Life has been tough, tough, tough, lately. I canít quite put my finger on specifics. I feel like I have a lot of job stress.

Maybe the problem is that Iím suffering from too much stress to think about it. Why donít I change my life? The answer seems so obvious.

Well, maybe because I donít dislike my life. I have blessings coming out of my ears, and all I can do is complain. Since I donít want to appear stupid and ungrateful, I try to stuff it down, and then what? I get more stressed out and less happy.

I do feel like I am making some progress. A week or so ago, I got a CD set of poets readings their work. Four disks. I found it exceptionally healing. I havenít listened to it much this week, though, and Iím feeling anxious again.

Yeah, itís true, I am unhappy, but I am making progress. I am getting better. Iím finally starting to feel comfortable with asking for something I need. By that, I mean, things beyond the standard needs.

It took me some time to get over the guilt of using up oxygen, food and water and I did get over it. I also have a lot of needs that are unique to me. Iíll let my wells run dry of things that I consider to be non-standard needs and Iíll sit around thinking about how my breathing canít be interrupted because thatís all Iíve got.

For example, all of the really good climbers within our circle of friends want to go climbing this weekend. Iím a decent climber, but itís not my favorite thing in the world. Iím certainly not on the same level as the others that will be there. Iíll climb if itís comfortable and convenient, but I wouldnít choose to put myself out just to hang from some rocks for awhile. Adam is undoubtedly a good climber. I guess that makes me skilled by association, and it is assumed that I will go. Why wouldnít I want to go? I mean, itís CLIMBING, right?

They spend two days a week in the rock gym, I spend two days a week in a karate studio. If we were travelling to invade an evil ninja camp, in the not-quite-as-freezing-as-winter-weather, so we could finally put our hard-earned karate skills to use, then sure, Iíd be all for it. Rock climbing just isnít the show that Iíve been rehearsing for.

I agonized over a simple, ďI donít want to go.Ē I would rather hike. I would rather ride the bike that I might buy on Saturday (more on that later). I would rather go to Sunday morning services at the temple OR I would rather SLEEP IN. If I donít go, then Adam has to carpool with someone else. Itís no big deal, but yet, I still felt as though I should be denied my own day because it might ever-so-slightly inconvenience someone else.

Itís different now, though. Iíve declared myself in recovery mode. No more feeling guilty for needs. No more not even asking for what I want. Iíve had a rocky start, but I can sense progress.

Iím sure as the summer wears on, I will want to go, and then I will go, and then, it wonít be a big deal, either.

I think it was a couple of weeks ago that I realized that I canít heal my hurts by trying to recreate the world I lived in before, when I felt good. I felt good when I lived alone, and I always had a place to escape. I always had a hole I can hide in. That isnít the nature of living with someone else. If Iím going to crave that, then there is only one solution. If I donít like that solution, then I have to crave something else.

So, thatís what Iím doing. You saw what happened to Gatsby when he tried to recapture the past. Well, Iím going to take the advice that I kept mumbling under my breath to that character. I donít need to attach to what made me happy once because thereís nothing stopping me from being happy now.

The only thing thatís stopping me is my insistence that things donít ever change, and change is the nature of the universe.

Oh, the bike. I borrowed one of Adamís bikes on Sunday, when the weather was spectacular and I had a fantastic time riding in a park near my house. The bike that has a small enough frame that it can be adjusted to fit me is the folding bike. He uses that bike to commute daily (so he can take it on the train) and I donít want to wear out the bike he uses to commute every day. Besides, itíll be better to have something that suits me perfectly and is my very own.

I road my bike constantly as a kid (when I wasnít skating), but I stopped in my early teen years, after moving to Wisconsin. I couldnít ride all year round, so I fell out of it. Once I got on his bike, it was as if Iíd never stopped riding.

It was glorious. I sped along the path (not too fast, I donít want to kill anyone) with the patches of sunlight streaming through the trees flashing over me. I saw so much more of that park. It was definitely made for bikers and not hikers (I always felt dissatisfied hiking there).

As for purchasing a bike, I did some research online this week, but I have to test them out to know for sure what Iíd like. Iím not overly picky, the kinds of bikes I road as a kid were the kind that were scavenged out of junk yards or bought for a few dollars at a yard sale. Half the kids I road with didnít even have working breaks on their bikes.

Anyway, I had to type fast because I have to leave for karate soon, so if this doesnít make sense, forgive me.

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Thursday, Apr. 09, 2009 at 11:10 PM