Monday, February 20, 2017

Onward and Forward

Today was a weird day.

It's not like anything really happened to make it weird.  Aliens didn't barge into my apartment and probe me again.  I wasn't bogged down in memories of the past.  I didn't find myself going over and over about how I felt towards anybody.

I slept last night.  That's a major headline for me.  It's the thing you go outside to shout so the whole neighborhood knows it.  I slept.  Sleep has been a rare commodity in recent months.  There are a number of reasons for that.  My new job has a work schedule that has me waking up later.

But as always, there's something else going on.  A list, really.  People, situations, and that longing you get when something or someone is just out of your grasp.

Last night I slept.  That's a huge statement for me.  And I woke up feeling decent.  Stiff and sore, sure, but rested.  I felt like I had actually slept, too, which is nice.

Then work texted me that I wouldn't be needed until 5pm, a full two hours later than my usual log-in time.  No problem.

I churned some ice cream.  Good stuff, too.  Cinnamon gingersnap cookie butter.

As many of you know, I have a Youtube channel called Ice Cream Every Day.  I don't talk about it on here much because I like to keep my life compartmentalized.  The lesson I've learned in recent months is how that's no longer a healthy behavior in all matters and it's okay for things to cross over into other aspects of my life.  

After all, it's my life, and things are all under the Umbrella of Ted.  So it's okay that my horror peeps know I make ice cream.  Or my ice cream peep know I write horror.  

And everybody knows I'm bat-shit crazy.  

Here's the thing--this week I've been going over events from about 24 years ago that totally changed me.  This change was radical, complete, and so profound I cannot imagine any aspect of Ted being untouched.  

For the past week, I've been going over those events.  And I'm not the only one.  Others have been reviewing their own pasts as well.  It's like there was something in our stars that said, "time to review the worst moments of your life."  

My friends have all been telling me similar accounts.  We all have those moments in our lives.  All of us.  Dark times that damn near killed us.  It hurt and that hurt lingered.  We took damage.  And it wasn't the kind of hurt you could just walk away from.  No, this stuff bored into us until it reached bone, where it anchored tight.  It wasn't going anywhere.  

These were events that shaped us with all of the delicacy of an atomic bomb or a brick to the head.  Events so traumatic and so catastrophic most of us couldn't talk about them to more than one or two very close friends.  And even then, we normally ended that story with our faces on their shoulder as we cried, because the hurt was till there.  

My friends and I relived moments that shaped us and molded us like a blacksmith's hammer wielded by a maniacal demon strung out on a weeks-long meth binge.  He laughed and screamed with every blow, our blood dripping from his grinning face, and if anybody who gave a shit about us saw they turned their heads away because they couldn't bear the sight of seeing us suffer.  

This is why I sometimes have a thousand-yard stare and I speak from a place of truth about matters of the soul.  

This past week, we went over those events, and none of us knew why.  It made no sense at all to us.  Why would we want to root through those memories?  Why would we want to even acknowledge them?  

I have a theory about this.  

Many of my friends, myself included, are at a point in our lives where changes are happening.  We are changing.  Our paths are changing.  Our actions are carrying us forward and into new phases of our lives.  

Me?  I'm on The Epic Journey of Ted:  Book III.  I just wrote the first paragraph.  The first words of a new life.  There's an old Navajo proverb.  In order to move forward, you need to look at where you've been.  

And I've been to some dark places, brother.  

But I'm moving forward and onward with my life.  I'm shaking off the painful past as I can.  Memories that have attached themselves to me like leeches and instead of drawing from me strength, have injected me with poison.  Memories that reduce me and make me less than what I could be.  

I don't feel agitated or angry.  I don't feel upset or depressed.  

I feel like it's okay for Ted to be on this planet today and right now, I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing and I'm doing it with the people I'm supposed to be doing it with.  There is a harmony to it.  

The kind of harmony when you look up at the sky and know the aliens are hovering just a few hundred fee above you, their ship cloaked, and they know you're there but right now they're probing somebody else.  It's not your turn, but soon it will be again, so you go about your day and wonder if they'll drink all of your beer like they did last time.  

It's the kind of harmony that comes from doing a summoning spell in your apartment because the spirits who keep coming and going never really say anything.  They just make noises or, as they did a few months ago, turn unplugged appliances on and off.  I did this spell with an invitation to talk because I'm curious as to what they have to say.

It's the kind of harmony when you deeply care for a woman and she knows it but she can't acknowledge it because that would be a whole other can of worms--one she can't deal with right now. So she smiles and gives you generic but polite answers.  You don't really know where you stand with her so you just keep doing your thing, giving her ice cream when you see her, while going around and around in the same holding pattern, waiting, and hoping she thinks of you as much as you think of her.  

Or for me, wanting to write certain things so I can be done with the project and move on to the next. I've been lazy about my writing in recent months.  Nothing is getting done or submitted.  As we close in on the end of February, I haven't finished nearly what I wanted to finish, nor have I submitted nearly what I've wanted to submit.  

But I'm okay.  I feel like there is a balance in my life. 

Instead of going crazy like a caged badger there is a peace because I'm not angry at myself nor am I disappointed.  There is a peace in simply existing.  Maybe it's the ice cream.  Maybe doing that has been enough for these past few weeks.  Or maybe it's because I know it's the beginning of a new phase in my life and I'm just so happy to know it's happening I'm not going to worry that it's not happening as fast as I'd like.   

Despite everything, my brain doesn't feel like two squirrels chasing each other around the trunk of an old oak tree.  My thoughts aren't circular anymore.  Now that the dark memories have been dealt with I'm finding a calm place.  

Maybe that was part of the point?  Review the bad times and know the present isn't nearly has bad.  Instead of losing my shit because my hours at work have been limited, I've been happy they didn't lay me off, and I'm pretty sure I'll still be able to cover rent when it's due next week.  

If this is what a good night of sleep does for me, I wish I could get more of them.  This sleep stuff is incredible!  I wonder if I can get some tonight, too?  I have to be careful.  I don't want to become addicted to it.  But if I can get a good night's sleep tonight, too, who knows what I'll feel like tomorrow?  

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