…I don’t know why…

Sometimes when you suffer from something, even if it’s something that you don’t understand, you find yourself in pretty ugly states of mind. People that suffer with addictions, heartbreak, esteem problems, just about anything can find some days harder than other and the only thing to do is cope, try to keep your chin up and cope. All things are temporary, all things are shifting, in the grand spectrum of the world all things are just grains of sand on the beach. Why, please explain, do somethings feel like boulders as opposed to the tiny grains they really are? Is it an illusion, is it imaginations, is it reality?

The truth of the matter is that I’m having a bad week, again. There isn’t an apparent reason, except for the fact that I’m extremely uncomfortable with my current state of body. I’m just stuck in this cycle, it hurts, but I have this notion that everything is going to get better, everything is already better, just by admitting that I’m having a tough time. I struggle sometimes, for no apparent reason, but then again, we all have our own internal struggles that perhaps we don’t understand. Why am I this way, why do I do that one thing that I don’t want to do, why am I such a failure (it seems) at life.

It’s a confusing rabbit hole to fall down, especially for those of us with a deeper realm of reality. I can’t just look over and say, “oh hey look, there is a pizza there, I might have a slice”, for me it’s a ridiculously alluring temptation – like a drug – that floods my brain with ridiculous juices of urges, desires and hate. I love the things that I hate, and I hate the things that I love. Beer, french fries, ice cream, you name it, I love all of those things because they make me feel better, at the same time I hate them because they make me feel worse. I sit here right now and am hating myself because my pants are tight. I can’t focus on anything but the waistline embedding itself into by gut. Fucking gut, fucking beer belly, why can’t I have a bikini body, why oh why?

At the same time, I can look down and see a happy girl that is finally doing what she really wants with life. Instead of being pushed around to live under other peoples thumb and ideals, she’s pushing forward and being who she really wants to be. It’s uncomfortable to identify this person with myself, but I suppose “she” is really “me”, and “I” am really “her”. With this mentality, however, a confusing identity crisis ensues. The “she” is the person that wants to be happy, love unconditionally, and be love, the “me” is the person that feels bitter and afraid of being judged and hurt. The “I” is really the girl that hates every single bit of her body, especially her gut, but the “her” is the one that enjoys having a good time and laughing at silly things. In a constant tug-of-war with yourself it’s almost understandable that the brain wants to seek some sort of respite, comfort, peace, someplace, even if that place causes one half of the entity to be miserable.

Take for instance my enjoyment of Old Chub Scotch Ale, I used to enjoy it to the max. I’d be able to have one, enjoy the complexity of taste and bubbles and be happy. Now all I see is calories and the fact that it gives me a beer belly. Of course everybody says, “well, just have one”. It’s difficult though, when you find something that makes you feel better you don’t want the good feeling to stop. It’s a conundrum, and nine times out of ten the good feeling takes over and you’re left with the regret afterwards. Kind of like a really bad relationship that you choose to stay in because you like companionship, you just don’t like the particular company, but you decide to stay in it because you’re afraid to be alone.

I’m looking at my day, and venting here to try to help me understand things better, knowing that my brain wants to feel better. My brain wants to let the eating disorder come in and make me feel better.

As for me, I think I’d rather suffer. I’m scared going into this day, but just like any other thing, it’s just temporary. Tomorrow will come soon.

The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.

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Schulenburg Car Show

Way back in 2014, I had a wild idea to throw a car show in a little bitty, quaint community in Texas. What I thought was going to be a sort of flop turned out to be something bigger than I had ever imagined. Despite chilly temps in the AM, cars started rolling in and the party started.
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Cold, scared, and cynical.

This was initially in my folder to get sent into the BMW CCA weekly newsletter, Roundel, but I decided that the content wasn’t exactly “carcentric” enough. So, instead of letting it just slip away and disappear into the great oblivion, I guess I’ll share it with the faithful following I do have.

A few things happen after every break up for me, it usually starts with a flood of tears, I gain about twenty pounds, a lot of angst and then an agonizing reappraisal of my life and who I let into it. Most of the time I usually move a couple of states away and say “see ya later alligator” to the people that I knew and became friends with in a particular zip code. This is an awesome display of my escapist mentality, but this last one was a bit different. There was no possible way for me to skip town, I actually had things to stick around for, my car club people was one of them, my car was another.

As I have several times in my past, I found myself loading up all of my prized possessions in the back of my One Series and getting really up close and personal with the past five years of my life. Most of those I had my One Series, he’s always there for me, but when it came down to hauling my life away, he fell a little bit short. I made due, taking several trips of course, and never did I consider the fact that I could easily just go rent a moving truck or something, but that would just be too easy. I’m just the kind of person that cannot accept the easy way out, and in this situation I did have to borrow one pick up truck and a couple of burly men to help me move my huge life long accumulation of furniture, which actually only comprises of a cheap desk I bought off of Craigslist and a leather chair, which I also bought off of Craigslist.
I sat in the driveway of what was going to be my new home, sitting in the One Series in the cold, and cried like a baby. I spent that night sleeping in the car with the seat warmer on, because the car felt more like home than any edifice ever could. That car was my slice of peace, serenity, hope, and I didn’t want to leave it. During the course of the first two months of my newly found solo life I spent more time in the One Series than I did anywhere else, that car was my life.
Instead of trying to nest into a new home, I found myself driving aimlessly through the mountains trying to figure out where life went wrong. My One Series was thrown around so many corners and up so many mountains in those two months I racked up almost 12,000 miles on it before year end. If there was a chunk of time that I wasn’t either working or in school I was in my car somewhere, anywhere, thinking of all the new places we could go, but more often than not the places that we had been. The One Series and I, it’s a bond unlike a relationship, even a marriage, it’s like my soul mate, he’s got a personality, he’s got a story, and he’s got a lot of pull on what I do with my life.
I now look at my, ahem, less plush lifestyle and realize that owning a BMW isn’t all about “showing up to the party in a BMW”, it’s a way of thinking. I have always has a weird connectivity with my cars, and in part I had a pretty good relationship with my Shark, but at the same time I find myself laughing, crying, and living in my One Series more comfortably than I have in any apartment I could ever rent. Actually, instead of getting a nice apartment and nesting in, I’ve decided to use my money to sustain my car payment and insurance on my One series and the Shark. Doing the math, I could have a pretty nice place, but that would mean giving up my car, which isn’t going to happen.
In the process of breaking up, my ex got a new Z4, and I couldn’t be more excited for him. In difficult times there is nothing better than a car that makes you laugh, smile, and remember what’s good in the world and not all the crappy things that people (me) has done to him. I will say this, however, that Z4 is a sexy car with amazing lines and an interior that feels like it encompasses you in a safe embrace every time you get in, but I  wouldn’t want one. The next time I’ll have to skip town there won’t be room for all my stuff.
Actually, I should just break down and get a Winnebago with a car dolly to tote my car with me. Que sera sera.
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Philosophy And Miller Lite Cans

Did you know that birds poop on red cars the most?

Did you know that if you tickle the feet of a baby it will grow up to stutter?

Did you know if you dream about a wedding, somebody is actually going to die?

Did you know that if you drop a fork a man will come to visit, but if you drop a spoon a woman is going to visit?

Useless, the internet is full of uselessness. However, there are also some important things out there too, like this page you’re reading right now. Not only does it deliver useless entertainment and a window to the world of a girl that is just trying to get by in life, but it gives that same girl an outlet to rant, rave, and crave things that probably should be left unsaid. That being said, let me say a few things.

The ole “Adventures” page has been pretty dormant, I’m not going to lie, I’ve been neglecting it just like I’ve been neglecting my very own self. Not in a hateful, self-harm way, don’t worry about that, but neglecting a certain facet of me that has been menacing and growling like a beast for the past month. Even though it growls, I neglect it. The cry for attention goes unnoticed and about my normal life I’ve gone. I’m ignoring my poor body image, and I’m neglecting the thoughts that feed it. It’s there, I know it is, but I’m moving on.

It’s not so much an epiphany as it is a realization that living that way sucks – it REALLY sucks. Imagine walking around with your head cast down to the ground but putting on a happy face so that people don’t ask you what’s wrong with you all the time. (that gets really annoying by the way, and if encounter somebody like that, just say “I’m here if you need to talk”). I spent the month prior hating my body because it wasn’t good enough for California, I wasn’t bronze, I wasn’t beautiful. I also spent a large amount of that month on ridiculous diet pills that did nothing. When I say “nothing”, I really REALLY mean nothing. They might as well have been saw dust in a #1 capsule for all I know. I was mortified, my body wasn’t changing.

I wanted it to change though, it was just there, lumpy in areas, and just kind of “bleh”. I tried eating well, I tried the gym (and still go…it’s actually sort of fun), and I tried doing all the “healthy living” tips that you can find on the internet. Nothing happened. I did refuse, however, to succumb to a nagging notion that perhaps restricting my eating would alleviate my problem. There was no way I was going to wander back down that slippery slope. I know the hell I put my family and friends through the last time I decided 200 calories a day was a winning concept. I’m not doing it again.

So I had to think long and hard about what I was going to do. The “plan” wasn’t working, I wasn’t going to starve myself. Bulimia never really makes me lose weight, so what was the answer? What was I supposed to do? Change…but what.

WHAT!?!?! For fucks sake.

As I lay basking in the sun atop a pier on a sunny lake, I realized I was laying there in broad daylight in a bathing suit. A bathing suit that I wasn’t ready for. My body was still lumpy and my belly was still swollen from the fun the night before. The fun that included excellent company, food, and beverages. All the things that I enjoy in life, and would probably have to give up if I in fact wanted to get a bikini ready body. I say there on that pier, listening to great music, talking with excellent company, realizing I’m not so bad. I’m not so bad at all. The only thing really “bad” about me is my perception.

Of course, perception is reality – and reality, what a concept.

I sat there, surrounded by Miller Lite cans in my own personal bliss. A happiness that I haven’t felt since probably childhood. A sort of wonderment with my body, almost like a baby that first find it’s toes and tries to play with them (that same baby that would stutter if you tickles those same toes). I realized that I have an awesome life, full of red cars (that will get pooped on), an awesome man that visits me (and I don’t even have to drop forks), and dreams of beaches and race cars (why the hell would I dream of weddings anyways?). All of those ridiculous things that I’m supposed to be aware of and think about.

I was aware of a few things, none of them superstition based. I’m silly, I dance even though I do so poorly. I sing, but can’t carry a tune. I write, but don’t know proper English. I’m just awkwardly me, and if anything, an awkward lumpy body almost suits me – with my awkward lumpy personality. Let’s be honest though, some of my lumps are in the right places, and others, well, it just shows that I might spend more time basking in the warmth of summer sunshine drinking Miller Lite than I do running on treadmills. It’s me, I can’t change that, just like I can’t change the fact that if your palms itch you’ll come into money.

That one is true, my Great Grandmother Reiche used to say it, so it HAS to be true.

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It’s time for a reappraisal of the situation

“You’re human, it’s okay to be hungry” – Kristie in class

I very often forget that there are actually people out there in the world that can actually be have like normal like and listen to their guts and know when it’s time to eat and what a hunger cue is. I have destroyed my body and mind for so long I forgot what it’s like to actually be hungry, and truthfully I like it.

I sat in class, working diligently and y belly gave this rumble that rivaled something you’d hear at the zoo. Not only was it something unlike I was used to, it was uncomfortable. I realized at that moment I was treating my boy very poorly and it was rebelling. It was hungry, physically hungry. It was confusing, and of course most people know the difference, not me.

I expressed my hunger, and apparently I sounded like it wasn’t right. It wasn’t right to me, it was a shamefully out of control feeling that I had experienced before. Was this hunger going to send me into a spiral of binging, purging, excessive exercise? Was this hunger going to trick my brain into thinking ugly things and self destructing. I was scared, but I was reassured. It’s okay to feel hungry.

Acting upon it was terrifying. I felt alone, but I knew I can a cheering section somewhere  there that wanted me to do the right thing. There were people that didn’t want me to hurt anymore. I still felt like the only person in the world that has ever experienced this panic and fear of food.

So, this is my proclamation, I’m going into a treatment facility come graduation from college. I’m ready to live the way other people do. It’s going to take time, energy, and support but I think I can do it. I’m going to start a fundraising project… I’m not quite sure  is yet, but I know when to say enough is enough. Time to call in the professionals.

Zips is coming too :-)

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The Sims And Philosophy

“If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company.”
― Jean-Paul Sartre

The science of being alone is an art that isn’t to be mastered by the faint of heart. To be able to sit blankly, alone, quiet, and be at peace without yourself is something that very few can master without actually taking the time to realize who they are and what they’re trying to be at peace with. Instead of grappling with reality by distracting, sitting quietly, alone, at peace, is something that everybody should be able to accomplish. Everybody with half a brain that is. I, however, cannot enjoy this peace, as many people with similar mindsets as mine often do.

Peace in chaos, that’s always been my motto, but it hasn’t always been that way. I remember a time so very long ago that I was happiest sitting at my computer playing The Sims for hours on end, escaping to a quiet place where nobody could bother me. The Sims were my salvation, being lost in a virtual world of “Hot Date”, “Vacation”, and even “Unleashed” was something that I could always look forward to. I could embrace the escapism of sitting on my own couch, with my own laptop, and running my own private little world. I could make people love, I could make then hate, I could make these people die if I really wanted to. For all that have played, remember that ability to put your “Sim” in the pool and take the ladder away? Watching them swim aimlessly and eventually beg for the ladder back was sadistic, but hey, we did it…I know I’m not alone here.

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Why, however, did the creators of that game give us the ability to kill off our Sims? Wouldn’t it just be easier to have a “delete Sim” button to remove them forever from our game play? Why are we given this supreme power of playing god even though these fake figures are nothing but pixels on the screen? Do the creators of the game not realize that in a zillion other video games your character dies and you get a new one? Death is all over the place in the virtual game world, however, it’s always somebody else killing your character. There is always a bad guy, there is always something to fight, there is always something out to get you. The Sims, however, was different. Your worst enemy was yourself and your ability to make life good.

How does that reflect on our interpersonal relationship with self, though? In the Sims, your person gets lonely, and will beg you for some company. You can of course satisfy the need for company and companionship with other people, but how does that really work? Why do people need to rely on the presence of others to make them happy? In all actuality, The Sims is probably one of the most poignent video games ever to come out, not only because it keeps the brain occupied for hours on end, it teaches us what people really want and need in life. Primarily a ladder out of a pool, but secondly, to be happy, no matter what.

“Thou wilt one day cry: “I am alone!” One day wilt thou see no longer thy loftiness, and see too closely thy lowliness; thy sublimity itself will frighten thee as a phantom. Thou wilt one day cry: “All is false!” -Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Alone, the feeling that you get when you’l without company, but for many, you can be just as alone with a room full of people as you can be all by yourself. The feeling of not relating, the feeling of inferiority, the feeling of being afraid to say the wrong thing manifests itself in every one of us, and without any apparent cause. Fear of rejection, fear of commitment, fear of actually showing love, all of these things are qualities that The Sims don’t have. They just go about their little lives, doing whatever you tell them to do, they have “free will”, but then again, you can adjust exactly how much they have. Again, the ability to play god is the ultimate ego trip, until it’s time to turn the game off. When the Sim decides he wants to do something to amplify his happiness, you can tell him not to.

Why can’t we do this same “Click To Save” action in our own lives? We find ourselves in self destructive thought patterns and even attitudes. As a culture we can sink into the tragic events of the news, of our relationships, of our lack of confidence and not stop. There is no simple mouse click to change your reactions to events, or even feelings. It would be so simple though, if we can see a Sim suffering on the screen and be able to guide it to the shower to clean, the fridge to eat, or even out on a “Hot Date” to get some attention, why can’t we implement this is real life? Easy, we’re scared.

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The miserable people that decide that they want to change their life patterns have to go through a rough patch of readjustment, much like if you were to get a new expansion pack for you Sims. There are so many new, exciting things to experience, it’s hard to know where to start. The biggest step that you have to take in personal transformation is to take that first step toward the shower, the fridge, or like noted above, the bathroom (that’s a hell of a lot of pee, and I’ve also wondered why do the Sims pee blue?). Those poor Sims can’t help themselves, you however can. A simple evaluation of where you are and where you’re going in life will assist you in making those scary first steps.

Do you really want to be the drunken sot that loses friends and respect? Probably not.

Do you really want to be the heroine addict that hocks family heirlooms to get a hit? No, not that either.

Do you want to put your best foot forward? Please do.

This morning I had a bit of a stumble, I realized that I had spent the week in a spiral of self loathing and doubt. What am I doing here, where have my friends gone, why am I so lonely? All of those things are answered simply by “bad decisions and sabotage”. I could have had it all, but all was not what I wanted. I could have a super model body again, but I blew that with bad decisions. I could have somebody at home that loves me very much that looks forward to seeing me smile. I blew that too. Or did I, it’s all a matter of perspective.

In The Sims, if you don’t show up to work you lose your job, much like in real life. Also in The Sims, if you don’t eat you get a warning bubble with food in it. In real life it’s different, you have to trust your internal signals to tell you when and what to do. These same internal signals can change your matter of perspective on where you are in life. I could have it all, I did throw it away, but who is to say that what I have now isn’t enough? I have “all” of the things I need to live and be happy. Isn’t that “all” enough? I used to have a super model body of 83 pounds and blonde, I blew that by deciding I didn’t want to be anorexic anymore. What’s to say that I’m not the same beautiful person that I was then, just a whole lot bigger? I could have somebody that loves me at home, but then again, at what cost. Can I love myself if I’m constantly worried about other people loving me?

The Sims aren’t just a video game, to me at least. They remind me that in order to make things happen you have to make them happen. It’s time to come to terms with the fact that you’re in charge of putting that ladder in your pool to get out, are you going to? Are you capable?

“Anyone who cannot come to terms with his life while he is alive needs one hand to ward off a little his despair over his fate… but with his other hand he can note down what he sees among the ruins.”
Franz Kafka

There is nothing wrong with me, or you either for that matter.

I have found over the past month that philosophy and the study thereof is a lot like vacuuming. The slower you pass over it, the more you tend to suck up. In a pinch, however, in a fury of cleaning and rapid movement, the ability to comprehend and suck up every little detail is lost. You’ll find yourself revisiting that same spot over and over again knowing that there are little pieces still needing to be taken up from their place and put in the proper location. I’ve been reading Kant, he isn’t staying in my vacuum bag, if you get my drift.

Although he’s right up the line of what I like as far as philosophers go (he’s grumpy and from the Austria/Germany area), he was a little bit more, well, fluffy as far as I was concerned. He was a little bit too structured as far as the concepts of decision making was concerned, and he wanted me to focus on reason for Pete’s sake. Reason!?!? Theoretically we all use reason for every single motion and emotion we make. I made a motion to sit here on my ass and write this tripe. I also used my emotion to fuel my desire to complain about modern day life and how it relates to old time philosophy.

Why, though? What is there to be said about a philosopher that died over 200 years ago? What about one that died a little over 100 years ago? What do these philosophers do to impact our modern day lives, and why is the acknowledgement of the wisdom they purveyed important, you may ask. Simple, as a society we’re lost. Emotionally we’re lost, lacking direction, we’re a generation of depressed, emotional beings that lack some sort of guidance. A constant struggle is waged ranging from uncomfortable living conditions due to lack of wealth, uncomfortable body image due to lack of personal upkeep, uncomfortable ego because of lack of developing a healthy one, and even uncomfortable relationships because we’re afraid of the lack thereof.

In the modern day we’re constantly bombarded with distractions, be it social media, interactive outlets, booze, drugs (both legal and not), sex, drugs, rock and roll, you name it. There are always things to be done to chase an invisible carrot infront of our noses, that goal that doesn’t exist, happiness. The rationalism behind existence of man is gone, modern day man is incapable of making his own decisions – the world around him influences action/reaction and all of a sudden the ability to use rationality of self is gone.

“Thoughts without content are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind.”
― Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason

I am the first to admit I think way too much, it’s the existentialist in me, and maybe just a touch of the wild child that wants to adventure for a living. Constantly I think about how I can make an adventure out of something, how can I make this more exciting, how can I make this what other people want me to make it? The pressure of finding the perfect adventure, or even the perfect answer to a thought pattern is absurd and nine times out of ten my only reaction is no action at all. I rationalize everything to the extent of nullification and find myself getting nowhere mentally, physically or spiritually. I reason myself out of most things, although my gut tells me its the thing to do. The power of the gut, or intuition if you please, is more powerful than any sort of peer pressure or social media out there. The innate existence of intuition in you  is tortured by constant distraction which lead you to ignore what your gut is telling you.

My gut told me I shouldn’t have been driving before I crashed my car, my intuition knew it was a bad idea. I did it anyway. My car was crashed, my life was changed forever, and my intuition sat there with its hands on its hips saying “I told you so, but you didn’t listen, you were too busy living in some other world.” My intution was wise enough to know that the decisions that I was making was wrong, but only because there was a concept of wrong in the first place. This is where the ability to live outside of a box and absorb culture is important. Without having a sense of right or wrong in the first place, all intuitions will be misplaced and any sort of malfeasance on your part will be your fault. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to intuition.

Let’s go back to the vacuum analogy for a moment. You know that if you take a couple of slow passes over a dirty carpet you’re likely to get the job done, but you might reason otherwise. You’re too busy, you don’t feel like it, you don’t want to in the first place and are only doing it under duress. All of these excuses are going to tell your intuition to can it, however, your power of concept is stronger than that. Those are just thoughts, which can be altered, you attitude can be changed, your gut feeling, however, is very hard to sway. The concept behind doing it right the first time was instilled in us as small children. When we did something wrong, we were reprimanded and told to do it right the first time. If we weren’t we’d never learn our alphabet, we’d never learn simple arithmetic, and we’d never get potty trained. The concept was instilled in us what is right behavior and what is wrong. Those that chose to ignore these are just trying to wage war with themselves.

“If I wished to shake this tree with my hands, I should not be able to do so.
But the wind, which we see not, troubleth and bendeth it as it listeth. We are sorest bent and troubled by invisible hands.”

-The Tree on the Hill from Thus Spoke Zarathustra – Friedrich Nietzsche

So why, do I and so many others let this invisible force that is modern day living shake us so? Just like Zarathustra had the ability to place his hands upon something that was able to be moved by a greater force, he was unable to replicate the force. His intuition told him it was impossible, his gut knew it wasn’t going to happen, and there was no use it even trying. Although he cannot explain exactly what the wind is, nor point to it, its there. A great invisible force, almost like modern day attitudes towards life and living. We’re guided and bent into uncomfortable positions by these great invisible hands that are the media and society without paying any regard to our own intuitions. We’re to pliable and allow ourselves to be bend. Like saplings in a cyclone we bend.

And some of us snap. Take a moment to look at any sort of crime television show or newspaper. There are people, who in some cases (those of psychosis are exempt) just snap. It’s hard for most people to say exactly why, almost as if this invisible force just infested their powers of reason and allowed them to behave in unethical manners. It’s more of an ignorance of a different invisible being, the ever innate power of intuition. Knowing that something is wrong, using rational skills before reacting, and adjusting actions accordingly. Allowing your brain to pass over a scenario slowly, just like you’d want to take the time to pass over the carpet with the vacuum slowly, will give better outcome. Why can’t we slow down and listen to our guts? Why can’t we just mellow out for a moment and reassess the situation?

I did the opposite of my normal self just this morning. After listening to Thus Spoke Zarathustra while working out at a gym full of people that looked miserable, I had the gut feeling that I should be miserable too. Everybody around me seemed unhappy with life, they were unhappy because they had to work out, they were unhappy to be awake so early, they were just plain miserable with life. I went into the locker room to shower and change, and there was a woman who took great strides to conceal herself from the rest of the locker room. She was miserable with herself, and ashamed.

I wanted to grab her by the shoulders and say “There is nothing wrong with you!”

Then I stopped, it was me. I listened to my intuition, and for once it was screaming at me. Call it an adrenaline based epiphany or what have you, but it was wonderful. I felt peace. I thought back to the very last sentence I remembered from the book that I was listening to while hanging out with the miserable looking people in the gym…

“Ye tell me, “Life is hard to bear.” But for what purpose should ye have your pride in the morning and your resignation in the evening?” -Reading And Writing – Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Let’s work on having pride when we open our eyes in the morning and resign from the day at peace at night.

524

Half the time I am too caught up in being the clown to really focus on my gut feeling – which is to not take life too serious.

…Leave us alone to pine in our anguish…

“The surest cure for vanity is loneliness.”
Tom Wolfe

Sure, there are certain roads that are meant to be driven on a daily basis. Those that you find yourself aimlessly turning down and following the ease and flow of the traffic. The woman drinking her morning coffee (probably spiked with Kahlua to get her through the day), the businessman yelling mindlessly into a bluetooth speaker trying to make the latest quota, the old couple on their way to the doctors office to get their monthly ten point inspection. All of these people are on the road with you and you have no choice but to go with the flow, like a twig in the shoulders of a mighty stream.

You’re in your own world though, in your cocoon of a car. You’re encompassed and hugged by your bolsters and at the mercy of whatever audio device you decide to utilize on that particular day. The road is just another grocery store checkout line, full of strangers with their own stories to tell and battles to fight. These are the people you share the world with, these are the people that you share your life with, these are also the people that force some people (points to self) to rely on isolation to remedy the fact that some people are alive. Don’t get me wrong, there are some pretty groovy people out there, it just doesn’t seem like I have the pleasure of spending large chunks of time with them.

Upon reflection, it’s become more of a lesson in tolerance. I can sit down at work and cringe when certain coworkers approach me, knowing that whatever comes out of their mouth is going to be negative and tripe. Going to classes at night is a similar experience, although, I’m usually the one that gets on other peoples nerves. It’s a habit of being too outgoing, too smart, too much of an over achiever. That’s who I am, that’s who I’ve always been, and that’s what gets me in trouble. Pushing the envelope to the edge of being the “best” only to crumble and become a wreck.

“That doesn’t mean I didn’t love you, just that i didn’t understand you.”

None of this made sense to me until happening upon an email that smacked me in the face like a wet fish. It’s true, nobody seems to understand me, and that makes for a very lonely existence. I’ve been fighting it my entire life, and for those of you out there that have similar struggles, I salute you. I’ve grasped unsuccessfully into a dark abyss trying to find somebody that could understand me, but it’s a lost cause. I’m an enigma, I’m a mess, I’m a pain in the ass. It ruins my life, but at the same time, this is who I am. This is who I’ve always been, and to expect a person to change is a bit frustrating. Not only to the changer, but to the changee.

“And with pain and joy, their hearts learned to hear that double lesson which leads to a happy death.”

― Albert Camus

I however, am not quite ready to pain myself into changing drastically. I understand my weak points such as making plans and not showing up, and making plans and changing them at the last minute. For those that have fallen victim to this, I apologize, to those that haven’t witnessed it yet, be prepared. I think that was one of the breaking points of the Shark Trip, I had to be various places, people were counting on me, yet the entire time I just wanted to blow off engagements and be a flake. It’s my personality, it’s embarrassing, it’s me.

With these personality defects, how do you gracefully tote them throughout your life and not allow them to drive you to ruin or misery? How often do you, as imperfect beings, say to yourself “I should have done that differently”. Hindsight sucks, but living in the past is even worse. Blazing a positive trail towards tomorrow is the only way to achieve an inner peace with yourself even when there are naysayers in your life.

“The best way out is always through.”
― Robert Frost

So what do you say, let’s get out of this by continuing through one day at a time. Remember, isolation isn’t always a terrifying things – sometimes you need internal dialog to hear the things you really want to be said about you.

oneday

Fear Or Lack Thereof

“My ‘fear’ is my substance, and probably the best part of me.”
Franz Kafka

I crossed my arms with a cool calm demeanor and shrugged my shoulders. “Nah,” I answered with a non-amused tone. “What is there to be afraid of?”

The Skydive instructor kind of looked at me and shook her head. “You mean you don’t even have a few butterflies in your belly that get you a little nervous? Not even excitement? Nothing?”

“What is there to be afraid of?” I demanded, expecting to get some sort of lecture trying to talk me out of plummeting out of a perfectly good airplane at 11,000 feet.

“Well,” she said with a tone that seemed almost disappointed in my response. “Things happen sometimes, rough landings and such, but really nothing. Usually people at least have a little bit of fear in them.”

I thought about it, before answering this time. Instead of having mental puke coming out of my mouth and trying to explain to her the life of a bitter existentialist I just shrugged again as the plane started climbing up to altitude. I looked out over the low country of South Carolina and took note that there wasn’t anything that I was actually afraid of at that very moment. The plane could crash, the parachute could fail to deploy, I could have a heart attack. All of those things didn’t scare me. Why was this, why did I feel like I was disposable? Why didn’t I care if I fell at the speed of gravity into the ground?

As we climbed up and up into the clouds, the other jump team was going over strategy and contemplating how to position themselves. I was singing the song “Big River” in my head, not even thinking about what was going to be happening in the next few minutes. I knew the process, the door was going to open, We would attach and swing one, two, three, and belly flop into the great blue sky. That was the process. Not scary, I mean as long as you follow the directions what could go wrong?

The door opened and the cold air from the high skies filled my face – that was when I realized why I wasn’t afraid. I realized that fear was for people that felt like they had something to live for. Fear was for people that actually valued stuff in life and didn’t want to lose it. My fear was mental – all emotional – not tangible. None of my fears could be connected to a physical being or embodiment, my fears were of myself.

Again, not too long after falling out of the airplane without incident I found myself flying down a front straight of a road track in the triple digits. I never felt the first bead of sweat break my brow, and even though what I was doing was supposed to be “thrilling”, I was numb to the situation. My instructor asked “How does it feel to go 110 mph in your own car?”. I thought about it a moment, negotiated a tough left handed cambered corner and answered. “Fast I guess.”

Getting out of the car, I felt numb. There was nothing to fear, except people. I realized at that very moment, I was afraid of something. I was afraid of people. Judgement, liking me, hating me, loving me, all of those things I was afraid of. Incidents of death didn’t bother me, it was how people interacted with me I was afraid of. Why? What is so scary about human being? It was easy, at least for me to grasp what the fear really was, people scared me. They’re unpredictable and have no schedule of events. Skydiving you open the door and jump, then hopefully land safely – simple. Racing cars you know your track, you know your car, and you’ll know what’s going to happen when stuff starts to get squirrelly.

People, however, are unpredictable. They can hurt, and I’m afraid of being hurt emotionally way more than being hurt physically. It’s come to the point that the only time I can find peace with myself and the world is when I’m going fast. Having total concentration on the speed in which you’re travelling occupies the mind so much that there isn’t time to worry about who thinks what of you or who’s doing what to whom. Speed = Peace for me. There is no fear, there is no love, there is no hate, there are no emotions at speed, at least not in my mind.

The beauty in the fear of people is that when I do connect with somebody that I’m not afraid of, it’s a wonderful feeling, I just have to step out of my comfort zone to get there.

“The tremendous world I have in my head. But how to free myself and free them without ripping apart. And a thousand times rather tear in me they hold back or buried. For this I’m here, that’s quite clear to me.”

Franz Kafka

jumper speed