Creating My Life

A couple years ago, I took a step back and thought about what I wanted to bring into my life. I believe that we all bring into our life what we need to make us who we are, to be stronger, to learn…to evolve. What you focus on shall be. If you don’t focus on anything then random acts of the universe occur.

So, with that philosophy in mind, I did the most logical thing; I wrote. I wrote about what I wanted and needed.

I have experienced synronicities since I was a child. Whenever I wrote about something, I would find that it would materialize over the next few weeks or months. And I don’t mean every detail, but the important details like traveling the world, biking, or people.

When I stopped writing, when I stopped paying attention to who I was, I found that my life did not run smoothly. I drew in the wrong friends, I experienced accidents, I slid into the mundane and the contented blahs of life.

After I gathered strength and courage, I changed my life creating a new one, but it still wasn’t enough. I was still stuck and moving no where. As I started to travel again, I found my passion for writing.

It blooms and fills me with joy and passion like few things do. There is something about leaving home, leaving the day to day behind that make my mind shift into overdrive.

Smokey Mountain LakeJersey | Writing Rants

Smokey Mountain Lake

As my thoughts spilled on to the page, I realized it was time to make space and put into words (insert Elton John how wonderful life is) what it was I wanted.

I wrote at least one page for every area I wanted to make better. I wrote about the place I wanted to live (it took exactly 18 months for that to become a reality), I wrote about writing (see this blog and Texas Hill Country for where I am now — short stories and all), I wrote about the people I wanted to be in my life and what I wanted to do with them.

There are 2 parts to the friends I wanted to have in my life. First are what I termed: Biking friends. I wanted to enjoy biking with people and learn from them. It started off as just road biking, but has grown to include mountain biking. I am thoroughly enjoying the community of bikers and have met some awesome people.

The second part, the more lengthy part, are people where we could hang out and socialize and be active. Specifically, I wrote about 6 female friends who as group would travel, throw dinner parties, go out to movies, do outdoorsy things and in general, laugh. I was pretty detailed about this part of my new life, my new friends. I have a picture of 6 women that embodied what I wanted as my core group of friends.

A couple weeks ago, it occurred to me, that I have found them. A year and a half after moving to the space that I wrote about first, I went on a long distance trip with a few of (what I like to call) my core friends. They are smart, strong, and supportive.

They like to do dinner and movies, they like to hike and boat, and they like to travel. This last part was important to me. I am bursting at the seams as I re-read what I wrote 2 plus years ago and realize that I can check off over 90% of what I wanted in my life.

Those words on paper are now reality. It was a beautiful trip to the Smoky mountains where we unplugged and relaxed, hiked, boated, and whitewater rafted. We enjoyed kids ice cream cones and grilled and admired the sunsets.

I enjoyed every minute of nature and my friends. I would not trade any of it for anything. I have successfully created (with help from the universe) what I wanted most in my life. I have not lost focus and what I have written about is materializing.

Smokey Mountain LakeJersey | Writing Rants

Smokey Mountain Lake

I wrote about my life and put it away (obsessing is never good) and let the Universe do it’s thing.

My life is not perfect, but what has materialized is exactly as I have written about.

I cannot wait for the next group adventure!

Go Make Memories

Not too long ago an acquaintance of mine passed away suddenly. Well, for her it was not sudden, but she decided to not tell a lot of people that she was ill, so for those of us on the fringes of her world, it came from out of the blue. It came without warning, it came without preamble, it came without a fairy tale ending.

She was a big asset to every community she was a part of, work and personal. She was always happy and out going. A gracious and warm host who went out of her way to talk to everyone.

Star hug

Her wife is just as personable and outgoing as she was. I remember the first dance I went to over a year ago. They introduced themselves and we talked for several minutes. I remember walking away wondering if I knew who they were.

They talked to me like I had known them for years.

At every dance, I would talk with them and each time I walked away with the feeling I had known them for a long time versus brief snippets of time. The last dance I went to was her last dance. I did not know at the time, neither did most people.

I remember talking to her wife for longer than I had in the past. We caught up as old friends do and I never saw any signs of worry or concern or tiredness. She was charming and warm and loving. And once again, I walked away as if I had caught up with a childhood friend.

I was away when word reached me of her sudden passing.

It would be two days later before the full impact of who she was would catch up to me via social media.

A big portion of my group of friends knew her, so my feed filled up with pictures and stories of her and her wife — her life.

The woman I barely knew, who treated me as a life long friend, was highly respected in my community, loved by everyone who knew her, had touched me.

I felt a loss from a woman not much older than me, dying too young, from my friends grieving through memories, from social media randomly popping up photo’s of an active, full, happy life.

I attended a memorial in her memory. Bands played, people laughed and danced. Her family and close friends spoke about her impact on them, and thanked a wide cast of their support system. I was surprised not only by the friends we had in common, but also by the sheer volume of people who came out to celebrate her life.

I overheard another friend say that now, for a brief moment before memories fade, they tell people they love them, that they hug a little longer, that they need to go make memories.

Time is never a given. Time is short. And while we all know it, it is not until someone who is unique and loving and alive disappears that we mere mortals step back and realize, we need to make memories now, we need to live now, we need to love now.

I may not have known her well, but I was touched by her through the friends we have in common, through the social media presenting her memories to me, her family to me, and through the universe bringing me into her world — her life — to show me to stop waiting and just live.

Emotions are Illogical

There’s been a lot of angst and tragedy worldwide in the last few months. Some events have been closer to home than others, some have made national news, and others are more immediate and personal.

As I’ve moved on in my life trying to get back to who I was, I have taken more notice about what is occurring around me. The news and social media make it difficult to hear yourself or those around you and life comes down to conflicting sound bites.

I’ve listen to the rhetoric and the hate and the drama of public figures and of my immediate day-to-day world. The phrase of the moment is “drama free zone.”

At first I thought that would be nice, that drama free was a kind of Utopia. It would be great to end the hate and the conflicts and the killing.

It would be nice to get up, interact with other people and be happy and get along. There would be no killing, no arguments, no hate. We would all agree on everything because logic is an unbending unyielding truth of fact – just ask any scientist.

Energy is matter and matter cannot be created or destroyed: Fact. E = mc2 : Fact. The sky is blue: fact. Logic is emotionless: just ask Data from Start Trek.

Drama Free Zone is not Utopia, it’s not idyllic, and in the end, it’s impossible. Human interaction alone will always prevent this false illusion from occurring.

Emotions are not logical. Logic belongs in the world of movies, built for Artificial Intelligence — and quiet frankly, boring.

Look at all the good books and movies. They have one thing in common: drama and conflict. The one thing that attracts most people in a good story is the build up to the conflict and the one of many ways for resolution.

It’s the story, the conflict which wraps around your emotions that touch us the most. It allows us to find ourselves in the atoms which make us up;from pure happiness, laughter, sadness, and anger.

It is these emotions which make us alive and feel and create like no other living being on the planet. Without these illogical feelings life would be drama free. It would also be boring and stark and lifeless.

I’ve been in places where drama is a daily occurrence, where you don’t know what to expects. It is pure hell on earth and not something I will tolerate again in my life time.

On the other hand, being a hermit (for all my joking) is not a fun place either. Is it drama free? You betchya, but it is also lonely and boring and soul draining.

One cannot grown and thrive in an logical world, interaction is the only way to be you. And it is through a balance of logical emotions that we can be who we are.

Despite all the events of the modern world, emotions will always create drama. It is up to each person how much they are willing to tolerate.

Words Words Everywhere

Words are a funny thing. They can be used to inspire people, condemn people, ridicule and hurt, uplift and encourage. The same words in the same sentence in the same context can be taken in several different ways. Around and around it goes, but the interpretation can be so different causing confusion and drama where none was intended.

The meaning of the words lie in each person. Their experience, their baggage, their background, their environment, all seem to play a part in the outcome.

Angst, arises and in the end where are we? The thoughts and intentions make or break friendships and families.

The phrase “this is a drama free zone” comes to mind, but at the end of the day, we’re human. Drama free is not possible, unless of course you have no emotions or you hermit yourself away.

Words alone in a vacuum are nearly impossible to interpret. That may be why texts go sideways. There is no inflection, no tone and while it sounds good in your head as you’re typing it, the recipient is not in your head. Insert emoicon here — sometimes that is not enough.

Some people get lost in words by over thinking them, they run from them in a never ending stream of activity, they avoid them in an alcoholic haze.

It’s hard to get away from the bombardment of words, with news and faux social media news on a 24/7 spin cycle, how do you know which words have meaning, which ones are true? It’s enough to crush a person to dust.

I grew up in that miraculous generation of having no online presence to standalone computers to laptops to mobile phones carrying the Internet everywhere. Words are always there and never ending and on a loop to convince you of this or that to the point where societies world wide are de-evolving.

Which words do you want to hear? Which words do you choose to believe in? Is there a difference?

There are a lot of things going on in our world today. I come from a military mindset where the word meant something because of the actions which supported the words and this has made all the difference.

Words in of themselves are meaningless without the backup of action. When actions and words are not in sync, believe the action — it’s always the truth.

So if words mean nothing without action why are we killing each other? Why is there angst between friends and family? It’s not the words, it’s the mismatch of action with the words.

It is the actions of a few holding the world in a hostage word game.

We all deal with it differently, but I find it easier to turn it off, to walk away. To pick and choose which words to hear, understand, and believe. I try to be careful to make my words and actions match.

I make my living by listening to my clients, by writing out what we hear and the expectations of what we hear. I am careful to select the right words from a filter (with a couple exceptions) so that people understand me. I’m not always successful in saying what I mean or hearing what is said to me, but I try and I keep trying until I’m clear on what I heard and what I say and making sure all parties involved are on the same page.

I am a writer by trade so I find it utterly fascinating to construct sentences and change the word order and watch the meaning change. It’s a wonderful craft of watching meaning and images come to life on the blank page; if the world was just like that there would be no conflict.

Unfortunately, the writer in me is a skeptic after all this time. Words cannot stand alone in a vacuum, it has — it must take on it’s meaning from current or past actions. It is the actions that give life and meaning to the words. After all, isn’t that how all the great American novels are born?

Choosing You

It is easier to lose yourself than it is to find yourself.

We start out in life with amazement and awe and courage. Over time we give in to bravado and, most of us, give into society.

Imagination and differences are frowned upon. A special few are born with the strength to defy all and do what is in their best interest all the time and never lose sight of that. Some give in without knowing it; little by little they take the easy way and put aside what is in their best interest and by extension, they put aside them.

Over time those of us that took the easy way, come to realize that the sacrifice of putting aside what they believe was in their best interest means giving up a part of them.

The delusions we take on in the guise of acceptance, in the guise of going with the flow, in the guise of contentment changes us forever. I have come over recent years to realize that I had given up on me, the world, people, family and friends because it was easier to listen to those that I held in high regard, those that I trusted — whom I should have been able to trust. I perpetuated this false illusion by thinking I was content. It is a word I have come to look at with contempt.

Why must we give away or compromise what and who we are?

Content is not happy, content is just good enough. Content lowers your expectations of who and what you are; who and what you want to be.

We need to find the inner courage to return to our original path. The scariest question of all time: can I find me?

Sad Sign by Regina HerryJersey | Writing Rants

Once the decision is made to bushwhack back to who we are, what is in our best interest, we realize just how much we lost, how much we gave away in time, dreams, and happiness.

It is these first steps which are the easiest (only realized in hindsight). The darker times wait a few months and in my case a couple, of years. It showed me who my friends truly are. It showed me that my family was still there. None of them in the same way as I had left them, but still the support to pull me through, to focus on the light and not the dark was enough to keep me going.

I chose me. I chose the harder path of finding me again, of reaching outside my comfort zone to get back to who I had aspired to be growing up. Little by painful little steps, I have brought back into my life the joys I had lost along the way.

I have reached beyond what was a contented delusion to find new friends, a new place to live, a better support system. I have brought back into my life the joy of riding, writing, traveling, and exploring nature on land and on water. While some key components have yet to materialize, I have better happier days knowing I am choosing to find me again and to be OK with that, to be accepting of the time lost, to be OK with knowing that better happier times are ahead of me, just waiting for me to be in the right place and time.

Do you have the courage, the stamina to return to your path, follow your dreams, be who you want to be?