Thursday, June 26, 2008

That Darn Brass Ring 08©

Early daybreak in North Carolina 08©-Photograph

A few days ago I had a conversation with several who are in my circle of us friends who’ve expressed great dissatisfaction with their lives and know they are at a stage of wanting to make a quantum leap. And as some of us were chattering one made a comment was made about feeling like they were riding a high-speed merry go round. She was struggling to seize that darn brass ring but somehow the fingertips would only brush the ring, other times she took hold only to discover that some scalawag slicked the ring with butter forcing it slid out of her grasp.
But then all us realized, almost like some cosmic symphony, as we nodded in agreement of her statements when it came down to it if we had a go at it either holding on or let go that we were afraid we’ll fall off the horse.

So we talked at length about reasons, perceptions and expectations of either 1. getting off the merry go round. 2. leaning over and grabbing with all our might that brass ring or 3. get off the merry go round getting a ladder and simply get the brass ring or 4. stop all together, take the marbles and go home. Number 4 was an unwanted, undesireable choice.

I had the group laughing hard when I described my last 6 months and all the excuses I told myself ranging from not wanting to “abandon” my very grown & capable daughter in a place I was most unhappy with. Then out of the Carolina blue, my daughter made the decision to leave and pouf she was gone in a matter of 2 weeks. Two weeks later it dawned on me “Why am I still here" since the very reason I was staying was now gone.

So I was happily making plans to vacate myself when the unexpected turn of events landed me in the hospital & slowed things down. Even as I recuperated I kept rationalizing why I could not go yet. All of us shared our why’s & we were laughing so hard in the midst of tears when we realized that while all good reasons, the bottom line was that as talented and caring as we were, there was still something that will take time to retrain and that is looking at some outside source to give us permission to have a golden life when we had it all along.

Our own permission...

I’ve given myself permission & now preparing to take my own leap of faith July 16,2008 That is the conclusion I've come to is creating my own garden after spending more time then it was worth trying to fit in where I didn't. Perhaps that was a clue and I did not heed. Something in me, a need for belonging that spans my almost 58 years that has acted as towering blockade, putting wedge in my soul in varying, degrees at varying times from being at my complete.

I know of a number of people who are doing that very thing. Taking leaps of faith for something different, if not better. I am not necessarily talking about money, but the time expended on things that don't matter, won't change, not satisfying, exercises in futility, et al was simply not working.

As I am make ready for my dubbed “Great Pacific Northwest Adventure, I know I cannot afford to hold my horses any longer. The dreams I had been calling forth did a fast getaway once & I watched my peace of mind/ health left with them too. I was too reticent to get off the accelerated merry go round, trying to grab that darn ring. I am giving up my house & with the mingy money, take upon that leap catch up to the stampeding dreams.

Yes I know the climate we are living in and if anything that is why it is more imperative to do it now then later. Everyone is not losing their homes, lost their jobs, at the food banks shopping the Dollar Store. Often time, the most inventive, creative outcomes can come from dire circumstances. This is definitely not the time to self oneself short.

We can find many inventive ways to hide ourselves in plain view. They may come in the forms of distractions, from unhealthy people or unhealthy places, to medicating with food, to pain both real & imagined to too many reruns of Law & Order, Good Times or reality TV. Have you ever downplayed your strengths in your actions? I've been told more times then I care to admit from different ones who tell me "You don't realize how powerful you are doing you"? or something of that ilk, but downplayed or temper my actions because I get tired of being beat up on by people who may feel more inadequate then I & don’t like what I do or am.

More then likely you’ve had that experience too unless you’ve lived in a cave all your life. When I did it the end result landed me in a hospital. There was indeed a silver lining though, it has made me really face my reality & that is if I am going to be beat up whether I live out loud or temper myself, there will always , always be someone who will not like what I do, say, look or act. So I might as well be as fully me as possible.

The other day I was listening to Suze Orman on CBS Sunday Morning, one of my favorite shows and part of my morning Sunday ritual, be asked the question as to what is the biggest singular problem in money for most Americans. Her response which first made me laugh out loud and then later think about seriously though not about money was" we spend far too much time & money accumulating, working for things to impress people who we do not know or who we don't even like".

Well we can translate that from money to a number of things. But it made sense to me. I cannot say I am trying to impress anyone, but I would be lying to say that I believe I put too much stock into people's approval. And I know where it stems from & it’s a deeply ingrained though not impossible habit to eradicate.

So here's my perspective I too need to breathe, so I am getting out. I will bring my trusty camera, my necessary clothing, my chutzpah and writing tablets and I am going to sit at the ocean, walk through the rainforest in Olympia, stand at the foot of Mt Rainier & Shasta, hug my grandchildren, meet my future daughter in law, and hug decade’s old friends.

Yesterday I gave up my cat HE for adoption, submitted several of my photographs with questioning or over thinking to Oprah's Breathing Space Gallery (don't matter if they are chosen, just that I did it), took the For Rent sign out of my yard that my landlord put up so I will not be hassled by people peeking in my windows and knocking at my door. I am potting my hibiscus and a few other plants and giving them to the very few people (2) to have that admire my garden and I am off.

At the end of it all or at least at the end of the money, I will not know where I will lay my head, but I know for sure that it won't be here. If the residency gets funded, then I'll be heading to Florida this fall. But until it does I will be like my nomadic ancestors and see where the road takes me. Some will think that I am too old for this (maybe I am, sometimes I think that too).

But too old for what?

There will be times when I will think this is crazy, but its not. What would look like crazy on an ordinary day is to stay on the merry go round or even getting a ladder snatching the brass ring. What may be better is to just leave the darn brass ring behind and live a life golden.

Now how cool is that?

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