It’s my day off and I can’t help but feel as if I missed the short season of Fall all together. The one time that I could have gone out, I was sick with the Vertigo episode and the other two weeks following just didn’t line up with the weather, tasks, or me not wanting to go by myself. It feels a little like life itself and it’s not just the season that passes but life as well and I recognize lost moments.
A storm moved in last night with high wind warnings and my beautiful yellow leaved tree in front of the house lost most of it’s foliage overnight. I saw a rainbow outside and two tractor trailers that were knocked over by the wind on the freeway, while driving I might add. Scary and I always hurry passed a Semi on the freeway, especially in windy conditions. Once a sheet of ice flew off the side of a trailer and smashed onto my windshield. Luckily nothing happened, but the moment was very intense to say the least. It’s raining, which I love and I can hear the melodic rhythm of the wind chime swaying in the wind while competing with the hauling and the raindrops hitting my window. I’m cuddled up with a blanked, engulfed in one of my favorite activities, writing. I still need to do chores but not just yet, right now belongs to me.
A recent reminder made me think back to the first time that I started writing and it was towards the end of 2011. Sparky, my beloved pooch who was with me since the age of ten weeks, struggled to eat. There were complications such as arthritis, being on glucosamine for a few years, daily pain control meds amongst other normal life challenges such as old age. It was November the 15th and I knew that my overnight shift at work would start in a few short weeks. I scheduled a vet visit in the hopes that somebody could help Sparky to feel better. My time would be limited to provide extra care for him and you could clearly see that he was not his old spunky self anymore. He was twelve years old and I could see the pain in his eyes and in every movement that provided a huge challenge as his legs simply gave out at times.
Sparky never came home that day and I had to say goodbye to my best friend, somebody that was more like a child to me vs. being just a pet, that he never was. It was a hard reality to grasp and honestly it never even crossed my mind that this could happen. Or did it, was it me who wasn’t ready to accept it as my truth? Perhaps I dismissed the thought into a state of unaware bliss, the uncertain where hope was residing and it wasn’t a state that was so final. He was so exited of going for a ride in the car and from little on he would sneak into the car if you left the car door open, ready to go for a ride. And here I was, unaware that it would be our last ride together and that I would have to drive back home alone in tears.
Shortly after that I started to write and it was like an outlet for me. I found little relief elsewhere and I remember a coworker at the “Ugly Beauty store” dismissing Sparky’s death by casually saying “Well life has to go on”. True, as it always finds a way and as it always does, but definitely not something that helped me at the moment, or something that I wanted to hear. I was filled with emotions of pain and words were left unspoken, as if things were searching to find their way to escape my heavy soul and jump right onto paper. I wrote for a long time and got lost in the feeling to overcome and to forget. It worked and the idea of writing a book was born. A book about my personal experiences and my journey in life, the highlights and the struggles. Surely there had to be others with similar experiences, others needing to feel that they were not alone, including me.
After all, my subject matter was something I knew a lot about and naturally you would think that it should have flown easily and be a piece of cake. But that wasn’t so and in hindsight I know I was too critical of everything. I was overthinking it from the beginning to the end. Where would I start and how should the order of events unfold, were all common questions. It had to make sense without losing my readers (if I would have any) and I guess it was the perfectionist in me that wanted it to be a certain way. Eventually I stopped writing because I drove myself nuts and wasn’t happy with how things progressed. I kept constantly correcting myself and it felt as if I couldn’t make any progress for the life of me, when in all reality it was a part of the journey and a part of the progress, but I couldn’t see that then. I spent so much time on it and reading it now, I feel that most of it is not all that great. I wonder if it’s my critical nature and the high expectations that I place on myself who are paying me a visit and if the day will come when I look back at my current writing and might feel the same way.
I look back knowingly aware of the lessons learned from these experiences and I believe I have grown because of it. At least I would hope that I did as much pain was associated with those times. Today I know that things don’t always have to be perfect and life itself is the greatest teacher by allowing us to see how messy it can be at times. So if it’s not life that is expecting us to be perfect, I look at myself and have to realize that it was me who put most of the pressure onto myself. In my mind it had to be perfect, but in reality nobody is perfect, nor does life expects us to be and we are all flawed in our own way. It feels as if I was in pursuit of something non existent, something impossible to attain.
Just the other day I was contemplating the direction of my blog and I’m glad that I finally just went for it. Without the what if’s and how it should be, I had taken the most important step, I took the plunge and got started. It’s not perfect and it never will be, but it’s from the heart and therefore I could never go wrong. There is passion invested and I found purpose in writing that makes me feel good. Besides being blessed to have met so many amazing people on here. Some of my subjects are darker and it is for that very reason of life not always being perfect. Once again, writing serves as an outlet, to free my mind when I can’t be in nature and to share my experiences with you. I’m grateful for the people that have allowed me to do so and that continue to take the time to read even the sad stories, leaving their heartfelt comments for me. It requires involvement, compassion and looking beyond. It takes time to digest the subjects and a willingness to acknowledge our human struggles. Thank you, it means more than you know….
I guess the lessons that I learned here are not to be too critical of ourselves. Sometimes we just need to go for it and perfection is often a status we self inflict. The way we feel about ourselves is not always dictated by the actions and the behavior of others, nor is our happiness dependent on others. We already have everything we need inside of us and we are the ones to make it happen instead of sitting there waiting for somebody to miraculously do it for us. It can’t be done by others and it will never happen this way, so you might as well get yourself a snickers bar if that is what you are waiting on. And who cares how good it is, if it’s perfect or not, what’s more important is that it gives us the meaning and the sense of having contributed. Sparky taught me that we can’t hold on to some things or to somebody for selfish reasons as it only prolongs their suffering in most cases. I learned a lot from my four legged fur baby and that very night on November the 15th after being back at home consoling Nikki, my other pooch, I believe Sparky came to visit us once more.
To be continued…