Both Chloe and Haley (my daughters) graduated this week, from 5th grade and 8th grade. Another amazing milestone! Those were rough mornings. Graduation mornings… (they call it “promotion” here). I no longer have a car. I was involved in a collision. So I’ve been skateboarding, or walking, or getting rides from friends & family, or taking Ubers everywhere.
It’s a humbling experience honestly. It feels like your freedom has been taken away a little bit. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not comparing it to being incarcerated, because I have some experience with that as well and it’s an entirely different experience. But I hate having to ask people for rides. And most of the time, I’m not even asking. A lot of people offer, when they hear I don’t have a car anymore. I am so grateful to have such amazing friends and family, that go out of their way to get me places. I am so indebted to every single soul I’ve been in contact with lately. Everyone’s been so amazing. They always have. Maybe I’m just now noticing.
A friend of mine said that it’s easy to want to be on my team (or something along those lines). The more I think about it, the more I am realizing that I’ve had people bending over backwards to help me my entire life. And that’s a humbling realization… Because here I’ve been thinking that I’ve done so much on my own, but that’s never really been true, has it…
Back to the rough mornings
So Chloe graduated on Wednesday from Fifth grade. I’m super proud of both my girls, because these last two years have been fucking hell honestly. For so many reasons… but I’m primarily referring to Covid and everything shutting down for so long. I mean, they’re still wearing masks in school…
Anyhow, I don’t have a car, so they’ve been walking to school. We live a mile and half away from school, but there’s lots of hills. Chloe walked to school that morning, in her dress. Haley reminded me to get balloons or something before showing up, so after they both left, I got on Chloe’s e-bike (which I don’t fit on well), and ride to the grocery store nearby. I buy the balloons, and get on the e-bike, not realizing how dangerous and annoying it’s going to be, riding an e-bike with balloons whipping into your face, on a bike you’re too big for. But I survived and arrive at Chloe’s school, and got to experience this proud moment. They didn’t have it easy with the remote learning. I don’t see how anyone benefited from that experience.
The next morning was Haley’s graduation, and she made me get an Uber to take her to school but graduation wasn’t starting for a couple hours, so I had to have the Uber take me back home. So I was bringing flowers for Haley (I wasn’t going to try the balloon ride again) but flowers aren’t any easier so I had to carefully place them in my messenger bag and ride the (too small for me) e-bike to Haley’s school. I don’t recommend riding bikes holding things in your hand.
I’ve said this before, but this definitely applies here… “I feel like a smart toddler in the morning, and a dumb teenager by night”. This was one of those dumb teenager moments 😉
What I’ve been up to lately…
I’m not sure if I’m just more depressed lately (which would be understandable), but I write so much about my past, and the things that come up more often are usually the crazier times, or maybe it’s because I think it’s more interesting to read about…
So I was going to try and share what my life has been like more recently, but honestly, I don’t know if I ever left my “crazy” in my past. I can truthfully and whole-heartedly say that I live 5000% healthier than I ever have before (since I became a teenager anyhow). But I never set the bar very high on that one. In fact, I think I should be in the Guinness Book of World Records for the exact opposite (being so unhealthy but have survived this long). But to say that my friends no longer consider me crazy, would be a lie (I think).
This was another humbling realization. Because since I started implementing more positive behavior patterns for myself and my family, I don’t feel like I’ve done too many crazy things. Everything seems fairly calculated in my head. Perhaps still risky, but calculated risks. There are a few exceptions obviously, and they were some doozies…
But that’s the other thing I’ve been worrying about. I feel like I’m at a tipping point. A very important one in my life, for my life, and the lives of my loved ones, my family, my daughters, but also my friends. Making a lot of positive changes in my life have also affected everyone else’s as well. So I imagine making some negative changes in my life could have a similar, if not worse, reaction.
It feels the like the lessons I’m learning aren’t going to get any easier. And I believe that we need these “lessons” or various experiences to get us to change our paths. It’s in our nature. Worthwhile change generally needs a catalyst of some kind. Like the universe is watching you go forward but it needs you to veer to the right a bit, so it’ll prick you on your left side, so you will change course and goto the right. That prick can be anything. It could be a sign it’s showing you, or it could be giving you intuition to make this decision or that, or it could be a friend giving you advice that you actually hear, or it could be something very difficult, something painful, but this suffering can be transcending.
It feels like the universe has pricked me so much, and I’m just so stubborn, unwilling to believe that I can learn from the curriculum that’s being put in front of me, that’s being screamed into my ears, that’s punching me in my gut till I puke, telling me to stop this, or do that, or just to wake the fuck up. And yes, I know that was a run-on sentence, but I’m not done.
It’s tried to show me so many times, in so many ways, that it’s no longer going to gently guide me anymore. It just doesn’t work with me I guess? So that’s why it’s worrisome. Because if I need some “correction”, it’s not going to gently push me in one direction. It’s going to slap me on the side of my head so hard, it knocks me down.
And that’s what it did recently. The universe is done messing around. How many more chances can someone be given? I’m pretty sure I should be in the books for that one too.
The other thing that has been frustrating me is that it’s so absurd, so selfish, so ungrateful to not live better (for me and my loved ones), after all the chances that I’ve been given, and that puts a lot of pressure on every decision I make. And maybe that’s by design, but it doesn’t make it any easier. I feel like there’s a magnifying glass on every little thing I do. Or worse, I feel the worry that is because of my past, and present, and future. And when others are worried about me, but I’m not, then I have to reconsider what I’m doing, or I wonder why I don’t think the same way. Is there something wrong with me? Why didn’t I see that?
On a more positive note…
It still blows my mind that I actually think about what I eat and drink, before I order or take that first bite or whatever. I think about my health, my weight, the fact that I can’t digest meat very well anymore, or dairy, to just name a few. I never used to weigh out the pros and cons of a decision before deciding it. I just never cared. I ate whatever I wanted, and dealt with the consequences later. Which has been my attitude for just about anything and everything… But not anymore.
Now, I think about what I’m doing. But like I said before, it doesn’t mean I still don’t make crazy choices. I just have more of a purpose behind them I suppose. It may not be understandable by everyone that doesn’t have the same values or vision as I do, but that’s okay though. Part of it is because I have really been trying to grow and change, and I’ve been trying to stop doing the status quo, or at least (no pun intended) the bare minimum………..
So I’ve been doing what’s uncomfortable, what I normally would avoid, what I wouldn’t normally waste my time with. That means things like volunteering to go first, diving into the unknown, talking to strangers, talking to people I never would’ve given the time of day to, because I thought I was superior or inferior to. Thank god, I no longer believe anything like that.
We’re all the same star dust right?!
A little while ago, my friend asked if I would want to play basketball with him, possibly in a league or whatever. If he asked me a year or two ago, I would’ve never joined anything, league or not. But I said yes, enthusiastically. Yesterday, we went to play basketball, and he asked me when the last time I played basketball was. I had to think about it for a bit, but I came up with 8th grade. 8th grade was probably the last time I played basketball. And he was shocked. He said, “But you told me you wanted to join a league? Just like that? Even when you haven’t played in 30 years? lol”. I said, yes, of course, why not?
Going to Florida for camping, was another one of those things. Doing yoga, talking to people sitting next to me at a bar, talking to anyone at all really… Seeing a therapist (again)… Quitting the only security blanket I’ve ever had my entire life (drugs, etc). Quitting social media so my daughters wouldn’t use it… Going to the skatepark when there’s other skaters there… Going for walks… Making new friends every where I go… Quitting caffeine.. Learning the guitar… Learning how to cook… Always trying to get the girls outside. Having female (platonic) friends…
But it’s a work in progress right? I still do crazy things too. But some things I feel I just know are okay. Other things, I think if I could just explain it better, more completely, from (obviously) another perspective, that maybe you could accept me and my decisions, no matter how crazy they may seem… I feel like I’m, almost by default, taken out of context, because there’s not much context that would make sense of any of it. And I feel like there’s a huge risk that whatever I’m doing or thinking, is in fact, insane. If you were insane, would you really want to know that you were?
I’ve taken the risk of trying to explain my side of it, in many forms, and with a few people. It almost always works out positively. And that doesn’t mean I get what I want. At this point, there is no want. There just is. It means I get understanding, and compassion, and acceptance… Almost always. So there it is… That’s why I’m posting this I guess.. I definitely went on a tangent I wasn’t prepared to go to.
Then Call Me Home
What I’ve been doing lately is waking up around sunrise… I do, pretty much everyday, regardless of what time I goto sleep. Then I turn on Youtube on my TV, praying for a new Russel Brand video (he usually posts it around the time I wake up but not always). If he doesn’t have a new one uploaded, I then usually end up watching a Ram Dass video, or some Gaia TV show, or Joe Rogan podcast, and my daughters are usually getting up by this time, to get ready for school. Then I water my plants, drink my cacao drink, and if it’s a yoga day, I’ll take a shower and goto yoga. Otherwise I’m going to the (Del Mar) beach, to the Americana on 15th St. and get huevos rancheros (usually). I read a book there, then goto the beach, take my sandals off, put my headphones in and and walk in the ocean water, going down almost to Torrey Pines State Beach, and then back up to 15th street, and then go back home.
The rest of my day generally consists of me either cleaning some part of my house, or doing laundry, or whatnot… Or I’m skateboarding… Or I’m writing (I’ve started a book, and I write this blog, and I’m helping my yoga instructor with some writing, and am thinking about writing some articles here and there).
And sometimes I’m just chilling at my house with friends….