Strange Change

I know it’s not just me; the world is changing in new strange ways, and some of it is awesome, and some of it is extremely disturbing to me. Technology is taking off at this crazy rate, and while in some ways it is leaving humans behind, it is also stressing the importance of spiritual connection. Some things are moving in marvelous directions, while still others are being left by the wayside. Sometimes I wonder if I give technology, society, government, etc. to much blame/credit. Maybe it is just me…

The older I get the more I feel this weird, unfocused, disconnect from life. Though lately I’ve been having lots of flashbacks and memories of things from long ago, and I can strongly remember feeling more….alive back then. Maybe it was just childhood, and adulthood just sucks the life out of you…but there sure are lots of articles and such written about how lost and confused the latest generation is. We are even dubbing new mini- generations because the old is just out, and the new is rolling in.

In writing this for example, I am in bed, at 1:25a.m. and just can’t sleep…so I’m journaling my crazy  thoughts to be broadcast over the interwebs to be seen and scrutinized by all for all eternity. Isn’t that weird? I mean, when I was a kid I thought it was kinda messed up how many great authors/ inventors/ artists etc. died before their works were ever recognized; and nowadays there are billions of videos of people creating amazing works of art, doing incredible things with their bodies, or otherwise blowing peoples minds up all over the net.

And here I am, writing at 1:33a.m., feeling like this blog is weak and incomplete because I’m not putting the proper focus and energy into it. My paragraphs are disorganized…just the rambling thoughts from my wandering mind. Am I the only one that watches videos of amazing people and wonders what the hell happened to me? I swear I used to be so good at so many things. I used to have it in me to be somebody. I had creativity and the energy and drive to actually do something.

Now it’s all anxiety/depression/ adulthood that’s dragging me down. But it’s not just me. A whole generation of people seems to be waking from this slumber, realizing that life doesn’t need to be that way, and yet they don’t know what to do. Not just in my area, but nationwide we have an actual epidemic of opioid addiction. People are numbing the pain of their shitty lives that can’t possibly compare to those few who seem to be doing so great. It’s like, when you’re not on top you’re just being “negative” and need to be cut out of people’s lives (even by those that preach compassion)?

I also believe things are getting much harder for this generation because of the economic inequality that has just gone so ridiculously out of control. At least back a generation or two ago you really could “go get a job” and it might suck a bit, but it would pay the bills, and probably have room for savings too. Nowadays employers are trying everything they can to un-do what unions did to make the workplace an actual place for people to work and make a living as opposed to slavery. Now that we are back to pretty much indentured servitude to our own government overlords, is it any wonder people are constantly stressed, and wanting to escape?

Ugh. So how the hell do those super people in the videos do it? Who had the time, energy and resources to make that happen? I read so many articles about the people that quit the job they hated to travel…or whatever…but how? They never mention that. My guess, connections. I assume in most of these cases, the parents offer a corner of the basement or something at the very least. But I don’t know…there are some strong independent people out there. But everyone needs someone.

Which brings me to the end. Everyone needs someone. I am lucky to have people in my life that love and care about me…but they are very few in number. It sucks, being socially awkward in an increasingly rude world. Because technology does disconnect people in a way, and because people’s attention spans have been shortened to 140 characters or less, it seems people are just always distracted, unfocused, flitting from one thought to the other without ever stopping to reflect. Being a reflective person, I often get interrupted. Even by myself. So I just need to remember to slow it down, and really stop to be grateful for what I have here, now.

 

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Where I Dream

I’ve been visiting you in my dreams…

I love to see you again, if only from my own fleeting memories. I’ve been having flashbacks of being cradled in your embrace, listening to the birds, breathing your air.

I’m fearful of your being tainted now…but we’re all spoiled in our own way aren’t we? Perfection in the flaws and such. You’re still the most beautiful thing I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. I think about you all the time. I miss you so much! I wish I could just reach out to you, but alas, all I can seem to do for now, is see you in my dreams.

I wonder how you’ve changed, doubtless you have. Who do you know? Who do you see? It doesn’t matter I suppose, everything works out the way it needs to I think. Perhaps you remind me of all my old wasted opportunities, and how you taught me to grow and I did nothing with it. I guess that’s not entirely true. My style has always been slow. I was only gathering myself for things to come later. Only now am I feeling that immense pressure that the time is now, and I’m not quite sure what to do with myself. Even still, I need to remember everything I learned with you.

You changed me, and I am forever grateful. I hope to see you again soon, but until we see each other again, keep it real Bellingham, I love you!

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Wake up

I’ve been feeling not good enough lately. I’ve been going to a dance class and it’s pretty obvious that I’m the weakest link. I’m a slow learner, and normally I’m okay with this, but this is something where everyone is supposed to be in sync. I know I have a tendency to overthink the moves, and then I trip myself up and only seem to get worse as everyone else gets better and better.

I had checked my horoscope recently and it said to listen to what others say, as this may be the universe trying to speak directly to you. I have a fb friend that is wildly successful at her stay at home job that she loves, and she recently posted the words “You are LAZY” in a post about not blaming the world for your circumstances and just having more ambition to get what you want. Now, I had to read this a couple times over and thought to myself, ouch universe. Harsh. But I go through this cycle of trying to defeat negative thinking all the time…I always see people, literally everyone it seems, who has more than me. And no, not just financially…I mean I feel like I am lacking in all departments…perpetually broke, feeling stuck in a shitty corporate job that I hate, very few people I call friends and even fewer family. Basically my support system isn’t there. I was raised to believe that everything is a struggle, nothing comes easy, and so if it does it’s probably too good to be true. This mentality has left me very depressed over the years because I don’t like to ask for help, and I don’t trust the good things…I don’t think they’re for me. If something good happens for me, I must have stolen someone else’s joy.

So many times I’ve tried to “stay positive” and pull myself out of this…I’ve done a lot; baby steps, great strides… major pitfalls. I’m trying hard to think about my energy as currency, and instead of worrying so much about how I spend money, think more about how I spend my energy. Just there, I was going to say worry about spending my energy…but I don’t want to worry about it…that’s a shitty waste of energy!! (See what I did there).

The thing is, I do spend a lot of time thinking about the state of the world, and how fucked up it is, and how I have ideas to make it better but no way to implement them. When I say them out loud, people think I’m crazy. You’d think I’d get used to it…but I’m sensitive, so it cuts me down and I want to just crawl under a rock and give up. How do people just have the get-up-and-go drive to do things? It must seem like a silly question for those that do it every day, but maybe it’s just because I overthink everything and burn all my energy before I even lift a finger. It’s a wonder I’m even writing this -on my phone-because I knew I’d lose the motivation to write if I took the time to get my laptop and start it up.

Just like with my dance class, everything in my life moves more freely when I just have a little more trust in myself, and my skills. It’s funny, I can usually do things just fine when no one is watching, but as soon as eyes are on me I fall apart. I suppose I really can’t let others affect me like that.

As for being lazy or not wanting things bad enough, I guess I have to say that I never thought of ambition as a good thing. It isn’t necessarily good or bad…but in humans it has a tendency to lead to greed and destruction, unsustainable consumerism, and the deterioration of other values. Because ambitious people are perceived as being better, their value of the bottom line becomes the standard while things like compassion, patience, and understanding go out the window. Ambition isn’t good or bad in and of itself, but it does matter what motivates that person. Are they ambitious about making the world a better place, or making their world a better place?

 

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So Long

It’s been so long. A lot has changed  and even more has stayed the same. I have been missing writing, missing this blog. But alas, internet is hard to come by in my neck of the woods, so, it’s been awhile.

It occurs to me, that I started this blog March 13, 2011, just two days after the disaster in Japan that led to the biggest nuclear fuck-up of our time. Now, February 12, 2017 almost six years later and the situation there has only gotten worse. Oh well. Just interesting to note. Six years of radioactive material literally just melting down straight into the pacific ocean, and we’ve all just got our heads buried in the sand.

Well any-hoo…

It is exciting to be behind my laptop again. The keys feel nice on my fingertips. The keyboard fits me so much better than the one I use at work. Ahh, it’s the little things in life we must take joy in.

I have been thinking about that concept a lot too; that it’s all about the little things. In light of all the big stuff: Fukushima, the Republican (Rothschild) controlled congress, the Dakota Access Pipeline (Water> Oil)!!!, and so on, I have succumb, like many others, to that hopeless feeling. I worry and stress about my unfulfilling job, every little snag in my relationships, where I am going on my life. I am concerned that I am wasting my time in this life not living up to my potential, and not living up to my calling in life. I know I have been blessed and gifted with so much. It would be a shame to waste away behind a desk doing imaginary work that ultimately means nothing in the end.

I want to be some kind of hero. I daydream about being some powerful influential politician that saves the world, or about being a teacher that saves all the kids that would have otherwise fallen through the cracks. I dream about starting community centers that magically solve the opiate/ prescription drug abuse crisis sweeping the nation. I dream about freedom and unity and equality…as a slogan on a banner in those community centers, that transforms into a way of being for the people that follow it.

But, these remain daydreams of mine. Why? Because big change doesn’t work like that. It’s not like in the movies where there’s a fun little montage and everyone high-fives over a job well done at the end. It’s all about the little things. I think the biggest heroes in life are the ones that understand how to focus their energies. I can’t possibly do any of the lofty things I daydream about; but I can be a teacher, and I can focus my energy on one thing at a time, and maybe if I don’t fuck it up too much some kid out there might do alright. I think the key is to not let the ego get in there. Great things can’t be done with expectations of recognition and acclaim.

So, it’s all about the little things. Every great masterpiece is just little bits coming together just right. I am always to fascinated by the micro and the macro; How atoms and solar systems are just fractal patterns of each other; How our planet is a whole universe for the microorganisms that live on the bottoms of our shoes. Fascinating. The greatest trees on earth didn’t think about becoming that, they just grew, bit by bit, atom by atom. And when you zoom out on that, the forest didn’t think about becoming a great forest…it simply grew, tree by tree.

 

Ahh, I suppose I’m probably losing some of you by now. I am finding myself though, so it’s all good 😉

Peace, love, unity and respect~

~SG

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Alone Again

And so, she found herself alone again. Ever since she was a child she thought she had it right. She thought she knew. Do things for love, not money. Everything her parents taught her, all the morals of all the stories she had ever read had all said the same things: Be nice, treat people how you would like to be treated, be the ‘better’ person, and have faith that what goes around comes around.

But as she traveled through life she realized that there was so much more to it. The devil is in the details, and when you are focused in on the small stuff, the world keeps spinning right around you. She did all of the things she though she was supposed to; she got straight A’s in school, was nice and polite as often as possible, respected her elders, and was always concerned with what people would think of her.

She grew up and learned more and more about life. Her perspectives changed. She started to realize that all of the things she had done weren’t getting her anywhere. While she thought she knew enough to choose love, friends, and people over material possessions somehow she was still caught in a trap. While she thought she was doing everything right, she realized that she was completely missing out on her entire life. For some reason she thought that working hard now meant that she could do all the fun things she wanted to do later. But the thing is, later is just that…later.

So many fun, incredible, inspiring, amazing moments went right by her, and she was just not there for them. She was in her head, self-conscious, thinking about how it would be perfect if only __________.

Time went on, and she did what she thought she was supposed to do. She worked. She tried to save, so hard, but continued to live paycheck to paycheck. So she worked some more. She covered shifts when co-workers went surfing, she cooked at home instead of going out for drinks after work, and she rode a bike instead of buying a car. She thought that these were the responsible, “right” things to do. She thought someday, her time would come, and she would be able to travel and explore and not worry about the money it costs to do it.

But what really happened is that everyone thought she was a lame homebody that never wanted to do anything, so they stopped inviting her. They thought that she must just have her own friends and hobbies to keep her occupied, and since she didn’t have a car, it was hard to coordinate activities, so they just let it go. She never seemed to want to spend any money, and so they didn’t want to pressure her to spend more than she could afford. There were never any malicious actions, no hard feelings, but they weren’t going to pry her out of her comfort zone, and it wasn’t their job to anyway.

And so she found herself alone again.

“How could I have let this happen?” she often thought to herself. How could she have been so blind? She was so zoomed in on those stupid little details that she was completely oblivious to the fact that she was choosing money over love. Everything she thought she was doing right was all for some distant future that she might never, ever experience. And even if in that distant future, she had all the resources she needed to travel the world, who would she do it with? What was the point of having beautiful memories if you have no one to share them with? She pictured herself as an old lady putting on slide-shows for her cats. “And here I am in Rome, oh, and that’s me by the Eiffel Tower”…

This growing realization was causing her to become quite depressed. And anxious. Her perspectives continued to change, and she kept learning more and more about life. She realized it was up to her to make a real effort to get out there and make friends. She couldn’t just bum around feeling sorry for herself. She had to put herself out there. But it just wasn’t happening. For all the things she learned in school, all the things she learned about life, and with all the skills she had picked up along the way, she couldn’t think of a single interesting thing to say.

She did everything she was supposed to…actively listened, used inviting body language, smiled a lot, laughed at all the jokes, drank up for social lubrication… and still felt hollow.

Perhaps it was the depression/anxiety/stress, but she started to become disillusioned about the whole social scene. Over time she discovered that she actually had plenty of interesting things to say, important things, but no one else was listening. No one cared. They were all just in their own little worlds, not worrying about body language or whether or not they were making people uncomfortable, or if they were being rude looking at their phones every two seconds. For all the time she spent feeling bored and alone, it was still better than being surrounded by selfish people who were just going to ignore her anyway.

She started feeling like maybe she didn’t even want to be friends with these people. She wanted to surround herself with intrinsically motivated, fun, inspirational people who liked to actually do stuff, not people who just sit around watching t.v. and go to bars and don’t care about anything but themselves. She wanted to walk through nature marveling at all the beautiful little bits of it, not talk shit about irrelevant B.S. She wanted someone to do arts and crafts with, not someone who can’t stop talking about all the great projects they’re doing.

And so, she found herself alone again.

Wrapped up in her own mind, trying to unravel it to keep it open to the possibilities, she found it was best swaddled up in it’s little blanket of thoughts. She thought she was doing it all according to plan. It just wasn’t her plan. It was hard to comfort that brain as it swam around in stress hormones, wondering when exactly she let worries about money break her connection to humanity. Or perhaps humanity broke the connection with itself…no service I guess.

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Cartooning (Life as a Joke)

I gotta get this cartooning thing going. I think using humor is the best way to make a point. I guess I just don’t think I’m good enough at drawing, but I guess I never will know if I don’t at least try. As an old friend pointed out to me, it really doesn’t matter how well the art is made; “Just look at South Park” he said. True, I thought. Crooked paper cut-outs make me laugh and think and criticize just as much as bright yellow people with blue hair, or actual live people.

This morning of FB I saw a post that was about Bill Watterson, the cartoonist behind the famous Calvin and Hobbes strips, and this particular cartoon spoke to me so deeply it made me cry. Tears well up in my eyes now just thinking about it.

You see, I work ~50 hours per week. I used to have to work some Saturdays, and even now while I write this, my beloved man is there now, working, from 5:00a.m. to 10:00a.m. on a Saturday.  I used to work at that shop, but a theoretically better position opened up at their facility 20 miles away. So while I don’t work weekends, I still have no time for a life. Since I’m up so early and don’t get home until so late, and my man is on the same crazy schedule, the simplest things like eating dinner and doing laundry have to be carefully penciled in…leaving little to no time for any kind of relaxing. Beyond that, there is the physical toll this job takes on me -and my man- and many of our co-workers.

The job I need just to pay my bills and survive is simultaneously the thing that is killing me. The worst part is that I feel like I might as well already be dead because it’s not like I’m really living! I don’t have the time to eat healthy, to see my friends, to do any of the many hobbies I enjoy. The worst part is that on these Saturdays I am still up at 4:00-5:00, and all I want to do is sleep. I can’t stay awake to hang out with friends on a Friday night! Even when I have the time, it’s not like I can spare the energy to do the things I enjoy.

My body aches. After screaming at me all week for using orbital sanders, and lifting heavy loads, and getting pinched and smashed and bumped and bruised and cut all day my body has had it. I need to heal. I need to eat 6,000 calories of nothing but pure nutrients and 3 gallons of water and I need to sleep for about 34 hours straight. I know what my body needs. But it’s not like it’s gonna get it. Instead it does laundry, and dishes, all through the underlying aches, automatically moving those little damaged parts out of the way. Doing dishes takes me forever because I have to stop every ten seconds and stretch and wiggle and more and more lately…just sit down and cry.

This wouldn’t even be worth it if I was doing something I loved. If I was a cartoonist, I would stop before my hands went numb and I had severe tendinitis, because after all, if you haven’t got your health, what have you got? Same goes if I had my own glass blowing studio, or sewing shop. I would not work myself so hard….so why am I now?

I told myself that I didn’t have the time or energy. But my logic is flawed. I don’t have the time or energy because of the current job I have, and I will never have the time or energy to live while I’m at that job. I think I need the job to live, but I really need to get rid of that job if I want to live.

So, perhaps I will lose my cynicism and it will give way to humor again. Someday I will look back at all of this and laugh!

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Balance and Tension

Sometimes I wonder what the alternate universe- double/other half of me is up to. Perhaps I cross their mind, and we both wonder if we will always be so lonely without each other. I wonder if I am the root, and they are the branches, or if it is the other way around. I wonder if they feel what I do, when I do, or if they feel the polar opposite. I can reach out to this other half of me in my sleep sometimes, but only when we both reach for the center. It’s all about the center. It’s all about the balance…the tension….the balance and the tension.

As I was trying to lucid dream last night an image formed in my mind…about being so alone. It has occurred to me that I have no support network, no safety net. It’s like walking a tight rope across a bottomless canyon, in very poor lighting.

When you have a safety net, and people that you can count on to help you out, it’s like walking that tight rope, but with a lot of other ropes around you, all going to the same center. If you lose sight of your rope, or just get thrown off balance for whatever reason, it’s easy to just step on someone else’s rope for a step or two until you’re back on your feet, balanced on your own rope. You can literally lean on others for a time.

A funny thing happens in this case, and as any child that has ever tried to balance in heights knows, it is easier to stay balanced on your rope when there is a net below you. Something about that illusion of safety makes it easier to step with confidence. When you have that safety net, you know it’s not the end of the world if you  misstep, so it is that much easier to take that first step. Failure is just a little glitch before you hop back up and try again.

However, when you are alone, and feeling so alone in the world that you have no net, no other ropes around you, you may question where everyone else is…are you even on the right rope? Maybe there was a memo somewhere that you missed.

When you are trying to walk that tight rope, with no net, all of a sudden the danger of it seems to become more apparent. What to others may be a thrilling adventure, with small risk of real harm, becomes to the loner a real threat to life. That canyon is now darker and deeper and full of unknowns. Suddenly you feel like you are higher up than you actually are. The fear of the situation can easily take hold and send a person into panic at the thought of the one misstep that could literally kill them.

When you are all alone up there, just trying to take that first step can seem impossible. It takes a lot of talking yourself up and talking yourself down to get the courage to just move…just to take that first scary step. Then you either fall or you find balance.

You might think that once you get the hang of it, each step would be easier, but that’s not actually the case. The thing is, is that the further out you go, the scarier it becomes. There is a point of no return. Once you get so far out on that dark and sketchy rope you feel the fear of being so far from, what at least felt like, solid ground. If you lose your balance out there, you are fucked. There is no one else there to let you step on their rope for a sec. there is no net below you…just a free fall into the dark, scary unknown.

So while everyone else surrounded by friends and family might tell you how not bad it is, and “Don’t worry, everything will be okay”, you know that they have no idea what it’s really like. You know what it means to only have yourself to count on. You know how dangerous the plight is. You know how hard it is to try to struggle back up out of that dark cavern just to hop back up on that lonely ass fucking rope. Just to try again. Just to have the same people who are already past half way to where they’re going look back and tell you that it will all be fine. Easy for them to say.

But the thing is, it’s all about the tension and the balance. If your rope is strung to tight, (you are wound too tight) it’s too damn bouncy and every step you take threatens to throw you right off like a kicking colt. But, if you are too laid back and don’t have enough tension on your rope, you’ll be wobbling all over the place and you’ll never be able to get your balance.

The trick is in knowing yourself.

How much tension do you require? So many people are afraid of being overwhelmed, so they get too slack. Others still are afraid of losing control, so they pull their rope too tight because they think that that will leave no room for error, but it really just means that when the universe throws something at them they have to either catch that shit or watch it hit their rope and fling them off into the canyon. No one really likes having to catch shit for stuff, but then again, no one really likes having things thrown at them either. Life’s not fair.

As for the balance, that I think is the same for almost everyone. Find your center. Let it grow. The bigger your center is, the easier it is to balance. As tempting as if may be to have some fun flying around the edges, is it better to stay still in the center than spinning around the outside trying to get back in. When you’re alone on that tight rope wire, remember that balance is possible…and stillness helps. There is no need to hurry, no need to flail your arms about wildly, or to over-think each step. Remain flexible—bend your knees. Feel the rope, test the tension…adjust the tension before you take that first step. (It’s way easier to tighten or slack when you’re not on it)! Feel yourself. Are you ready? Or are you panicking? Can you breathe easily, or are you shaking? Don’t try to balance on a tight rope if you’re shaking! It does seem like there is some rush…like, the world around you is on fire and you have to get across that damn canyon immediately or you will surely die. But, you’re not going to get across that damn canyon if you are freaking out, so go ahead and take a big calming breath before making your move.

Going through this world alone, trying to fine tune the levels of tension I need, and balancing them has not been easy. I cannot count the times that I felt stuck on a slippery rope over a dark canyon, wondering where I took a wrong turn. (I was headed to the beach, why is this damn canyon in my way)! I cannot count the times that I have fallen, all the way down to the muck at the bottom, and had to blindly crawl my way back up. That is not easy. In fact, I think it would be easier to actually crawl up a dark canyon with no ropes.

I think about suicide all the time. This year I think there were all of 4 whole days that it didn’t cross my mind. I’ve heard a lot about it just being a long cold winter, and “it will get better”. But that is just not the case. Yes, the sunshine and warmth will help, but that just makes it easier to see the rope ahead of me, and to see what is down there if I fall. The light does not make me new friends. The warmth does not give me a safety net. I am still counting on me, and only me. I am alone in this world, and no matter how hard I try to connect with others, it’s just not there. So I wonder about my other-me. I think this person is on the other side of the canyon…trying to meet me in the middle. I think that’s what we’re all trying to do. Trying to build that bridge, to make that connection. I think that she alone understands the depths of my being, because she is it. I think that she longs for me too, and wonders about me, wondering about her. Of course, maybe I’m just delusional. That’s always a possibility.

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