Kellie Elmore: Free Write Friday 6-29-13

who am i?

who am i? (Photo credit: Beni Ishaque Luthor)

(things can’t let you down, unless you let them)

“It’s easier said than done, I know that. You know that, right, Son? All this psychobabble about “life’s has its ups and downs, just go with the flow?” Sure, I know that in my head, but when something creepy, or scary or even startling happens, man, that goes straight, directly to my heart and it’s a sure fire hit. There are no stops, no waiting, or hesitating, it’s a missile like an emotional heart attack. It always has a trigger, like now, people are screaming behind me are making me tense, uptight, upset. You have to understand I’m not like you and your generation, it’s hard for me to “just get over it.” I get so depressed and I just want to put my head in my hands and my body starts shaking. My stomach clenches and it’s trying to ruin my day and I feel myself getting hooked on sadness like a slippery snake, going in and out of my brain to my insides. I  try to stop it but I can’t.

I’m lost, that’s how I can describe it, I’m lost. I’m really nobody now. Sure, I’m someone’s husband, brother, father, but who am I? I’m really not sure anymore.  I used to know but now everything is cloudy. What I thought I knew for sure is shaky, what I thought I knew about you is different.I was YOU, a long time ago. Listen to me. It’s easy to push things into those dark recesses of your mind, I’ve been doing that for a long, long time. There’s safety in comfort, I know that. But, how much comfort is worth it? When does comfort become settling or even just plain old vanilla laziness? I’m the wrong one to ask. I stay safe, too safe, and I stay still. I’m not happy, not ever. Probably never have been happy.

Some people like my old friend Jon are adaptable, whatever happens he adjusts. He doesn’t worry, he doesn’t panic, he goes with whatever comes his way with his cool, jolly attitude and his big goofy smile and things always seem to fall into place. I wish I had been like him. I have NEVER been like him and probably never will be. There’s only so much you can do to change yourself, sometimes you born and labeled damaged goods. I can thank my own parents for that.

At least I tried I to face my fears and do things anyway which in itself is a big step. It’s okay to be fearful, everyone is probably afraid of something but making the attempt to overcome it, that’s like a pile of birthday presents you give to yourself, all wrapped up in silver and gold. It’s a birthday cake with your favorite filling, I choose vanilla cake, with chocolate frosting and chocolate cake with vanilla frosting, I’m not messing around here. I’ll even throw in some oatmeal raisin cookies and chocolate mint ice cream.

Life is a crap shoot. I admit, I am sometimes scared of the future, especially now that I am older. I was young once, just like you. I was young with hopeful thoughts and ideas and daydreams but I have lived a long time and Life has changed me. I hope it doesn’t change you too. Keep being positive and loving, honest and trusting. Even if you get hurt, it is worth the journey to experience that love, that excitement again. Take chances, as many as possible and don’t hesitate to try new things. If it doesn’t work out, move right on to something else. Don’t be like me, please, I beg of you, don’t be like me.

I’ll keep trying, in my own little corner of my world, but I don’t expect too much and that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of reality thrown in to the mix anyway. I am who I am, some good, some bad, just like we all are. No, I’m not giving up anytime soon, I’m still teaching you, my boy, my darling boy.”

Deep sadness - old man [3]

Deep sadness – old man [3] (Photo credit: Zuhair Ahmad)

Carry on Tuesday – Life Is For The Living

Life is but a dream....

Life is but a dream…. (Photo credit: Peppysis)

Life is a song – sing it. Life is a game – play it. Life is a challenge – meet it. Life is a dream – realize it. Life is a sacrifice – offer it. Life is love – enjoy it.

My dad always told me, growing up, that in life there were ups and downs. In the same vein, my mom said  “there are no guarantees” and sang off-key “I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden”. Growing up, I thought my parents should have protected me more from the harsh realities of the world, now I thank them that they didn’t. I found when I had my children and they would nastily argue “that’s NOT fair” my husband and I would often agree with them simply by saying “You are right, sometimes, Life, isn’t fair,” because that is how the real world works.
I’d like to think that the good people win and live and the bad ones get in trouble and die but at 56 I’ve had too many experiences where life has shown me otherwise. I think you really have to learn this yourself, no one can tell you about it, nor can you learn from others, true teaching comes from within. You have to experience it with its wide array of emotions.
I’ve only known real joy when I experienced it; it was not even close to mild happiness or contentment. I’ve only known great loss through death of my father. What I had thought was sadness or depression before was nothing like the shell of the person I became after my dad died. We never had the perfect relationship, there is no such thing, but he was the one in the family who knew me best. We understood each other instantly, we thought the same way, at the same time. Just a look, a glance and we would have already communicated without saying a word.
When recently talking to a friend about goals and dreams she asked me what I wanted to do next, in fantasy if nothing else. I told her about the stories I write and the photographs I take. She said: “So, you are not getting any younger, just do it. What’s stopping you?” My mouth dropped open in surprise and I was both intimidated and flattered. WHAT IS? Since then I’ve kept myself busy by trying on all different things as well: just trying to get out of my house and comfort level, and bring some money in for my husband. I am proud of what I have done so far, but mostly I am proud of not only wanting to try but actually doing it.
Life is what is going on you now, there is no time for putting things off until later, believe me. Life is a song – sing it. Life is a game – play it. Life is a challenge – meet it. Life is a dream – realize it. Life is a sacrifice – offer it. Life is love – enjoy it. It take some of us more time than others but once you are ready, go for it. Life escapes us, doesn’t it? It almost like a waking dream, it flies by us so quickly we startle when we realize that most of our lives are mostly over. What are YOU waiting for? Do the fun things now, cross something off your damned “bucket list” today. Kiss the hand of your loved one and tell them how much you cherish them,  do it now. Life is for the living, don’t waste it. Not for another second. This is my hope.