleasantly terrifying sensation of his fingers filling the spaces between mine.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

A moment of many by sarahpetherbridge via Flickr
A moment of many by sarahpetherbridge via Flickr

I wanted to be pleasantly terrified. I wanted to be gifted with the experience of someone filling in all the places where I am blank. I’m not sure how, but somewhere along the way “pleasantly” and “terrified” became uncoupled; unchecked, terror fills the blank spaces with something that’s drawn taught, something that drives me to flinch from the sprint, to wait at the corner until the signal changes.

Oh, for my days of the practiced eye, the ability to assess, the exhilarated sprint, fully confident that I would reach the curb unscathed. Oh, for the days!

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Now playing – The Fray: Never Say Never

Secrets

Love me some OneRepublic music, but this video is a bit on the disappointing side. I don’t think it accurately reflects what the poet really means by this song.



When I first heard “Secrets”, I immediately thought that Ryan Tedder was responding to criticism that his lyrics are not the usual “oh woe is me, relationships suck, my heart is broken” pop radio fare. The way I perceive a lot of what he writes is that his songs are often a reflection of what’s going on with him and the band on a professional level. I figured that perhaps he may have been criticized for not revealing himself emotionally enough, so this time around he’s “gonna give all my secrets away”.

Only, I don’t think he means it. I’m not sure it sincerely bothers him to the extent that he’d abandon what moves him to write in favor of what the critics want. Counting this one, there are at least 3 songs on the latest album that are about the career, the amazing experience of touring, being vaulted into the next level – or being afraid that they won’t be vaulted into the next level due to poor timing and/or connections.

No, I think “Secrets” is an indication that he acknowledges the criticism but he’s only kidding when he says he’s going to give it away. I think this is a man who knows where the line is. He’s not really moved to write about interpersonal relationships all that often. He’s very into his work, into his career.

It may shock some of you to know that there are people in this world who are NOT focused 24/7 on relationships – finding them, maintaining them, destroying them, ad nauseum. I should know – I’m one of them! I get the impression that Ryan Tedder is similar – many of his songs relate to his experiences as a musician, writer, producer, to his professional experiences, not his personal ones. Does that invalidate his poetry? Nope. I “get” him. There have to be others out there who “get” and appreciate what he writes, too.

It doesn’t have to be all about the emo, all about interpersonal drama, to be interesting. Really, it doesn’t.

Renaissance juggling and the survival-based career

ImFeelingInspiredI have come to the conclusion that I am a Renaissance juggler.

“Renaissance man” is a phrase coined to describe someone who has a depth of knowledge spanning a diverse range of interests. A juggler is someone who has many balls in the air at the same time. I am someone with a diverse set of passions who can and does indulge in several of them simultaneously. I’ve never felt an overwhelming, life-long pull toward any one of these interests for very long. Interests come and go only to return again years later, borne back to me on some unseen tide. At intervals during my life, I’ve had keen, intense interest in writing, performing, photography, organic gardening, Disney, sea shells, psychology and all manner of IT geekery. That last interest currently manifests itself via a fascination with consumer electronics and social media.

Photo by Helico on Flickr
Photo by Helico
I don’t believe I’ve ever been focused on only one or even two of these things at a time. I can remember a time when I was working long hours in IT and using the train commute to either memorize an operatic role in another language or else to study with the goal of acing my next psychology exam, all the while also attending classes and rehearsals at night, roto-tilling, pulling weeds, perfecting the art of the smoldering compost pile and performing on the weekends. Simply looking back at that time is exhausting and causes me to question my own sanity. Yet I was productive and active and happy.

[pullquote] because I’ve never felt committed to just ONE thing that impassioned me the most, I ended up in a survival-based career.[/pullquote]I think it takes a lot of diverse intellectual activity to keep me from becoming bored. Here’s the problem with that; because I’ve never felt committed to just ONE thing that impassioned me the most, I ended up in a survival-based career. That’s where you do what you do because you don’t hate the work and you like the money. It’s the exact opposite of the passion-based career – doing what you do because you want to, because it’s your life’s work.

I have no idea what my life’s work is, or was supposed to be.

Mary Poppins and Mirror Poppins in harmonyIt has never surprised me to find out how many of my colleagues at The Firm are coulda-shoulda-woulda-been musicians, actors and other assorted artistic types who “fell into” careers in IT during the 90s dot com boom. Like me, they were all just looking for their cushy little day job with medical benefits whilst running about auditioning, until someone figured out they had brains and promoted them. You get to an age where being a starving artist doesn’t hold as much romatic appeal as it once did, and the money you’re making doing something else is certainly seductive.

Mary Poppins thinks Mirror Poppins is showing offIt’s nice to not have to limit dinner to popcorn every night – with butter on it as an extra treat on Sundays. It’s nice being able to pay down your credit card debt, purchase a car that was made in THIS decade and go away for vacations. Thus, when faced with the realization that making a living as an artist is going to be a life-long uphill struggle, the survival-based career not only looks attractive, it seems more logical, more sensible, more likely to get your family off your back. I think a surprising lot of people are doing survival-based careers with their lives and that’s why work seems like… well, work. That is why “everybody’s working for the weekend…”. It’s because people don’t wanna work; they just wanna “bang the drum all day”.

Mary Poppins and Mirror PoppinsEarly last month, I was in Downtown Disney at the big World Of Disney store. The jumbo TV in the center of the store began to show a scene from Mary Poppins“A Spoonful Of Sugar”. I was half-listening and humming along while pawing through a rack of t-shirts when the scene suddenly grabbed my attention. Mary was singing. In harmony. With herself. The words, “in harmony with HERSELF” swam to the forefront of my consciousness, and I watched transfixed as she went from joyous to annoyed with… well again, it was with herself. Mirror Mary kept singing a mile a minute even after Real Mary had stopped. What’s more, Real Mary was peeved that Mirror Mary was grabbing all the attention for herself. “Cheeky!” is Real Mary’s tart retort. Off she goes in a stern huff to tend to the children. Mirror Mary only smiles.

(I could go off on a tangent here about Disney and the relationship between work and play, but I’ll spare you!)

[pullquote]Wouldn’t it be really cool if we could always be in harmony with ourselves, and still be able to pay the mortgage, buy some toys and have a little fun? Some people live like that, I hear…[/pullquote] And so it can happen. If any of the fun aspects of a Renaissance juggler’s life start to race exuberantly ahead, consuming more than the permitted allocation of personal bandwidth, then the part that works for a living to support your fun habits can become peevishly resentful. It’s always the survival-based career, the thing you are sort of “meh!” about, that sternly proclaims you’re “cheeky” for studying something fascinating, for tripping the light fantastic upon the wicked stage, for devoting time and brain power to figuring out how to grow tomatoes without using pesticides (hint: “companion planting”. With a heavy dose of self-discipline, that dreaded of all activities known as “taking care of business” commences, and the fun stuff takes a back seat.

Wouldn’t it be really cool if we could always be in harmony with ourselves, and still be able to pay the mortgage, buy some toys and have a little fun? Some people live like that, I hear. I haven’t figured out yet how to make that happen, but there’s one thing I’m doing consciously now to try and find the answer.

I’m listening.

The thought of abandoning the survival-based path, the good ol’ reliable method of obtaining a steady paycheck, instead trying to make a living doing what gives me joy is both intoxicating and frightening. It would be so much easier if I didn’t have so many interests from which to choose. It would be so much easier had I done this earlier on, so much easier if it wasn’t just me bringing a paycheck into this house. This is the downside of single ridership. I find myself with a serious case of SAHM-envy. OK, you’re right, not the “M” part… But I don’t have the luxury of travel back in time or of a mighty breadwinner to see me through this. Therefore, the draw toward the most pragmatic choice is strong. And yet, I cannot help but see that guillotine looming in the near future as my liberator, permission to veer off in a different direction

.
Believe in the beaty of your dreamsI do realize that I have not been in harmony with myself, and that a lack of active unhappiness does not equate to living with active  joy.  I do realize that living a little more deliberately, a little more consciously, would make me more actively joyful. The more I send this understanding and acknowledgment into the Universe, the more the Universe has reflected it back at me.

I’ve been having more and more of these moments of synchronous epiphany leap into focus, like the one in the World of Disney store. These moments started last summer, slowly at first. In the beginning, small synchronicities presented themselves, things that, considered singly and out of context, could be passed off as mere coincidence. But as I began to suspect and then fully recognize that they weren’t a coincidence, and even began to look for them, they began happening with more regularity. Some days, they happen so rapidly I barely have time to record them. It could happen online, in text or an image. It could happen while having a conversation with your best friend or with the grocery store clerk. It could happen when you walk into a restaurant and see a piece of artwork on the wall, or while browsing a rack in a shop – something will practically leap off the display and jump up and down crying, “Me, me, me! Look at ME!”. Something that gives me pause, makes me think, connects a few of the sea of dots before me.

Maybe it’s happened to you, too; maybe you know what I’m talking about. Each time it happens, it’s as though the world shifts a little, the movement barely discernible but nevertheless a bit of a shock. There’s a focus, a click of vision and soul, and then you know – you’ve been receiving Memos from the Universe.

I’ll be sharing more about this, very soon. Promise!

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What are your “superpowers”?

Good Vibrations Festival 2008 - SydneyWhat are your “superpowers”?
Seems it is fashionable these days to refer to one’s own best attributes as “superpowers”. I was reading “O” out on the lanai this evening when I caught just such a reference and it inspired me. I quickly grabbed a pen and paper and without too much thought, listed as many of my own “superpowers” as I could as fast as I could. I stopped at ten – here they are, in no particular order:

  1. Bangs and yellow look excellent on me.
  2. Children like me, but dogs like me more than I like them.
  3. Someone recently told me that I make people feel special.
  4. I am extraordinarily lucky at finding great parking spaces.
  5. I have an ability to rally the troops.
  6. Mostly, people like me, they really like me!
  7. I can tell a story
  8. If there’s no story to tell, I can make one up
  9. I make shit happen
  10. I can silence your screaming cockatoo with one fatal high B-flat

So, tell me – just between us
I promise I won’t tell any one –
what are YOUR superpowers?

A chemo dream

I’m listening to answering machine messages. Mother says, “Take care of your cousins”.  Cousin A says, “so sad”. Cousin P says, “Crying, crying”.  They are talking about the death of my grandmother, which was ‘way back in the early 90s.  I’m thinking, That was years and years ago, how could you still be crying, why would you want to?

Now I’m in the car with my brothers; it’s the next day. At first, I think it’s Orlando, yet it’s not because my grandmother’s house in Queens (NY) is nearby. It is morning, and the sun is coming up to our left, which means we are headed south. It is reflecting, glaringly so, off these fancy buildings – one of them seems to be the Dolphin hotel, but no, it is shaped quite differently and the infrastructure of it (holding all this freakin’ glass together) is like white PVC pipes.  The glare has slowed down traffic immensely, and I’m thinking it should not be allowed, to make buildings like that so close to a major thoroughfare that it would cause danger to drivers.

Now I am in the clinic, and Dr. Karen S. comes out to get me.  I am surprised because 17 years ago, she was my radiation doctor, but I’m here to get chemo.  I don’t know why a radiation doctor would be administering chemo. She brings me in and I start asking questions about side effects.  There is a nurse there assisting her in discussing this with me.  It is Christa, one of my internet Disney geek friends! I ask if I will be too tired to drive myself home after – I can always drive to my grandparents house and crash there, I say, but Karen says I won’t be all that tired until later that night.  I get to the most important, most burning question – will I lose my hair? Karen looks away and says, “That’s what it looks like” and I’m like, “muthafucka…” under my breath, but out loud I say how I finally have a haircut I really like….  As she hangs the bag and prepares the needle, Christa kids that they will top off my cocktail with some fancy hair conditioner.

The alarm goes off.

ANALYSIS / REACTION

I was diagnosed on 10/12/1992, which is my older brother’s birthday.  The anniversary of the death of my grandmother, which was several years prior, I believe is around the same time, maybe 10/10 or 10/11.

For the casting decisions in this dream, I’m applying the technique that everyone in the dream is me, or some aspect of me. We can clearly see that even after all these years, I am still somewhat concerned about cancer, and I still miss my grandmother.  I do tend to become impatient with myself when I behave in ways that reveal what I perceive as weakness.  Actually, that’s my mother talking.  I know that, yet I still feel impatient and scornful of myself for my own vulnerabilities.  Other people are allowed to have them, sometimes, but me, NEVER.  Here, I feel like my cousins are either wusses, or else they are liars, being overly-dramatic, mourning my grandmother’s death like it was yesterday instead of 20-ish years ago.  That’s DEFINITELY my mother talking.  I am so intolerant of myself.

I also have other fish to fry.  Why “Mother” thinks I should take care of **them** when **I** am the one headed off for chemo, is beyond me.  I have tended to do this through life – distract myself from my own shit by taking care of other people’s shit.  Notice that I don’t do that here.  I just listen and then go about my business.  I also cast my brothers as my posse, my “backup” – I did watch “About A Boy” last night, which is about building your support system, your tribe, so you’ll have “backup”.  The person who wrote the “Wear Sunscreen” speech had it right -“Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.”  I know I can count on my brothers.  And there they are, my personal entourage, “I’m feeling alright, I’m with my boys, I’m with my troops, yeah”.  That’s Paul Simon’s “Late In The Evening” and yes, damned near everything reminds me of a song.

On the way from our house on Long Island to my grandmother’s house in Queens, we had to pass the World’s Fair grounds in Flushing Meadow Park.  The World’s Fair was in 1964-1965 and Walt Disney had a hand in designing it.  He also had a few attractions there, such as Carousel of Progress and It’s a Small World.  I loved going to the World’s Fair and remember quite a bit of it, even though I was quite small at the time.  I guess this is why I think it’s Orlando while we are on our way to the clinic and passing my grandparents’ house.

Christa cracks a joke, even while she prepares the implements of destruction and unhappiness. Isn’t that so like me? I will find something either ironic or ridiculous about every situation. Sometimes, it’s to make me feel better, but much of the time, it’s to make others feel better. Taking care of others does seem to be a theme here….

As to the dangerous situation that impedes traffic – I got nuttin’, except maybe that’s cancer itself.  It did throw me off the track of what I’d been striving towards at the time (singing career). But there’s a distracting, blinding aspect to it, and the blindness is what creates the danger. What has blinded me, and what is it that I cannot see? Is it that I cannot see, or is it that I *will* not see? And why is not seeing it so dangerous?

Anyone? Buehler? (that’s an invitation to comment, please!)

Why is Dr. S. doing chemo now?  There’s something not right about that…. if she is me in this dream, well she’s doing something really important, yet radically different from what she did before.  Either she was doing the wrong thing before, or else she’s doing the wrong thing now.  There are people in this world that would say the same of me – they’d say, “I don’t know why a poet-star would be playing Madam Vice President at a bank”.  I cast her in the wrong role in this dream, I did.  Poor “Karen”! 

“Poet-Star” just popped into my head – it’s the name of a poem I wrote, ‘way back in 1979.  The pertinent verses:

One girl lives with music and another lives with death.
One girl’s counting money while another holds her breath.
One girl is a poet, is a singer, is a star.
She searches for a galaxy that seems so very far.
She wants to be the center of a universe somewhere.
She wants to be with sunshine, but it’s raining over there….

The poet, singer, star was always me. The other girls were all friends of mine, people who aspired to be a musician, a nurse, a banker and someone who was in sort of a holding pattern at the time. But how prophetic – today, you could say they are ALL me, pieces of me at points in time. I studied voice and performed for 20-something years. I had cancer, a brush with death. I am, indeed, Madam Vice President at a bank. Waiting, waiting, waiting…. for what? For “something”…

Don’t get me wrong. I have a good life, one that is largely of my own making, a fact that is personally pretty satisfying. But clearly (and on several different fronts), I’m not where I’d intended to be, all those years ago, and the urge to fix that, to embark upon a terrifying course-correction, is going to come to a point of critical “mass”, probably soon.

I do believe cancer is only a metaphor this time. Actually, it was a metaphor last time, too, only it manifested into reality, somehow.

“Something’s coming…..”. I will need to remember the entire verse this time, so it manifests into what will make me happy.

Something’s coming!
I don’t know
what it is
but it is gonna be great!

You know what, I do too know what it is. But it’s terrifying. I have that awful/exhilarating adrenaline rush that you get AFTER you just narrowly avoided a car accident. I’m shaking while typing this. I never shake. Shit.

Ch-ch-changes

102320091313-WDW-DAK-Expedition-Everest-Single-Rider

The future’s in the air
I can feel it everywhere
Blowing with the wind of change …
Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away
In the wind of change
(Scorpions)

Need to make a list:

  • I spend too much time in front of the computer
  • I spend too much time doing things out of a sense of obligation/duty/responsibility
  • Although I am capable of extreme focus, my interests tend to roam far and wide
  • All of the above leads to a deficit of personal bandwidth
  • … and in the last few years, a deficit of personal accomplishment
  • Changes at work again *sigh*
  • Change because you have to SUCKS
  • Change because you want to is liberating
  • A little less dreaming, a little more doing
  • I need to reprioritize

Turn and face the strange
ch-ch-changes…
(David Bowie)

Something’s coming…

A friend recently blogged a Facebook note about how old habits and routines break down and fall away to make room for new habits that more directly align with whatever is coming next. She said the Black Eyed Peas’ current hit kept playing in her head –

I got a feeling
that tonight’s gonna be a good night
that tonight’s gonna be a good, good night…

– and that she had a feeling of anticipation, that she was on the edge of some great change.

Reading her thoughts brought to mind something I’d written to my friend Penny long ago. Penny moved away to California while we were still in our twenties and we began to write to one another. One night I saw an episode of thirtysomething and got an idea. Two of the characters had written a poem together over a long distance, passing a notebook back and forth through the mail, each adding a stanza before mailing it back. Why couldn’t we do that, I thought. So I bought a notebook and we began to write.

Lo these many years later, I read my friend’s “I got a feeling…” entry and decided to make a foray into The Box. Out came Volume V of the books that got mailed back and forth between New York and California for so many years. I didn’t have to turn too many pages before I found what I was looking for. I was surprised to see that my handwriting, usually so anally neat, was a bit scraggly-looking, but then I realized I’d been on the train when I wrote it, so I forgave myself 😉

Thursday 22 December 1994

6:40 PM

Just passing through Hicksville…

I made a note to myself to tell you about the “something’s coming” vs. “something’s missing” phenomenon.

“Something’s Coming” is a feeling I used to carry with me while growing up. I had this feeling until very recently. I realized it was gone when I started last summer (1993) to get the stage fright thing and the paralysis dream.

“Something’s Coming” is actually the name of a song from West Side Story – you recall, I’m sure, the line that goes, “Something’s coming, I don’t know what it is, but it is gonna be great!”. That’s the feeling, right there in that one line. There was nothing I couldn’t get through because I knew I was destined for “something”. Whatever it was, it would be wonderful, exciting and totally awesome. It would have a staggeringly positive impact on my life and maybe even the world. Whatever it was, it was BIG.

Now, I am horrified to suspect that it may just have been cancer.

I am rather upset that I have been deprived of feeling special and significant, however self-delusional that feeling was. At certain times in my life, it was all I had. It saved me, I am sure, from sinking into the abyss. In its place, there is now a big, fat nothing. “Something’s missing”.

I am not certain that I have ever stopped to articulate this so clearly before, even to myself. Reality really sucks, for it was a mega-dose of reality that wiped out my conviction that “something’s coming”.

So, how now to fill up the hole? I just bet there’s some sort of long, drawn-out, sucky mourning period involved here, on account of my profound loss of “something”. Yes, I know I’m being sarcastic, and no, I don’t care that I am. I prefer my world to be filled with peace and love, with equal doses of joy and wonder and excitement at the mere thought of life. And mostly, that’s how I am. I really detest all this negative shit that comes up in therapy, and I often wonder if the source of all this crap is endless or do I just keep manufacturing it anew?

I remember those years well, when my secret knowledge of “something” had me living on the giddy precipice of anticipation. What happened?

I was just thirty four when I wrote that letter to Penny. December of 1994 was two years post-diagnosis and about a year and a half post-treatment. I was floundering and resentful of the intrusion of catastrophic illness into my life.

It’s possible that life events had beat the crap out of me and I could no longer muster up the strength to sustain the illusion. Or, for a quasi-mystical point of view, it is possible that cancer really WAS what was “coming”. Or – and I think this was more likely – it was possible that I didn’t need it any more.

“Something’s coming” had gotten me through some grim times. I’d just proven that I could survive being gravely ill and all of the physical and psychological torment that had entailed. What need did I have for “something”?

Well, maybe I don’t need it, but I want it. I want that feeling back. The dream-giver DOES still wait for me. I’ve been on the smoothest course for a while now.

Time to shake things up 🙂