Life as an Extreme Sport

You’ve Got Potential…

Here’s where you tell me it’s ridiculous to talk about my potential when I’ve never made an effort to use it. If I had an ounce of real potential, I’d get off my dumdum and do something. Go to school…buy an apprenticeship…or just start incanting on my own. Something. Instead, I’m squnadering my existence. On parties and fine food and umty-tiddly, as Zunctweed says. Doing nothing, day by day.

Do you know what it’s like to have dropped out of life? To have had a hundred chances to be special, but you avoided them all? Or just botched them up because you were a horrid coward, afraid of letting yourself change. You clutch your comfortable excuses, saying, Someday I’ll be brave, it won’t take a lot, just give me one more chance and this time I’ll grab it. But chances come and go. It would be easy to do something, but you don’t. You just don’t. Do you know what that’s like?…

Maybe it’s time. This time it’s time. To see if I’m somebody, or just a middle-aged slut who lies to herself about being gifted.

James Alan Gardner, Trapped

I have one singular bad habit. I procrastinate. It’s an old bad habit, and perhaps more insidious than a simple bad habit, it’s a habit borne of self-defense.

If I don’t lose weight, people will be forced to deal with my brain and not my body, and then the horrors of my early teens won’t be repeated.

If I don’t achieve what I can if I actually make an effort, people won’t then come to expect greatness from me. More importantly, they won’t be disappointed in me, and I’ll never again let anyone down. There is safety in mediocrity and being average, and I am as average and mediocre as I can stand to be.

But it’s not who I want to be, who I dream of being. And I am guilty of the above quote, of thinking that if I just had another chance, if I could just have that moment to prove myself and shine, I would shine. Oh, not shine the way you see me shine, but shine the way I know I can shine.

I would be brilliant. I would be breathtaking and brilliant.

In order to do that, though, I have to stop being afraid. Of consequences, of what will be, of what people will see. Of risk and failure.

The only way to be great is to work hard and take risks, and procrastinating protects me from both. And so I am safe, sheltered, bored and unhappy.

I took risks, once. The last one I took was four years ago, and it blew up in my face. It took me a long time, but I started taking tiny risks again, here and there. Getting in front of a class. Teaching. Applying for scholarships, grants, funds. Each time, I’ve done it, achieved what I set out for, and every single time, I’ve looked for the damned bomb that was going to blow up and ruin all the risk-taking and show everyone not for the fraud I am, but for the fractured, scared soul I am.

I thought graduate school was going to be that bomb. I thought I had finally found my Achillies heel, the thing that was going to neutralize all the risk. And at the seemingly last moment, even that proved untrue.

Which in some ways might be ironic, since now it leads all the potential for explosive failure back to my feet. Not that I failed to win or achieve, but that I will fail to do.

I’m scared of a lot of things. But it’s finally reached thet point where I’m more afraid of not doing anything than I am afraid of failing.

I’m tired of shooting myself in the foot. I’m tired of failing to live up to expectations at the last moment because it’s safer, and I’m disgusted with making excuses for the failure.

It’s time. Not to show you that these visions I have of myself are true, but to show myself.

The Looking Glass

I am conceding defeat and calling this unmaintained for the time being. I’ve been busy, growing and cultivating a life, and spending my time away from the computer and in the word of real people. I’ve met lovely souls on The Well, the Seattle Gothic board, and Karawynns board. I’ve been to Yosemite, and had a lovely time at it. It was wonderful to see my inlaws, to see who the younger ones have grown into, to reconnect with the older ones and parents. To see how happy it made Mars to be able to show me around such a fabulous place, his home… it was priceless. We went to Burning Man, and we survived a cow accident with nothing more than a few broken ribs inside me, and car damage. More importantly, even though it was rough, we survived the week.
It hasn’t all been fun and games – friendships have been lost and feelings have been hurt. But people move from each other, and change is the way of the universe.

Mars and I. There is still Mars and I, which I think is a surprise to us both. I wake each morning marveling at my luck and love. It’s not always easy, and we both have been doing a lot of soul searching and self analysis, to understand what we want and how we think. But tho it isn’t always easy, we keep at it, and it’s getting easier. The talking is freer, the communication is better. And tho it isn’t always easy, it is always worth it. I have been blessed in this life with a mate that I was told, as a child, only existed in fairy tales. MyPrince Charming, my Kingdom Come, my Happily Ever After.

September 30, 2001

Of Fountains and Recollections

Maybe it’s the heat, the time of the year… recollections do seem to be running high in my head, as well… but perhaps it was the drive, noticing the places where we had stopped to fight, or the places we had always wanted to go, but never had… maybe it was stopping at the same motels as in the past and still forgetting to bring things out of the room in the morning,… maybe it’s the smell of the baking northern californian landscape, the scent of the air as it changes as Mt. Shasta looms beautifully and ominously, or the site of the Big Dipper perfectly framed in the front window of the car. Maybe it was eating again at restaurant first stopped at on a whim and enjoying the taste of langos and magyar coffee, or maybe it was finally stopping on I-5 to take that photograph… maybe it was the lack of fights, the serenity and peace, the wild abandon and whims that finally caught up after 3 years of giving chase. Maybe it was simply coming home and being just that, home… … the joy and happiness I’ve had in the last two months has only been paralleled once in my life, and that time was also with you. For taking me along with you and being excited about it, for the effort and trying and caring, and most of all for loving me with all the passion I feel for you… thank you. I love you.

I’ll Place The Moon Within Your Heart

I know I’ve been telling individual people that I would “be writing tonight, honest!” for a few days now, and all I can really do is apologize for not having done so. My life has gotten a lot busier than I ever imagined it could be, and writing has fallen a bit by the wayside.

I suppose it’s more than that, tho. I’ve not had the urge to write or pour my thoughts out – occasionally I hear something, think of something that I think would be worth writing down, but it’s either something that I continue to remember on my own, or I think less of later on. (One exception – Mars and I were having dinner one night, and I asked him how he was feeling. His response? “Inevitable.”) Mars has stopped writing in his journal/log, citing a lack of things to say. I don’t think that I so much have a lack of things to say, as I have a lack of need to say. It would bother me if he and I stopped writing at the same time because ‘we have each other again,’ so I sit and hope my lack of wanting to write stems from something else.

I did want to write briefly about two things. The first: I will be in Yosemite (or doing the driving to/there) from July 20 – 25. Therefore it will be impossible for me to post anything here.

Why Yosemite? Mars’ family has been going hiking there for years, and are doing so again. This is the last “big family gathering” planned for a while; Melissa is going back east to law school for the next three years, and her availability is somewhat in question. Tuesday morning, Deborah (Mars’ mother) called and asked Mars if I would like to join them. I thought this would be a bad idea, seeing his family again so soon. (Soon being relative, it’s been two months. Two months – can you believe that?) I declined to Mars, and went to work. All the drive to work, I could think of nothing else. When I got in, I asked for the time off… and it was granted, much to my surprise. Perhaps more surprising was Mars’ enthusiasm for having me along. All thru ‘the first time,’ he avoided taking me to Yosemite – it was his special place, and not a place he wanted to ‘taint’ with he and I fighting. This time around, he’s excited about me going. He thinks it’s a good time for me to get to know his family again, on neutral territory. He thinks the work of hiking will prevent a lot of talking, but also provide a bonding point between them and I.

He wants to show me Yosemite.

I don’t think I can tell you how much that thought means to me. …

The other thing I wanted to mention was last night. We went dancing, which is sort of the norm for Wednesday night. It’s goth night at The Vogue, and we both know the DJ, who is very kind and accomodating, gives great hugs, pops backs and plays lots of requests. Last night I hounded Doug; play Cirque, play Tori-covers, play play play … and mostly “play As The World Falls Down” (from Labyrinth). Finally, laughing, he capitulated, and told me it would be the closing song. Closing? 2am? Dear god… but we stayed. And it was just Mars and I dancing, an odd improv ballroom dance to a beautiful romantic song. The crowd watched us, we watched each other (at least until Doug placed a spot on us, eek!)… it was an enchanting and magical end to the day.

Writing Soul

I’ve had several requests to update this journal recently; so here. I apologize for the delay… I don’t have constant net access here, and am hesitant to buy an ethernet card for my laptop until I know if I’ll be working for the same company in a month. (Yes, the job search continues.)

I’ve also been doing a lot of thinking lately, about how and why and what I want to say in this journal. When I started writing this, it was an outlet for me, a way to vent and release stress and need and longing. I let a few people close to me read it, so they would understand what I was doing and going through. Then I let a few more people, and a few more… now I have at least a dozen regular readers, probably a bit more. People who are forming thoughts and opinions of the people I talk about in this journal, often without meeting or really knowing these people I talk about.

This leaves me in an interesting position; do I watch more carefully what I say, to insure I present a full and balanced viewpoint to my readers, or do I continue to do what I have been, writing a snapshot of my life and what I feel at that moment, with the assumption that everyone reading this knows that is what they are reading.

I want to stay with the later format, but I am concerned that people might not be taking what I write as what it is – the small slice of my life that is being written about because something prompted the writing. Sorrow, anger, hurt, joy, elation – all moods that spark writing, and all moods that my writing filters through.

Honestly, as I sit here drinking a Passion Pear (new drink alert! new drink alert!) and listening to Rasputina murmur from the speakers, I realize I don’t have much choice; I write what is written because that is what wants to be written. I have to trust that you, the reader, will contact me if you’re confused or in need of clarification, concerned or happy or anything else. Equally so, you the reader needs to have a bit of faith in me, my judgement and abilities in selecting friends and lovers, and perhaps most of all need to keep in mind that this entire effort is only a small, visible slice of a very busy life.