I meant to do that

I’ve mentioned a few times that I had an ulterior motive when I started this blog but I’ve been pretty coy about stating exactly what that motive was. By keeping my intentions secret I have preserved the ability to reframe my goals at anytime and turn what could have been seen as a failure into a success. Like Pee-wee Herman I could announce at anytime that, “I meant to do that!”

When I started I had no idea how things would turn out. I knew what I wanted to do but I didn’t know whether I was documenting my success or my failure. At this point I can unequivocally state that I have failed at meeting my goals, BUT there have been many unintended successes for which I am more than happy to take credit. It’s time to take credit for the failure as well.

It began with a dream… a dream of shedding most of my worldly possessions, including my house, and living a nomadic life.  I wanted and needed a simpler life which focused on what is really important to me and that is connecting with people. After taking inventory of my skills and assets I devised a plan to travel around the country, by bicycle, sharing my gifts and avoiding the harsh Minnesota winters. It seemed like a crazy plan but I’ve managed to pull off some pretty crazy things in my life and as I started talking to more people about it, people who knew me, the less crazy it seemed. I just knew I couldn’t do it alone. I was going to need more people along for the ride. A blog, if successful, would allow me to connect with people all over the country and provide a vehicle to share my adventure for survival giving it meaning and purpose.

In fact, creating a blog had been on my to-do list for years but now it no longer felt like an option. Now it was a priority. Now it was a means to an end. Now I had a plan, a vision; but I still had no idea how to achieve it or even if I could. I just knew that I had to start regardless. All I could do was take the next step and see what happened. That process is pretty well documented in this blog.

What I discovered was that writing a successful blog takes a lot of work. I guess that wasn’t really a discovery. I knew it would be a lot of work. I actually had a pretty clear idea of what it would take but I had plenty of time on my hands and figured I would muddle through it until I got it right. I figured a year was enough time to make something happen.

It probably would have been if I was focused and dedicated. I have achieved a lot in my life but it has come either through some level of deep obsession or a great deal of time. The older I get the harder it is for me to get that obsessed about anything but it has also given me more perspective when it comes to the concept of time. There are just too many things in the world which I find meaningful and purposeful that it may take a lifetime to achieve even my top five. I just can’t do everything; at least not right now, but to be honest, the distractions I’ve had over the past year or so have been well worth it.

Well… most of them.

As much as I hate to admit it, dealing with multiple chronic illnesses on a daily basis has also been a factor in my failure to meet my goals. This is not the life I had envisioned for myself but it is my reality. Denial doesn’t change anything. I refuse to use my so-called disabilities as an excuse for not achieving greatness but I may need to re-examine my definition of greatness. We’ve all been inspired by the achievements of successful people with disabilities. There is no reason why I can’t be my own inspiration.

So my blog didn’t turn out as planned. I have gotten rid of nearly nothing. I still own my home and I’m not leaving this state until my daughter graduates from high school.  For some reason none of that really feels like a failure. I still have a blog. I still have more stuff than I need. I have a home and I have a daughter that loves and needs me. Maybe failure isn’t so bad. Maybe it’s only failure if it feels like failure.

The only thing that has happened in the past year that makes me feel like a failure is the loss of my best friend. She was my one true obsession and in the end it was that obsession which killed the friendship.

But through death there comes rebirth.

In my effort to come to terms with how I could lose a friend who I honestly believed was forever I discovered this blog post by Kenneth Justice, The Culture Monk. I began reading his blog every day and quickly discovered that we had started our blogs at the same time and were writing about the same issues albeit in from different perspectives and in very different styles. In my opinion, he’s a much better writer than I am. There is a structure and flow to his writing that I may never achieve; even if I wanted to. We probably started with the same level of effort and dedication but with different skills. That, and he is far more consistent than I am. Consistency has never been my strong suit.

What I found really ironic was when he started writing about fame and celebrity. He was taking issue with our cultural obsession with fame and celebrity which I totally understand. I just found it ironic because he had achieved the level of notoriety that I was seeking in order to make my dreams come true. Let’s face it, celebrity and popularity are necessary evils in the entertainment business. Seeking celebrity seems a bit crazy to me but so is the entertainment business.

What didn’t surprise me was that after a year of writing his blog, Kenneth Justice decided to set out on a worldwide tour to connect with his readers. Basically, he was achieving my goal albeit in from a different perspective and in a very different style. He is living my dream. When he came to Minneapolis last month I was able to meet him, drive him around, show him my city and give him a place to stay. I was able to see my dream come true, even if it was being carried out by another person. I could be bitter but instead I have a new friend. I hope that you will read his blog and I hope that you will take the opportunity to meet him if he comes to your town.

I began last year with a plan; I failed but I found success. As I look back now I realize that I’m still here, I’m still me and I’m not alone. Ultimately, that is all I have ever wanted to achieve.

To make a long story short

I had another birthday yesterday.

That makes forty-seven that I have had so far. I”m not a big fan of birthdays. I feel it’s a lot of pressure to put on one day. But, it is a good excuse to get drunk and spend money so that’s what I did. It was actually a really fun night.  I could tell you all about it but I don’t want to . If you really cared you would have been there. Hopefully you are living your own life and don’t need to live vicariously through mine.

All I know is that at the end of the night I took a cab home alone. Last night I was pretty pissed off about that. Today I am grateful.

Today I can remember that a year ago I did have someone to spend my birthday with. I also know that what happened that night was so disturbing that I couldn’t even write about it factually. I had to write it as fiction.

Today I feel grateful to be alone.

Tomorrow… who knows how I will feel. It’s a funny thing about time.

Oh, that reminds me. I did learn something last night. I learned that time itself is a made up concept. I might have to think about that for a while.

That was one freaking year

It was one year ago today that I started this blog. I’ve recently gone back and started reading what I was writing a year ago. I just wanted to see what was on my mind back then and what has changed. The first thing I noticed was that I used to be a lot more angry. Either that or I just used to swear a lot more. Maybe I have become a better writer. Don’t get me wrong, I still love sailor speak and am known to throw an f-bomb around from time to time but it’s a bit of a lazy method for getting one’s point across. I’m glad that I don’t feel the need to do it so much anymore.

I suppose now would be a good time to make plans for the coming year, set some expectations or something, but that is not how I got here and it’s not how I’m going to continue. I just think that writing this blog is a good idea so I’m going to keep doing it.

I do want to thank everyone who has taken the time to check out my blog. I want to thank the people who have clicked the “like” button when they thought one of my posts didn’t suck. I also want to say that I do really appreciate the comments. Hopefully I can find a way to encourage more of that in the coming year. Mostly, I want to thank all the other bloggers out there who are sharing their thoughts and feeling with the world. It’s a pretty amazing community that we have and I look forward to becoming more involved as time goes on.

Stress is a part of life

I have four chronic illnesses. All are exacerbated by stress. As a result, I put a premium on reducing the amount of stress in my life. Still, not all stress can be avoided. Not all stress should be avoided. Some stress is actually beneficial. Sometimes a crisis is just what we need to move forward. Picking and choosing what stress to take on and which crises to entertain can be a challenge and is stressful. Today is a day of that kind of stress. I don’t mind that kind of stress because I know if I handle it well it will mean less stress in the long run.

 

Tonight is the night

After sleeping most of the afternoon, recharging my batteries in preparation for the most impossible of endurance tasks, I reach for my favorite energy drink of hops and barley knowing that it may be the only thing that will sustain me during this marathon mission of sitting still.

This summer has clearly seen a decrease in the amount of time I have spent writing. I guess that is understandable. I have been busy but lack of free time is not really my excuse. Technically, all my time is free and I probably have more of it during the summer than I do during the winter. I just can’t stop moving. When I do, I fall asleep. I’ve been trying to write every day but I never seem to get anywhere.

Tonight I will try again. TIme has a way of condensing and solidifying my thoughts so rather than writing about every mundane detail my hope it that I can highlight some key experiences and their relevant conclusions. Rather that one long disjointed post my plan is to write a few shorter posts that get right to the point. The thought gives me a bit of a chuckle but let’s see how it goes.

Alone again

So last night was amazing. I didn’t stay sober but that was expected. In that respect everything went as expected. I woke up this morning on my couch in the living room, a spoon in an open jar of peanut-butter, still wearing my clothes from the night before and one combat boot.

And I was alone. I don’t know if I expected that to be different but I was certainly open to the possibility. I’m really starting to wonder if that is a realistic possibility. I’m seriously starting to doubt whether anyone is getting laid these days. I ran into a friend of mine, a totally hot, horny, polyamorous, bisexual married woman who is not having sex. Seriously, if she’s not getting any then who the fuck is?

I somehow feel like this is partly my fault. I’m trying. I’m doing everything in my power to make myself as sexually desirable as possible. I want there to be more sex in the world. I certainly want there to be more sex for me but I feel like the traditional avenues have been cut off. All of my life goals are completely contrary to being in a relationship so it’s not going to happen that way. The drunk hookup clearly isn’t happening but I don’t think that is really what I want either. Prostitution, although I don’t have any moral objection to it, has never been a turn on for me.

So I’m left with the sober hookup or having sex with friends. The sober hookup is only going to happen if I am really, really horny and kind of desperate. As much as I love, want and need sex my sober self still finds it kind of gross. It’s smelly and sweaty and I don’t care how hot a person is, the human body is just inherently kind of disgusting. Alcohol can help me look past all of that but really what allows me to be attracted to someone is being able to see inside that person. I need to connect with their soul.

That means that I need to deal with all of the emotional complications that come with having sex. I’m okay with that. In fact I’m more than okay with that. It’s actually the emotional connection that I’m seeking. If it was just physical I would totally be happy with masterbation but I’m not. I still feel like there is something missing. I want to be able to share that pleasure with somebody but it needs to be somebody that I deeply care about.

Fortunately I care about a lot of people. I just need to take the time to do the caring. If I’m going to have the kind of sex that I want it’s going to take an investment of time. Since a romantic relationship is not something that I have to offer and what most people are seeking in sexual situations it’s also going to take a lot of clear communication. I think it’s natural for the heart to turn to romance when sex and emotions are brought together. I just don’t want to create any false expectations. I know how bad that can turn out.

So it’s going to be a challenge. That’s okay, I’m always up for a challenge. At least now I have some clear and realistic expectations. I know it’s not going to “just happen”. I know it’s not just a matter of luck. It’s going to take work and it’s going to take time. At least I don’t have to feel like a loser for not getting any.

All the time in the world

I had no intention of going out Saturday night. In fact, I had every intention of staying in and writing. I hadn’t been able to write since leaving home Thursday afternoon and I was longing for it. I was needing to write but as my lazy Saturday afternoon wore on into a lazy Saturday evening and the sun vanished from the sky, the fact that Saturday night had arrived was inescapable, as was the fact that I was not yet home. I had delayed my bike ride home as long as I could but the time had come where I could delay no more. In the end, no writing would get done.

But what if it had; what if I had spent Saturday night at home writing? What would I have written about? What stories could I have told? Much had happened over the past few days. Many adventures had come and gone. Many connections were made, revelations,  inspirations, declarations and many questions. As that time has now past, I am left to wonder what could have happened.

I could have written of seeing my parents after nearly three months and how I learned to accept their offerings as gifts without expectation or demand but as tokens of who they are and what they have to give.

I could write of a man I met at the Depot who traveled half way around the world to find the money needed to care for his family. It would be a wonderful story of honor, responsibility and sacrifice.

I could write of seeing Mark Mallman and Gospel Gossip perform Thursday night. I could tell a story of Minneapolis music fans who give their love so quickly only to let if fade a year later as their gaze shifts to the latest, greatest thing. Oh, I could write a lot about that.

I could tell of my dream to become a pedicab driver and the journey of personal growth which led me down this path. I would write of my hopes for where this journey will lead me.

I could write of chaos in the medicaid system. I would write about how my medical coverage got deactivated because I didn’t pay my premium because I didn’t get a bill because my medical coverage got deactivated.

I could write of the benefits to treating social service workers with kindness and respect. I could write of the great things that can be accomplished when people work together for a common goal.

I could write a story of Native American pride and my admiration for the ability to avoid violence.

I could tell you about the blast I had at the first Mix Up! dance event at the Blue Nile. I could expound on the power of dance and about meeting new friends and potential lovers.

I could tell of a friendship thirty years in the making, of destiny and fate. It would be a story of self acceptance and embracing diversity to find our higher purpose.

I could write about all these things and perhaps one day I will. For now, all I can do is acknowledge that they are out there. They are moments which have past, yet still live on within me and within those who shared them with me. Some may fade away and eventually be forgotten and some will continue to evolve as time goes on.

I will never regret a missed opportunity, only my failure to seize the opportunity which stands before me right now. Each moment has been meticulously designed, just for me, by each moment which has come before. To reject this moment in the belief that there is something better, somewhere else, is to reject the unique opportunity which has been presented only to me, which only I can fulfill.

Opportunities are never ending. As for running out of time, I have no fear of that. In all my days on this planet the universe has not failed me once in providing more time. Perhaps, one day, I will be proven wrong but until that happens I will continue to believe that I have all the time in the world.

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