Rainy-Day Dimestore Philosophy or Something

These are the kinds of weekends one has to grow accustomed to when one lives in a rainforest. Ah, Vancouver. The world outside my windows is being soaked to the core by an omnipresent drizzle. There’s no definition in the skies overhead — it’s just a world of soft grey from the clouds on down.

It’s the first weekend where I’ve really noticed the odd red maple leaf soaked to the sidewalk. The autumn is upon us.

I’m keeping to myself after getting to sleep around 4am last night. Caught a gig, was good, got in late and did some me-time. Woke up at 10, looked around, figured I was still tired and nothing was pressing, so I went back to sleep and slept till 1 for the first time in a year or so. Sweet. :)

Going out last night kind of came at an awkward time. When my friend arrived, I’d just had one of those moments where I realized how hard I’ve been running, and for so long, and now here I am, literally back where I started… same job, same home, same income, same everything… and I’ve gone through so much emotionally, physically, and financially in the last three years, and it’s all because I lacked a little patience and had too little faith in “letting go, letting god”.

I am not a religious person. I guarantee you that I will never be a religious person. (Don’t get me started. I’m not about to follow some guy’s interpretation of what god is, nor follow some baffling systematic method of worship. I’ve been there, I’ve done that, and I passed on the t-shirt, all right? So, don’t try to save me or convert me. You’re wasting your time.)

I am, however, spiritual. At one point, I was enormously spiritual. I always found the time to find myself in a forest, at a beach, hell, by a roadside. I would just stop and take in the whole world, whether it meant pulling off the side of the highway back from Whistler, in the mountains and by the water, to sit on the hood of my car in the middle of nowhere, my stereo blasting Stevie Ray Vaughn’s Little Wing on repeat in a world just silent as death on a mid-August night, or sitting above a valley in the Yukon as I watched the light changing on the land as the midnight sun swept deep and low over the land.

God’s never been about four walls and a church defined by man, not for me. Not since I was a kid in high school history thinking how wrong it was that the Catholic church once sold salvation, and the church of England was formed so that King Henry could have his divorce. Faith shouldn’t need parameters, you know? It is what it is. I don’t need to understand this ‘god’ or really have a clear idea of what exactly it is in order for me to feel just awe-inspired when I look at the world around me and be the kind of person who celebrates that daily.

But that’s the problem. Somewhere along the way, I’ve lost that. I’m basically coming out the other side from a long, dark tunnel I’ve been trapped in for a number of years. For the first time in a long, long time, I’m losing my sense of dread that the other shoe’s going to drop. When my mother died — as a result of so many mistakes by professionals and in the midst of a few years of hell for her personally — I lost my faith in everything and everyone, and sure as hell lost my faith in me. (If you’ve never read it, the best thing I’ve ever written was this posting about my mother’s death.)

When I started blogging, I did so because I had blown out my knee for the first of three times between ’03 and ’04, and living on the fourth floor of a walkup, I was more or less sent into recluse mode. Something snapped and I was able to write. It wasn’t until the next year that I really began digging deeper and writing hard-to-write stuff, exploring parts of me I didn’t often let out into the light.

Lately, I’ve been avoiding blogging for many of those same reasons, ironically. I’m coming to terms of late with the fact that much of the grief and trouble I’ve endured for the last three years are as a result of my probably making the wrong choices. Instead of realizing I could handle six or eight unstable weeks a year at work, and not trusting my own strength and the way of the world, I chose instead to try and find my way into the corporate culture. Years ago I told my friends I’d never be the career-type person. Work was work, a job and a necessity because the world had the nerve to demand we pay for shit, not something I’d do to find the value in who I am. I always said I wanted the trappings of success, but not the trap. The value in who I am comes from the home I’ve created, the writing I do, the photography I do, and the experiences I have. Work’s just a necessary evil… and I forgot that. I lost so much sense of self that I felt I needed to find it elsewhere, and that didn’t exactly work out for me either.

Now, funny enough, I’ve found out that it’s not uncommon for people with head injuries, who are rehabbing and getting well, to start questioning everything. It was six months after my serious head injury (almost died in a bike accident, yada, yada) that I ran into a lay-off at work. Suddenly I thought I was in the wrong career, etc. Instead, I could’ve opened up an EI claim, taken some time to myself, and gone back when things got busy again. (Read about that accident here, another one of my better works, imho.)

What happened to me, though, was that I spent the next 2 years chasing down jobs that would never be any more fulfilling to me than what I’d already been doing, and would all require more from me, meaning forfeiting more of who I really was for a job I deep-down knew would never mean anything more than a paycheque every second Friday. I can’t believe how hard I’ve been running in my hamster wheel, only to find myself back exactly where I started from.

In short, I feel like an ass.

But it’s been interesting, because, in all that time, nothing I did ever made me any happier. Everything I did, I did so without really listening to my inner voice. I was lucky and fortunate that I was able to keep it all together, never miss a rent payment, and not go deeper into debt, but nothing ever made me happier… and that’s been weighing heavily on me this week. Nothing made me happier.

I guess many of us have times when we just realize we’re pretty distant from where we wanted to be when we thought about our lives as youths. My recent birthday has made me realize, yeah, I’m getting older, but I’m still pretty damned young, and I’ve wasted enough of my time running in a hamster wheel that was getting me nowhere. And however much of my life has passed, I’m hoping it’s still a fraction of my future, and it’s on me to make sure it’s the best future it can be.

I’m also realizing that the world’s full of enough cynicism, and I’m tired of being a part of that. I’m the original Libra — I’m constantly in and out of balance, and I offer both cynicism and optimism, but I’ve been offering too much of the former of late. I want to rediscover my awe for the world. I want to rediscover that pause button. My priorities are completely changing, and all because I’m tired of not being the person I used to be. Now I can both be that person and be the new, more comfortable, more sure of self version. I want that youthful awe and this wise, appreciative “been there” mentality I know will help me value that worldview when I pull it back into focus.

This is the project I’ve set before me this winter: Rediscover the person I was before life came along and threw me wildly off-track. I’m done with the detour, man. I’m coming back to myself. What a fun journey this is gonna be. Right?