On Being Mostly Dead

I finished house sitting this morning. Now I’m back at Mom and Dad’s. They’re asleep, and I’m sitting at the kitchen table, which I’ve decided is slightly better for my posture than slumping down in the living room chair. Still, I’m frustrated. I got spoiled this week with fast internet, and my hotspot is running slow. So far it’s taken me ten minutes to upload two photos to tonight’s blog, so that’s going to have to be enough. The pictures are me and a cat, so if you don’t like one of us, hopefully you’ll like the other. That being said, this is a writer’s blog, and the words are uploading just fine.

So there’s that.

Today I went to therapy, and it was the first time in a while that I haven’t gotten through my entire list of things to talk about it. This stresses me out, of course, but I’m learning to deal with it, since apparently you can’t get through and solve your entire life in just under an hour. We mostly discussed my fear of asking for what I want and believing I will get it. I don’t want to be too detailed at the moment, but an example would be my entering a writing contest and believing I have a shot at recognition. I’ve been reading about how current “charged” situations are often connected to childhood events, so we talked about once when I was in elementary school and basically did cartwheels across the room as I asked my teacher, Miss Jackson, if I could help pass out the milk that day. (I’ve blogged about this incident before, here.) The crux of the negative memory had to do with another teacher, who said my behavior was inappropriate.

Well, first off, my therapist started rapping–I’m sorry, Miss Jackson–I am for real–Never meant to make your daughter cry.

I’m not kidding. (I am for real.)

Anyway, when she finished with the chorus, she said, “Okay, now back to you. This hag had a problem with the fact that you were enthusiastic?”

“Yeah, basically.”

My therapist said we don’t know what this lady’s problem was–maybe she was jealous, maybe she was hung over, maybe she was on the rag. Regardless, despite the fact that it would be normal for a child to take the event personally, it doesn’t have to be my problem anymore, since I’m an adult. Just because some hooker from grade school had a bad day (people have bad days), doesn’t mean I can’t be enthusiastic now and believe good things will come from it.

Just to lighten the mood, here’s a picture of a cat in a sink. His name’s Riley, and he doesn’t give a tinker’s damn about my childhood–or yours. Isn’t that refreshing?

This evening I drove to Poteau, Oklahoma, and watched a friend of mine perform in the musical Little Shop of Horrors. (Horrors, by the way, is two syllables, not one.) Anyway, another friend was the director. If you don’t know, the show is about a florist shop with a plant that will only eat human blood and flesh. It’s kind of morbid when you think about it, but since there’s so much doo-wop music, it’s actually rather endearing. Not to ruin anything, but the last number is sung by all the dead people inside the plant, and it’s called “Don’t Feed the Plants.” Cute, right?

Well, as if the show weren’t enough entertainment, there was an ad in the program for a local funeral home. Picture this. In big, red (bloody) letters, it said, “Don’t Feed the Plants!” Then underneath that it said, “But if you do, we have two locations to serve your needs!”

Wow. Don’t die–but if you do–we’re here to help.

This morning I saw a tweet by Tim Ferris about the letters of Seneca. Seneca was a philosopher, a Stoic, around the time of Christ. Apparently he wrote a bunch of letters, essays, to a friend of his, covering an array of topics, and they’re currently enjoying a resurgence amongst the world’s businessmen and leaders because of their wisdom. So tonight I bought the book and started reading it. First off, Seneca says to not go running around reading a bunch of different authors and books–stick with you can handle. (Since I’m currently reading several books, including his, I’m ignoring that part.)

In another letter Seneca said we get fixated on and afraid of the moment of death, but the truth is that we’re already mostly dead. (Insert Princess Bride reference here.) What that means is that our entire life thus far is over–it belongs to the grave.

Healing is like the internet at my parents’ house–it takes time.

I think a lot of us get hung up on what’s already over. Personally, I know I’ve spent a lot of time talking about the past in therapy and on this blog. And whereas it would be easy to get bitter and to get stuck there, I’d like to be clear–my therapist won’t put up with that bullshit. (I will, but not for very long.) So I think the only healthy reason to go digging around in my childhood is because parts of it have been negatively impacting my current life. But if I can get the past sorted out and put away, then I can approach my future with a cleaner emotional slate. Sometimes I get frustrated that after three years of therapy there’s still stuff to deal with, but healing is obviously like the internet at my parents’ house–it takes time. Still, I believe it’s time worth taking, for anyone. Since one day we’ll all be plant food–I’m sorry, Miss Jackson–there’s no reason past emotional baggage should keep us from living as fully as possible right here, right now.

Quotes from CoCo (Marcus)

"There is a force, a momentum that dances with all of us, sometimes lifting us up in the air, sometimes bringing us back down in a great mystery of starts and stops."


Writer. Dancer. Virgo.
Full of rich words. Full of joys.

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