Emptiness

This is me since I decided to stay away. Your absence created a giant hole inside of me that can never be replaced. I tried to patch the gap but nothing fits. Only you can fill this special place. I think of you every single second I breathe and it hurts! It hurts not seeing you grow up. It hurts not being part of your life but I’m helpless. The price I have to pay to see you is something I can’t afford. What can I teach you if being with you means I have to give up my self-respect and dignity? How can I be any use to you if holding you in my arms means I have to forget the person that I am and abandon everything I believe in? No, I can’t do that. Not even for you. I cannot compromise my self-respect for love. I have to keep my integrity right down to the end or otherwise what is the use of living? My pride is all I’ve got. I will not surrender my self-worth. Never. So, I will love you from a distance and hope you will have the freedom to grow up to be your true self, not the one society and your upbringing dictates. You will never know how much I long for you but it doesn’t matter because I know. It’s for me enough. Be happy always. Be safe.

You will always be a part of me.


I hope someday you will have a chance to read this and know that I care. In my mind, we share a lot of happy moments. In my dream I watch you grow up to be a beautiful person I know you will one day become. On your first Christmas, I imagined I gave you a little box, a present, and watched how you’ve tried to open it and kissed the smile on your innocent face when you succeeded. I would love to take you everywhere with me and teach you the importance of little things and share with you my love for nature and freedom. I realized it is far-fetched but I imagine we are kindred-spirit. Perhaps you will not even know me but I love you just the same. Fly free and soar high my Oona. You will always be loved.

~ from your eccentric but loving Glam-Ma

HOW TO CARRY YOURSELF GRACEFULLY AND REALISTICALLY INTO A NEW YEAR

I must confess I am still finding my way around this new year. In my mind I know that 2019 is a thing of the past, gone, never to be seen again. But deep down inside part of me is still there, reluctant to leave, wanting to know if there is nothing I could have done better or change.

Maybe because like any other year, the turning of the calendar from old to new bears a significant resemblance to each other, nothing special to mark the changes, everything seems the same but then again not. It’s like time passes quickly in a very slow manner it’s almost boring.

Here you are pumped to the max with resolutions and good intentions, seemingly inspired dreaming of all the things that can be done differently just to wake up each morning to find out that despite all your efforts nothing change at all and nothing will likely to change unless you make a drastic decision to suddenly quit your job, drop everything and move somewhere else.

How crazy is that?

I came across an article that is related to what I’m thinking about the new year and changes. It says:

Please keep what happened in 2019 in 2019. Put a lock on it. Bury it if you have to. Make a list of things that make you happy youre alive and breathing. Things that make you want to get out of bed. Do something this year that youve been thinking of doing for years. Its okay to feel bad at the beginning of every year. Even if it was a bad year, it leaves a hole in your life. It wasnt a waste. Really. So much happened, so much didnt happen. Turn your head to the front. New chances are here; new beginnings are here, a new year. Dont fall into the same routine. Just dont. Whats done is done. Whatever happened happened. What will happen from now is in your hands. What are you going to do now?

It was written by Oshin Ahlawat and Submitted to ArtParasites. You can read the whole article here.

Maybe one of these days, I will wake up one morning to find out that I finally arrive in 2020 and ready for battle. Clear-headed, no hangover…

(I wrote this post originally in 2015 and came across it again accidentally when a viewer clicked it and I saw that it is still current. I changed the date, but the rest is the same.)

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Just A Story

Cancer… My best friend has cancer. She told me via a Christmas card, which she dutifully sends every year even though I don’t answer most of them. Seven years ago since I saw her. We just moved into our current abode and there was no furniture yet inside aside from a couple of kitchen chairs.

No, we didn’t have a fallout or something. I am just like that. I am not adept at keeping connections. I burn bridges with or without reasons. She was actually my boss who decided it is better to keep your friends close but your enemies closer. Something with the husband. There was nothing there but it’s the thoughts that count. From there a genuine friendship has blossomed and since then I could do no wrong in her eyes. She fired a few employees including her own sister because they could not get along with me. She has forgiven me for all the trespasses I did against her person without me asking for it. The foolishness of the youth… Water under the bridge now.

She was a chain smoker. Now she has lung cancer. I called her immediately the minute I received the card and told her I was coming the day after. I bought a big bouquet of flowers I know she likes and rung her doorbell. Because I got a heads up, seeing her with a nasal cannula didn’t shock me but the color of her skin did. I thought those snow dwellers from the north in GOT were just the products of makeup techniques from efficient production artists but she looks exactly like them_ gray with a bluish tint as if she has been buried under the snow and been dug up just recently. Shocking!

She doesn’t have cancer. I misread the card. She has COPD instead and needs to have a lung transplant very soon. (what’s the difference) but there is no donor. She’s not even on the list. And even then, her kidney is not functioning properly to have an operation. Her face is swollen from too much cortisol. She said she had an open heart surgery a while back and has to take legions of medicines. I gave her a summary of my own woes, she told me I look good despite… The husband said I barely changed.

They are not the kind of people who will lie or flatter you for whatever reasons. No, they belonged to the near-extinct group of honest people who will tell you how things exactly are without offending. That’s why probably we get along just fine. They told me they encountered my ex and his girlfriend in the supermarket. I said it’s the wife, not the girlfriend. They gave me a look that said: whatever. And then the husband said when it comes to a wife matter, my ex did a few steps back instead of forward and my best friend said the new wife is a far cry from me and very, very different when it comes to appearance. That was a shock. I find the woman ten times more beautiful than I am, taller too, whiter and with miles-long legs. My best friend said if I find long legs (she has) an asset then so be it but not in any way it would help the appearance of the new wife. Then she ran out of words to describe her and I supplied them by directly quoting the mother of D. when she described the same woman: grey mouse, she said. My best friend jumped on that and added a few more of her own.

They would go on and on if I didn’t change the subject. It happened that I don’t agree with them. D. said it is because I have very low self-esteem. That when it comes to comparing myself to others, I always sell myself short. Maybe, maybe not.

Anyway, it was getting dark and I could see that our visit tired my best friend so I grabbed my coat and said goodbye. I will not want to exhaust our welcome. They complimented our fine carriage and we drove off.

I’m not sure if I am going to see her alive again. I am afraid that the next time we meet, she will be inside a casket. Sad but it’s the truth.

Another era about to disappear.

Getting old sucks.

Mirror, Mirror…

Do Not Define Me

Bohemian…
A person, as an artist, who lives and acts free of regard for conventional rules and practices. A free spirit and open-minded thinker.

Hmmm… My son once described me to his friends as a MILF. To my face he said I’m a bohemian. My ex said to one of his ladies that I was magic, but to me, he said I was a short fat and ugly gold-digging flirt head hunter who was holier than thou one of a kind spirit who got nothing to offer to a man. A man-hater frigid who pretends to be intelligent but otherwise stupid who got a limited taste in music and to top it all manic-depressive. Let’s not talk about how my daughter sees me. That would be a long and complicated story. The point of all of these…

The point is_  we are a lot of things to a lot of people. Each of them has their own version of us. None of those matches the image we have of ourselves in our heads. Not even close.

I see myself as a plain Jane of average intelligence. Aloof and introvert, shy melancholic and highly sensitive.

So many people will disagree. For most, I am confident, assertive smart outgoing social.

Alpha they say.

I’m not an Alpha. I’m not even Bravo Charlie or Delta. Just kidding. I’m more of an Omega. Really.

No. Seriously, I don’t give a damn how people see me. As long as their opinions are not interfering with my existence, they can draw/paint every picture they want.

Oh.

My husband puts me on a pedestal. For him, I can do no wrong.

Easy you might say. No, it isn’t. You don’t get feedback that way. You don’t get constructive criticism which helps you to grow and improve as a person.

He was brought up in this fashion, believing he is a shining golden boy who is perfect in every way. The result? He has a problem with anything that defies that image of him, hindering him to grow to his full potential and evolve as a human being supposed to be through years of experience and making mistakes. The consequences of that upbringing he is still reaping to this day via his work, social contacts, relationships in general. Whenever troubles reach his shore, he automatically assumes that it is because of an external factor, others, not him, never him.

I don’t want to be like that. Just hand me a mirror.

I want the truth.

But what is the truth?

Everybody has their own truths.

You know… That image again we have in our heads? That doesn’t match with the ones they have in theirs? That.

Now, the circle is complete.

An Appetite No Misery Satisfies.

It’s how I fill the time when nothing’s happening. Thinking too much, flirting with Melancholy.

Is it possible to feel sad all the time?

Someone said to me (a long time ago) that it’s okay for people to feel down once in a while but not all the time (note that this person only knows me online via my blog) as is the case with me. She said that all my articles tend to lean more on the dark side rather than on the sunny side of life. Always rain, no sunshine. Too heavy to consume and digest on a daily basis, she said.

If she means I’m pessimistic and negative, I disagree. I’m always positive to the point of I tend to see bad days as ordinary days and learned not only to dance in the rain but make the most of it.

A little bit of storm will never stop me on my way. I’m used to getting wet.

So, why my blog posts are mostly not everyone’s cup of tea?

Maybe that’s why.

I don’t find happy times worth mentioning. They are few and far between and what is happiness anyway? If you don’t feel like killing yourself today, are you happy? If you smile because something touches your heart, are you happy? If nothing out of the ordinary happens and life goes on the way it was, are you happy? If you had sex after three months or longer without and feel no different than yesterday, are you happy?

Whatever happiness is, I don’t do happy. No happily ever after in my fairy tales. I detest happily ever after, that’s why I don’t read chick-lit or light-hearted fictions. If you know already that whatever might happens in between those pages prior to the ending will nothing but a diversion because, in the end, they will ride into the sunset, why bother?

I find it a waste of time.

Besides, it doesn’t mirror the reality of life.

In reality, the story only begins when happily ever after has ended.

But yeah… As someone said:

“I strongly believe that we must tie our sanity around something (or someone). May it be your dog, a future event, past regrets, or current obligations. We must keep ourselves anchored so we don’t easily drift away into nothingness.”

To each his own.

Whatever floats your boat.

But pessimistic I am not.

Melancholic perhaps.

But never negative.

I prefer to be called realistic.

How’s that?

Fair enough?

New Year’s Resolutions

Cliché? Passé?

Whatever.

I’m going to make a list this year.

What is going to be?

Let’s see…

Avoid consuming meat products.

Global warming climate change related? Absolutely! But that is not the reason why I’m doing it. Animal abuse is the propeller behind my motive. How many times I saw fragments of animal cruelty in the news and vowed not to eat meat again but time after time failed. Don’t get me wrong. I am not carnivorous by far. I preferred seafood than anything else but still… I consume meat products at least once a month. This year I will do an extra effort to ban it altogether from my menu.

Doing only the things that nourish my soul.

Done with keeping the church in the middle and duty calls. From now on, I will not be bullied/ forced/ propelled for whatever reasons to do things I don’t want to do. Yesterday I attended a Christmas brunch with people that either there because it was expected of them but clearly wanting to be somewhere else or they are there because of some obligations. A duty of commitment. That was me included. What is the point for crying out loud? I also found out that (as if I didn’t know already) whatever I do, people will never change their initial perceptions of me. Why bother then? Better stop pretending.

Concentrate on improving the quality of life and focus on personal growth and development.

My aim this year is to live the good life and practice self-care creating an environment that best suited my needs and follows the path towards not happiness but satisfaction and contentment. I want to be in touch again with my surroundings and myself, clearing the mind of unnecessary baggage and carry only those that are essentials to my being. Back to the basic is the road I wish to take which hopefully leads me to a more peaceful existence.

Listen to my body.

In an attempt to silence the chaos in my head I tend to ignore what’s my body is telling me. I go on and on till I’m so exhausted I can’t sleep nor rest. Of all the things I want to change for the better this coming new year, this is probably the hardest to do. I am used to this kind of method, torturing myself in order to feel alive, diverting myself from the chaos in my head so I can go on not living but existing. I never face my demons, I have given them free rein, carte blanché to create havoc in my thoughts forever inhabiting the corridors and rooms of my mind. To banish them is to feel empty, alone and lost. In fact, that is assuming from my part. The truth is I don’t know how it is to be without these familiar companions for they never leave. Even in my sleep, they populated my dreams or it is more appropriate to call them nightmares because that’s what they are_ miserable monsters.

But I will try anyway. Sweep away the cobwebs, open the windows and doors, let in the light and purge the air. Get rid of the skeletons, remove the clatter clean the place thoroughly disinfect the wounds and let them heal. Stop scratching go out more and smell the flowers.

That’s it I guess. I will add more if I think of some crucial changes that have to happen in order to lighten the burden of this existence most people insist to call living.

Here’s to another year!

P.S.

I decided not to sweat the small stuff so I’m adding Don’t sweat the small stuff to the list.

Let go.

…of the things that burden me, weighing me, stopping me reaching for the light. Time to fly, time to soar, time to reach my destination. Be free, be light, be enough.

Stop living in the past. 

I always did that. One foot of mine is firmly planted in what had been, always looking back, stubbornly holding on to memories. It’s time to let go,  live in the present and forget the past. Okay, forgetting is maybe a long stretch unless I suddenly get amnesia but not live there anymore. Let bygone be bygone. A very hard thing to try since it’s really a dilemma_ you can’t go back to the past but you can’t escape it either. I will give it a shot anyway. Nothing to lose everything to gain, right?

Wish me luck.

ritual burning 2e

Tangoing On In The Rain

“I strongly believe that we must tie our sanity around something (or someone). May it be your dog, a future event, past regrets, or current obligations. We must keep ourselves anchored so we don’t easily drift away into nothingness.”

Empty nest loneliness the importance of purpose faith human contact and the feeling of emptiness were all clichés and alien to me up until recently. Self- imposed solitude is different from_ I would not say having no choice because we always have a choice_ let’s say between a rock and a hard place, being able to choose without compromising one’s own self-respect integrity and dignity. I heard about loneliness in the elderly and social isolation and I thought I will never experience being lonely because I love and value my self-imposed solitude so much but lately I might be willing to admit that I’ve been wrong, or rather I underestimate the consequences of getting old and having illness that hinder not only the mobility but freedom in general and of course social contact. Who wants to burdens others with what’s wrong with one’s life anyway? How could you explain that your agenda is governed by what’s happening with you physically and mentally.  How could you say to someone that I could not meet you for coffee because I don’t have a circadian rhythm, I sleep when I am able to sleep and most of the time awake because of intense pain. How could you explain that? And even if they understand, you will never be able to find someone who is willing to sacrifice their schedules to fit and accommodate yours. Besides, it’s not humane to even consider asking that from anyone.

Someone who’s lonely finds it hard to reach out. There’s a stigma surrounding loneliness, and older people tend not to ask for help because they have too much pride.

Yeah, the pride… the pride… I’m guilty of the charge. I don’t want to impose  I don’t want to be needy. I don’t want to disrupt other people’s lives in order to enrich mine. I am afraid to ask in case they might say no. Yes, I am scared of rejection, aren’t we all? I’ve been on my own for so long I don’t know how to reach out. I am not sure if I even want to for the fear of what they might ask or expect in return. Silly I know but It is what it is, and it ain’t nothin’ else… Everything is clearly, openly, plainly delivered.

Where to tie my sanity around? I had a prospect a few months ago but it was taken away. I still have difficulties moving on regarding that setback. How about faith… I’ve lost my faith in organized religion a long time ago and I am not sure if I still believe in God. My faith in humanity is dangling on a very, very thin thread. What else to believe?

What else to do but makes the most of what little there is. On your own without bothering others.  Sometimes I wonder how much of my physical complaints are brought by loneliness and isolation and how much by stress. Strange that social contact stresses me more than isolation and loneliness that’s why I decided to isolate myself in the first place. Have you experienced walking in the city during the holiday season? Or even on weekends? Jesus! It’s murder out there! Yesterday I was in the mall in Germany and I ended up getting more stressed than ever I decided not to buy anything at all because I could not focus. Too many people! No place to sit at the food court. Queue in the parking garage. Chaos on the roads. Better to stay at home. And there, the circle is complete.

Back to square one.

And here I’m going to stop.

I don’t know what to say anymore.

Brain freeze.

Till next time.

What My Closed Door Means

“My closed door does not mean unhealthy isolation, it means healthy preservation. It means this is a last-ditch survival mechanism to save what little parts of myself I have left before getting consumed by the outside world.” ~ Courtney Elizabeth Young

Lately, it is getting more and more difficult to be out there, with my restrictions and all. Things that I used to waltz over bother me endlessly these days. Like noises, traffics, crowds and the difficulties of finding quality anything without too many expenses, like having breathable (read: clean) air to breath. And light/photo pollution is real. Light trespass, over-illumination, glare, light clutter seriously affect everything including our health. Where I live which is not even a city nor a suburb it always seems to be dusk or dawn, it never gets dark! Especially since they have decided to build another shoe factory next to an existing one and converted the garden center into a gigantic complex of unrelated shops all in one roof. And the newly built kitchen shop next to the rotunda and believe it or not we have three fuel stations all in one street in close proximity of each other. And the traffic! 24/7 noise like a race track and we are not even next to a connecting road.

Yesterday we drove almost 500 kilometers to look for a house somewhere in the country, where it is really dark when it’s dark and I can breathe freely and there were only few cars on the road and they are not trying to run you over. The difference is enormous. The moment we’re back home, I began sneezing again and guess what, it’s 5:37 a.m. and here I am typing with traffic noise as my background music.

I can’t stand it anymore. No wonder my blood pressure is sky high and there is constant ringing in my ears. Time for a change. Drastic change. Let’s see where it brings us. I just hope that whatever change is going to happen it is for the better.

Crossing my fingers and toes.

Ghost Of Christmas Present

The threat of Christmas hung in the air, visible already in the fretful look of passersby as they readied themselves for the meaningless but necessary rites of false jovialities and ill-considered gifts. – Peter Dickinson

For three years in a row now, I failed to decorate for the holiday season. What’s the use? No one will come to visit, we are not going anywhere, I don’t feel the spirit of Christmas, so why bother?

I don’t even believe in God anymore. So, why should I celebrate his supposed birthday? Too much ‘ado about nothing. If I have one single reason why should I decorate, I would probably do some effort. But I have none. Not anymore.

It used to be different. Before, I will put up Christmas decorations on the first of December and let them hang till after the 6th of January. In my country of birth, we celebrate the longest Christmas celebration in the world, starting in September and will last until January or even February. In my current situation and location that would be outright ridiculous not to mention tiring.

A lot of things happened since then. Too much to even mention. Let’s just say I am not in a festive mood these days.

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Real Growth Happens In The Darkness

However the descent into the darkness begins, it always perfectly contains everything we need to heal and grow.

Perhaps it’s a veering off course from the things that nurture us, a harsh trigger from our environment, a perceived setback, or a reaction to pain. 

Any way it happens, there is an inner knowing that something is out of balance. This little voice is then followed by the cascade of the fear response, and the struggle against our perceived “negativity” often commences.

That struggle was borne when our ego won the argument with our intuition. It started as a negotiation, then we made a misstep. We probably chose the thing that would feel good right now. We probably threw out the thing that might be uncomfortable but will have a true payoff to our well-being, later.

We probably weren’t feeling very well when we made that choice. We may have done it out of real desperation from being ground down into a pulp by difficult circumstances or feelings we don’t want to deal with. 

Next, the battle within breaks out. The rebellion. “I don’t want to feel this way!” we may moan. “This shouldn’t be happening to me!” we protest. “Why can’t I just be positive?” we scream at our pain. We are off to the races at this point, spiraling downward in a parade of self-pity to avoid the emotion beneath it all: the fear that our darkness will swallow us whole.

The waves and triggers start crashing down in quick succession as we struggle against the storm within us. We let go of self-nurturing and care as we succumb to doubt and futility once again. The darkness takes hold and actually begins to swallow us, anyhow. We feel like we are drowning when the reality is that we are still swimming. 

How long we stay there, flailing with the breakers crashing down upon us, depends on many things. We are pulverized until what was always meant to happen finally does. Until they shatter us so hard that we remember to surrender, turn to face our pain, and let it take us where it needs to go. Until we allow our awareness to shine like a beacon onto that difficult thing we have been judging as bad or wrong, probably for decades.

The irony is that the “bad” thing we are fighting to repress is always that which needs our immediate attention and love. The shift to nurturing and supporting the self in this state of duress (aka, negativity) allows for relaxation into it, and our fight-or-flight response finally begins to let go. Because the real process of letting go means embracing the thing that hurts, not forcing oneself to bypass it with toxic positivity.

It always results in the same miracle, eventually. The nervous system calms, the sands beneath us stop shifting for a while. The sun rises, and we gain some deep and truly valuable insight into ourselves, which allows another layer of our false identity to shatter and fall away.

The struggle with and surrender to our inner darkness is the catalyst for our metamorphosis, for the deep journey to our core.

It never fails to dazzle me how each and every time we get sucked down is really just another “perfect storm.” How the wisdom contained within suffering can carry us closer to coming into alignment with our truest selves, no matter how convinced we were it would ruin us. Because perhaps that was what was meant to happen all along. The thing we were holding onto so tightly and pushing away simultaneously was always our salvation.

There is nothing I have found, in all my pursuit of pleasure-seeking distraction, that can compare with feeling at home in one’s self. The surrender to the wisdom in our darkness is alchemical and breathtaking. It brings us back to our integrity. We stop stumbling to put ourselves back together because we realize that we were never broken in the first place.

Anxiety is simply the perception that something is “wrong.” Depression is the weight of the futility of buying into that too heavily. Surrender to reality, however painful, taps us back into our innate wholeness and the flow of life. Nothing. Feels. Better.

We felt like we were dying, but we realize that we are still here, that we are capable of surviving anything, except our false identities.

This is when the warrior is born. The one who understands that surrender to reality was the only way to ever win. That the battle against the inner self is futile. That the keys to freedom lie in pain and discomfort.

This process is nonlinear and repetitive, like a spiral. It often feels like madness and negativity. We may think we have finished, only to find ourselves back in the perfect storm once more. 

There is no right or wrong way to heal, only our own path. It’s a deeply personal journey based on exactly the lessons which we are here to discover, uncover, and expose to the light so they can begin to take us deeper and deeper down that spiral toward who we were always meant to be. These lessons are contained within our darkest pain.

The negative is the path to uncovering our true selves. It is in that struggle and surrenders that we find our deep reserves of inner strength and the resilience to live a life of fearlessness and courage. To truly set ourselves free. To follow our bliss. To experience the joy that lies in a well of gratitude when we realize we can weather any storm.

It is through embracing the darkness that we find our way back to the light. So, f*ck positivity, and embrace your deepest pain. It’s always been there, waiting beneath all the new-age spiritual platitudes and shame to bring you back home.

AUTHOR: JANELLE MARIE BROWN

Who Says That Only Trolls Live Under A Bridge?

We did for a while when I was a kid. Sort of a halfway house when my father was between jobs. It wasn’t that bad really. I didn’t dislike it. Only when the naughty kids in the neighborhood dropped logs from the top of the bridge during high tide and our little place and meager belongings became wet that I sometimes wish we were somewhere else. For the rest, I never recall feeling ashamed of our situation. Maybe because I wasn’t aware that time yet how important social status is and how much it affects how others see and treat you. Wealth, in this society, means respect. In my experience, people treat you better when you are rich. But when I was growing up I didn’t feel I was different than the rest. I did quite enjoyed it actually. Especially the freedom that comes with being dirt poor. More adventures to experience, more spaces to explore, less rules to abide. What could be better than that?

We left the sanctuary of the bridge after one night while my mother was peeing in the corner of our one-room abode, a large hairy hand suddenly burst through the weaved coconut fronds wall and tried to choke her. She was screaming her heart out and we just stood there doing nothing. How stupid is that? The incident caught us by surprise I guess. I don’t know. We were just kids and probably scared shitless. Help was called shortly afterwards. They chased and looked for the owner of the mystery hairy hand but without success. There were extraordinarily large footprints but no evidence who might have caused them. We moved to a barrack inside the fishpond the same night, and that was the start of another adventure. But that is for another blog post.

Soon.

Till next time.