Under water has a few meanings... in mortgaged real estate or if you live on a flood zone it's not a great scenario... but operating beneath the surface of the water is one of my favorite places to be... I spent a great deal of time on a diving board and in a swimming pool during my high school and college days... I found flying off the the diving board and sailing through the air toward the water one of the most physically and psychologically gratifying experiences of my life... that has only been equaled by sex (down hill Slalom skiing comes close though) and one more thing... but I'll get back to that later...
It was under water that I found a certain solace and quiet calm to collect my thoughts and ideas if only briefly... I became somewhat addicted to being under water to shut out noise distractions... and even though you could still see and hear the world above the waters surface... it has a tranquility and balancing effect that has served me well my entire adult life.
"Let's go back and find the day when it all started."
In the last year there has been a lot of noise and distractions in my world and inside my head... namely dealing with not one major loss but three... so unlike the opening of Sunset Boulevard... I am very much alive... but needed to go back under water even if just metaphorically... to sort things out and see the sites and sounds of the world with a different perspective... During my time away I took a step back from social media... It's a very liberating choice to unplug... I did notice that the tweet that got the most responses and likes and retweets... dealt with my feelings about what happens when we die...
There are people who hate to get wet and/or be under the water... I'm not one of them... in addition to the sights and sounds everyday life being altered... your body and mind take on a new rhythm and dynamic... also it's one of the best forms of exercise that does not put added pressure on bones, muscles and joints... The chlorine is another story... invest in a good swim cap if you are going to spend any significant amount of time swimming... maybe for me the biggest kick is it's like being in a dream while you are awake... there are people I call in my dreams... and sometimes in the water between the leap off the board to springing up from the bottom of the deep end where you can see to the other side ever so briefly... beyond the light and shadow... somehow we connect... if only for a second.
In addition the shadows and light are somewhat magical under water... one of the very few things I'm afraid of in life is dark water that you can't see to the bottom... I'm not afraid of the dark... or shadows... but I learned during another difficult time to look for the shadows to help find an answer and the way... because if there is a shadow... there is light nearby. There is a certain ambiguity and uncertainness in learning to try to understand life and issues that are somewhere between the shadows and the act.
I've said in an earlier segment that the high cost of loving someone is loosing them and the impact it has on you emotionally and physically... There are special people and things and in life and in loosing them you should never forget and walk away from the memories or issues and simply move on...it's been a difficult journey to go back and understand what we had with each other...and what tools and skills they left me with to move forward and live without them. Grief changes shape... it's never gone and you are never over it... but I've learned we can become better because of it... my best friend since I was five eventually taught me that being the bigger person is bull-shit advice...your bigness is not determined by sitting by quietly being belittled, degraded or abused.
All of this aside.. Since covid lockdown and reemerging with everyday life... I think one of the most important things I've learned in reliving some memories... is that I'm no longer aspiring to sit at tables where I have to bring my own chair and squeeze in between people that I don't particularly like while trying to convince them and myself why I should be there... I found a new table with people who have much better manners and more insightful dinner conversation... I hope you will too.
Some of the people in our lives we simply outgrow and we have to move on and take the experience for what it was intended to give us to move on... but the important people who really matter who have died... we have to examine the same questions... and the more history you have with someone finding the answers to the questions is more complicated and time consuming...I was able to really distill much of what I found and to put it very simply is...I'm not going to go back and give regret a free pass because all the bad days that I've had with this I've found some meaning and insight... some of the worst days have taught me very valuable lessons... Most importantly all the good days... brought so much happiness... and the best days of my life with these people brought beautiful memories... I will remember each one lost for the rest of my life... and try to do and say what they taught me or manifest what we found together in another way.
Again... we have to know how to read the signs that life shows us... sometime it's subtle and you have to read between the lines to perhaps find a deeper meaning that's hidden or obscured... other times (I think when we need it the most) it's very straight forward...
There are days when we just need to make ourselves the priority and skip the mundane... it's important to remember you can't change the people around you... but you can change the people you are around... (read that a couple times)
If you don’t set the standard for how you should be treated then some people will devalue you. They will treat you how they see you. Don’t let anyone control the narrative when it comes to you. If there is not a level of mutual respect then kindly provide a context for how you would like to be treated. If they do not comply then dust the dust from beneath your shoes and keep walking. Respect is worth it's weight in gold.
To the new beginnings:
you can close this chapter
of your life and never look back
or you can flip through the pages, revisit old memories,
reflect on how different you once were.
that's the magic of
writing your own story–
you'll meet new characters,
travel to new places,
face new obstacles,
and the best part:
deciding how to overcome them
and then realizing
You may have noticed that I go back a great deal in my writing... I've said it many ways before but I think Soren Kierkegaard said it best..."Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards."
What I learned underwater this time around from what these three left me with is...you become invincible when you work on the things that nobody can take away from you... the things like your mindset, character, personality, transparency and the entire realm of your soul and what makes you... you... Some people drop out of your life in different chapters... because they did not need to be there or were not supposed to go where you are going next.. If you keep focusing... and planning your plans and writing the next chapters... the right people and situations will align themselves to you for this part of the story.
If I could sum up my life so far... "It did not go as planned... but that's OK... because I'm so thankful for all the cancelled flights, missed connections and rerouted detours... because eventually everything came together the way it was supposed to."
I'm so grateful that I lead an adventurous life and am always willing to take chances...and that so many special, wonderful people were there or are still here for the ride and be a part of the story...
So what was the third thing I was going to get back to that equaled diving and sex?...Loving someone and being loved in return...
Now that I'm out from under the water... I can't wait to go for a run on the beach on a sunny clear day... and in closing in the spirit of Sunset Boulevard... for the first time in longer than I would like to admit..." Alright... I'm ready for my close-up!"
I have lot's of ideas about the next segment...maybe another travel segment... my favorite traveling companion who I will miss forever... told me before every trip to lay out all of my clothes and money... take half the clothes and twice the amount of cash... Oh and one more thing... These deaths and the other important ones that preceded them have taught me... that putting the pieces of the puzzle back together is the part of life that makes it interesting...you don't need everything all put together perfectly and in place to enjoy life... it's never too late to be who you might have been or want to be...It's always possible... but you might need to look at yourself and the world from a new perspective.
...I'm sorry I had to be away so long... I really needed the time... so until next month... I hope you are having a happy new year! Me ke aloha!