Tag Archives: new year

Parting clouds

Riding a bandwagon in the backseat of the planet’s most unoriginal thought, let me be the millionth person to comment about the rigor and emotional discomfort of the past twelve months. Guess what, everyone? Things were a bit difficult last year.

But, for the first time in a deep stretch, I see a future lined with silver optimism and some serious potential for the globe to recognize lessons learned from reaching out for a hot stove, simply to see what happens.

If our collective crispy singed digits weren’t enough of a system shock to take a different course of action, it seems we are drowning in a sea of punishment gluttons who relish the disruption of every conceivable facet of their lives. If that’s the case, we’ll need a lot more than masks, common sense, and science to save us from ourselves.

Offering benefits hidden inside doubts, I’ll wager this next spin around the sun feels more like fuzzy slippers than frozen skates. Just the ability to walk out of a grocery store without immediately initiating NASA-level decontamination practices is enough of a reason to rejoice.

Suffice to say, our limbo stick expectations aren’t very low. Most of us would gladly take normalcy over excellence, and the installation of leaders who are intellectually capable of recognizing the stakes will benefit the greater good, regardless of how much detractors resist the helping hand. But “normal” needs to wear a different outfit or we’ll still be able to see the stains.

A fresh start to something stale. A moment to reflect, banish, and then change. Watch this worldwide debacle get smaller in the rearview as we walk into a better and brighter tomorrow.

Raise your hand if you’re ready.

Adolescence Interrupted

Looking Back through Boxes

When you’re the owner of a cloudy, unreliable childhood memory database, digging through boxes from the past is like meeting a younger version of yourself for the first time. Each class photo, laughably short journal entry, or overly detailed paper on the state bird of Delaware is a peek into the world of a focused, curious kid who now walks around in today’s lanky-limbed adult skin.

Taking attic inventory (literally) is a perfect way to chart the course of a life spent wondering and processing. The raw mental materials that would ultimately comprise the cement mix poured into the foundation of an often rigid structure were once still malleable enough to allow room for flexible movement of thought and action.

Hope. Promise. Excitement. Strategy. When we’re young, we overflow with anticipation for what still lies ahead and the pages waiting to be written. There is a hidden naivety beneath that level of optimism, but it’s pretty nice to visit a time before disappointment, disenchantment, regret, or rejection….even if it’s only a temporary trip.

Transporting to the past offers not only a nostalgic walk down memory lane but also a stark reminder of the brevity of that stroll. We spend so much of our developing years watching an hourglass filled with limitless sand empty at an almost imperceptible pace. At some point, we pick up this decorative clock for a closer look at the levels, and we’re shocked by the shifted weight.

It’s easy to take these modern monotonous days for granted, but they are all little limited editions just waiting to be maximized. The tedium of today can be the reminiscence of tomorrow. It’s all in the framing…or reframing.

A marathon is not run on a loop, and there’s a reason we crave scenic variety. But it’s better to fall from trying to outrun the vanishing sand than to be buried beneath it. At least there’s more padding on top of the pile.

Carpe diem. Have a healthy, wonderful, and wholly original 2020.

Adolescence Interrupted

A Macrocosmic Perspective

I started this blog five years ago on the foundation of a simple concept. I wanted to explore the minutiae of modern life and culture by boiling down broad ideas into digestible pieces of reflection. There was the hope of starting a dialogue among those who were interested in diving into the deep stuff. I wasn’t presumptuous enough to believe I could advance any permanent, sustained change or rewire the minds of the masses, but I hoped that I could simply set a table and people would find their way to the plate.

The feedback has been both affirming and motivating. Challenging preconceptions, reframing accepted ideologies, or simply questioning the status quo has given readers a moment of pause to take a second pass at some of their unconsciously accepted viewpoints. We often don’t look at something from another angle, especially when the edges seem to neatly align with our convictions. So it’s been a pleasure to open up this incessant sandstorm of contemplation that I call my daily existence and invite you all inside for a visit.

But as of late, I have realized that exploring what hits closest to home is just as important as obsessing about what affects us on a national or global level. The bonds we have built and the connections we have made are the iron stakes that prevent our circus tents from blowing away. When all the static and distractions are silenced, we’re left standing with what truly holds weight.

Perspective is everything. Time should certainly be spent analyzing the big picture, but please don’t forget the importance of a myopic focus…especially when it comes to those who mean the most.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy new year.

Adolescence Interrupted

Closing a Door to Open an Exit

I suppose I’m boarding the bandwagon by looking back at the last twelve months, but there’s a reason it’s a popular pursuit.

We like to quantify our existence through measurable gains or losses. It’s a tool to see where we’ve been and to plot where we’re going. Without some definable roadmap, we tend to wander. One day bleeds into the next, and we’re left looking for the missing months and disappearing days. But I’m not so sure that’s a bad thing.

There’s an argument to be made on both sides. Adhering to an unforgivingly regimented schedule that leaves little or no time for friends, loved ones, or creative pursuits is probably as detrimental as a life spent sinking in the quicksand of financial worry or health concerns.

Money is made and money is lost. The loop of hope and disappointment continues to spin. But what’s the big picture purpose?

I do know that as soon as health is compromised, everything else takes a distant back seat. Whether it’s the physical or mental well-being of those close to us or own bodies rebelling against our neatly-laid plans, there’s no backburner for pain…at least, not the real stuff.

On that note, I can happily report that regular work with my energy healer/acupuncturist, Jennifer, has transformed my life. There were far too many days this past year when death seemed like a viable solution to neutralize the agonizing torture that migraines inflicted on my body and mind. I was yards past the end of my rope, as anyone who had a conversation with me about the topic can attest.

The residual damage of that kind of extended trauma is still there, but every week I move closer to regaining some sense of security and a slightly tighter grip on the leash of this unpredictable beast. Awareness about how we’re wired and why our brains decide to embark on dark excursions of their own design is like a spotlight in the eyes of Gremlins. They prefer to do their work in the shadows, so it’s up to us to bathe them in light.

I will continue to carry a boulder-laden backpack of uncertainty about my overarching path and purpose, but I am finally starting to take that hike without looking for falling rocks at every turn.

One heavy-booted step at a time.

Okay, 2018…I’m ready to walk.

Adolescence Interrupted 

Stress Reprieve-r

rocks1I’m probably not alone at the start of a new year in feeling like there is a disturbing lack of daily equilibrium, and my colossal list of hopes and aspirations sometimes gets buried beneath the chaos.

We love to hit the ground running, chasing our resolutions with the speed of Hermes, determined to check each box before our energy fades or resolve wanes. We sprint after the better versions of ourselves, committed to fresh perspectives, remodeled work ethics, and the blind attainment of concocted goals.

But, there is a beauty in the balance.

Unless we are faced with tangible deadlines, our stress is our own creation. We berate ourselves for not accomplishing imaginary undertakings and then we let that disappointment fester until obstacles grow to slow our progress. We intentionally watered those seeds to ensure that our momentum would be stalled. Why?

Perhaps there is something innately human about the act of shooting ourselves squarely in the feet. I don’t often see other species carry on like this, so I have to assume the Homo sapien brain is hardwired to erect mountains from molehills and turn cracks into chasms. We need to feel like Rocky clobbering Creed or the monotony of our daily pedestrian activities doesn’t measure up to the daydream fantasy.

I am currently in the middle of some significantly stressful challenges, elevated by my own compulsive need for control in an uncontrollable arena. So I am fighting the battles worth winning and relinquishing the rest. It feels counterintuitive, but I trust there is a bigger picture still waiting to be painted.

I will continue breathing and finding that balance. When that’s less than successful, hurling myself around a tennis court for hours seems to be an adequate alternative.

It’s a New Year…Time to Find New Ways to Spew Ideas Into the Ether.

For all of you who have been eagerly anticipating my entrance into the blogging arena, your wait is finally over. If you’ve grown tired of poetry, song lyrics, book excerpts, or any other variety of Facebook/Twitter musings, this is for those who want the direct dope, shot from the hip, straight from the heart.

I’ve been walking around this planet for a little while, and my gears have been spun by a brain that won’t relax and hips that simply won’t lie. I’ve taken in the world and its many eccentricities, and I’ve kept a little mental log of all I’ve learned.

By no means is this process complete. If anything, it’s intensifying. I’m still awed, inspired, and dumbfounded by what I see. But, this blog will serve as a series of ruminations and  observations from someone who has been built to tackle life as a lone wolf.

I don’t mean to imply I’m a Hughesian recluse, shunning the outside world to live in a room filled with urine jars. But, even in company, there is an inherent sense of self-imposed space.

I doubt I am alone in these feelings, especially as we grow more and more detached, plugged into our social media machines, praying to the gods of attention and acceptance. As we fool ourselves into believing we are connected, we drift further apart. But, maybe a global power outage will have us all gathering around the campfire, telling stories about the good ol’ days of modems and  air conditioning. I would instantly wither and die, but good luck to the rest of you.

Until then, sit back and strap on your ear goggles. It’s 2014, and the singularity is near.

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