see you.

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Life is the combination of heavy and light. I do think they tend to carry more weight the older you get — the more time you use up, here. You’ve ventured through dangerous and murky territory to get where you are now. You are banged up a bit. (some of you, more than you’ve ever deserved.)

But, you’re still here.

And I see you.

It is surprising and heartbreaking and I find myself cutting through it. Kind of like using scissors to slice cleanly through wrapping paper, or having to open and close them to make it work. (My mom is great at the first one, I am not. But maybe I’ve just always had shitty scissors.)

I’m at a loss a lot these days. Which I’m sure says something about my mental health. I’m not afraid of it. I’ve just got a lot going on in my head. My heart is everywhere and I see a lot of broken things. I see a lot of you. (I’m not afraid of you, either.)

My friends are dealing with the sickness of their own humans. They watch, as the people that took care of and even live along them, slowly lose things.

I find myself thinking about it a lot. All the broken stuff. My own tired heart feels so thirsty for goodness, for beauty.

I am attached to you (even from far away),

and I see you.

I see you waiting in line for food sometimes. I see you shopping for tomatoes with your sweet babies and partners and tossing toys with your puppies. I love that something and someone has your heart. (You have theirs, too.)

I see myself, as well. And I know I’ve let a lot of things go to get to this place.

I feel them at the top of my stomach, like knots! — ready to unravel and come out in the form of something I hope carries into the light that will surprise you. Or maybe just make you smile.

Oh, your smile is heaven, too. And hugs. You know, the things that make us feel loved and love in return.

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In the quiet and the dark of my mind, I mourn for innocence lost. I wish there was more I could have saved. Not for me but for someone else. There is still plenty to gain, but Lord, have you given me some kind of heart to manage.

I write all of this with the knowledge that life is ultimately good. There is hope and things can change pretty quickly. It also goes faster than I thought. Scary fast. I also know there are people that are born into war and famine and injustice. I carry them, too.

So, I work to keep myself upright and with breath that carries a good word that you should know,

(you are worth the good stuff,
keep going,
and I’ll keep going too.)

 

 

a billion moving parts.

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Sometimes I itch all over.

Maybe for places and things I will never see. Mostly, these days, it is an impatient itch and I feel it everywhere. I feel it enough for it to interrupt my sleep as I wake up sweating, not just from the Southern heat, but because in my dreams I am living with all my memories.

There has been so much that has changed about me. Depending on which life you saw me living, it certainly seems to change from year to year. Maybe I’ve started believing in certain things existing, and other things dying. Maybe life is only about being born. Perhaps living for a short moment, and as though it was a lifetime you cease to be that thing and your love and memories are left with the people you let in.

I may not know my impact on whatever tiny piece of Earth I live on at the moment. No one does, really. That’s hard for me sometimes. I work for things I will probably never see. They say if you’re trying to solve a problem in your own lifetime,  you are thinking too small.

I agree with that.

I am often selfish, though. It happens when you live by yourself and are your own deciding factor. “Yes, I will wear this. It’s not that wrinkled.” And then being in a group of your peers and thinking, “Ah. Yes. Someone should have told me that this shirt was a hot mess.”

I remember my married self, quite often. I believe I had a lot of peace then. A lot of everything really. Who knows how to handle life with another human being that is also strong and opinionated and calls you out when you make them feel bad.

Then, when you aren’t married anymore, or separated from your partner, it is quite literally like picking up all these weird looking pieces of yourself. Your mind. Your heart. Then there’s the things that hold you, momentarily. Alcohol. Cigarettes. Being busy. Watching TV. Eating awful shit.

If I’m being honest with myself, part of my body has still been in mourning for the things I’ve lost. That’s just the kind of person I am. Of course I care what people think about me. Of course you are harsh and say things to me and I take it hard because that’s the kind of person I am.

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My health has been a product of this mess. It’s all felt like a roller coaster, really. This has been the coming down part — it’s really fast, and your stomach is in your head.

The past few weeks have had me digging around a lot of things. For one, I am running four to five nights a week. I’m not good at it. But it feels good. I’ve cut out as many vices as I can for the time being, at least until I can roughly get myself back to where I want to be, physically.

I’m learning that takes a lot of discipline. A lot of saying no. I try to make up an excuse for people, and really all I want to say is, “No. I can’t. I care for you. But not right now. This is for myself and for you to have me in the future. But right now, no. I’m sorry.”

That’s a little too long to say all the time. But it’s true. Generally I am swayed by the numbers, but when it comes to my health, I am trying my best to make better habits. I have to, really.

So, needless to say, this road is quite long. I am impressed at people who have been able to scoop up other people so quickly — but I think I am a little different. And that’s okay. I have a kitchen to feel that adult love with — that rage and that passion. That is where you will find me mostly.

Until then, I am falling deeply into something else. Something that I think is important. Knowing myself, there will be a time where I fall deeply into another thing — into another person. It is easy for me to dissolve into someone. Because of that, I am careful. Because of that, I am hopeful.

There are a billion moving parts out there, and I am something so incredibly tiny.

And that’s okay with me.

 

what makes you strong.

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I feel like I need to put some stuff out there, to get it out of my head and off my plate.

I don’t have too much room for jetsam and flotsam.

There are some things I’ve been learning that have been helpful in dealing with my day-to-day barrage of anger, confusion, love, greed and acceptance.

I call them tools.

I don’t actually own any real tools. The kind a typical dude should own. I have a hammer in my car. I don’t know why, but I like that it’s there.

These other tools I’m referring to are inside. They allow me to fix some things. They help me get stuff in order. I can adjust them like nuts and bolts and screws.

My first bit of help came from my sister-in-law, who is an endless fountain of simple wisdom, even if she denies it. She told me that the voices we listen to will always exist. It’s okay to notice them, but we don’t have to listen to them. Whether that’s a voice that says you aren’t good enough, or attractive enough or strong enough. You can acknowledge the fact that some external pressure is putting this on you, but you don’t have to let it eat you up. You get to choose what you want to listen to.

There is so much power in this, you see?

You can listen to people, but at the end of the day, your voice is the one that matters most. Move in that.

Move with your voice and let it take you to that place where you feel strong.

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Another thing.

I stumbled upon some words my friend Jodi shared. It was about about welcoming all things that might come your way, and letting go of any desire for change or security or survival. Then, open yourself to Love. Whether that love comes from God, or a stream, or whatever name you call it. Let that presence fill you up.

This has been hard for me. I tend to see my days as good or bad. I find myself in good and bad things all day long. So it wasn’t about that.

What this is teaching me, is that all of these things that enter in my world on a daily basis, are part of the healing process. And I will never know how long it will take me to get there. I’m not sure if it’s even about a final, polished product. A favorite writer of mine coined this phrase, “wounded healer”, and maybe that works for me right now. It’s not about the finish point. It’s about getting there. You will never see yourself as a finished product.

Getting a flat tire is a bummer.

Getting in the weeds when you’re cooking on the line, is stressful.

But, those sorts of things don’t define a bad day for me anymore.

Look at each day as an ellipsis into the next.

I guess I just want to say that you and the great things that live inside of you are important in all of this. For whoever reads this. Or for whoever just is.

You have something inside of you that flows like a spring.

Let us see that.