the school of hard knocks

So long as I am able to keep putting one foot in front of the other, I will get what I want. It may not come in the exact form or fashion that I envisioned; because, well, it’s like The Rolling Stones song says:

“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.”

Life has not been kind. It has, however, afforded me a wellspring of opportunities that fuel creativity. Pain, pleasure, lust and pride, are a peculiar combination. Ones that span entire chapters (or several books on the topics). They’re several of the core tenets of the human experience.

SIDEBAR: A core tenet is basically along the lines of: If your a hedonist, you’d say ‘seek pleasure, avoid pain’. If you’re a nihilist; you’d say ‘nothing exists’. For the religious ‘God exists’ {or Buddha, or Spirit, or Mohammed, or Universe, or Flying Spaghetti Monster, or Oprah, or Steve Jobs or other deity of your choosing [exists]}. I don’t know them all. The point is, you gotta believe in something. Even if it’s your own abilities, and btw, belief in nothing is a belief in something.

Life has left me at the end of my rope, stranded & in the middle of nowhere questioning my existence. It has hurled blades at my face, taken friends and loved ones from my arms; and left perfectly circled scars as a reminder that it’s all been real.

Life has set fire to everything I’ve owned; stolen it all (several times), flooded my living quarters (once or twice), and in retrospect has required me to leave behind many memories, and people; in many different places at many different times. Life has shaken me to my knees. I have been on the ground amongst the rubble & left beaten and bloody wondering ‘what’s next’?

I dust myself off, and get back up.

I stand, wiping blood from my lips.

I spit out a tooth and grin. Bring it on.

It can always be worse, and it can also get better.

I learn through these experiences.

In looking forward, the road ahead is rife with pitfalls and trapdoors. Snakes in suits, naysayers, backbiters and weaponized emotional constructs. The road ahead doesn’t quite appear to hold all the answers either. I know that I know nothing; and nothing in life is for certain, except death awaits me at the end. It’s uniform, universal, and a guaranteed ultimate outcome. I have known this since the beginning.

Everything will be ok eventually; if it’s not ok, then it’s not the end.

Yet again, I must be prepared for the worst, and hope for the best; trusting in my ability to move, pivot, and shift in accordance with the human law (I can’t be violent and rage against things) and the spiritual law (I must do the right thing, in the right way, in alignment with what brings me joy.) It’s a tangled paradox if I’ve ever heard one.

I think that’s why there’s slogans like ‘live, laugh, love’ or ‘a grateful heart is a happy heart’ (it’s a sensory overload to think about the alternatives).

What brings me joy, is to create and stimulate my mind with twists of fate and turns of phrases. Blank pages, and blinking cursors. (It’s cursing at me, can’t you hear it?) Ha.

Oh, and a smidgen of pride, that ego boost when I am told “aww sweety, there’s no jobs in [chosen academic degree field]” I want to punch them in the face repeatedly, till there’s a bloody mess so congealed there’s no identifying it. (I don’t. But I really really want to.) I put a piece of nicotine gum in my mouth, realizing that it’s part of the grr factor. And I smile.

Because, well, they’re flat-out wrong and they have no clue where I’ve been or what the future holds. I can’t fix stupid. Nor do I bother trying these days, I have too much to do to get myself squared away to bother with small minded individuals.

I get where they’re coming from, and I keep moving forward; leaving them behind, as that level of negative thinking is what keeps them trapped. I know, because I’ve been there too. It’s not fun, and I don’t recommend it. Reflection is a good thing. Chewing on it till your sick to your gut, not so much. Chewing on nicotine gum, is a happy medium.

Then there’s lust. Oh my, I could write forever on the topic. I have to say no, when I damn well want to say yes. The no’s win. (Damnit.) There are rules, terms, and conditions that apply. And as the phrase goes “I’m a surgeon, not a psychiatrist.” Matters of the heart’s mind are not my forte.

(Not yet at least)

What brings me joy is getting things done.

And coffee. Copious amounts of coffee. I am so very grateful that there’s a cup to be filled, and it just so happens to be here with me. Pleasant company whilst I wonder about the next mountain I must climb.

Ultimately; all paths are valid.

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