Lemons and lifejackets

The first six months of 2013 has gone by in a blink of an eye. How did the first half of 2013 go? Not bad. There was the good, the bad and the stressful. Typical shit.

I suppose I should be grateful because I’m still alive and wanting to kick some ass. Anybody reading this should be grateful that they’re still alive and wanting to kick some ass, too.

But I have a problem of not counting my blessings or the good things I have in my life. Maybe if I did that more often, the desire to swing a baseball bat or crowbar at the head of some sorry excuse for a human being wouldn’t rear its ugly little head so often.

Don’t worry, this desire comes and goes. For the first part of the year, it rarely made an appearance. I was in a good place… except for the last month. Lingers like a rotting corpse. As the saying goes, what goes up… must come down. The funny thing is that while I may not be emotionally on my game, it hasn’t stopped me from working on my writing and photographic projects.

Some say creativity can come out of a place of disappointment and pain. I suppose that’s why there is some expectation for an artistically-inclined person to be emotionally-tortured and angst-ridden in order to create a piece of visual art, music, literature, choreography, etc.

Does creativity come out of a place of pain and disappointment? If you must simplify it, then, for some people, yes. I guess you could include me in that group. However, creating something inspired by pain doesn’t mean the creator is masochistically wallowing in the pain. Well… that may be true for some, but not for me. I believe it’s more a case of exorcising the pain and turning it into something beautiful. Life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. Or in my case, you slice up the lemons and garnish a tall tumbler of gin and tonic with it. No gin and tonic? Throw the juice of the lemons in with garlic, chickpeas, tahini and olive oil, and make hummus.

So yeah, I’m sorting out some shit while trying to avoid wallowing in self-doubt. I could drink my troubles away but my liver refuses to be pickled. Hard drugs are and were never an option. But I’ll smoke the odd joint — nothing stronger than that. I know I’ll end up in the hospital if I do.

Creating something beautiful out of something I never thought would go sour and die so quickly without a fight, is life-affirming to me. It means my coping mechanisms worked. It means I’ve turned the negative energy that threatened to swallow me whole into a positive energy that became my life jacket. It means I’m a survivor.

Right now, I’m busy making that life jacket. I’m getting better at making them. I have a small pile of tattered life jackets sitting in the figurative boathouse. I’d use one of them if I could, but each one of them was created for a specific problem and situation. None of them are suitable for the current problem.

Come hell or high water, I’ll survive. I’ll thrive, grow and glow in the love given to me by my friends and family who love and protect me. They know I would do the same for them.

Note: I’ll be taking a two-week break from blogging to take on an artistic and educational endeavour that could very well keep me from regularly posting a blog for the next two Mondays. Given that I will be in a different part of the world, wi-fi signals have proven to be notoriously weak. What I hope will happen, assuming the wi-fi signals are stronger than I remember two years ago, I might be able post very short blogs whenever I can. If that doesn’t come to fruition, then I’ll share my adventures with you when I return. See you three Mondays from today.

A birthday with no regrets

Last Friday was my birthday. Unlike past birthdays, this one has the makings of being the one to remember. Why? Because for once, I wasn’t filled with angst or was negatively distracted about something that was overshadowing the day.

I also made a conscious choice to interact with people I respect, find entertaining and/or love. People with positive, healthy energy.

That might sound like a no-brainer but it’s one of those things that is easier said than done. When I say I made a choice to interact with people I respect, find entertaining and love, I say it as a 40-something woman with a ton of life experience and hungry for more, not a 20-something woman with limited life experience and has yet to make the ‘interesting’ choices that will inevitably shape the way she views herself and her life 20 years from now.

It has always been a battle between what my heart wants and what common sense deems appropriate. Early on, common sense had a habit of losing to the heart until the heart got beaten up enough times that it questioned itself and was filled with enough self-doubt to wrap itself in armour and let common sense stand guard over it. Mostly, it’s done a good job but the heart is temperamental.

Occasionally, it would still cold-cock common sense on its ass and run off to make quick and really-not-all-that-smart decisions. Mistakes yet again. I know you should learn from your mistakes and I have. And sometimes I forget those lessons. At least they were fun mistakes. It would have sucked if they weren’t fun. Who wants to make boring mistakes? Not me. I have witnesses who can back me up on that. But I’m at a point in my life where I’d like to take a break from all that, rest and see how the folks on the other side of the train tracks live. Is it really too much to ask?

Here’s how I sum up my personal relationship choices —been there, done that and have a fucking lousy t-shirt to show for it. Yeah, those fucking choices were ‘interesting’. At the time, I thought those choices were what was best for me. What I wanted. Well, that’s what my impulsive, tempestuous heart was telling me. As it turns out, the choices weren’t in my best interest. They never were. What the fuck did I know? Not a helluva lot. Still don’t. But now, I think my heart and common sense have struck a friendly working relationship where I’m better at knowing intuitively what feels right for me.

Do I regret my past choices? No. Why? Because I wouldn’t be where I am now if I hadn’t made those choices.

Now, I’m NOT going to thank those clowns (I never said I would take the high road for the entire blogpost) for steering me into what I feel is the right direction for me. Why the fuck would I do that? I’ll acknowledge the roles they played in my life and nothing more. My life, my journey, not theirs. They have their own crosses to bear and it doesn’t involve me anymore. I have no interest in kicking a sleeping dog with my steel-toed boots nor do I want anybody coming at me with their steel-toed boots. If they do, they don’t stand a chance against me. Just sayin’.

The people I spent time with on my birthday were long-time friends. These are friends who are honest and real with me because they have no reason to be anything but that. They are kindred spirits.

I’ve known one of them for almost 20 years even though our contact had been sporadic for most of our friendship. Now, it’s morphing into something that promises to be more constant and interesting on a number of levels. Crazy fun and adventure seem to be part of my future. And that’s not including the things I am still pursuing on my own.

I’m hoping my intuition isn’t wrong about this particular friendship. It would be a bummer if it turned out to be a cruel mirage.

I also had a shits-and-giggles long distance phone conversation with my best friend, Ali. We’ve known each other for how long? I think six or seven years. I’ve lost track and I don’t care. Time has nothing on our friendship. We will always cross paths in other lifetimes to come. That I am certain. And each time we meet in those lifetimes, we will unfailingly stir up shit and laugh our asses off with impunity.

It was a birthday that was surprisingly pleasant with moments of hilarity and moments of unveiled desire sprinkled about like coarse sea salt and nuts sitting atop of a soft vanilla ice cream cone dipped in decadent dark chocolate.

Speaking of decadence, I finally satisfied my taste buds with a slice of white chocolate pistachio truffle cake on Friday. Sinful. Second orgasmic experience of the day. A girl can’t complain when that happens.