Friday, June 27, 2014

6-27 [summer daze]

i haven't been feeling well lately. sleepy but can't sleep, nausea.. the anxiety aside, i forgot about something. oh right, it's summer. i seem to forget each year how crappy i feel when the humidity hits full swing.. i feel like a steaming rotted heap of uncomfortable garbage. i've been trying to get back to a] sleeping, b] at night and c] for longer than an hour and a half. fortunately so far we've been getting a break at night with some cool air. makes for some interesting storms..

now i just need to sleeeeeep. all the usual fixes aren't fixing, it's hard to shut down the brain. it's the long weekend we're coming in to for the first of july.. and i'll be here reading till my eyeballs are bleeding trying to tire out my head.

time to get back on track. only have to hold this pattern a little while longer. i somehow managed to nearly remove the tip of my finger, and slice open my foot on the same day. two separate incidents.. wow go me. tomorrow first thing, power smoothie and the gym.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


6 weeks later.. finally starting to ease out of the anxiety. it'd been building for quite some time over the winter, but intensified shortly after the reality of my mother's passing in May had set in. i knew that my entire outlook had changed, and that i was ready to choose a new direction, i just didn't know what i wanted to do. i'm still not sure i know exactly, but i'm getting a lot of good ideas.

i jumped on the first opportunity that aroused. i built a new resume, enrolled in driver's ed, and rented a small garage to use as a workspace. i had taken steps towards a change and as i was about to make it, i'd realized the anxiety was still there. it was just...different worries.

instead of being anxious about living paycheck to paycheck, i was worried about rearranging my schedule to accommodate shift work and overtime and very deeply become a cog in the machine. in exchange for a pretty penny of course. i'd have plenty of money to work with and save, but have to struggle for time to enjoy it. dedicate myself for at least a year straight.. would it be worth it? maybe.. but i want to feel better. i thought not worrying about money would help, but it's time i'm after. i decided on another direction all together.

first, i had to accept the idea of change. one way or another, it had to happen. i've been with the company i'm with now for years.. even quit and come back, and taken leave to travel, but it'd more or less become my home base. i've met so many great people over the years, and work with an amazing team right now. for the longest time the idea of leaving them all was out of the question. i had settled in. but if you know me you know, i'm never really settled.

once i started getting over the idea of leaving, different opportunities began to shine through. even ones that have been available for a while, i had just forgotten they were options until i was gently reminded. i'm free to go. i think i might just drift a short while first, catch up on some me time and visits to old friends. do some camping, hiking, rent a room and do some seasonal work, WWOOF on a farm or two, and spend Christmas on the coast. who knows yet really, i'll figure the path when it comes to my feet.

for now... a garden, and fresh pressed juice.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

What is this kitchen?

i'm standing in it, and still i'm not so sure.

days don't pass the way they used to. something is different, they don't fly by at work anymore, they drag. every moment takes forever, and there's too much time to wonder what i'm doing. i mean, i know what i'm doing at work, maybe that's the problem. it's too easy. so easy i don't really want to do it anymore. don't get me wrong, i love what i do and who i work with, i appreciate full-time employment which is hard to come by in these parts. but right now, at this point in my life it's not for me.

i've been wondering for a while what i can do about it. take a step this way and that, seeking options, hunting opportunities.. embracing the idea of change. i signed up for driving school to get the next degree of driver's permit, i built a resume for the first time in 11 years. i had a plan. get the job on the powertrain, get a truck, bank half my pay, go to school. a very straight-forward, getr done, five year plan. solid auto-pilot routine to certain success.

now that i'm ready for change, i don't think that's the change i need. at least i came to the realization that i wanted something different, at least i took those forward steps to getting out of the trance i'm in. it's good to have a resume, to know what you can do. and now that i've made peace with the idea of parting with what i'm doing right now, i'm in a perfect state of mind to do what i really want to do. what is that?

to live.

i think.... i think i've been spending too much time thinking. too many numbers, too much paper, adding, subtracting, budgeting for the next pay... all good things to do to keep yourself in line. but i think right now it's the lines i'm having trouble with. my mind won't let me sleep at night, it needs a vacation. and by that i mean, more than a week away to collect my thoughts, i need however long it takes to feel human again.

there's something not sitting right with me right now, about the idea of devoting so much of my time to running on autopilot through my life to save up money to buy myself a sure and determinate future. there's something that seems strange about saving up to pay an institution to teach me things i can learn out there for free. and to struggle to get by, just to save a bunch more money to pay for a sunny vacation to get away from this automated life. as much as i appreciate the travel and the great company i'd have there, that saved money right now can be better spent on an adventure that lasts a little longer than a slotted seven days.

i'm hungry for change, for learning, for doing something new. i long for fresh mountain springs, for the ocean, and the giant red cedar forest and it's delicious air. i long for freedom from the automated environment that i'm currently in, to get my hands dirty in new soil, a new path to wander. i have arrived, i am home, my destination is in each step. the sage vagabond is unretired. time to dust off the rucksack and move along.


in the meantime, i have been given some of my time back, some moments.. meaning and deep reflection seep back into each day, every step in the garden, each raindrop that lands on my head. as i prepare for departure i weigh the value and necessity of each possession. what can i do or make or sell to gather some funds for travel and make space in my garage.. what do i need to let go of before i step out of the picture for a while and into a new and changing landscape. it's time to pack that rucksack.. let the countdown begin.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sam's Garage

it's interesting how things turn out..

when my mother passed, i refused to scramble right away to figure out what to do with all her stuff.. her stuff and ours. so much memorabilia she had hung on to over the years made up most of her belongings. and some random old solid wood furniture. so i snagged a storage locker for a month to give me time to sort out what is what.

for the past couple weeks, ive been trying to organize what's in my little room in this tiny little bachelor apartment so that maybe we could squeeze in some of mom's furniture, and i took it as an opportunity to go through all of my stuff. in doing so, i found that most of my stuff [minus the memorabilia] is actually useful stuff, and a lot of it [clothes, gear, outdoor stuff] is only used seasonally, and i thought how handy it would be to have a garage. tada! lightbulb..

the storage locker is right down the road! we're paying so little for rent here, it's worth the extra hundred bucks a month to rent the space to store all our gear for it's season of use. and now that we have the space to work through the things we own, we can actually make use of them instead of becoming frustrated trying to remember where things are in the multiple stacks of totes in the corner of the room.

not sure why i'd never thought of it before, but i suppose i'm glad i didn't because i wouldn't have the very one i have now. especially given my previous experiences living out of small storage spaces, you would think i would have thought sooner to hang on to it. after a few weeks of trying to figure out how to get rid of the furniture, and then realizing i didn't really want to, i'm glad now i have a way to make use of it until we have a workshop of our own. the storage locker rearranged is now Sam's Garage.

given we used the name she went by the most as the name for Sandy Shores Farm, i figured it'd only be fitting to call the other creative space after another of her nicknames, Sam. it is after all half her stuff and half mine, which is all a part of the same story anyway.

i like this space. i ended up with a bigger locker than we needed because it was the only one left, apparently storage lockers are in high demand this time of year. with the extra space, everything can be arranged functionally and organized so that it can be used instead of stacked in a heap like it was in our little spare room. it faces east so it doesn't heat up as horribly as the units that get the afternoon sun, and there's a bunch of cats that hang out in the garden i can see from the garage. i had my headphones on while sitting at the table going through papers, and three of them had snuck right to the door to check me out.

now that taking inventory of my life and organization have made it to the frontline of my action plan, i'm excited to have this opportunity to take advantage of. i have my very own garage! and i can keep all my textbooks there like my own little library instead of constantly praying i don't lose any of them to the dampness that sometimes overtakes the apartment. and if ever i'm in a situation where i must vacate where i'm at [especially since technically it's not even my apartment], i can certainly stack everything in a way so that it all fits here, bed included. my whole life [and hers] fits into a ten by ten foot square.


Sunday, June 8, 2014

From the Ashes

i've been thinking about writing a book for a long time. it's just hard to begin..

last year i experienced a great deal of self reflection and self-realization. right at the start of the year i was nominated to represent my district at the annual international shareholders meeting. these things are sort of a big deal.. and a once in a lifetime opportunity. i was honoured to be nominated, but it hadn't crossed my mind that i'd actually win.

i had to audition. i had to tell my story.

i suppose that's where it got a little fuzzy with me. where exactly does my story begin? when i started with the company, fresh off the streets? when i ended up out there to begin with? the difficult childhood? the foster home that broke me? the mother i fought with and protected? was it my story to tell? i wasn't sure. i told the bits that i was most comfortable with. that i had been out on the streets, finishing high school, and that i'd borrowed an address and a nice pair of clothes to get that job. i didn't mention my long streak of chemical escapism, or about my sponsor who drove me from town to town so that i could attend narcotics anonymous seven days a week.

i mentioned all the positive bits like how i was more or less raised by the people in this company, their basic beliefs, their moral standards. that i had become who i am today based on my faith in those things.. service, respect and striving for excellence. but i didn't quite mention the part about how my upbringing [or lack thereof] is what taught me how to be patient with intense people and difficult situations, to have empathy for the most haggard of sufferers, to hide my own pain. i only told the happy ending.

and i won.

i suppose i never really gave it much thought after that. before my audition i had a conversation with my manager about someday writing a book. i wasn't too sure what kind of book she meant, be it a story of my life type book, a self-help guide for the socially impaired, or both. but there was one thing keeping me from writing.. my mother.

it was never just my story. it was hers too. a story i felt i could never tell while she was still living. not out of shame, or even guilt, but out of fear that i would break her suffering heart to speak the words for all to hear. to tell the real truth. it was never my intention to hurt her with those words but liberate her... from the guilt she carried of not being there for us when we were younger. to let her see that i never carried spite for her because of our situation, i never could. but i could never be sure how she would take it. i promised i'd start my book as soon as she passed. be it a year or a decade from now, or sometime after i retire.

since then, the story changed.

well, maybe not the story itself, more so my perspective of it.

her life wasn't all tragic. she and her siblings had to deal with other kinds of abuse and neglect throughout their childhood. she had her forms of escapism, she had to make her very own mistakes. but she also had her own share of crazy adventures, good laughs, and big dreams. she was intelligent, creative, inspiring, empathetic, and a really good friend. she had the right answers to the strangest questions, and a faith in many things unseen. most of these are fading memories of the people she knew back when, some my brother and i were lucky enough to catch glimpses from time to time.

i think i'm ready to write this story down. and share it. that sharing part i'm a kind of nervous about, not that i've ever cared much for others' opinions of me. still a little fuzzy on the starting point, maybe there isn't one. maybe it won't be a chronological book but a collection of random memories that serve as little lessons or deep learnings. maybe i'll just keep it here, in the uncertain electronic media that is the interweb. or perhaps someday i'll collect the best of the best and bound their words to the world of ink and paper.

there's so many little stories and big ol' books written by others about their lives that have impacted me greatly, and taught me about worlds i could have never understood without their teachings. that have taught me things about myself i never took a moment to even realize. their stories helped me to see myself and my own life through more careful eyes, and inspired me to be better to myself. maybe something i have to say can do that for someone else. or maybe it will help me to mentally digest my experiences just to write them out. either way.. it's time get started. it's time.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

dandelion fluff.

i've experienced some pretty incredible triumphs in my lifetime, and some pretty horrible and gruesome failures.. and though they were horrible and gruesome [and some incredibly expensive], i can hardly regret them. i am beginning to realize that sometimes you must see something fall apart completely to understand how it works.


i haven't been writing much.. or at all really, on any blogs or anything at all. it's not that i don't have anything to write about, or the lack of words to write it out [for once!], it's just that i haven't had the time. so much has been happening. it's hard to digest. meaningful coincidences, things suddenly making sense... and i've been pretty busy too. getting organized has a sudden sense of urgency behind it, and i've been pretty focused on that in many aspects of my life. at home, on the job, in my mind.. putting things in their place to maximize their potential. observing things, their strengths and weaknesses, trying new systems to see how they work. and did i mention the garden? all that, one word... permaculture.

don't get me wrong, i miss my mother. terribly. it still kills me in solitary moments when i deeply realize that us kids will not hug her again in this life. but we can still tell her stories.. through our hearts and through our actions. and i suppose, that's what i've been up to. my brother too. we just have different ways of going about things. always do.

we spent so much time worrying ourselves about the poor woman, and it was hard knowing there wasn't much we could do to help. she wouldn't take it. and it was sad to see her uncomfortable for so long. we miss her so much, but it's relieving to know she no longer has to suffer. that she isn't stuck here, immobilized by pain. now that she's safe and warm, we can live our lives to the fullest without guilt and worry in our hearts. just love. ps. she missed her mother too.