Tag Archives: reflection

The Story of the Taming of Wild Beasts

 

 

She approaches the wild beasts slowly and with the type of caution that can only be gained through hard experience.

For the beasts outnumber her in testosterone and  volatile tween emotions and are holding firmly on to hope for their fondest wish to be granted and their voices simultaneously change. Well that,  AND suffering from the apparent inability to apply deodorant on a daily basis until reminded, nagged, and threatened at least forty times…let’s say that they are unpredictable under the best of circumstances.

Luck, however, appears to be on her side, for the beasts are distracted for the moment, their full attention engaged in a rousing, if slightly heated, debate over which game is cooler–Portals or Half Life 2, and the reasons why.

Having not yet been asked her opinion, indeed, her appearance hasn’t even been noticed, she feels she’s managed to successfully slip past the early warning Mom’s on a Mission proximity alarms.

She is as ready as she’s going to be. She’s brave. She’s fearless. She’s going to poke the danger –with a stick.  

It’s Saturday morning and just warm enough outside that I can imagine Spring is here if I screw my eyes shut and breathe in deeply enough. I’m claustrophobic with cabin fever and almost sick from the need to get out.

I’m hoping Duck and his friends feel the same.

The Falls of the Ohio

It’s a perfect day for fossil hunting on the fossil beds. Nothing is finer than that, if one has to be forced away from all things indoors, according to Duck.

So focused was I, on getting Duck and Friends out of the house and away from electronics, that I failed to realize that this trip was just as much for me, as it was for them.

We played in the sunlight.

And for a while, I was able to forget. Forget about how it feels, to live in steel toes and a hard hat, about how crazy it is now, being 1 man down and about the worry over bills and the stress that comes from having ADHD and all its quirks, oh, and just being me.

I want it to be Spring

For a single amazing afternoon nothing mattered other than the warmth of the air, about capturing it all with a cell camera, and the laughter.

Oh, the laughter.

Nothing bothered me, not even the kicky breeze that managed to ruffle my shirt and bare a small amount of belly to complete strangers.

My admittedly tighter than a few months ago  belly, but my belly nonetheless. Showing off my winter white skin and the glimpse of a tattoo attesting to my wilder days paled in comparison to the feeling of freedom and sense of all being right within my world .

I forgot my worries and I played, right along with the boys. The same ones who were so concerned over voice changes that could occur at any minute.

It's a lot bigger than I thought

We played.

We bathed in the sunlight and we soaked up every single second of it. And we slept well that night. Perhaps better than we have since cold weather came to town.

Some days just seem to have perfection down to an art.

And this was one of them.

The boys morphed back into wild beasts but not until the sun went down.

Eh. We can’t always be perfect.

On the walking bridge

The end

~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I Was a Runner Once

Life is hard
Change isn’t easy for me, but I’ll bet you’re glad you didn’t see my toe

I have a sore on my toe. It’s not a nasty one, nor is it spectacularly painful. It isn’t even oozing an interesting color of pus. Why CeeLee, how very disgusting and irrelevant of you. It’s Saturday, don’t you have anything more…Right.

Back to the point.

The toe sore is completely unremarkable except for being utterly annoying, but concentrating on this is several quadrillion tons of preferable to thinking about what’s really bothering me.

Which is exactly my point.

In my not so distant past, I was an accomplished runner. I might have been something amazing-if it had been physical running, like my sister, She Who Runs In Rain-but…it wasn’t and I have the table muscles (think out of shape and looking it) to prove it.

No, my running was of a different and decidedly cowardly variety. More like jogging from situations involving confrontation, sprinting away from drama and hurtling over anyone and everything that posed the risk of pain, yeah, that is was my sport of choice.

It’s kinda funny how life can be sometimes.

Turns out that when I started to wake up and things began to change, I lost my running shoes. The people, places, and things are still here and the desire to run is stronger than ever before but I can’t find those damn shoes. Anywhere.

And living fearless means facing stuff. Even the stuff that scares you into contemplating how nice Tahiti might be this time of year.

I do know that not everything that comes with change will be butterflies and kisses, even when the change is for the better. I know that it’s necessary to feel things, really feel them, and not run from them, I get that too.

But on some days, like today, when I’m sitting on my porch shivering in the damp air while pecking this out, I can’t help but wish that life lived fully wasn’t so hard. That I didn’t feel so raw from all of the emotions I’m not accustomed to having to deal with, the ones that come from facing fears head on.

Is that so wrong?

Oh, I’m not without a few wins. I’d be whining and lying if I were to tell you that. No. I’ve had several huge victories and multiple small ones since I’ve started stumbling down this path I didn’t know I’d chosen for myself.

I’ve started looking, really looking, at myself in the mirror now, where as before I was afraid to do more than the ole glance and grimace before I went out the door.

Before that I hadn’t looked in the mirror for 2 years. I could say it was because I had tragic accident with hairspray and a lighter at a concert or that a crazed weed whacker wielding maniac wearing swim trunks, a cowboy hat, and purple galoshes was grinning back at me whenever I did.

I could say that and it’d be so much more entertaining if I did, but sadly, not even so much as a horribly creepy clown (thanks Stephen King, thanks a buttload) was behind me when I did.

Yeah…no.

Sorry to disappoint you. I’m disappointed too. I must work on having as wild a life in reality as the one I lead inside my head. Because in there, I am fanfreakintastic. A true visionary and well spoken leader. One for whom medication isn’t becoming a more viable option by the day.

sigh

Anyway. I haven’t dared sneak a peek other than the cursory once over; hair not standing up, eyebrows in their place, no schmutz on me and no other glaring fashion faux paus, in 2 years because I haven’t wanted to see what’s reflected back.

Bet you thought it was a poor body image thing. Maybe part of it was and is-well, yeah, it is-but most of it was because I just didn’t care and didn’t want to see that I didn’t care.

Now I do care and I am facing myself daily. Sometimes more than once. Big win for me. Mega big.

I’ve conquered the belief that I couldn’t hold the job I’ve held for more than a month and I have and am doing well. Another win.

I’m learning that I can have friends-yes- but that I’m in severe need of learning patience. And that running them away just because I get scared isn’t quite the recommended way to progress. So that one’s kind of like baseball. Not over yet, just at full count and I will either tank or nail it. Still sort of counts, as it’s progress. Mostly.

Besides I’m the one keeping score.

But these things bother me. I’m off balance. It’s a strain trying to move forward when my steps are more like a toddler who’s recently learned how to walk, instead of my full-on wind sprints in the opposite direction.

And it’s worrisome when I don’t have a guidebook to follow. What if I’m making mistakes? What if this is the general direction I’m supposed to go in, but there’s an easier way and I don’t see it? What if, what if.

I’ve got to believe that though I may be making mistakes, falling down and getting toe sores unrelated to the current one, each day that I do get up and meet my own eyes in the mirror-is a good day.

Because I can see hope in them and the desire that the hope will never fade or that I’ll go back to sleep.

And dammit, that has to count for something, no matter how bad my breaking old patterns and habits hurts.

Friends Help Friends Slay Dragons

New bridge is almost done

“A friend? Well..to me it means someone who you can rely on. Like someone you can trust with stuff.”

When I was in my twenties, I got my right shoulder tattooed with 2 dragons intertwined. It’s a cool tat but the meaning behind it isn’t. It was my statement to the world that my social skills or lack thereof, were dragons, but if they were behind me, they’d never catch up and have a chance to eat me alive.

However pitiful that might be, there it is.

I’ve been a loner for a long time.

It may be hard to believe now but I wasn’t always that way.  I remember consciously making the choice to become an introvert early in my teen years. After everything I had gone through and was still going through, retreat wasn’t an option but a necessity.

I much preferred the silent comfort of books, vivid imagination and my own company; newly acquired quirks and all. None of those things demanded I talk.

I lived for myself, within myself. It was much safer and came with no risk.

My reasoning was that if I kept people at arm’s length, I didn’t risk the pain of losing them and protected my heart and emotions at the same time. If I didn’t open up and allow them in, it wouldn’t hurt nearly as bad if they went away.

Except this coping mechanism became a way of life. The give and take of what makes a friendship work started to feel foreign to me and the few social skills I had grew rusty with disuse.

“What makes a friend? I guess it’s like knowing they have your back no matter what.  I don’t know, why do you ask?”

Small talk became one of the dragons I gave up trying to slaughter. Interpersonal communications, the other. Both of which were a mental strain, utterly exhausting and just not worth the prize. After I had said all I could say on topics revolving around the weather and gas prices, I was done. Convo over. Buh bye.

I was sooo much fun at parties as I’m sure you can imagine.

Living Fearless at a Night Bridge
I’m seeing what I haven’t had a chance to see before

Before I decided to take one last ride to another road, I didn’t let myself have friends. Not really. I had acquaintances.  It never was getting them that was the issue, it was keeping them without giving too much of myself. That was the challenge and it never worked for long.

And if they chose to move on, so be it. I wasn’t invested. Easy come, easy go. On to the next one. And the next. And the next. It worked for me. But things have changed.

A click happened. I went to bed and woke up changed. I’m living (mostly) fearless and part of this means I am allowing myself to open up again. It doesn’t come without having to slay some dragons and it’s not without it’s missteps, but I have help now.

“Being friends means I accept your weirdness and you accept mine. I’m not as weird as you though. Oh, and being there when they need you most.”

I have 2 friends. Yes, actual friends. Much better ones to me than I am to them, but I’m still having to re-learn what I’ve willfully forgotten over the years. Both of whom are my mirror opposite. Calm and reflective where I am not. Patient, tenacious,  and even downright twisted when dealing with a reluctant, making every excuse in the book (and inventing a few on the fly) me.

It’s working. I’m being brought out, though with decidedly less grace than I’d like to admit, and back into the world once more. I’ve been to a book fair, been to see a bridge under construction on the first day of fall, and another bridge lit up for the night while the cooling air kissed across my skin.

I’ve been to the other side of the river and I’ve had my perception changed. While I have to admit that that side of the river is prettier than mine, Hoosier drivers are crazier. Take that as gospel from a driver who can drive fast but still uses turn signals and is competent. Can I get an amen from the Hallelujah choir?

I’ve had drinks after work in places where conversation has to be made and have started to hold my own in the convo department. My small talk may not sparkle just yet, but at least it’s more than more than gas prices and weather.

I’ve tasted calamari for the first time (live fearless, remember?)  in a quiet restaurant and was so far out of my comfort zone that I could barely look up from my plate for fear of what I was supposed to talk about next. But I did it and I liked it.

“Friends listen and comfort, they don’t run when you tell them the painful things.”

I’ve decided that it’s okay to be myself, good and weird. Because if that friend is a true one, they’ll stick around. Every day gets better now. I’ve come so far in 2 months. I hope that I can live out loud for the rest of my life, because my dragons are officially dead as doornails.

One Last Ride to Another Road

courtesy of https://pixabay.com/en/roses-flowers-way-of-the-roses-108132/
I will always remember you, but I’m letting go of your ghost

Memories or pieces of them, are common with head injuries and traumatic events. In my case, I was walloped with both. But I’m doing something about that today. This is remembrance and making peace with the  past that has haunted me so. This is a celebration of life and the end of a journey.

I’m taking one last ride. This is the one that counts the most. It’s time to purge a ghost I’ve carried since I was 14 years old. I’m alone and though not in the vehicle of my choice, it will do for what I have in mind.

It’s a sunny 75 degrees, not a cloud in the sky but a slight breeze is stirring the falling leaves around the still green yards.  A picture perfect October day and  almost exactly like the one so many years ago when everything changed.

This road is known well to me, though I haven’t driven down it in ages because it was too painful and because I was afraid of waking what barely left me alone as it was. Still tucked back in a quiet neighborhood and I can see that not much has changed since I’ve been here last.

Good.

No one is out to have to watch for and no one to stop me.

I stop at the stop sign, the one I can just barely remember from that day, before the memory blanks take over and everything is a grey fog, illuminated only by small flashes. Sounds, voices, feelings, that’s all I’m left with. Until I dream and remember it all.

It’s now or never.

Taking a deep breath, I let the clutch out and burn through first gear, just like I’ve burned through all the awkward social situations I’ve experienced. Hard and fast.

With the shift to second gear, the pain of those memories are gone. At least momentarily.

A couple flicks of the wrist and 2 stomps of a foot and the regret over things I should have said, actions I’d wished I’d taken, disappear, are left behind with third and forth gear. Going faster now, the white broken line begins to blur past the windows, much like all my relationships gone sour. There and gone.

50 miles an hour

I can do this, I have to do this.

55 miles per hour

The curve looms ahead, the one so deceptive in appearance that it’s fooled far more experienced drivers than that of an energetic 16 year old boy on a sunny day, out to enjoy the weather and the company of two teenage girls. Oh so full of life he was. He shone with it.

Right in the middle of that curve, I bank hard to the left, and I lock the brakes up. When the traction assist kicks in, the sound it makes, oh God, the sound it makes,the way it feels inside the car; it makes fragments of memories burst forth in waves.

And when I come to a shuddering stop, it’s to look at a paved driveway and a jutting bay window, one neatly manicured yard over. I can hear the sounds, can feel the jolts, see the sparks thrown from a roll bar dragging against pavement, can smell the stench of burning tires.

I can remember being glad that the horrible twisting and turning and metal grinding was over and feeling the warmth of the sun hit my face. I remember thinking that I could die now and it was with the greatest relief I’ve ever felt in my life.

I remember feeling like I was flying before the nothingness swallowed me up and I was still grateful. Because this terrible thing that had happened and I wasn’t sure what that terrible thing was, just that something truly awful had occurred, was done. I could rest and I could be at peace.

This.

This is what I’ve run from since the day it happened and what has remained by my side despite all my efforts to block it all out, to forget, to survive. It was there through nursing school, the birth of my child, all the failures and the wins.

And it’s time to let go. This is something I have to do in order to move on with my life. Please understand.

I’m sorry that your life was taken, sorry that we had to learn about mortality at such a young age, I was only 14 and it scares me to think Duck is getting closer to this every year. But mostly, I’m so so sorry that I survived and you didn’t.

Until recently, I was convinced that the wrong person had been taken, that a mistake had been made, for surely there was no grand purpose for my life, not one that had been revealed to me anyway.

That purpose has yet to show itself to me but in spite of that snafu (remember you did tell me that I was God’s very own comedian…) it’s time for me to let you go, for you to rest in peace within my memories. Because in them you never have.

Until now.

See, this is the first year since my world was blown apart that I haven’t wakened screaming from dreams I can’t recall except knowing that it was of this event. And of you whispering to me when I cried out that ‘every man walks alone,’  that, “No man walks alone.”

This is how I know I’m ready. I’m looking at the place where I hadn’t dared come back to and I’m not flinching any longer.

Be at peace my friend. Because I am. At last. I’ll never forget you, but I’ll only remember the good times we shared and not this.

With all my love,

CeeLee