Tag Archives: introspection

Deserted Island of the Mind

Thoughts lost in isolation. A time for healing. A time for self-reflection. But we cross a collective threshold when those finger-wagging mirrors hover close to grimaced faces for far too long. Is there a limit to this period of limitless wondering, wandering? The escape valves are useless if constantly void of steam, and the wrinkles in society’s fabric are growing more difficult to ignore.

Sitting with sandcastle carvings in the shape of an SOS, eager for a glimpse of dropped rope ladders, descending from the heavens and offering a haven. Crossing fingers and toes that the cure won’t be worse than the disease and putting faith in the hands of the senseless. Clocking days on the calendar, desperately hunting for dissimilarities. Masks masking everything we’d actually like to express.

We’re dizzy from riding a spinning misery-go-round, searching for keys to the cage, and losing focus behind unblinking eyes.

The aftermath of bad decisions. This is nature’s revenge, and she’s not pleased with our choices.

Will anyone wake up to the call? Change what they consume? Evaluate how they think? Cease the irresponsible behaviors that are crippling the planet? Recognize the risk of heavy feet on pedals with cliffs fast approaching? Consider the greater good above the personal gain?

Time will tell…if she’s willing to speak. But silence might be a better teaching tool for a population unable to hear.

Adolescence Interrupted

Goodbye, NY

After a post-LA six-month stint in the Empire State, it’s time again to gather the tape guns, construct the itinerary, and head for unfamiliar waters. It’s Groundhog Day, with an unpredictable finish.

Three cities in thirty weeks. Coast to coast and climate to climate. Another fresh start, with even fewer friends.

Multilayered introspection is crucial for any deep-dive system reset, and we are all lone conductors of our own orchestras.  The only constant in life is change, but I’m ready for a little consistency following the chaos.

Gleaning lessons from the past year’s pattern upheaval, the most eye-opening realization has been how capable humans are of acclimation. I consider myself fairly entrenched in the spongy, bouncy comfort foam of routine and ritual. But I have been thrown more than my fair share of curveballs in this game, and I’ve generally been able to hang in the batter’s box longer than the rest of the rookies.

Most of us are malleable and adaptable creatures, even those who think a rigid adherence to track-walking is the only thing that keeps their marbles from getting misplaced. When presented with a series of seemingly insurmountable challenges, flexibility is usually found somewhere in the fabric. We just need the courage and desire to search.

So the quest continues…

Chasing the sun, I’m headed for the land of tennis fanatics and retirement enthusiasts. It was an interesting last lap in a hometown that feels very little like home. But it was necessary to put a bow on the gift of growing up and to capture those mental snapshots for a future nostalgic slideshow.

Time to turn another page in a book that remains to be written.

Adolescence Interrupted

The Upsides of Downsides

I suppose it’s emblematic of the human condition that challenges and obstacles suddenly dropped on our path normally elicit the full range of reactions. As creatures of habit and ritual, we prefer to wrap ourselves in a blanket of familiarity and tend to avoid any variables that pose a threat to our safety or survival. I’m sure it’s somehow wired into our DNA, so we have Homo habilis to thank for the butterflies in our belfries.

But maybe there’s a hidden benefit to that knee-jerk panic response that sends the heart rate racing. Our bodies are being primed for evaluation, either internally or externally. We’re forced to take a moment of pause to assess and decide. So it might be wise to embrace those sweaty palms and shaky hands.

Zooming out, this can apply to individual situations or the “life map” as a whole. Rarely do we have the luxury of smooth sailing, and deviations from the game plan are more often a burden to bear and a maze to navigate. Change is a wool sweater on bare skin, and any progress takes some itching. There’s no such thing as painless growth, only growing pains.

Closing a chapter feels much different than writing it. I’m sprinting toward a checkered flag that was years in the making, and some big-picture evaluation has been monopolizing my sleepless nights.

Only time guards the answers. But right now, it’s hard to see if that rapidly approaching line is labeled “start” or “finish.”

Adolescence Interrupted

Chasing a Moving Marker

When I’m left with my own thoughts in the quieter moments of the night, I can’t help but look at the miles I’ve logged on this marathon and wonder where it ends. Is there some perfectly painted finish line that will welcome me with open arms? Or is every step its own achievement?

Some would posit that if you wake up in the morning and take a deep breath, it is a reminder that you are here for a reason. Every day is a gift, each moment another opportunity, etc. I suppose there’s some merit to that sentiment, but a proponent of the macrocosmic perspective would argue that the mundanity and daily minutiae are worthless without some greater result. It doesn’t much matter how many hours you spend in the woodshop if you never make a chair.

I suppose I’m fairly split. While finding satisfaction in daily victories is critically important to properly nurture the soul, looking back at a life that didn’t create some substantial impact would feel like a monumental waste of roughly eight decades. Perhaps, like most things, there’s some balance to be struck.

Also, the actions we take and decisions we make may not permanently transform the planet, but they can deeply affect someone else’s life—for better or worse. I’m reminded of the Dr. Seuss quote:

“To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.”

Sometimes our choices have a ripple effect that we’ll never know or even understand.

So maybe it’s best to stop looking back at those starting blocks or too far ahead at some figurative finish line. Even if the present moment is wrapped in doubt, pain, or regret, it’s worth acknowledging…before it’s gone.

Adolescence Interrupted