December 1, 2016

Fractured And Scattered

“An empty shell seems so easy to crack
Got all these questions don't know who I could even ask
So I'll just lie alone and wait for the dream
Where I'm not ugly and you're looking at me.” Pearl Jam

It’s easy to feel sorry for yourself. Especially when you are not at your best. Broken bones. Dampened spirit. Heavy funk. The fixes are not easy and they are seldom quick. It can take weeks, sometimes months to get your priorities back in order.

I think I am finally on the edge of moving some things around inside and coming up for air.

It’s hard to tell when this latest tailspin started for me. It is definitely been around for longer that last week’s broken bone. I was talking to my mom today. Telling her about how anxious I am to get back to work, back to my life, back to normal and she asked me if I thought that maybe this broken ankle was the universe’s way of telling me to slow down.

Stop. Think. Reevaluate. I shrugged my shoulders and let her words linger, afraid to think too deeply on them.

I thought back to when I stopped feeling so fantastic. Because at the end of the summer, I was at a peak. I was rested. Excited. Pumping on all cylinders. I had a great time with my family. Saw old friends. Spent time in the trees and great cities and towns. I was on fire. Life was great. So what happened?

My new role started off great and I am still loving it. School has been good. I am not super excited with how I am teaching, but the new responsibilities make up for my early curricular confusion. Work life is solid. Kids give me energy and my peers are as always top notch.

But early on with Karen’s passing, things went a bit off the tracks. That was emotionally taxing. My first real close death and the travel and the stress and the falling behind was a lot. I am not sure I really processed it all as soon as I hit the ground running back in Singapore. I would say that is when it started. All the death this year- Ali, Bowie, Prince. Twinkle.

Then off to Vietnam. A good conference, but I didn’t feel I was great. I was there. I did my thing, but it didn’t feel fresh or new or exciting to me. I felt stale and like I was faking it.

Then I started cheating a lot on my vegan choices and felt terrible about that, and then I think it all came to a boil on November 8th.

Three-way conferences and the election.

I became obsessed with the news and the plight of everyone affected. It felt like the world was going to end. I literally could not look at Trump’s face. I am not sure why this election hit me so hard, but it feels like the forces of darkness and evil are alive in the world. This is beyond politics. This is some cosmic shit. Like we are being swallowed by doom. Like something out of Lord of the Rings. Like everything we cherish and value and love is on trial and the courts are stacked against us. I internalized it all. Add that on to my existing issues that I already mentioned and I was spiraling downward without a way out.

For those of you who have been reading for a while, you know that I was allowing myself to slowly wallow in the downward spiral, toward the end of the year. That was plan. To let myself be gross and sad and just wait out 2016. Not healthy I know, but it felt easy and good and like I somehow deserved it. My second mom died and everything I find vile and repugnant was the president of my country. So I cold eat some McDonalds and feel sorry for myself.

Then I broke my ankle. After the first good day I had had in a while- there I was- skating along feeling the breeze, enjoying the sunset, feeling the concrete below my feet- I was contemplating the change, the rebirth and then I did something stupid: I tried to do more than I knew how to do and I was forced to stop it all.

A week in bed, no work but more anxiety, time to be alone and think, choking on the politics and I was getting worse. January 1st couldn’t come fast enough, but today something changed.

I watched a movie called Gleason about NFL star and ALS survivor and hero Steve Gleason. I cried almost non-stop from start to finish. I can’t say it plainly enough.

This movie will change your life.

There was so much I wanted to say as I watching it, but I am left a little in the blank right now. I still have a few big life changes coming up in January, that I am more and more excited about. I am still working out the details, but I am hoping that these new changes will allow me to refocus my goals on my priorities. To really spend my energy and life force on the things that truly matter to me, instead of scattering myself around too thin. That is a great image- The latter part of 2016 has left me scattered.

And thanks to this movie I feel I am raking up the leaves and ready to start putting some plans into action.

The next couple of weeks will still be about healing. Physically but also mentally. I am a literal metaphor right now of a fracture. School will come to an end and those anxieties will pass. I hope to reconnect with my family and try to celebrate Christmas joy. I am looking forward to seeing my in-laws and spending time with friends. We may or may not go to Thailand, but we will rest and heal and be well again. The future is looking bright.

This shittorm of a year is almost done and for that I am hopeful, but more importantly a new year is on the horizon. I am healthy (ish). I am loved. I am filled with the fire of life and I am tired of being burdened by sadness.

Do yourself a favor and watch Gleason right now! You will not regret it.

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