Moving Melodies: Welcome To Wherever You Are

I got home late from work today.  It was late because I was writing, not because I was working, but somehow I don’t really think I needed to tell you that.  Anyway, I was in the kitchen making a peanut butter and honey sandwich for dinner, feeling a little bummed because I live alone and don’t have a special someone to make dinner and have it ready and waiting for me when I get home late.  Nor do I have a special someone to make it worthwhile to make a full fledged dinner when I get home late.

While I was spreading and squishing, the iPod was on and played this song by Bon Jovi:

Welcome To Wherever You Are lyrics

Maybe we’re all different, but we’re still the same
We all got the blood of Eden, running through our veins
I know sometimes it’s hard for you to see
You come between just who you are and who you wanna be

If you feel alone, and lost and need a friend
Remember every new beginning, is some beginning’s end

Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life, you made it this far
Welcome, you gotta believe
That right here right now, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be
Welcome, to wherever you are

When everybody’s in, and you’re left out
And you feel your drowning, in a shadow of a doubt
Everyone’s a miracle in their own way
Just listen to yourself, not what other people say

When it seems you’re lost, alone and feeling down
Remember everybody’s different
Just take a look around

Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life, you made it this far
Welcome, you gotta believe
That right here right now, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be
Welcome, to wherever you are

Be who you want to be, be who you are
Everyone’s a hero, everyone’s a star

When you wanna give up, and your hearts about to break
Remember that you’re perfect, God makes no mistakes

Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life, you made it this far
Welcome, you gotta believe
That right here right now, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be
Welcome, to wherever you are

I’m not going to make any big flowery statements about what this song means to me or how it makes me feel.  I have mixed feelings about it (what’s new).  The lyrics are good food for thought, though,  even if it’s sometimes hard to remember.  Let’s just say this was topical, somewhat well timed.

Musical Confusion

I’m standing at the Quizno’s waiting to place my order and the music playing overhead is an assault on my sensibilities as the music is crashing and the lyrics aren’t so much singing as some sort of screeching shout. I have to assume we’re listening to the likes of Korn, or maybe Ozzy and Black Sabbath. I don’t like it and the former retail manager in me thinks this is inappropriate music for public consumption.

As if reading my mind however, the song finishes, and the next one begins… Elton John, Benny and the Jets.

The thought that went through my mind when I walked in the door, resurfaces. “What the hell are we listening to?!?” Such a strange combination of songs!

K is Evil

A year or so ago, she decided that she wanted to become a coffee connoisseur and open her own coffee shop.  I suspect that desire has fallen a bit by the wayside, which I can not judge because I too have a tendency to latch onto an idea, only to burn myself out on it, or determine, sometimes prematurely, that I can’t make it work and give up before I ever even get started.

K became a coffee snob, determining that the free coffee we have hear at work, though available in more flavors and varieties than the average non-coffee nerd could think of, was no longer acceptable for her to drink.  We have a machine that makes one individual cup of coffee at a time so the coffee is always fresh brewed and she’s in control of the ordering so she could have any variety she wanted, but it simply was beneath her sensibilities… suddenly.  More power to her.  If she wants to go across the street and pay $4.00 for a latté a couple times a day, great!

At one point, she wanted to learn how to roast her own beans and learn the intricacies involved in bringing out various flavors depending on what kind of beans you’re using and how long they’re roasted and possibly a bunch of other criterion I couldn’t even begin to guess.  She started following coffee nerds on Twitter and found coffee Nazi forums on-line.  Along the way she managed to connect with coffee people and won a contest to get some free coffee of various types and flavors which leads us to her evilness.

See, some of the coffee that K won was flavored, odiferous coffee.  Things like Chocolate Fudge, Chocolate Mint and Caramel Apple.  She got her hands on a whole portable set up and brought her coffee and accoutrement to work and has stored it in the cupboard under the counter on which our unsuitable coffee maker sits.  So now, every time I go back to get a cup of coffee from our perfectly lovely, one cup at a time, always hot and fresh coffee maker, I get a whiff of her delicious smelling coffee beans in the cupboard.  My mouth starts to water and I lick my lips in anticipation of the wonderful flavors my mind tricks itself into believing I’ll enjoy.  I mean, I’m making a cup of coffee and I smell a delicious smelling kind of coffee, it only stands to reason that the coffee I’ll be drinking will taste like what I smell, right?  I bring my hot, fresh coffee back to my office and take the first sip and—Ho hum.  Booorrrriiiinnngggg.

K is evil!

An Apolgy, Redux

OK, so I deleted the old Typepad blog the other day and lo and behold, it seems a bunch of the graphics for my blog posts here were still tied back to that blog.  I’ve been updating what I can with the pictures that were missing, knowing I can’t update all of it.

But guess what!  WordPress is reposting these edited posts to readers AGAIN!  Unfortunately, I’m not finished updating the posts either, so just know that there are going to be some duplicated posts in your feeds.  I apologize for that.  I’d let it go, but then my skin would melt off my body and some mean psychopath (otherwise known as my perfectionism) would squeeze lemons all over me and laugh while I writhe in pain… Or, nothing would happen.  Not sure which.  Don’t want to take the chance.

Forgive me.

Earth Day, Shmearth Day

Today is Earth Day.  To be honest, I couldn’t care less, but it is.  I am, by no means, a rabid environmentalist.  I don’t care that much about recycling.  I do it because I’m “supposed to” and it has been made fairly easy to do.  Also, I drink enough Diet Pepsi, and pay enough California Redemption Value (basically a bottle deposit only on plastic and aluminum as well as glass, for those of you non-Californians) to make it worthwhile to collect it all up and take it to the recycling center once in a while.  Plus it keeps it out of the hands of the little old lady who wants to come by and dig in my recycle bins at 6:00 in the freaking morning on a Sunday! Do you have any idea how much noise all that aluminum and/or glass makes?

I’m not a conservationist.  I drive a hybrid, but I don’t do it because of the environment, though it does happen to be a “partial zero emissions” exhaust, whatever that means.  Seems to me like it’s either zero emissions or it’s some emissions, in which case it’s not zero.  Seems like an either is or is not kind of situation to me, but what do I know?  No, I drive my hybrid because I was paying close to $60.00 for a tank of gas that only lasted me 8-10 days in my SUV and now I pay about $25.00 for a tank of gas that lasts me nearly, if not more than, three weeks.  I drive nearly twice as far, on half as much.  To me that’s a no brainer.

Today is Earth Day and I could care less.  All the funny people on Twitter (and most of the not so funny ones) are talking about it.   Sarah and Vinnie talked about it on the radio this morning too, although actually, they talked less about it than they have in the past, for which I am exceedingly grateful.  The problem is they talked about it.   They are the first people to talk to me each day and they start talking to me before I’m really even awake.  From the moment they mentioned that today was Earth Day, I’ve had the Earth Day song stuck in my head, and I never even heard it this year.  Only I don’t know the correct lyrics, let alone the tune and so what keeps going through my head goes like this:

Earth Day

Earth Day

It’s Mother Earth’s Birthday

Earth Day

Earth Day

Let’s go have a beeeeeeer…

Since the song is sung by a chorus of children I’m pretty sure that’s not right, and I was actually quite surprised to find that when I searched for “The Earth Day Song” on Google, so I could find the correct lyrics and maybe even a link to the song for those of you sadistic enough to subject yourselves to it, there were dozens upon hundreds of different results, all of which were legitimate results and none of which were the song I was looking for.  You’ll just have to take my word that those are not the correct lyrics.

I celebrated Earth Day by printing about a ream worth of paper.  I decided that I wanted to have hard copies of all my writing, rather than depending on the blog sites (I’ve had a blog before this one) to retain my stuff.  I didn’t even finish.  Who knew I had written so much.  But I figure I made a nice enough dent in the rain forest for one day (plus my boss came back early from his “all day” meeting so I figured I should stop… for now.)

I came to work late today, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to do anything for the first hour anyway.  The furniture guys came back to replace the stand on my height adjustable desk.  A few weeks ago, I got a new desk that can be adjusted so I can stand up while I work.  I’ve actually found my self to be far more productive when I’m standing, but far more importantly – to me – my hamstrings will hopefully loosen up now that I’m not sitting down all day every day.  Also standing burns more calories than sitting in general.  The problem is the base that they delivered didn’t crank up high enough.  I was making due with it temporarily, but it needed to go up about five more inches than it did.  The sales guy says that they were shipped the wrong item from the manufacturer, but I can’t help but question that, since what they replaced it with is an electric base ($500 more expensive than what we requested.)  With the other base I had to turn a crank to adjust the height of the table, now I only have to push a button.  In actuality, this is better because when I do sit down (even though it’s a stool) the table is too high from when I was standing.  Now I can adjust the table height depending on whether I’m sitting or standing and it’s easy and quick.  But it is electric.  More electric, means more carbon emissions and all that good stuff.  Happy Birthday Mother Earth!

Speaking of carbon emissions and electricity, I’ve had my fan on all day because I’m hot.  I’m hot because my head is covered.  This past Sunday, while I was showering and preparing for my outing with Lil’B, after two and a half mishap-less years of cabeza shaving, I carved an inch long section of flesh right off the top of my head… literally.  Scalped myself.  I was able to extract the removed flesh from the blades of my razor and it looked rather like the end result of a bar tender extracting twists from the rind of a lemon; about a quarter inch wide and an inch long.  Fortunately, I shave in the shower because it bled and bled and bled.

I’ve been walking around for the last five days with a band aid on my scalp and I don’t feel like showing it off to the world – or fielding the questions – so instead I’ve been channeling my inner douche bag and rocking the backwards Kangol Hat, even indoors.  I figure I’ve got a couple more days before the wound is sufficiently healed enough not to need a band aid and then I’ll decide if the gash in my dome is too obvious to let people see or if I can leave the hats for outdoor attire.

Answers? Maybe.

Things I’ve learned in the last 48 hours:

  1. All but two of you people can not follow instructions (and one of those two kind of cheats.)
  2. More people feel similarly to how I feel than I realized.
  3. Those questions were deeper and more stirring than I imagined them to be.

I read my last two blog posts to my therapist yesterday.  Part of what prompted me writing them was thinking about how I feel about my life at this point and what may or may not be the point of continuing to go to therapy.  I felt like, at least in part, those posts answered some of the questions that I’ve been considering and that I imagine Deb might be considering, as well.

When I read her the questions her eyes got really big and she said, “Wow!  Those are some big questions.  Have you gotten any responses?”

“Yes,” I told her, “One person responded right before I left to come here.  Which is disappointing because at this point, I know the post has been read ten times.”

The truth is I thought, however naively, that those questions would be easy for people to answer.  I thought most of the people who read that post would be able to whip out a few sentences and explain the meaning of their lives to me.  I don’t honestly know if I thought everyone would have a wonderful, beautiful, meaningful story to tell that would confirm my suspicion that my life doesn’t mean anything, or if I thought everyone would have a story similar to mine that would help me find some sort of comfort in this meaningless, day to day grind.  Whatever I thought, I expected to have my comments section filled up with replies to my questions and my pleas for assistance.

The truth is Jody, my first respondent, nearly took the words out of my mouth.  Jody says:

“I get up because I have to. I get up because I am awake. I have nothing that makes me bound from my bed in happiness or joy or fear or desire. I get up because that is what we do.”

“You know these questions make me feel like I have nothing going for me.”

“Hell, I don’t know. Sometimes I feel like a waste of space. That I will be one of those people when gone no one misses.”

Terri’s answers leaned a little more in the other direction, relating that what gets her out of bed in the morning is a job she enjoys, with people she likes and feeling valued in her work.  I envy that for sure.

Terri cheated a little.  I specifically asked that you not answer with “my kids” and that’s what she did, but after reading her answer, I understand why:

“I don’t know yet. I really don’t know. The easy answer is my kids. My kids are the focus right now. Raise them. Help them be successful. Help them take flight and hopefully help them not to make the same mistakes I made. What scares the hell out of me is who I am and what is my purpose when they’re grown and on their own. I was barely old enough to start wondering about my purpose before they came along, so I had to put those thoughts off for the past 21 years. A couple more years and I’ll have to face that question for real.”

I’m surprised really that only two people responded to my little “interview” and even more surprised that I didn’t get even one uber-peppy, my-life-is-all-rainbows-and-butterflies-wonderful responses.

My answers, which I did not want to share in that post, are far more doom and gloom:

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Fear.  I get out of bed because I’m afraid not to.  I’m afraid to lose my job and not have a pay check.  I’m afraid to lose my income and not be able to pay my rent and my car payment and my bills and have my life be turned upside down to suck even more than it already does because I’m homeless and broke.  I don’t get out of bed because I can’t wait to get to work.  I don’t get out of bed because there are such great things and wonderful people waiting for me outside my front door that I can hardly wait to get going.  I get out of bed – late – because if I don’t, things are going to go from bad to worse.  And that’s a really sucky reason.

What do you believe is your purpose in life?  What is your reason for living?

I haven’t got the slightest inkling what my purpose is.  There really isn’t even anything more to say about that.  I have no idea what may be my reason for living.

What do you live for?  What keeps you going?

My answer is the same.  It isn’t for any kind of fulfillment or personal satisfaction.  I don’t have any of that.  I don’t get any satisfaction, whatsoever, from my job.  Aside from the paycheck every other week, which never seems to go far enough, my job gives me nothing.  I don’t like the people I work with; I don’t like the customers I serve; I don’t even like the field I’m in and yet, I have no inkling of what I could do instead that would provide any of that satisfaction.

I don’t have children, nor do I want them.  I really thought, though, that being a Big Brother would be something that would give me some of that sense of accomplishment or fulfillment; I thought it would give me some satisfaction.  It doesn’t.  I like Lil’B a lot and for the most part we have fun when we hang out, but if something happened and I couldn’t be his Big Brother any more, I really wouldn’t be bothered by it.  In fact, it would be a bit of a relief.

So while it does seem to be somewhat of a cop-out answer, what keeps me going is the fact that I am alive.  I do wake up every morning, like it or not, and therefore, I have to keep going… like it or not.

I’m not really sure where I’m going with this except to say that clearly I’m not the only person in my world who struggles with these questions.  I suppose that’s comforting in a way, although, knowing how very much it sucks, I do feel badly for the other people in the same boat.

While the questions were intended to be for my edification, I can’t help feeling badly for asking them now that I realize how tough they are.  I hope no one was harmed by reading those questions and being forced to consider them.  I don’t know why I didn’t realize how tough they would be.

I don’t really know where to go from here.  I am reaching for a conclusion, both for my state of mind, and for this post.  It seems, however, like the truth is there is no conclusion… yet.

Interview

The song says, “Gotta put it all behind you, ‘cause life goes on.”  My response was, “’Life goes on?’  What life?  I struggle a lot with this one and it’s actually prompted what will probably be tomorrow’s post if I can get it together in time,” and then I mulled it over for a while.  Obviously, it wasn’t “tomorrow’s” post, but it is next so close enough.  I decided to conduct a little interview with you, the reader.  There were a few questions I wanted to ask in an effort to gain a better understanding, to try and change my own perspective about this thought, “Life goes on.”

Five specific questions came to mind.  What gets you out of bed in the morning?  What do you believe is your purpose in life?  What is your reason for living?  What do you live for?  What keeps you going?  I wanted to ask these questions of my readers, but I wanted to ask them without having to answer them myself.  So I mulled some more.

I realized that if I posted this list of questions without delving into it myself, people would make some assumptions about what’s behind the questions.  People would, perhaps not so much answer the questions as try to offer me encouragement, or solutions, or hope against whatever they presumed my motivation for asking might have been.  But here’s the thing.  I’m not sure I know the answers to the questions for myself and that’s the reason I’m asking.

Yes, I want to compare myself to your answers, but I don’t want to compare myself to your answers.  That sentence, of course, makes no sense to anyone but me.  See, a very stereotypical depressive behavior is comparing oneself:  Oh, he’s better looking than I am.  She makes more money than I do.  I wish my hair looked like his. And all that does is lead to a more and more harmful image of oneself and reinforce the negativity in their already troubled mind.  That is not what I’m trying to do here.

I thought about these questions and what my own answers might be and perhaps I’ll share them later.  I don’t want to share them now, because I don’t want my answers to influence yours and I don’t want to reinforce your potential need to “encourage” me.  That’s not what I’m looking for here.

The truth is I’ve been feeling a little better in some respects the last few days and I realized, sometime last night or this morning, what I believe is the reason why.  It is difficult to explain.  See, depression, among many other ugly little problems, is the lack of hope – wait… No it’s not.  Depression is a sense of hopelessness… It doesn’t seem like there is much of a difference, but there must be…  I’ve lived most of my life with a sense of hopelessness, and yet, I always had hope.  I always hoped for more, for something better.  I always believed that things had to get better.  The thing is that all that hope and all that believing there is something better, has just let me down over and over again.  And now, I don’t really have any hope for things to get better.  I don’t really believe that it will get any better than this and I don’t really feel hopeless exactly.

What I realized last night or this morning is that I’ve stopped “planning” and, I suppose on some level, started “accepting”.  I’ve stopped thinking about what life is going to be like “when such and such happens”.  I suppose in a way that kind of planning is the same as comparing; comparing my life now, to this vision of what my life could be if… It seems like that is a good thing, and yet, without planning, I’m not sure what I’m aiming for.

Anyway, I decided to ask these questions of you because I wanted to get another perspective, to get out of my own head a little, and maybe get a better glimpse at reality.

And I’ll admit that there is another, ulterior motive that plays a small part, a very small part.  There are still a lot more people reading this blog than ever actually comment on it.  And that’s fine.  I don’t comment on every single blog post I read.  Sometimes I think I should, but I don’t always have anything to say, or feel like I have anything to say that really adds value to what I’ve just read.

But I’m asking, if you’re reading this post, if you’ve gotten this far, please answer the questions, even if you never have and never will again comment on my blog.  If you don’t feel comfortable answering the questions in a comment, then please, send them to me in an e-mail to Riggledo at gmail dot com.  I promise to keep it confidential.

So the questions are:

What gets you out of bed in the morning?  (Not your alarm, but your motivation.)

What do you believe is your purpose in life?  What is your reason for living?

What do you live for?  What keeps you going?

I know that many of you would answer “My kids” to at least one of those questions and I’m not suggesting that kids aren’t a valid answer, but kids are secondary.  Kids come later in life, by choice (usually) and, well…  “Kids” is just too easy an answer.  I’m asking you to dig deeper than that.  I want to know what it is about your life that makes life worthwhile for you, not for someone else.

I also know that these questions kind of point to each other so don’t feel like you have to give me a hundred word essay under each of those questions (though you’re welcome to), just tell me your story.  Tell me what makes your life worth living each and every day.  I hope you’ll all do my little interview.  I’m looking forward to your answers…

Please?  I’ll be your best friend… 😉