Wednesday, August 19, 2020
I prepared for a few days after worrying for a week or so wether I should go on this trip at all...was concerned about covid, people's reactions to me traveling, how safe it was out there, etc...but I knew I would not be able to keep myself from blazing across the country to Oregon once I gave myself the go ahead...I needed to be with these sweet mountain people who loved me dearly...
I got up at 6:00am on July 29th and drove to Amarillo and spent the night...drove out to the Cadillac Ranch and took some photos...the next day was a long drive to Flagstaff and after checking into my hotel did a quick jaunt down town to walk around...wasn't much going on so pretty much stayed in hotel room and ate noodle bowls I brought with me...knew I'd be getting up early and the next day's drive to Atascadero was super long and stressful, but I had a friend there that I've know for over 20 years and it was so great to see her and have a nice meal outdoors on a cool patio with her and her husband. I decided to stay an extra day there and not drive...so we had a super fun day driving around the central coast and visiting all the little towns. And I stayed in this lovely downtown boutique hotel and just loved every minute of being away from Austin. The next day I drove to Rocklin (outside Sacramento) and stayed with my friend Steve and had a wonderful day where I felt just so taken care of and such a warm sensation of being with someone that I've known and loved for a really long time (I always tell people he was my best boyfriend ever). Steve has a big heart and presence and takes care of those around him well. I hung out at his wonderful comfortable home with his dog and sweet 4 year old son Jasper. At first I thought I wouldn't be able to handle staying at someone's house, especially on a couch in the living room, but as soon as that warm family glow spread all over me I knew I would stay at Steve's. I slept like a baby and awoke to his sweet doggie sleeping with me and drove to Bend, OR to break up the drive. I could have driven straight to Welches but didn't want to arrive at my hosts house too early and had heard great things about Bend. It was a mistake to stay there - Bend is a shithole and my cheap hotel's wifi went out around 7:00pm and I had kind of a meltdown which turned into a grieving session that lasted in me bawling for hours. At first it was just frustration about not having internet and really being sucked into Hell on Wheels again, but then I was forced to confront those juicy old deeply crusted over wounds/desires that seem to only emerge with a 5 day 80mph road trip. It's happened to me on every road trip: I spend most the day in euphoria/raptor like focus on the road...followed by a gradual falling apart and vulnerable period where I feel sad and weepy. All ancient grievances are re-hashed, and only when I park and get into the hotel am I relieved and hunker down for deep sleep. What happened in Bend was some familiar stuff I've been dealing with for a few years with therapists in Austin; also a love jones that had me spinning in Austin and took 5000 miles to forget about. But then something very familiar happens at the end when I think all of my unhappiness is a particular person's fault: I unconsciously open my computer and look at the McMurdo webcams and go into a zone of what it is I am really grieving - missing the place that gave me everything...gave my life 24/7 badass meaning and purpose and joy every day. Before McMurdo I dated big tattooed guys/bikers to feel badass...then I got to become that badass I tried to get on the outside...she lived in me and just needed a place to manifest...this is hard, this time of year as people start to deploy, as I see pics of people in Christchurch getting ready for that C-17 ride to the Ice runway...something I got to do 7 times (1 time was by boat)...a situation that still rips my heart out every time I think about it because I miss it so much. I have a job now that almost gives me that much satisfaction, but it barely rates in comparison. It's a familiar patten when I start to feel sad: let the feelings overtake and dive deep into grieving, cry long enough to realize I miss my home. I still apply every year for positions, but have fallen out of the loop and much younger people deploy...and I keep trying to make my life here feel like the one I had there...and I have a very good life here, but it is hard for me to accept that the best is behind me...I can't even imagine there could be something that could be that fulfilling to my being, but maybe I should start trying to believe that there is.
But wait, I was writing about my road trip, which was one of the best trips I have every taken...so I get to Welches at about 10:00am and my host is playing golf and his wife is gardening. I have a lovely little room in their beautiful home on the river. I am euphoric driving over to the RV park I lived in and just traveling that familiar little road in the beautiful forest...I was so unhappy there most of the time but I love going back...what I didn't realize when I moved there was that I would form this community of people that I love - that I feel so close to - that can't wait to see me and welcome me like a beloved relative. I spent 10 days at my host's home and it was delightful...I saw so many friends and went to Portland and then when I left I had another exciting road trip with some wonderful discoveries: Helper Utah and Canon City, CO...two fantastic little towns that need to be visited again. The joy of the trip has evaporated with some realities of being back in Austin. I am happy to be in my apartment and be free for a few weeks, and then back to work for this insane presidential election.
I was so happy for the 3 weeks I did this trip. It could not have been better...next time I just need to make it longer...I had been planning to do this ever since I got the gently used Lexus as a gift. She performed beautifully. I had a mission, a goal, a destination, and all of it was wonderful...I just feel so loved by that mountain. I just can't live there full time.
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
It's fall of 1984 and I'm living in a basement apartment in Rego Park Queens. I found it by looking in a newspaper, finding an agent and giving my parameter of $500/month rent max. I still remember this unusual guy and he said "I have a PALACE for you..it's an enormous PALACE! He drove me to this kind of ugly 3 story newish building in the heart of Archie Bunker style Queens houses. He took me to the basement, and it was indeed, enormous - enormous and fully furnished with a vintage 50's stereo cabinet. There was a little window over the bed that let in light from the backyard and he sold me on the value per square foot. Also it was close enough to a subway stop to get me to my job at 61st/Madison so I signed a years lease. Without going in the stürm and drang of my first few months in the city, here's the cliff notes: I moved to NYC upon graduation from UT in late summer of 1983. I stayed on the Upper East Side with G for a few months and decided I needed to live on my own. I had mailed out tons of resumes to film companies and got a few letters back, and some calls (pre cell phone and internet days kiddies!). I ended up getting a job with a high end watch wholesaler who had been handed my resume because it said I spoke French, and the company was based in Paris. My boss was a chain smoking, smolderingly handsome Portuguese man named Carlos. This was my first non fast food, first big girl job, AND it was in NYC and I was excited/nervous. I wanted to be perfect and was terrified of authority and of making mistakes. A condition that would haunt my work life for many years.
For six months I went to work 9-5 every day in stomach clinching fear, mostly hungover, and not knowing how to do my job very well (and not knowing that I needed help or how to ask for it). I had only an electric typewriter, and my boss would yell at me constantly and was always on the phone schmoozing to people in French or Portuguese, wrapped in a cloud of cigarette smoke. He was trying to get his watches in all the high end retailers in the city and I was writing the letters to the head buyers. He said they looked like crap and made me redo them. I sensed that he liked me and was trying to have a jokey and fun time with me but I couldn't go there. I was a highly boundaried (not in a good way) employee who felt I was so below a boss, and deathly afraid of making mistakes. I can't even really remember why I was so scared but I think I had to do a lot of accounting stuff with an adding machine (10 key by touch!)...and I am not confident with my math abilities so when I didn't know what to do instead of asking a question I would just get scared and hide what I had done. Carlos would eventually find a mistake and blow up at a me. After he blew up he'd be over it and ready to joke and laugh...whereas I would be completely traumatized and would not be able to recover until I plunged into the Irish bar across the street from my office every evening. (The antics at this bar I could write a book about - I had to stop going because of how much trouble I got in).
It was unfortunate that it took a very long time (my last boss I was terrified of was from 2000-2003), but I no longer cower with bosses. I have several male bosses now and I get up in their faces and bare fangs if they overstep. I say NO a lot. And it works. They respect me. O the suffering I could have avoided if I'd learned this lesson as a wee one. Punch back at the bully. But to continue...
I hated going to the office and just got sicker and sicker fantasizing on how I could escape or quit. It never occurred to me that I could just quit - I was so obedient and conditioned to focus on a powerful and scary person's needs and to squash my own that that was how I was at work. Outside of work I had boyfriends, lovers, friends come stay with me from out of town, wild debauched early 80's new yorky stuff (white) all around me and had what I thought was fun at the time, but looking back I think I was pretty lost and just didn't know it because I was so busy feeling like a trapped animal by day and going wild at night. I recently told a friend who knew me at this time (he was in grad school at NYU) what I was doing on my weekends and his mouth was hanging open in shock. He got serious about his studies after we hung out my first few months and I was off onto the dark after hours underbelly at night.
I am finally getting to point of this long (yet endlessly interesting to me) and rambling post: one Sunday about six or seven months into this job I decided I was going to call in sick on Monday. I had never called in sick to work (and now, 36 years later, can count on the fingers of one hand how many times I have called in sick, and most of those times I was not actually "sick"). Something in me just said fuck it I need a break from this relentless cycle of hell of this confusing job world. I was nervous all day planning how I was going to do it and what I was going to say, and early Monday morning I left a message on the office answering machine that I was feeling ill and wouldn't be in. Then I unplugged my phone.
I had noticed one of those old art deco single screen movie theaters in my neighborhood and that was where I was going to spend my day. I decided I would go to the afternoon feature no matter what the film was. I was a terrible film snob at the time and did not see current Hollywood fare but told myself I was gonna go no matter what was showing. I walked to the theater and bought a ticket for "Footloose". I remember how cheesy and goofy the film was and how silly the music but I didn't care. I had decided I gave no fucks for Carlos and his stupid watches and this Monday was my own and he didn't own me. I wish I could remember more about the day but what I do remember is going back to my basement apt. and seeing the red light on my answering machine blinking a bunch. I had about 14-30 messages from Carlos. He had been compulsively calling me all day, utterly dependent on me and my cheap labor (I had looked at the file of applicants when I applied for the job and they had all asked for twice to three times as much money as I had). His calls were ridiculous and creepy...acting like he wanted me to call and talk about what I was doing (so weird to me), but he was scared I wasn't coming back. He needed me. And I had flipped him off by being not contactable.
I did not call back, and don't remember exactly what happened when I went back but shortly thereafter I got the euphoric news that the company was being sued and they were high tailing it to LA in 6 weeks. I had an out! Carlos begged me to move to LA and offered to buy me a car and partly subsidize an apt. I said no, but that I would go out to set up the office for two weeks. It was a hideous/hilarious two weeks of me staying with some friend of his (and her kids) in Beverly Hills, walking to work dressed in all black, having to hide in the home as there was some ex driving by threatening to shoot everyone in the house. I hated LA and knew that I would. My last day of working for Carlos ended with me treating my hostess to dinner, and while at this fancy restaurant she was telling me a story about a recent date she'd had (I had just drained a giant smoothie from a glass-this is important), she was describing his physical appearance saying he had a "lump" and I said where was the lump? And she said no, what is the word for it (English was not her first language) and she stood up and pantomimed a person with a bum leg. And I said do you mean a "limp?" And she said YES, A "LIMP!" We started laughing so hard that I started gagging...I still had smoothie in my throat when I started laughing and the gagging turned into I was going to throw up...she looked at me in alarm and held the empty smoothie glass under my mouth for me to hurl into. I filled up the glass to the brim. Goodbye LA! Never heard from Carlos again.
Yesterday when I was thinking about this memory before my writing class I started googling stuff in Rego Park, and I think I found the little theater I went to. Just like before I moved where I am right now, I have getting very very sentimental about a place I have lived before...looking at the house I lived in on google maps and seeing my subway stop. I don't know why this memory is so compelling to me but this is the 3rd time I have written it out in several weeks...it feels like time again to jettison the cobwebbed Austin life of the known and move across country again. And why not? I never lose anything when I do this -. I just seem to gain, and I must be wired so differently than most people as they say they cannot imagine "uprooting" and moving somewhere and leaving all their friends. This is my soul's magic place...gleefulling getting rid of my stuff, packing my car and moving across county. If I have ONE friend there I am good - I will start forming a tribe or life pretty quickly...the clan I left behind in Oregon are some of the dearest people to me on earth. Six years in Oregon - only fond memories (though my diaries from that time show a screeching internal hellscape).
As a solo movie goer for my entire adult life, and as a daughter of a mother weaned and raised by solo theater outings (she has told me she went to the movies every day after school) it was (and still is) a solo act that has seems to have a high feminist and self care component - it's an act of courage for people who say they could never go by themself, and in these times especially, a few hours that one is utterly unavailable.
Some other things that happened at that first NYC job: I was sent on missions to interesting places all over the city for various errands. I slinked around inside what felt like the walls of Grand Central Station to find this ancient darling man in an ancient dusty office repairing and tinkering with old timepieces. I was sent to Hell's Kitchen (early 80's, scary) with a suede briefcase filled with expensive watches handcuffed to my wrist up a rickety walk up next to an abandoned building to meet "some guy" who wanted to buy "some watches." I was sent to luxurious high rise offices with views of the city that made me swoon. Carlos' famous finance (main model on the Price is Right!) came to the office and Carlos called to tell me to hide his condoms and cigarettes in his desk. Janice glided in and threw her mink into my arms. These are the things that stick with me...it was all good - the horrible and the beautiful. I almost miss being that naive and young and being so besotted with a place that I would put up with anything to be there.
Thursday, November 07, 2019
This is kind of a goofy picture of my face but I couldn't really see the screen very well on my phone as it was leaning on a tire outside my improv studio. I get excited about Halloween and cold weather and autumn (and going to NYC next week!) that I decided to get dressed and do my annual birthday photo. I'm fatter this year, but don't really care, as why the hell should I? I went to my 40 year high school reunion and saw my demographic: I look pretty good for the mileage.
I got gut punched pretty hard seeing people deploying to McMurdo but sucked it up. My cabin has sold, I have exciting travel on the horizon (though I've been everywhere I want to go so am revisiting some favorites), have loads of work and some super fun creative outlets. I want a dog so bad it hurts - but the intoxicating freedom I am experiencing not having one overrides that desire.
I feel kind of self conscious writing this as I know someone is actually reading it now...when I go back and read some of these postings I cannot believe I wrote them as I don't remember writing them and they seem better written than I remember. I have been going to this writing class at a Zen Center that is in a part of Austin that I lived in while in college and I can feel the ghosts of that time when I walk around this area. I am having such a nostalgic trip here in Austin and it has been 3 years now that I've been back. The writing we do is prompt style, where we go in cold, get a prompt, and write for 30 minutes, then sit in a circle and read it to each other. I write so fast and furiously that I can barely get everything out that I want to say...then there is a lull around the 20 minute time...then a burst of blissful coming together of the piece. The best part is when we get to read aloud. It's exactly the same stuff I write on here but I am reading it to strangers. Something happens when I read this stuff to people who don't know me (and one person there knows me fairly well)...I notice that what I've written takes on a life of it's own and changes as my voice rounds out the words...sometimes I edit as I'm reading, and my voice gets much more powerful (and doesn't quite sound like "mine" anymore) as I get to the end. When I'm done reading I feel like I've climbed a mountain...and I see the faces of my peers and everything is different. What I have written has changed in the reading of it, and more importantly, in the landing of it upon the ears of the others. I can see, or rather sense in a rather strong way that what I have written has had an effect; it has had impact. And the impact seems more ephemeral or dare I say, "spiritual" than some sort of concrete impact. I'm not explaining it well, but when I start to read what I've written aloud I feel some sort of cosmic shift in some sort of internal/collective universe. The meaning, the loadedness, the shock value, the trauma and tragedy of what I've written recedes into the background and there is a stillness that I guess can only be said to be the present moment. What I've written is no longer me or mine, or necessarily a true document of a past event, but more like a smoke signal sent up into the air to intermingle with the millions of other words people are writing down everyday...I feel a peacefulness and relief that I am not unique and my stories are not hard facts...they are just a part of the big cosmic swirl.
I just finished driving a giant cargo van for 3 weeks during early voting and Election day, and am now pulling out the sites. I went through a major meltdown about having to drive the van in Austin traffic but I did it and felt a huge surge of pride each day that I parked at the county and successfully rocked my shift and unloaded my van. I spend a lot of time doing very unusual and unique things in this job - like going into tons of elementary and middle schools and churches all over the county and smelling the smells of an old school and feeling a warmth for the young children. Today I barged into a church and people were huddled together fretfully praying and in another room people were making lunches for meals on wheels and me and my co-worker were strapping down tables onto a giant metal box and making a lot of noise. Knowing that this job will have lots of work for 2020 would be the main reason that I would stay in Austin another year...this job is almost over for a couple of months, the weather is gorgeous (40's and rainy), my improv class is really fun, and recently a man told me with the utmost sincerity that I was an "incredibly beautiful woman." I immediately made a face like "gross no I'm not" and then caught myself and really let myself take it in that it might be true. I was feeling close to him and then I pushed him away. I feel the lyrics of the song "Desperado" imprinting on my soul and my heart seems to be incased in a block of ice : you better let somebody love you before it's too late. I used to so easily be able to melt into the arms of another person, and now it feels like something I need to go to college to learn how to do again (and is it even possible for me to do again, and more important: is it something I actually even want to do again.) I've been single so long that I've gotten really good at it...like I could teach a masterclass in it. What would it be called...How to Date Yourself...How to Do Everything Yourself...How to Travel the World by Yourself and not feel utterly awkward at tables full of couples...blah blah blah.. the list goes on...onward!
Saturday, July 20, 2019
Saturday, January 12, 2019
|just got to town!|
|on top of my hotel - love the Pod!|
|walking across Manhattan bridge with Kat00n!|
Just got back from 5 days in NYC and my legs still want to walk non-stop every minute of the day except for about an hour of sitting for meals. It's not just that I love the city and the energy and the bolt of joy I feel every morning when I exit my hotel in the uber excitement of mid-town, it's that something happens there that is beyond and bigger than just joy or happiness or excitement. My reptilian brain, my deep limbic system that attaches me to the collective unconscious feels electrified and online...like a broken refrigerator that gets a shiny new plug and then is plugged into the wall and hums and glows and all is right with that refrigerator. It's not doing anything special or doing a dance or trying to stand out from all the other refrigerators...it just comes alive and starts functioning perfectly. That is what is going on underneath my excitement and joy and happiness when I am there. And I'm not really doing a whole lot of different stuff when I'm in the city...I'm basically just walking. Walking and walking and walking. Averaging about 10 miles a day. I usually don't do any sort of New Yorky stuff (except this time I did go to two broadway plays) because all I want to do is walk around. I do midtown for the first day...then I take the train down to NYU area and walk that part, and this time I went to my friend's house in Clinton Hill in Brooklyn and we waked from there to Chinatown over the Manhattan bridge (where I got that beautiful bottom photo). I've said this many times since I've been staying in a hotel in the city the last few years: "I have to move back here." And I will. Probably not this year as I just signed a lease, but I will start planning for it during the year, and hopefully my cabin in Oregon will sell this summer and I can forget about that. A part of me thinks it's crazy to move to NY in the same year I turn 60, but I seem to still have that restless spirit that gets bored living in the same place too long. I have been in Austin two years and it has been good to me. I have a pretty good social life, have worked almost the whole time I've been here, and belong to a lively film society so life is good...I just feel like I need to give NY another shot and live there when I'm mature and sober. The one thing I know that I have proved to myself for 40 years is that I can always come back to Austin.
As soon as I got back from NY I did two days of serious adulting. I went to my investment guy and we did a big plan to convert all my funds into a safer, more annuity type product planning for my full retirement at age 65 (only 7 years away!). I have been investing for almost 20 years, have my UT pension that will kick in when I retire, and hopefully a tiny little social security check (which kind of burns me how small it is after working 42 years in a row). So I left his office feeling very clear and clean about my financial life, and loving the fact that I can still work as much or as little as I want and take time off to do trips as well.
The second adulting thing I did was go visit a doctor with my new ACA health insurance. When I worked at UT I had health insurance and used it maybe once a year for my lady parts check up. When I started going to the Ice I had to have a comprehensive physical every year that was paid for so I felt really taken care of then. I have never gone to a doctor at any other time except for birth control reasons (I've always paid for my therapists and bodyworkers out of pocket) so health insurance is not something I really ever thought about. Now that I'm older I was getting concerned about having catastrophic insurance. I could always go to the cheap clinic here and just pay cash if I really needed to, but I wanted some sort of security in case of a major medical expense. I have such a negative attitude about health care in this country that I just decided I'd ignore it until I went on Medicare, but then this free organization here in Austin that helps people get on ACA insurance helped me get a really cheap plan. I was thrilled to be paying a low monthly fee that what seemed like a really good plan. I thought it would be super lame but called a phone number and got an appt. the next day with a gyno and after one hour had done all my bloodwork, had my full lady parts exam, had my IUD yanked (that had been floating around up there for 20 years) and have 5 more appts. for all that stuff one is suppose do now that I'm old. And I LOVED my doctor. She was awesome and sweet and I felt so taken care of. Now I felt like I was on an assembly line as the doctors and nurses were talking so fast and the doc was typing into a screen the whole time she was talking to me and hadn't really looked at me. She asked "are you periods nice and regular with good flow" and I realized she had not even looked at the form I filled out that had my age on it and I said "lady, I haven't had one of those in 8 years" and she paused and looked around the screen, and saw how old I was. I guess I could be flattered that she thought I looked younger. But all in all it was a great experience and I can't wait to go back to all my other appts.
In the midst of all this order a bit of chaos happened. I am still feeling conflicted and angry/hurt/sad about it but have already starting to see that it is really no big deal in the grand scheme of things. I called UT, where I have been temping for two years, to get in the pool to get another assignment. My temp contact who knows me pretty well called me and told me I'd been terminated from UT. After two years and many assignments with glowing reviews I had one dud review from the last assignment and I was fired permanently for being "uncooperative" and "not giving notice". I went into full injustice warrior mode and made phone calls and dashed off e-mails and researched who to write for grievance stuff and called a lot of people and then found myself driving to the store to buy a deep red lipstick and went to a fantastic movie and and hung out with a good friend at the film society and people watched. His notion is why the hell would I want to work at this chump-y place when I don't have to! I told him that I had had associations with UT for 40 years now (entering as a college student in 1979) and that the University was part of my DNA (my father was a student there as I was coming down the birth canal), and that is just seemed so unfair to fire me to be canned after one bad review. I could understand if this was my first assignment but I have had so many "excellent" reviews and many of my supervisors call the temp office asking for me specifically because I am such a superstar worker. It seems to me that my whole temp performance could be weighed in with this awful, terrible, suckola job that I hated so much that I left giving one day notice. It was a temp job so I thought that was not so terrible a way to exit. I feel I'm being punished as if I did something truly terrible (stealing, inappropriate behavior.) Anyway, I've spent almost 72 hours throwing a lot of energy into this and I'm done. I'm ready to move into a bigger and better space around work, life, moving to NYC, world travel, and laughing and having fun for the next 30 years.
I don't take for granted for one moment how lucky I am to be able to live the life I have right now. It is magnificent. I am truly, truly grateful.
Sunday, December 09, 2018
Here we are at the end of another year which seemed to fly by in the blink of an eye. I usually don't read my previous posts because I dash them off and feel they are not well written - but I just went back and read my last one and I was surprised at how good it seemed! I know I have at least one reader who reads this blog to see how I'm doing in my life and I am here to report that things are going really really well! I am euphorically happy once it gets cold out and it has been nice and chilly here lately. I have a really fun job working with elections where I'm really busy and getting lots of socializing in with lots of young people as we drive around in vans all day visiting polling sites and troubleshooting issues they may have. It has been truly rewarding and I have been shown that it is possible to have a rewarding job outside of the Ice. The bottom picture is of me and some girlfriends at a Thanksgiving feast that I've been going to off and on for over 25 years here in Austin. It was a joyous day with hanging out with old friends and feasting on massive amounts of foods. Then I went to my old friend Ellen's sister's house and had fellowship with her family and in the evening went over to my high school friend's house and had a nice meal with him and his husband, followed by riding around on those little crazy scooters. The top photo is one I took of downtown Austin. Our downtown is now a glittering metropolis of high rises, and with 200 people a day still moving here the non-stop high rise and luxury apt building continues at a furied pace.
I spent about a week fretting about whether to renew my apt lease for another year or not. In the end I decided to do it as it felt like the most comfortable option. I still haven't sold my cabin in Oregon so that weighs heavily on me as it's costing me $600/month to sit empty. It will sell eventually, but probably not until springtime as the winter is a slow time on Mt. Hood. I do miss it sometimes, but I have so much more of a life here and unlimited activities per day of fun and enriching stuff to do. I knit and watch movies a lot while not at work, and go out to eat with friends a lot. I have a short trip planned to NYC in January so am thrilled about that. No big trips planned for next year, but I'm sure some stuff will come up as I will need to escape the heat of summer.
Probably the most exciting news is non-news and probably not too interesting to anyone but me, but it is around a topic that has the power to affect my whole psychological being; a subject that inspired the creation of this blog, and the thing, the place, the continent that is the love of my life. I seemed to have gotten to a place where I have accepted that I may or may not go back to the Ice and I am okay with for now not being there. This is huge, because I have been upset about it pretty much every season that I haven't deployed and I want to be bigger than that. I made a decision that I am not going to focus on where I am not but to really mine this place where I am for all of it's goodies. I have two amazing therapists/bodyworkers who I see who work mainly on the central nervous system and trauma, and the work I have done with them has made me so comfortable in my body and my skin, and happier with my life as it is unfolding day to day. For the first time in eights years (since I stopped going to the Ice for Fergus) I seemed to have let go of this big story I created that I cannot be happy if I am not on the Ice. Now for a while that was true. And I continued to go as long as I could until I made the choice of dog over Ice. And for four years I cried every fall (most of the rest of the year as well) that I didn't go and then I went in the fifth year and now I have missed three more deployments but have matured my relationship with myself enough that I don't let myself go down the rathole of pining and FOMO and that my joy is down there and I have to suffer here. I changed the story, and my nervous system went online with the new story - and the new story is I love and miss the Ice with all my heart and soul. I diligently apply for jobs every year and if I don't get a job I allow myself to feel the disappointment and then I immediately turn my thoughts to the life I am currently living and dive into all the good stuff about that. I have to mentally do gratitude lists and I write about all the good things in my paper diary (even though I rarely post here I do write for an hour or two almost every day in an old school diary). The whole process was sort of like a psychological and spiritual exercise on acceptance and letting go - two things which are not easy for me at all, as I feel that everything I've gotten in my life is through dogged determination and a rabid single-minded focus on the goal. I am glad that I have this part of my personality but around the Ice I've had to let it go and I may use it to pursue other goals. The two years I have spent in Austin have helped me fine tune and mature some aspects of my personality...it's happened through a lot of hard work on my part.
Thankfully, I love hard work.
I thought "dog over ice" sounded cool as I saw I had written it above so went ahead and stuck in into the title. I have been thinking about getting another dog lately. I spend a lot of time alone and don't date and don't get any physical touch in my life. A dog supplies a lot of love and oxytocin. But when I think back ( and read back) and how terribly upset I was during the four years I chose to stay with Fergus and not deploy, I'm still not sure it was the right choice. Sure I loved that little guy to death and was very happy to be there with him when his little heart stopped beating, but the tradeoff seemed too high at times (this sounds like literally word for world something I have written here before). Yes I could have given him to a any of the several people who offered to care for him during that period, but I felt committed to sticking it out with him. I never want to be in that position again, so I will wait until I am sure the Ice is a part of my past...but if there is any possibility that I could go back, I would drop everything today and go. I would drop everything and go.
So excited to go out and spend all day running around Austin on this 45F degree day to do fun things!