Every so often there comes a time where I have to admit defeat. I get stretched to my limits occasionally—but it’s a good thing, it’s how I find new limits. But to push the limits past where they used to sit, I have to come down here, it seems. Life hasn’t found a way to help me without hurting me just yet, and if I was writing a movie, this is where Will Smith would say, “this is the part of my life I call character building.”
I am learning a lesson pride, ego and fate, and it’s a crash course. I’m having the kind of night where I take a step back and realize what’s going on—the step was aided by another, but it’s led to a deeper reflection. I’ve been shitty for just about two weeks, and it wasn’t much better before that. The big red flag today, both internal and external was lunch. Boy, do I get worked up about lunch breaks—and they’re not the only asinine thing to drive me nuts these days. The real issue isn’t that I get frustrated, it’s that I let the frustration be known. That’s not cool, man.
I could sit here and list all these things under the guise of “getting it all out,” but in reality, that’s just digging the hole; not moving forward. I’d get all worked up and I’d start writing angry, which has gotten me into trouble in the past, and I just don’t want any more negativity in my day. As much muck as I felt I had to mire through, I played the part of an adult pretty well today, and I have to congratulate myself for that.
So, tomorrow when I wake up, I’m going to do it just like everyone else. I’m going to put on my pants one leg at a time and slide my princess dress over top. Halloween is a silly day to start moving forward again as a self-aware adult, but hey man—fuck it.
I was told tonight that I have to change my mindset, it was addressing a certain area of thinking, but I think it needs to apply to all of it. I keep focusing on what I can’t have and what I can’t do. It’s all this entire month has been about and, as is evident in the posting history of this blog, it kills my ability to write. I mean, The Haunting of Hill House was fucking great, but my god, I pissed away so much writing time. I’m focused so much on the money in my life, I forget about the time and headspace I’m afforded because of it. I’m not under a mountain—in the scope of things, compared to that mountain, I just stuck my foot in a hole in the sand.
I don’t say that to undermine my own feelings, but to force perspective on myself. There has been much better created from way worse—and I need to remember that. I need to brand it backwards on my forehead so I can see it in the mirror.
I worked at a janitorial supply company in Edmonton called Wesclean. It was full of lovely people, some real pieces of shit and your average Joe/Josephina—so basically, it was your average work place. I made nineteen bucks an hour driving a forklift and had a good living. My then-girlfriend and I were able to afford to do cool things like go to Cuba a few times and start our life with a little puppy dog. All the while though, there was a slithering rage creeping into my soul. It was silent, and it was slow, but eventually it was everything. It devoured my passion and seeped into my marriage, tainting everything I was a part of. It broke things that to this day remain unrepaired. I knew I had to leave that job, and I did. I was offered twenty-one dollars an hour, but I turned it down. I stuck to my principals—as misguided as they were, and left the job in favour of a lower pay and a better headspace.
But, as Charlie Murphy once said, “there’s poison in the ice cream.” If you go back in the archive, on my sister’s birthday, August 7th, I made an angry, pre-medication post called There's Poison in the Ice Cream. It was literally days before I started my meds and reads like it is: a depressive cry. The worst part about it though, is that it’s a bad use of that phrase. The real meaning of poison in the ice cream is that no matter how sweet something seems, there’s always issues with it.
I learned this lesson in force at the International Mascot Corporation. I thought it was going to be an extension of the puppet-building I had been doing for the better part of a year. I thought I was going to be creative each and every day, but I fooled myself and took a job as a shipper receiver, sending other people’s creative work out the door. I never truly let anyone in at that job. There were people I was friendly with, but in hindsight, I was completely draining and unbalanced. I was embarrassing at that job. I preformed well, but there were a number of episodes that just sour the whole memory.
There’s always poison in the ice cream, you just need to figure out how strong that poison is, and if the ice cream is worth the risk. In this case, I’ve found the sweetest ice cream and the weakest poison. My baggage acts like magnifying glass and amplifies my current experience through my past, twisting it with the skewed lenses. The reality, though, is that I’m in a good place; a very good place. I have to stop viewing it as something boxing me in—because in reality, it’s a small fence around four hundred acres.
See you tomorrow.
Writer, performer, producer and musician from Alberta.