When the Scheiße Hits the Fan, You’ll Want to Be Wearing Your Raincoat

 

I haven’t had the willpower to blog much in the past couple of months…there has been so much going on – and I don’t use that term generically, at all – I couldn’t even begin to relay it all to you here. 

So maybe I will, in some retrospective blogging.  For now, I’ll just jump to the present.  I’m having an extremely difficult time concentrating on anything today. 

April was a very difficult month for me.  May was much better.  June seems to be a relative mixture.  It started out okay, but the past several days have been a little trying.  Not sure how to put it in a “pretty” perspective, so I’ll just blurt it out (in keeping with the ‘present tense’ theme) – I have some mental health issues that are beginning to become a very visceral part of my life, and I’m at the point where I need to do something about them.  Well, something more than what I’ve attempted thus far. 

One of my “issues” (I dislike that catch-all terminology, but don’t have anything better this morning) is that I seem unable to complete things (like blogging) for more than a short burst of time (see my January – March postings in this blog’s lifecycle), without going on to another project.  I seem unable to reconcile all the parts of myself, as just one example, to only one all-encompassing blog.  I have a multitude of blogs “registered” on WordPress, although it’s only this one I’m really using.  Well, that’s not true.  I have another blog geared only toward my mental health journey, also on WP, but registered under its own credentials (as opposed to ‘undeniablymaybe’).  I don’t think I’ll disclose that url just yet…

That’s part of the problem.  I don’t know if I’ll keep this blog, that one, or abandon it all (yet again, as so many times in the past).  I even started a tentative new one yesterday (not on WP) – my word, this is getting out of hand. 

*sigh*

For years, my friends have poked fun at me for my supposed inability to keep the same phone number, email address, etc. for more than a few months’ time.  (I’ve had my current cell number for over a year, I think – victory! ha)  What they never understood (mostly because I never acknowledged it, let alone shared it with anyone) was that it was something beyond my scope of control.  Some sort of compulsion, I guess…with each new chapter of my life, or each new (rapidly shifting) change of course for my lifepath or grandiose new idea (!), I apparently have a deep need to encapsulate that with some sort of cyber-branding.  A snazzy new email address to match the “new” me!  Perhaps a new blog to show everyone “what it’s all about!”  A new number – well, that was usually me just changing carriers, either because my bill got out of hand and I had little other option, or because I hastily changed to a) get a coveted phone, b) “start fresh” with a new provider, or c) some twisted mix of all of the above. 

*sigh, redux*

This is but scratching the proverbial surface, dear reader(s).  Perhaps more will come… shall I stay here and press on? 

Just to give you perspective about the wild instability of a) my mind, and thus b) my life, here’s a fancy-schmancy little rundown of the general Awesome!™ ideas I’ve had in say, the past two weeks:

  • Move back to Oklahoma
  • Move back to my hometown or another small town in Oklahoma, specifically
  • Move to New Mexico
  • Legally change my name to something “Native American” (actually, I wasn’t being too stupid about this, I was at least going to use some Choctaw names/words – my natural family has Choctaw roots in there somewhere)
  • Legally change my name to something else not Native-inspired
  • To start smoking again or to not start smoking again (don’t really want to, but been craving the act of smoking lately, probably as some anxiety-release)
  • Deciding to live in a total state of positivity at all times (actually worked for a blissful week)
  • Deciding I no longer want to use curse/swear words (still a noble idea I may indeed work on, although yesterday on the drive home from work I had some weird compulsive urge to repeatedly say/shout things like “F*#kers! F*#k! Motherf*#ker!” – that was a new one)
  • Move to the desert or somewhere really remote and live in a yurt or something similar (I think a lot about moving, but this is nothing new.  I’ve literally spent the bulk of a day’s minutes consumed with these thoughts, to the point of total exhaustion.) 

I guess that’s the gist of it.  By the way, when I say “ideas I’ve had” I don’t mean just passing nonsense whilst staring out the classroom window type of daydreaming, I mean putting some actual energy and hours into the consideration and planning it would take to actually go through with these things.  Is that enough to possibly illustrate the fabulous complexity of my life?  “LOL”  I’m not trying to play the world’s smallest violin here, I promise.  I guess I just needed to get that out, and although it makes me a teensy bit squeamish to do it here (as some people who know me IRL read this), whatever.  I’m tired of living behind the stigma people put on mental health issues.  Mind you, I’m not going to broadcast them via a flashy slogan’d tee-shirt or anything, but it is what it is.  Like my penchant for chocolate and foreign films, it’s simply another part of what makes me…’me.’ 

That said, it’s also really fucking intrusive to my life.  (Whoops!  $1 in the swear jar!  Hmmm…no, I don’t have the money for that, nevermind…)  Basically, I stopped blogging a couple of months ago when I pretty much had an intense meltdown, or what I like to call a little “psychotic break.”  Some people around me may not have noticed much, for example at work – but that’s probably because I did my absolute darndest to avoid being around anyone for more than oh, 5 minutes at a stretch. 

Blah…so there you have it.  More Than You Ever Wanted To Know!™  Brought to you by undeniablymaybe.  Suh-weet.  Actually, maybe not, since you read this blog.  You must be idling away the hours minutes seconds of your day here for something.

Shall I go on?

Incidentally, this is probably always good advice to heed. Just sayin'...

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30 Days – Day 7 – Someone Who Has Made My Life Worth Living

If you’re following this blog, you know I’m participating in the ‘30 Days of Truth‘ project I’ve seen on other blogs.  It’s helping me commit to posting every single day, since I’m also taking part in The Daily Post project.

Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.

I have to confess – I’ve sort of been avoiding this post.  Honestly, I don’t know how to respond to it.  So, I guess I’ll just respond in my own way, not necessarily according to the title – these challenges are just a guide anyway, right?  Right.

I don’t think anyone has ‘made my life worth living.’  If I required someone else’s presence to need a reason to live, what would be the point?  I’m glad that I live, and for my life, even with all it’s MANY faults and shortcomings.  I’m grateful to my spouse, the love of my life, who gets me even though she doesn’t get me, if that makes sense.  I’m grateful to my true friends – the number may not be huge, but they know who they are and what they mean to me.  And I’m grateful that I know what I mean to them.

I’m grateful to the teachers I come across – random strangers, friends, acquaintances, coworkers, and so on.  I’m grateful to those people I learn from, and as long as I see another person during the day, I’m bound to learn something new about the world.

No one person has made my life worthy.  No one person has made it any less worthy.  The people I hold close in the dark hours are the people that enhance and enrich my life, and help make it all that it is.

Sorry, I hope this isn’t any less astounding than you might have been hoping for – under the assumption you seek anything profound in these posts.

I’m grateful to myself, for seeing what I’m worth, even in those moments when I don’t feel all that worthy.  I make my life worth living for, and the people I love enrich it in various ways, adding something spectacular that I couldn’t dream up on my own.

“Religion is largely irrelevant to most young people who rely instead on a ‘secular trinity’ of themselves, their family and their friends to give meaning to their lives …” – here

via PostSecret.com

 

Exposing Myself to Strangers On the Bus

Sorry for the overtly provocative title – I couldn’t help myself.  😉 It’s honestly the first thing that came to mind earlier this week on the last stretch of my morning commute.

In addition to the briefcase containing my work laptop, etc., I carry an extra canvas tote with a couple of books, magazines and periodicals, etc.  I have a decent-length commute, so I like to have ample reading material on hand.  Well, I just happen to have been carrying a couple of print copies of The Atheist Voice, the newsletter published by the Metroplex Atheists.

Just enough of the newsletter was sticking up in the bag for the title to be clearly visible.  Little did I know, I had a copy wedged into opposite sides of the bag’s interior, so the same was true no matter which way the bag was turned.  I was busy reading a newspaper (disclosure: it was a copy of Freethought Today, published by FFRF).  I happened to notice the exposed newsletter, and while I hadn’t deliberately placed the papers that way, I suspected a couple of held glances at my bag.  I let my eyes skip up from my reading, just to try and catch someone looking, and watch for their reaction, if there was any.

Well, not quite.  I’m not even 100% sure anyone really noticed it, but I had the very distinct feeling a man did, then later a woman (who also works in my office, it turns out) did.  There really was no discernible reaction, but it felt like an odd little rush.  It reminded me of when I used to ride the train or bus and read my copy of ‘The Lucifer Principle‘ by Howard K. Bloom.  It actually has nothing to do with the “Lucifer” of Christian mythology, but I always chuckled a bit on the inside wondering if the other commuters were intrigued, scandalized, or otherwise.  What can I say, I guess I enjoy a wee bit of high dudgeon – given or received – from time to time.

I have no shame in my position or loss of faith.  (Tangent alert!) It doesn’t feel quite right to even say ‘loss of faith’ since I never really had much to begin with.  But, I digress.  I have no shame about what I feel and believe (and thus, don’t believe), but I’m still getting past the stigma the word ‘atheist’ has attached to it  (see my “Coming Out” post).

This oh-so-mild form of exposure to outsiders and strangers felt a tad bit taboo, forbidden, and yet… exhilarating, and right.  It felt good to let go of some societal baggage, and to let others know that we’re out here.  I wondered what the woman who works in my office thought.  I don’t really know her, but we share a walk from the bus into the office each morning in the pre-dawn dark, and we’ve made the usual forced small talk.  I wondered if she might think I’m a nice guy, and what (if anything) this new revelation might do to that impression, if it exists at all.

Since then, I’ve been somewhat shocked and pleasantly surprised to find out several friends and acquaintances are non-believers of some ilk.  My, my, we are indeed out here, aren’t we?

Click to visit ‘The Out Campaign’

Defining Necessity – A Daily Challenge

Something a little different today.  I discovered this on A Daily Challenge.

Challenge #7, January 7, 2011: Throw something away. Give a few of your extra jackets to someone that might be cold, toss out one of the eight ladles that clutter your kitchen, throw away a pair of shoes that you never wear anymore. It is kind of a nice feeling to know that if I want, I can let go of anything I own. I think it is important to not be attached to things, and maybe by forcing ourselves to get rid of something, we will be able to detach, even if it is just a little bit.

 

Click here to visit Sangjun's deviantART page
Let Go by Sangjun

This is actually a challenge that I do sort of regularly, and have for a while.  I used to hold onto things with a passion.  Like many things in my life, I guess this probably changed after my parents died.  I just didn’t care much anymore.  I mean, of course there are things (sentimental and otherwise) that I wouldn’t want to willingly let go of, but I guess if you can’t part with something, then it owns you instead of you owning it.

I used to gather up old clothes that I never wear – incidentally, I have a rule…if I haven’t worn something in a year (enough time for all the seasons to pass), I obviously don’t need it – and I’d bag them up and put them out in the alley behind my apartment.  I’d always see homeless men wandering through the alley, and I’d set them out, figuring maybe they could use them.  A couple of times, I actually did see some of my old clothes wandering around the neighborhood with new owners.

Also, I detest clutter and unnecessary accumulation.  I’m not perfect, despite what you may have heard, but I hate random crap that just accumulates and sits somewhere.  We probably all that bag or drawer of junk that seems to follow us from place to place – we’ll get to it, one day

So, even though I do this every now & again already, I’m going to endeavor this weekend to taking the challenge to heart.  I’ll be cleaning our loft, so it’ll be a perfect time to chunk some old baggage, so to speak.

As my wife always says, we should look at everything of value (barring, perhaps, sentimental items/family heirlooms, etc.) as investments.  There may come a time when you need to let them go, so only keep a transient attachment to material goods.  They make our lives easier and/or more comfortable, but shouldn’t define our lives.  Nothing in life is permanent, or guaranteed.

What are you afraid/ready to get rid of?

Cool pic at the top, eh?  Click to visit the deviantART page of the photographer, Sangjun.

More food for thought…


30 Days – Day 6 – Something I Hope I Never Have To Do

If you’re following this blog, you know I’m participating in the ‘30 Days of Truth‘ project I’ve seen on other blogs.  It’s helping me commit to posting every single day, since I’m also taking part in The Daily Post project.

Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do.

I hope I never lose her.  She probably doesn’t even know how much it happens, but I often find myself briefly lost in some horrible daydream that something terrible has or is or will be happening to her.  So, you see, I don’t mean ‘lose her’ as in leave her or her leave me.  I mean lose her, the way a painter sometimes loses a painting.  The way you lose your thought when you’re hit in the face with a blast of unexpected wind that almost knocks you back.  There, and then…gone.  And you can’t get that moment back, no matter how hard you might try.

Some things you just can’t fight…

I love her.  I can’t even stand the thought that something terrible might ever happen to take her out of my arms, out of my eyes, forever.  And then I think ‘what if something happened and she was in the hospital’?  And I think about our particular situation, being unmarried in a country that will not allow us to express our bond through a promise.  Would I be denied – “immediate family only” ?  Would some unknown and heretofore unseen “family” member swoop in and dictate important decisions?  Would she be stolen from me twice?

It’s these thoughts that shake me, though thankfully they are fleeting… I am naturally a loner, and prone to much happiness without the constraints of interpersonal relationships or close proximity with others, save a few dear and close compatriots (you know who you are).  But the thought of not having her – we are so intricately intertwined – terrifies me.

Are these things that could happen?  I think back to when my mom had a cerebral hemorrhage.  In the middle of the night, like the *snap* of a finger – worlds shattered, no rhyme or reason, the night holding no condolence…nothing but emptiness and fear, and numbness, and terror.  Could it be?  It is perhaps this I am now most afraid of.

I hope I never have to find out.

Current Reads

Sorry, kiddos, but I’m taking a day off from the ‘30 Days of Truth‘ challenge.  I didn’t sleep too well last night, thanks to the wife and the dog, and I’m amazingly tired at the moment.  If I wake up to a substantial degree at all during the night, it’s hard for me to fall back asleep.  My mind’s like a light switch, which is cool, but can be very annoying in times like that.  Anyway, I thought I’d post a few books that I’m reading.  Click on each picture to visit the Amazon.com page for each title.

I tend to do that.  There are other books I’ve yet to finish.  I’m sure I will at some point, but it’s hard for me to pick up a new book without starting it.  I definitely hope to finish ‘Paint It Black’ and ‘God’s Problem’ before beginning anything else. 😉  The other really isn’t the type of book one necessarily has to sit down and read cover to cover.

What are you reading?

Stay tuned tomorrow for another ‘30 Days of Truth‘ post.  Now, time for bed methinks…

Oh, one other thing…I received a packet in the mail yesterday (that I’d requested) from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.  You can order yours here.  It included a complimentary copy of their newspaper, Freethought Today.  The annual membership dues are $40 at the Individual level, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s well worth it for the hate mail alone!  They publish a good selection of crank mail from Gawd-fearin’ Chistyuns – spelling, grammar, and punctuation uncorrected. 😉

My favorite (responding to FFRF’s fight to stop illegal school-led prayer in Tennessee:

“You need to keep your non-believing nose out of my kid’s schools and mind your own damn business.” – Christian Mom Sick of Your Bullshit

Yes, seriously.  Religionists truly are hilarious, yet frightening, people.

30 Days – Day 5 – Something I Hope to Do In My Life

If you’re following this blog, you know I’m participating in the ‘30 Days of Truth‘ project I’ve seen on other blogs.  It’s helping me commit to posting every single day, since I’m also taking part in The Daily Post project.

Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life.

Man On a Blue World by Alexandra Huber

I want to continually learn and evolve.  Wait, is that too abstract?  Most people would probably say ‘write the a “Great American Novel,” see the world, get rich, find true love, or something else along those lines.  All worthy aspirations, I’m sure.  But maybe, just maybe we can do those things, and/or something so much more, by always striving to learn and open ourselves to new information and experiences.

I want to dream of great things, of a world where dreams are real.  I want to leave a mark, even if it’s only on one person’s heart.  Even if I never even know it.

Even if it never even seems to matter.  Maybe that’s the best thing I can hope to do after all.

But…if I absolutely had to pick something completely non-abstract, just to nail something down…I want to live in the desert, and take photographs, and count the stars, and fill journals-worth of space with words, and dreams, and memories.

What do you want do with in your life?  Write it down anonymously and let it go…leave it somewhere, throw it out, whatever.  Work to make it come true…and maybe someday someone will find what you wrote, and find their own dream.