February 7th, 2007
All my life, and to my parents’ utter consternation, I have always been something of a misfit. Never could walk the straight and narrow. Always spoke out of turn and skipped to the beat of a different drummer. Some of my friends have quipped that I am a “rebel with too big a cause”. However, I don’t consider myself a rebel of any kind whatsoever. In fact, I think the term is a tad over-rated. There are a lot of self-titled “rebels” out there who, well how should I say it? Certainly don’t have a cause to speak of or are rather ineffective in their rebellion, for that matter. I think what people misconstrue in me as rebellion is merely the manifestation of bipolar disorder, a bad fashion sense, and a borderline personality disorder, all stirred together into a roiling pot of absolute dysfunction. Rather boring when you get right down to the brutal reality of it, don’t you think? I don’t waste a blink of an eye fussing over it.
I used too, oh, did I ever. My state of misfitness caused me a constant grief. Why couldn’t I be like all of my friends? Why did I have to be the only one who was forever blatantly bizarre? Couldn’t someone else take a turn once in a while? Was I the single person on this Earth to ponder the thoughts that came unbidden to my mind? I seemed to function on a different plain of reality than others around me. My universe of reality happened to be a freakdom of quirky weirdness where as everyone else’s seemed so Norman Rockwellish. My reality seemed to clash with everyone else’s with a resounding clang. Oh, I tried to fit in, try I did, but how can you forcibly cram a hexagon into a triangular hole? Eventually one of the shapes loses its mind.
It stung to know that if I could only be less of me I would be more like them, and I would have more friends. I would see that poorly cloaked look of fear in other’s eyes when my pretense of normalcy would eventually give way and my true self would be revealed. I still feel a deep sense of loneliness at the thought of how many people have passed through my life, how many have been frightened off. But, now, at my age the deep longing to be part of a large social scene has tapered off considerably. As I glean more and more experiences with the complicated world of social graces I find myself shrinking back from it. Perhaps, because I have been bitten too many times, and perhaps, I just don’t need it anymore.
October 19th, 2006
It seems the “thing” to do lately to write a life list. So, here is mine:
- Love kindly
- Love patiently
- Envy no one
- Avoid being boastful, conceited, rude, or hurtful
- Live unselfishly
- Not be quick to take offense or to offend (give a biting word)
- Not be critical, but when the situation demands, constructive
- Love without prejudice or censorship
- To be a witness to others of what life should be, can be, and will be if they just love themselves enough to hope for a better day.
- Enter The Dakar Rally
- Enjoy every moment my husband and I spend together, not focus on our individual shortcomings, but celebrate the strength of the tie that binds us.
- Teach my son to love himself and others
- Watch my son grow into a faithful and good man
- One day act with my son on stage
- Take more pictures of my family
- Hug and kiss my son as many times as possible in a day, even if he no longer thinks its cool
- Cuddle with my husband on the couch every chance possible
- Make sure to feed the hamster more often
- Never let those I love feel unloved for even one moment
- Write the story of my grandmother’s youth as a maid in Winnipeg
- Be able to celebrate our 70th Wedding Anniversary with our family all around us.
- Forgive those who have hurt me, even if they don’t want forgiveness, and learn to love them as human souls in need of compassion.
- Learn from my mistakes
- Teach my son to be strong of spirit and character.
- Live strong, die strong
- Let the lost and unloved of the world know that they are found and adored.
- In the end to have given more than I have taken
- Become a professional jeweler
- Hold thanksgiving meals for all the people I can find who are “orphans of the world”. I have always dreamed of a huge table with many different people seated around enjoying my food and finally finding a true family. Year after year opening my heart and home to all those in need.
- See my mother healthy again
- See my father enjoying his well deserved retirement
- Write “Cold Ethel”
- Visit the Inca mummy Juanita in Peru
- Explore the countries of Chile, Peru, and Argentina
- See the rose red city of Petra
- Walk the streets of Constantinople
- Earn an Archeology/Anthropology degree
- Ride a horse at least one more time in my life. Really ride, no trail rides, like old times
- Be able to speak and write 5 or 6 languages, maybe even some of them ancient ones, I already know a fair bit of Latin
- Never stop learning
- Teach my son the wonders of learning and the ancient world
- See a penguin in the wild
- Study hunter-gatherer tribes and their cultures
- Set up a fully functioning psychiatric ward attached to the hospital in my home town
- Learn to construct everything from clothes, jewelry, shoes, to little music boxes and intricate lockets that hold tiny theatres inside controlled by pretty dangling chains that move little figures and set pieces within
- Stop putting off things of today for an ever elusive tomorrow
- See some of my jewelry showcased in a real store
- Write more, get all these scattered thoughts out of my head
- Go to a rock concert with my son
- Teach my cats to clean my house while I am not there
September 5th, 2006
Last night I went to my grandmother’s bedside, it was late, the room was dimly lit. She lay in her hospital bed, lost amid a jumble of pillows and blankets. She is presently at home in palliative care making her way from this world to the next. She is dying. It was a promise my mother and her sisters made to her before she became so gravely ill. They promised her she could die at home with her family there to care for her. She was awake, something she had not been for a few days now. When I entered the room and saw her eyes open and her head turned towards the sound of my steps, I felt the surge of such a bittersweet blessing. I was fortunate to steal yet another moment of her life before it was gone to me completely.
I stood beside her bed and leaned closer so she could hear my voice. To my surprise she reached up and cradled my face in her hands, she smiled upon me and her eyes were filled with such joy to see me again. When I left her that night I could still feel the cool touch of her hands on my cheeks; I wanted it to linger there forever. I couldn’t bear the thought of never feeling her touch once more. Every time I leave her there in her solitary room I think it may be the last time I will share a moment with her. I feel so greedy because I want just one more last moment to see the resilience in her eyes and feel her life presence. You can never have that last moment, because you always want one more, and then one more, there is never the quintessential last moment to last you the lifetime you must live without them. It is not that I feel I must have that final chance to say my farewells, that is done and I have no fear whether or not she knows how much I adore her, that is unspoken. It is the hollow reality of not sharing another moment with her again.
She is one of the most influential and strongest figures to ever have molded and guided my life, both Earthly and Spiritual. I have to thank her for the many blessings of having such a powerful witness to what life on this Earth should be; she often helped me find an illuminating light in the darkness of my emotionally dark world. Throughout my life she has always been there, as a teacher, a caregiver, a spiritual guide, a trusted friend, a beloved grandmother. When I came back to this province, a broken single mom, she taught me that even the fallen have their right to dignity and the tenderness of her presence told me I could run away from home, but never go far enough to leave her heart. Being in my grandmother’s presence has always felt like coming home. To think that I won’t be able to share any more moments with her is the most heartbreaking thought. It feels as if a pillar of strength inside my soul is being knocked down and leaving the roof of my heart to sag.
But, I know she is joyous to return home. And, I am happy for her. And one day, when I am taking that walk between here and eternity, she will be waiting there for me with welcoming arms. And we can walk around heaven all day. I will be in her presence once more, and then there won’t ever be a last moment of parting again.
June 1st, 2006
How does one live a life that is sustained on a diet of self contempt? It is a cruel meal to force oneself to swallow at the end of every day. One starves oneself of any morsel of joy throughout the day so when one does feed upon one’s sparse groats of self loathing it is with an intense desire to starve the soul rather than to nourish it. One’s soul grows steadily thin and frail, unable to bear its own weight. To many on the outside one becomes the object of pity or distain, what drives one to banish oneself inside often mirrors itself outward and creates pariahs of the self loathing in society as well.
I know what it is like to live this existence. I am one of the self loathing. I have lived this way for so many years now I honestly don’t know how to do anything else. It is because of this hatred I harbor towards myself that I have allowed my body and mind to be tortured repeatedly throughout the years. I had no value for my flesh or mind, so why should anybody else as well? All I wanted to do was punish myself for existing and this I did in abundance. I believed I was ugly. And, in truth, I was, hatred in any form is ugly. I just didn’t understand what was ugly about me and how this ugliness was making me that way. I still suffer from self loathing, struggle with it every day. But, now I recognize it for what it is. Insecurity, low self esteem, bipolar disorder, ISSUES. I am slowly trying to like the inner invalid, but it’s not easy.
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