i live in the gray

Maxi’s last text to me.

Making decisions are easy.  I just made the decision to write today.  The action of writing, however, isn’t so simple.  There are countless stimuli keeping me from what I want to do.  I have been inundated with loss recently.  My friend, Maxi, passed away from cancer.  She was predeceased by my sweet Jacob and bookended with Shaker Schools legend, Alfonso Quinones, simply known as Q.  A couple of my friends are fighting battles with cancer right now and getting punched in the proverbial gut.  To boot, I am hosting an increasingly shrinking Thanksgiving, followed by my son’s grave-stone setting.  I am done “adulting.”

I set a few goals before I decided to blog full time.  They were simple:

  1. State my Why
  2. Peel my internal onion, regardless of pain
  3. Maintain my truth
  4. Write.  No matter what, write
    1. Publish or Perish
  5. Help others

My reason why is simple.  Be selfish. I cannot give away what I don’t have.  I live for my own happiness.  I live for Ana.  I live for Naomi.  I live for me.  Finding my own truth is paramount.  I’ve suffered great loss.  I lost much of my childhood to abuse.  Some of the abuse was external and some was internal.  At 48, I’m learning to process this pain.  It’s not easy.  Is this the crux of my current state or piece of the puzzle?  I don’t know.

What is my truth?  This isn’t easy.  My life seems to be a constant state of gray.  I don’t mean that in the terms of melancholy, moreover in perception verse reality.  The following is true.  I woke this morning around 6:55AM.  I went to a doctor appointment, stopped at Starbucks, drove to work, and made some calls.  These are the mundane facts of my morning.  Nothing exceptional. 

The following, too, is true.  I woke up in physical pain.  My weight has put so much pressure on my knees.  The resulting pain hits me during my restless sleep and increases upon awakening.  I hit the snooze and forgot to take out the garbage putting more strain on Naomi to rush in the morning because of my selfishness.  I woke up in fear of not having money.  I woke with doubt that I’m “good enough.”  I woke up and my first thoughts were of Jacob, Maxi, Coach Q and of my two friends, Jackie, and Maureen fighting their battles.  I am scared. 

The last two paragraphs are both true.  This is my life of gray, my duality of life.  From the immortal words of Rocky Balboa, “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward.”  I’m getting hit right now and doing a shitty job at fighting back.

Yes, it’s true I’m writing.  It’s true that I want to be better.  The biggest truth I am trying to tell myself is that I am NOT a fucking victim.  People died around me, yes.  Jacob death was tragic.  This tragedy pales in comparison to the gift he gave me.  Jacob was everything that was beautiful in life.  I had roughly 600 LONG conversations with Maxi in the past three years.  She knew my darkest secrets and me hers.  I knew Q sparingly over the years.  Their deaths aren’t because life is cruel.  Their lives are beautiful because we were allowed in. 

Gray is an interesting color.  It seems dark when I’m used to the light.  It’s not.  It’s the light I see from the darkest days.  With that, how do I limit my dark days and lighten some of that pain.  It all comes back to health.  I am inspired by Maureen and Jackie.  I want more time to learn from them.  They fight so hard for their bodies.  My friend Lori R made a commitment to help me with my health.  My DECISION needs to turn to an action and get back into the metaphorical dojo. 

Did I help someone today? Yes, I helped me and that’s a start.  I pledge to limit the dark days by turning them gray.  I pledge to turn my gray light.  When I want to grieve, I shall.  I am sad.  I am afraid.  That’s ok today. 

Tomorrow’s Blog: How to take the first step (i think)

3 responses to “i live in the gray”

  1. Stacy Heiman Miller Avatar
    Stacy Heiman Miller

    Reading every one of your honest, revealing and brilliant entries. You’re helping more than just yourself by writing and sharing — every reader gains something. The world would be a much better place with more people just like you. You’re incredible in so many ways.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Stacy! We are going to figure this thing out………maybe


  2. You helped me today too, Brandt. Thanks for keeping me company. I wish we didn’t have to…but it’s better than being alone. Big hug


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