Today is the beginning of my forty-ninth trip around the sun (or my birthday to be more precise). I like the ‘trip around the sun’ way of saying birthday better. I am looking back and looking forward today and here are my thoughts on this:
Nine years ago when I turned forty, I told myself I wasn’t doing so bad with my life. That may sound simple, but what I didn’t know at that time was how much this would mean to me. It was the first crack in a wall of silence around my thoughts and feelings. And yes, my life did crash down around me and I’m still picking up the pieces, but I don’t regret breaking that silence. Because the biggest thing I got out of it was no one is perfect, we all make mistakes, and we do the best we can with what we have to work with. And as my late father would say, sometimes we’re handed a bucket of shit that we have to carry despite the stench.
Seven years ago, I was making the decision to leave my last call-center job due to the enormous physical pain I was in. I knew my bosses at that place would not have helped me if I had come to them so I started making my preparations to leave. Yes, I left there with nothing lined up but again, no regrets because I survived it.
Five years ago, I was starting to go into what I call the storage unit in my mind, the place where my most painful thoughts, feelings, and memories were. In the months that followed, I seriously thought I was going to truly crack up but again, I survived it and came out stronger.
Three years ago, the streets were silent and empty as a pandemic raged here and around the world. It was the year where I think we all learned there is no such thing as a sure thing, and there never was. So many people lost loved ones to this damned virus, and we were all changed forever.
Now what I want to do in the coming year is learn how to write through anxiety and stress. Looking back, I know where I’ve made mistakes and I know why I think and feel the way I do. Despite that, I still struggle to write when I’m feeling stressed and anxious about something. And I’m not going to apologize for not going into detail here about what I’m worried about because I’m dealing with it.
I will admit here I’ve always been envious of writers I’ve known who managed to keep writing when their personal lives were going nuts. I know the reason I wasn’t able to do this in the past was that I felt like people would have landed on me hard for wanting to block out shit for a while and do something for myself. Now of course I know that was a huge load of bullshit that wasn’t real and if someone is dumb enough to come at me now, I’d just look at them like the total idiot they are.
Many years ago, a colleague and friend gave me a piece of advice in one word:
Sometimes I forget to do this so in the coming year, I’m going to remind myself of this whenever I can. Sooner or later, if you do that often enough, it sinks in. Second, I want to tell myself something my late mother was fond of saying via the title of a song she loved: “One Day at a Time” by Cristy Lane. We can only take things one day at a time and deal with tomorrow when it comes.
Most of all, no one has all the answers even if they say they do or act like they do. I think it’s more important than ever to call people out like this on their bullshit then move on and not try and pull their head out of their ass. I’m more than willing to help someone but in the end, a person, such as myself, has to do the work and finish the job.
On this day, my birthday, the start of my forty-ninth trip around the sun, I will tell myself I will get through this day and the days ahead like I did before. As my late father used to say, if you wake up on this side of the dirt you’re doing good.
So I’m going to proofread this then copy and paste it into a blog entry here and hit the ‘publish’ button (then go take a nap because I need to do a full-run on the road this afternoon and evening).