Saturday, May 28, 2011

Howling Passion

Something I have always enjoyed doing is sitting down, somewhere, anywhere, and writing. As a kid I enjoyed making up stories and sharing with others what I would create. It was my way to express myself  and know that I had something to contribute.... even if my work was rarely seen. It was a great release for a kid who found a lot of things in this big scary world difficult and confusing.
After I had been hospitalized at an early age and was on the road to recovery from a life altering illness I became very shy and quiet, timid and scared. Of course, I had great family and some very good friends to help me get through, but it was my inner creative juices that helped me slowly gain a certain confidence. Short five page stories turned into, well, longer short stories. Plot lines became an extension to my life....... an adventure; characters became secret friends that only I knew about and got to give some super powers to, both mythical and existent, that I would fantasize about having myself. As scared or confused as I may have been, my characters were not, they knew what they were doing; there was always to be a positive outcome.
Over time I learned how to hone my craft of the written word through classes I took in High School, College and more specifically my Creative Writing Program. I got to know about character development, viewpoints, theme and strategy, scene and structure. I have since published articles as well as a book, "Chronicles of a Girl", that has lead to me writing two sequels; unpublished but being worked on. I have have a list of other ideas along with a drawer in my office of half started rough drafts of story ideas. My mind is constantly moving and working out tall tales. I love writing and I hope that anyone reading my works can at least see the passion behind what I do. I may not be the best or most successful writer around...... but I am very enthusiastic about it in a very quiet way!

My writing has helped by allowing me to create worlds, or a world, that I can keep up with. This though is only one of my reasons for being so passionate about it. Writing has helped me grow and has clued me in to things about myself and others. I have gained a great deal of understanding through writing which continues to build each day and I'm sure will go on into the future. I have come to terms with the illness I went through as a child and what I still deal with today; which I wrote in "Breaking Down Barriers and Walking the Path of Accessibility." I have come to cope with other lifetime events with the aid of pen to paper, or keyboard to computer. Writing helps me communicate with people in ways I never imagined myself being capable of...... and in a way has given me a voice. I get to share and maybe even help others through my words. But the best of it, is that I can see how this wonderful art form is therapeutic, not only to me as I've stated, but to others. And writing can bring people and worlds together.


The written word is a powerful thing! It can bring up emotions; things like anger, sadness, laughter, joy, enlightenment, clarity, peace, love..... relief. Writing can instill bravery and overshadow loneliness and even despair. Writing can teach and it can heal.
My life is about the few, but precious, family and friends I have in it. But I am also surrounded by words I get to play with, create, share and receive. I am so thankful...... maybe even beyond words; and that, says a lot.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Look How Far I've Come

A couple of days ago I turned a year older. I took time to reflect, not necessarily on my life and what I've been through but my accomplishments and all the good and wonderful things around me. I have been trying to take time to do this a little more often than I have in the past because I've been finding it very easy to get caught up in all the things that are either negative or really unimportant, or holding no real meaning, to our lives... or my life in this case. It is easy to look at the things that we don't have or the everyday stresses we endure or the things we try and maybe fall a little short at. I've found myself looking down and concentrating all my energy on that black hole and ignoring the wonders of my life...... "ignoring" may not really be the right word...... I don't ignore people or happy, fun moments; not now or in the past. But I think you might know what I mean, because I think we've all either done it or continue to do it. It's hard to ignore that slightly darker side of things; I still find times when I get caught up in it.
I once had a job that consisted of quite a few staff members, and no matter how many praises or complaints were given and received after someone did a good job at something, it only took one small negative comment or a certain tone in some rather harsh feedback and the cart was over turned.
Life has its fair share of bad things going on all time, but they are outnumbered by a billion and one good things you and I should not take for granted. People fall in love, babies are born, friendships are made, people graduate, birds sing, flowers grow........ we accomplish more things than realized.  

Something I once read and liked by Amy Oskar, a friend who wrote, "Good out numbers evil by the billions; love outshines hate every time; and even the dimmest light can chase darkness from a room."

So when I reflect I think about the wonderful people in my life and precious memories shared. I think about my home and the work that I put into it and how well it provides shelter and accommodates friends and family. I think about my education and the struggles I have been through. I think about the everyday barriers I face and how I work hard to overcome a lot of them and then deal well with the rest. I actually look at my resume and all I have achieved and feel a sense of pride. Through the years my Oma and Mom have taken so many pictures of things it is unbelievable the photo albums that rest in this house. Turning the pages makes me smile and I feel warm inside to know that this family continues with the picture taking tradition. Not just to capture and keep memories but to document growth and achievements.
I have leaned to communicate effectively (I hope)........ more so though with written words as opposed to verbal dialogue...... though I think I'm getting better at that too. I understand the difference between right and wrong and I've come to terms with the fact that sometimes good and bad things can strangely go hand in hand. Acceptance of anything and everything that happens in life is at times very difficult... but unless you have a time machine, once it is done it is done...... It is how you handle it and move forward that is the only part to worry about. I accept and adapt to things rather well I think, because I know that even though sometimes it may suck, change is pretty much unavoidable.
My life has been great, chalk full of goodness! I chose to believe that will continue and I will grow. The best is yet to come but the best has also already happened.

(Something I wrote quite a while ago that I think reflects how far I've come and who I am)

At a young age I was hospitalized with a viral brain infection. I was inches from losing my life.
I had lost those years and had to re-start everything. EVERYTHING!!
Early on in life I lost my dad. I miss his guidance.
Because of these two events I went through my teenage years confused and feeling awkward.
When I was 29 my mom fell and hit her head, resulting in a brain injury that will most likely plague her for the rest of her life.
In between I’ve dealt with other family issues, inconsideration, lawyers, doctors, lawsuits, deceit, financial woos and uphill battles.
I’ve had problems with distant relatives.
I’ve had friends turn their backs and walk away.
I’ve experienced sorrow, tears, and loneliness.
I’ve been sick and to the doctors for many things.
Because of the brain infection that once was, I easily get confused. I have trouble keeping up.
I get tired, I get headaches.
I’ve been lied to.
I’ve been made fun of.
I sometimes feel inferior.
Relationships have not worked out for me.
I may lose more than I will ever win.
I sometimes hurt and I sometimes cry.
I know what it feels like to have your heart broken.
There is a lighter side; a side which I try to focus on.
Sometimes I may hate my life. Sometimes I may love my life. I usually try to find somewhere in between to rest, it’s what gives me the most satisfaction, the most happiness.
As much as I may have been wronged by others, I do not hate anyone.
I always see the good, or at least I try to.
I have a lot of love to give.
I accept that I will never find true perfection, only what I accept to be perfect.
I understand that there is no ‘meant to be’.
I’ve learnt to be good and true with my word.
I try not to assume.
I realize people will come and go.
I have some of the best people in my life with awesome qualities that I don’t think they even realize.
I am proud of my sister and of my mom and of all that they accomplish.
I am proud of where I live, my community, my country.
I’m not rich, but I’m not poor… so many ways more than financial.
I do have certain expectations……but far less than most.
I know that change is inevitable and as much as it can sometimes hurt I’ve learnt to roll with it.
The sun will always come up and there will always be a new day.
Regardless of all the crap I’ve been through in my life’s journey ……..
I still smile.
When I take my dog for a walk I plug in my MP3 and sing to the music.
I still laugh.
When I make dinner I can be caught doing a little dance in the kitchen.
I treasure other people’s happiness more than my own.
A lot of the time I am alone but not necessarily lonely.
I am independent.
I am creative.
I am sensible.
I am a laid back individual.
I understand compromise.
I have good character.
I am patient.
I am strong.
I am a dreamer.
I am so much more than this.
I am……. Me.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Progression of The Lonely King

So I've been contemplating this blog entry in my head for a while now, I thought it might give the wrong impression, that I'm complaining and hoping for people to feel sorry for me. That of course got me thinking about some of my other work where I've talked about my disability....... my challenges. But I've concluded that people will make up their own minds and that I should just worry about my writing and hope that I make myself clear; because I'm not saying these things to gain a soft shoulder or sympathy, but to share, to hope that maybe we can all, including myself, learn something.

Understand this, by referring to myself as "The Lonely King" in no way am I saying, or trying to create the image, that I sit alone, wallowing in my own misery of loneliness. In fact, I see my life in its entirety, being quite the opposite. But there are times that I do feel that lonesome unease that perhaps some or all of us feel on occasion. When this happens I question myself quite often as to whether or not feeling this way is a bad thing? Am I allowed to feel lonely? Should I feel guilty instead? Because quite often I feel that too. My disability is part of who I am, and my disability has opened the door to mild and sporadic cases of depression. Adding to that depression is my frequent bouts with confusion and frustration and even forgetfulness. That leads to sadness, sadness because I know I shouldn't feel these things. You see where the confusion comes in?
I have a few very good friends and I'm happy with what I've got, I do continue to grow and meet others, I have a great mom and I get along terrifically with my sister. I keep busy and work hard and well at my job. And I spend time doing my own things like working around the house, watching a movie here and there, and writing....... these things I do by myself and I like to do them by myself. But then a voice in my head says that I'm not opposed to having some company, that I don't have that many friends, that I'm still searching for that special someone. Then the confusion starts, the frustration, the depression, the loneliness. I start to feel like no one understands me or the way I think...... there are times that I don't even get my own thoughts.

In the title of this blog I began with word "Progression" because I am constantly moving forward. While I still may feel like "The Lonely King" at times, a lot of this stuff is yesterday's news. I am learning to be more open and honest with myself and others and I am finding that this communication thing really can help. Confusion and depression still riddle me from time to time but things are becoming more and more settled in my head.
There are times when I may be physically alone but feel no loneliness. There are times when I am surrounded by people and feel completely in the dark. In the end it comes down to the way I decide to let myself feel about any situation, and I'm getting better at seeing the light in them all.......... because I acknowledge and accept and stand up to the fact that I am alone; I am a loner; I am a cowboy; I am a rock star; a dreamer; a genius; I'm both the lamb and the lion; I am a thinker; a writer; a friend; a son; a brother; an uncle-to-be. I am "The Lonely King" with some very good friends standing in a shroud of happiness and contentment.
I am sure there are others who who feel bouts of loneliness, for whatever reason. I am beginning to understand that we all have the power to become that conquering king over loneliness. It can happen quicker for some I've realized, but as long as I stay on the path, I get stronger all the time.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Defining Moment

Remember in the movie "Jerry Maguire" when, after his one and only client gets into a football "accident", finally wakes up and runs into the crowd, Jerry realizes what it is all about? I've seen other scenarios just like this one, as I'm sure we all have, in movies and television shows and read in books. The hero, or main character, has an epiphany that makes everything right. He or she does something or says something or sees or listens to someone else. An action, an internal voice sounding off, a sign from the heavens, a motivating speech is given. It is played out or written down so clearly.
In "real" life I don't think anyone is following a script, I don't think those moments are that easy to find, at least not for me. Sure, I've learned a lot in life and my experiences have brought me to a better place, but I don't think there has been one clear-cut moment. I used to think I would get mine, that life altering moment when things became better, when I began to understand what my life was meant to be. I would think, once I reach a certain age things will click...... once I get a good job; once I get a girlfriend; once I graduate from high school; then college. At least that was what I was hoping for, something to make my life easier, for things to make sense. I think over time, once I gave up and stopped looking for that one "defining moment", I began to understand and realize that what I was looking for and hoping to get would never happen.
I really do love those moments in the movies, that amazing happiness, that bliss of understanding. It is a rush to get it all at once. But it is more realistic to understand that it comes to us, to you, to me, spread out over time. Once you acknowledge this fact, and this may sound a bit strange, you can get that exact same rush. Only it comes at you in little pieces over and over and over again.

I've talked about acceptance in my past blogs, honesty, talking or discussing, patience or taking time to do things and not motoring through. All of these things, I have realized, have to do with finding the moment; because it is not a moment, it is moments, more than one. They will continue to come. And the "moment" is really a "choice". You get to choose how it affects you. So my "defining moments" are really my choice.
I can recall quite a few terrible tragedies that have occurred in my lifetime thus far, I can also visualize in my head a few happy, blissful, care-free and fun moments. Good or bad, joy or sorrow, I've chosen (now) to accept them all; to be honest about them; I've chosen to talk with others; I've become patient and I choose to continue to do so regardless of frustrations. They have all become "defining moments". I've been through a lot of them and I know I'll be going through a whole lot more to come. Knowing that these moments are my choice as to how "defining" they become, I look forward to them and that rush of blissful happiness and understanding...... and growth.

Some of our "moments" will obviously be bigger than others; but again, this is our choice. Any experience, or lesson learned, from any given situation can be utilized in any way we choose. We'll make our mistakes, I sure have and will again, and they have become moments too. Life, I think, is full of "defining moments". They are not all ours, but if we happen to walk by them or into them it is our choice as to what meaning they'll bring to us.
I cherish my moments, both good and bad. Yes, tragedies are sad, but I chose not to focus on the loss only the knowledge and growth gained. How I got through those moments is what I concentrate on; because I think I'm a pretty good person and my ability to handle and learn from those moments is what makes me who I am.