It’s been too many days since I posted on here. That sounded like a confession… anyway, it has been, and my only excuse is ambivalence and a busied mind.
Lately I’ve had a fair amount going on that is consuming my days and my energies. Mostly work, which is nothing to complain about seeing as I brought it on myself in asking for more productivity. Something I am proud of and hopefully it continues. I’ve had a few happenings this week that have done nothing short of change the arc of my life and I find myself overwhelmed and nervous even though the changes are incredibly positive. I think it may stem from the fact that I tend to see situations as never-ending. Once I’m out of them I sometimes find myself looking around saying ‘now what?’. It’s been an issue I’ve worked on for quite some time, looking past a problem or goal and into the future of what lies beyond them. I’m noticing my set point lately on an emotional level seems to be dread, which only hurts my happiness as it’s difficult to be present when I’m wondering what the hell is going to go wrong next. It’s a stupid way to think but lately it’s as automatic as blinking and breathing, I’ve taken a big step back in that respect I guess. The good part is recognizing, but the difference between recognizing an issue and taking legitimate action against it are two very different things. I think taking things seriously all the time is to some detriment. I keep taking myself as not being enough, or severely lacking, very seriously. The hateful inner speech has been after me again, I’m depersonlizing it to help separate it from myself to avoid feeling any worse. I see it, now to do something about it
I need to focus on the amazing possibilities that lay before me, things I’ve not dreamed of being able to even envision until a large span of time into the future. It’s truly an incredible thing. I will make a better effort to embrace that I deserve to be happy, that the stormy seas are allowed to calm, and I am allowed to relax a little bit.
I want to say that since becoming a father my view of ‘grand’ or ‘epic’ has altered significantly. I find myself lost in the minutiae of small moments when it comes to my child or other tiny tots in the family. I suppose it’s because I see the lightning storm that is their little minds taking in every single shred of stimuli in their immediate surroundings. Little sponges as they are sometimes called. They miss nothing, and for better or worse on that one! I have been exposed to the necessity and need for grand adventures, I’m almost always up for something new and love novel personal experience. From the outside looking in many would probably say that is what my life resembles lately. I took a big giant jump into the unknown about 6 months ago and to say it has been anything but a rather huge endeavor would not be proper. Fraught with ups and downs which is typical but lately many more downs than ups. Growth is never easy, evenly paced, or comfortable. I am trying to embrace that aspect even as tectonic shifts seem to move parts of my world daily.
Lately I find myself missing the epic moments on the scale of that of a child learning, or small moments with another that the world at large will never be privy to nor would the world at large even bat an eye. The shoulder shrugging moments we take for granted all the time are what I find myself pining for lately. I realize the vacuous space where those things used to pile up and overflow. I also realize the toll it takes on one when one sees the empty place where warmth used to reside. Big happenings, magnificent goals and grand achievements are always noteworthy and fulfilling, but at the end of the day it helps to have the little things to turn to for some epic-ness of a different and just as rewarding kind.
The day of rest is seldom that for me. As a cyclist it’s one of the coveted days during the seven that we can exert ourselves for longer than normal, given our hectic work and life schedules during the week. The time for group rides or a long solo trek. I took a long solo ride. The ritual of a ride prep is something I’ve begun to enjoy. Breakfast and coffee to fuel you up, filling bottles, checking tire pressure, picking out and donning outlandishly colored kit, and looking forward to the sensations on the road. As I’ve alluded to lately, the day to day fight through the days is tough. But I’ve struggled mentally on the bike as well. After all the ritualistic stuff was taken care of I got on the bike. I got a rather early start today, and was able to leave the negative voices in the garage, what a relief! At the urging of the counselor a few weeks ago I was told verbatim to say to the voices, ‘I’m gonna leave you guys here for a while, I need a break, I’ll get back to you when I return’. He said even if that means saying it out loud, to just tell them that’s what I was going to do. It sounded a little off the wall at the time but as I am diving all in on the depression counseling I figured what the hell why not start. I started that practice last week, and the voices hang with me for about a mile of the ride but lately they’ve disappeared during my rides. I rode for half the day today, and the stream of thoughts and things going through my head were surprisingly positive. As the sun sets here and I take in the last rays of the day, I feel the creep of that black cloud but it’s a much slower approach tonight. Closing my eyes and feeling the breeze on my face and the sound of the wind in my ears, I feel more calm today. Perhaps it’s due to the intensity of my ride, perhaps it’s leaving the voices in the garage when I left. It’s a bit of everything I suppose. I am tired but the ache in the pit of my stomach and my heart is not there at the moment and I do hope that it doesn’t set in this evening. I am so happy to be able to sit down and write about a small ‘win’ in terms of my mental and emotional states.
It’s a nourishing morsel to my inner hope. Wait wait, wasn’t I just half-griping about hope? 🙂
I hear frequently these days, ‘you have to know when to quit.’ Perhaps that’s true, but the iron willed stalwart in me doesn’t seem to understand that, and it’s not always for poor reasoning. At least that’s what I tell myself!
I feel like lately I’m fighting a cynicism that I used to possess as a strong character trait. It’s not a good thing to look at the world as if it’s all bad and everyone is out to get you. I was raised hearing that a lot as I grew up and it took a long time to get out from under that feeling. The remedy to that view is hope. However hope can make torture all the worse. You are getting beaten with a proverbial hammer, and you hear a voice say ‘it’s over now’, a short pause, you take a breath, and to your horror the hammering begins again. It’s hard to keep that hope up sometimes, the hope that things will improve. The thing I am starting to realize is my will is becoming fused with my hope, but in a sense they are very similar to one another. I think the stubborn ability not to quit, despite all odds, can either be called Hope or Willpower.
I feel like I am rambling and I likely am. I’ll find the point I was trying to make here soon, maybe.
I bought flowers last night, in a state of furious angry emotion, I’m not completely sure why I bought them. It turns out they were a great purchase as my day unfolded today. They were given to someone, but it wasn’t the flowers that improved the day I found it, it was simply my presence, which reeks of hope! Part of me shakes my head as I walk up to the proverbial Boulder and begin to push it up the hill that seemingly has no top. I’m unsure if I will lose grip and it will roll over me as it tumbles back to flatter ground. I have no idea.
I also still have no idea where this post was going….
On my ride tonight I had a small SUV come past me from behind and miss me by about an inch. When it happens you’re so in the moment of ‘oh my god’ that you don’t really realize the underlying thoughts you had until you’re either free of the issue or later on down the line after you’ve recovered from said hit or crash. I’ve never been hit by a vehicle on my bike, thank goodness, and I hope that never comes to pass. Tonight scared me. Scared me because of what lay on the shoulder next to the road, a not so nice landing pad of concrete rubble and metal, and the thoughts that came with the near hit. The hardest part was knowing I was riding alone and it would’ve been quite some time I imagine before anyone of note that values me would know of my plight. Also with that feeling of loneliness was that the loneliness was unwanted on my part. Riding solo is great because I don’t need a group to push me hard. I have an ability to destroy myself during a workout at my own urging. This was simply a recovery ride, a ride on which I’d have loved to have had company. A few other thoughts followed that, but for the sake of my own privacy I will refrain from sharing further. Regardless, they weren’t the happiest of thoughts and realizations. I turned around and headed back to the garage shortly after the close call, I had had enough. I got to see my child via FaceTime shortly after returning and it caused quite a few tears. Mostly because I realize I may not have gotten to do this, FaceTime that is, or perhaps ever again had things gone a different way. I also felt how quiet I became internally whilst watching a Disney umbrella be spun, play-doh be rolled into balls, and hearing ‘don’t cry daddy, I love you’. Watching my world on a screen enjoy themselves and be a toddler was the best part of my whole day, and I am thankful it was able to happen.
I’ll be on my bike again tomorrow, I hope. It helps to have a short memory with these sorts of ordeals and not think every vehicle is piloted by an imbecile. I have to say, the negative voice has been quiet tonight. It’s refreshing, but the gravity of the other thoughts has been a bit burdensome. However, I can’t complain about FaceTime or any waterworks on my part it invoked. The gravity of thoughts that feel productive is a nice burden to bear, if I can even call it a burden.
What a shakeup.