It's been a while since I've blogged. About a year actually. I got (or tried to get) back into writing daily last April with the A to Z blogging challenge, but I only made it through letter I. It wasn't like me to not see that through. Here it is, almost a full year later, and I ask myself: why did you stop? "Things" got tough. You know, life. Life got hard. About as hard as it has been since the day I packed a Penski truck rental full of everything I could fit into it and moved back to Ohio from Illinois. Life: Money. Men. Career. You name it.
I think I stopped writing because I know how my mind works, I know how I think, and I suppose I was afraid that the more I wrote, the more truth would slap me silly. I suppose I thought the more I wrote, the more I would share. The more some might judge. The more some might question who the hell I really am (meaning that I assume the few folks I actually know on this good earth might read my crazy thoughts and find out way more about me than they care to).
So, it's been a year, and life is still... tough. In fact, I don't currently know one person who isn't struggling with something right now. And I by no means compare my situations to anyone else's. That wouldn't be fair. My crap is mine and their crap is their's, yet it all ties us together, doesn't it? Instead of me writing about it all though, because who wants to read about other people's hardships, I just backed off, as I have in almost all aspects of my life. I do what I do best, and because of past pain and past bad relationships, and past deaths of those who I loved dearly, when things get tough, I just shut down. Money not flowing in like I want it to or think it should? Shut down. Career not taking off or solidifying like I hope it will? Shut down. Men not banging down my door telling me I'm the most beautiful creature on the planet? Shut down. Push away the friends you do have. Lock your doors tight and pull the drapes closed. Don't let anyone near or in. And deal with your hardships on your own because you don't want to burden anyone else. Congrats. You do that and you tend to eventually forget who you are, what you are working towards, and you forget that those who matter most keep peeking through those drapes for a reason.
Have we all been there? THAT PLACE? I think we have. It's, again, what ties us all together. When isn't life hard? For anyone? I'm not the poster child for bad decisions made or a bad hand dealt, so why do I shut down? Because it's just easier to deal with it all on my own? For a while that works, and those who know you well, they will accept it for a while, but eventually they will stop calling and... you'll know you bottomed out and you have two choices.
One: you can stay on the bottom and slither your way to the next heated rock that might, just might, give you enough warmth to get through the night, where you when then be left to weather the storms of tomorrow on your own.
Or two: you can cowgirl up and with all the strength you have left in the pit of your stomach, you can TRY to see a small glimmer of light at the end of a very long tunnel that appears to be out of your reach, but is in reality, not so far away.
This all has a point, I promise.
I chose option two. I chose it about four hours ago.
I visited my dad this evening. It was a much needed visit, and it didn't hit me how much it was needed until I drove home. I hadn't been inspired to write for, again, about a year, and something hit me as I was walking our dogs in a field back behind where he lives. This field has some significance for me. One: it's a place my dog, a Jack Russell, enjoys immensely. She was a country dog for about ten years, but then I uprooted her and when we moved back to Ohio, we lived with my father for three months or so, until I could get back on my feet. I used to walk the dogs even then, sometimes twice a day. When we (the dog and I) got back on our own, my dog was forced into a life as a tiny apartment dwelling dog, only getting a whiff of the country air when we'd visit my father. Two: the field was always a place I'd escape to, so to speak. Back in my immediate post divorce days, it was just a nice, quiet place to go. I enjoyed letting the dogs off their leashes and watching them chase rabbits and squirrels. I enjoyed the silence. It was in the field that I'd try to re-plan my life.
So we (the dog and I) visited dad tonight and after a terrific dinner of bbq ribs and homemade potato cakes, along with a few vodka and sevens and Reds preseasons ball, I walked the dogs in the field. We lost an hour in time today, the whole Spring Forward! thing, so at 8 pm, the sun was still out, and it was nice, but deceiving. With the cold air nipping at my ears, the leaves of last fall crunching under my BOC mules, the dogs pulling on their leashes left and right, it dawned on me. This.
When we returned, I made a comment to my father: boy, you can really leave the world behind when you step onto that field, can't you?
Yes, you can, he replied.
They say there's power in prayer. The famous "They." "They" piss me off sometimes because "they" don't know everything, but okay. "They" also say there's power in words. Perhaps the fuel I seek can be found in my own words, the very same words I'm so afraid of.
My father and I, while going through somewhat different situations right now, are really feeling the same emotions. We are both searching, hoping, looking for something, anything, that might give us a sign that things will be better, because remember, I am not the only one having hard times right now. Aren't we all looking for that something? Just when we might want to give up because we have nothing left to give, just when we have nothing left to fight with or for, just when we don't know what way to go, which way to turn, which road to take... the field with the sunlight shines open.
Then it becomes clearer. I am thankful for what I have, not so much what I think it is I am working towards because I don't have it yet, but for what I do have at this very moment.
And after the field, there's pineapple upside down cake.