Posted in Anxiety, Deep Thoughts, Home, Reflections

A Visit to St. Louis

It’s hard to explain the emotional difficulty of traveling to visit “home” when you haven’t lived there for a number of years. Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love seeing my friends, my family, and all of the people that I love. It’s not them. I’m thrilled to see them, to reminisce about old times, to catch up, tell jokes, and allow hilarity to ensue.

What I don’t love is this unsaid feeling of not belonging anymore. It’s this feeling, always floating there on the surface. You strive to get rid of the feeling, it just muddies up everything else. I equate it to skimming the fat and grease off the top of a delicious dinner that’s just about finished. It’s there, it doesn’t really ruin it, but it does successfully make it imperfect. If you’ve never moved from home, and then later visited, you’ll never understand this feeling. Everything feels different, but exactly the same, simultaneously. It’s like I’m watching a 3D movie in the theater, and enjoying it through the glasses, but I’m also peeking over the top of them and seeing the distorted not-quite-right video play.

I’m proud of my ability to make everywhere that Jim and I have moved feel like “home”. When we moved to Los Angeles, I was terrified. Terrified to leave home, to leave everything that I knew, was familiar with, and to step out into the unknown. I didn’t like change. But I adapted. I grew a lot. I found so much more strength in myself than I ever knew I had.

Later, we moved back to St. Louis, and settled back into our former life. And then when Jim’s medical disaster happened. It was a huge ordeal. It took a lot of emotional resources, a lot of patience, and a lot of energy from me. It changed me, forever. But again, I found so much more strength within me than I realized I had.

When the time came to move to South Dakota, I was ready to embrace change again. It felt good to metaphorically press the “reset” button on our life, again. It felt right to live somewhere where the “old” Brad and Jim had never existed. It’s hard to feel depressed about what happened to us, when our present situation never existed in the pre-medical disaster world. Starting over was hard. And scary. But, also, once more I found another well of strength deep within me.

So that leads up to today. We’ve lived in Rapid City for 3 years now. It feels like home. It is home.

When we visit St. Louis, though, the inevitable question is posed. By everyone. “When are you guys moving back home?” It’s hard to hear over and over again. And, trust me, I know it comes from a place of love. I understand that our friends and family want us there all the time. And I too, wish for that. That’s what makes it so hard to hear. I want it, but I also don’t. I know that we’ve established a life in South Dakota. I have a job I love that really matters, I feel really rewarded by it. My coworkers are amazing. Jim absolutely loves working at CVS – they have been so good to him. We have a small, close-knit group of wonderful friends. We live near so much natural beauty. The Black hills are natural mood enhancers. They existed long before big pharma mass marketed everything under the sun to solve the world’s emotional problems.

What sucks about moving isn’t the actual moving. While that is a challenge, it’s a finite amount of time. What sucks is that you split yourself in half, and then in half again. You establish, and grow in a new area. You find part of yourself that you didn’t know was buried within. It feels like the more easily you adapt, the more you are punished if it’s time to make a change again. I don’t want to move back to St. Louis, and leave the half of my life in South Dakota that I love. I also don’t want to live in South Dakota, and miss the half of my life that is still in St. Louis. It’s incredibly overwhelming, and I can’t please everyone. I’m at an emotional impasse. Jim and I discuss this so much, and we don’t know what to do. I can’t speak for Jim, this is obviously a personal blog, but I think he feels a lot of the same things.

I’m not looking for an answer from anyone, because there is no “right” answer. I just want to explain how overwhelming it is to feel this way.

Posted in Anxiety, Creative Writing, Deep Thoughts, Jim

his eyes

Piercing eyes.
One day they are blue, the next grey.
Always changing, just like him.

A scar on his chest.
It’s his battle wound, a symbol.
He can handle anything. Has, and will continue to.

He’s an explorer.
Always seeking a new adventure.
He soaks up the beauty in everything,
And it shines from within his eyes.

He inspires me.
To push myself out of my comfort zone.
To be free. To do what I love.

When the darkness seeps in,
He is there.
He is always there.

He’s my best friend.
He’s my love.
He’s my everything.

Posted in Anxiety, Creative Writing, Deep Thoughts, Reflections, Spirituality

Who are we, and where will we go?

who are we, and where will we go
is this reality, or our mind’s eye’s show

are we dust & bones, mere atomic energy
or are we something more that science can’t see

are we figments of another’s imagination
some sort of outlet – an emotional creation

are we pre-destined to do great things
even if we’re crippled by the pressure that brings

who am i, why am i, and what do i matter
some days when I think of that, i only feel sadder

can’t help but wonder – do I only exist to you
or is it to you, and you, and all of you, too

if i only exist in your mind, and you in mine
then i will live my days with love; for my friends & for me, that will be fine.

Posted in Anxiety, Creative Writing, Deep Thoughts, Reflections

He Allows Himself to Fall Apart Nightly…

The routine has become so mundane.
The process so common it’s now effortless… meaningless.

If it no longer has meaning – does he?

He allows himself to fall apart nightly, just to feel again.

// First, his fingers break off with such a familiar sound.
It reminds him of fresh popcorn cooking on the stovetop at grandma’s.
The fingers pop one by one like kernels as they break off of his hand.
Next, his arm firmly pops out of the socket with the familiar hollow popping thunk.
His knee unhinges with a squeak and then pries itself from his upper leg.
Finally, his ear un-velcros itself from the side of his head. //

Sudden movement pulls him out of his daydream.
Is that me in the mirror?

He watches himself brush the style from dark shaggy locks.
Is that my hair?

He watches himself remove his contact lenses from piercing dark eyes.
Are those my eyes?

He watches himself in the mirror as hands unbutton his shirt.
Are those my hands?

He removes everything, shyly revealing his vulnerable nakedness to himself.

There is nothing left.
He is nothing more.

Posted in Anxiety, Creative Writing, Deep Thoughts, Reflections, Sleep

he lies awake

he lies awake
reflecting on the day

he lies awake
wondering who he is

he lies awake
examining how he was. was he good? is he?

he lies awake
anticipating tomorrow’s stress as a sense of subtle, quiet doom builds inside

he lies awake
allowing the anxiety to wash over him, replacing all that he is

he lies awake
ceasing to exist

he lies awake
staring at the ceiling as the fan gently weaves a pattern of light and dark

he lies awake
enjoying, somehow, the dance of the shadows

he lies awake
allowing the darkness to call to him. to comfort him

he lies awake
realizing the circular dance of the fan mirrors the dance of the day

he lies awake
understanding the balance, momentarily

he lies awake
accepting that without fear there is no calm

he lies awake
trusting the quiet of the night

he sleeps.