Thursday, January 17, 2008
"A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams."
This is certainly the week for celebrations.
My two beautiful nieces were both born this week and today marks the third anniversary of this blog. I should take myself out for dinner.
I was looking over my initial entry of the LPG--"Coronation Day"--and I believe I've come a long way from the very unhappy man who sat down in front of his computer three years ago and pressed the "Publish Post" button for the first time.
I talked about being "marooned" and having no job or family or any of the other good things in life.
I haven't moved physically, I still haven't found the love of my life, and I still suffer depression, paranoia, hypochondria, fear of flying and a shocking addiction to diet soda. But still...
I feel a little better. I can barely remember the women I seemed to have been so upset about back in '05. I still haven't put in that webcam like I promised, but, I'll get around to it. And, hell, you know what I look like.
I've met a lot of great people through blogging, in person and online and I thankful for all of you who read my ravings and leave comments.
You've made my world bigger and so much better, you helped me realize that I am not alone, that I'm not marooned as I thought back in the day.
It's been a great experience and I look forward to meeting more people out there in the cyber-verse. I'll be seeing a lot of you on Sunday for the Brooklyn Blogade meeting in Clinton Hill. I'm psyched.
Today I have a job--praise the Lord--and my outlook is a little more positive, only because I've very slowly learned that negativity wasn't getting me anywhere but deeper into a hole.
My father was still alive back then, though he was beginning to slip away from us. I think back then I was still able to leave him alone without having anyone come in to watch him, but that wouldn't last much longer.
I have this split view of my father. While I still feel powerful--and quite useless--rage toward him, I do remember the good times and the good things he did for me.
It's just so hard to balance those memories with some of the incredibly mean-spirited, spiteful things he did. I'll never understand his need to control and take over anything that was of any importance to his wife or children.
If we loved something, he'd find a way to crap all over it. You can call it a sickness, that he was an insecure man, but his actions hurt a lot of people besides himself.
But my father's dead and gone from this world, so why am I still getting angry over someone who is no longer here? There are other things I could be doing.
I could devote my time to so many of the unfinished projects I have hanging over my head.
I could clean up my act, literally and otherwise, and get a life, instead of crashing down to the couch with the latest Netflix release every weekend.
Instead of thinking about my father, I could think about my two nieces, who have brought me so much joy and happiness over the years, it's nearly impossible to put it into words...but I'll keep trying.
But, no, I keep resurrecting ancient and ugly memories, like some kind of Freudian Dr. Frankenstein. (Dr. Freudenstein? Hey, I like that. A new dimension in horror is coming to a theater near you...)
I see from my year-ago post that I was recalling some of my father's best advice. I thought of another one today at work when things started to pile up and I was running short on time.
My dad used to tell me that instead of freaking out, I should ask myself, "how can I be most effective in this situation?"
If you're really honest with yourself, you can come up with a lot of answers, but freaking out is rarely one of them.
Going nutzoid is the easy way, really, an excuse to shout "why me?" instead of intelligently asking "what do I do now?"
He also used to tell us about getting up "a big head of steam," where we'd get so upset or angry about something only to find that we had been worried over nothing.
What Me, Angry?
My father seemed to have a big head of steam most of the time, but he was able to give sound advice. It's a pity he didn't take it, but we're long past that stage.
I've dedicated 2008 to something I call "The Anger Project," where I monitor and write about my seemingly endless supply of rage.
I'm just going to keep a watchful eye on how I think, how I believe, and try to adjust accordingly.
I've got my notebook for the expressive writing exercise, where I analyze my rage.
I can see the past is so much a part of my present that it's not surprising I fly off the handle at minor things. The balloon is ready to burst, all it needs is a little more air.
I also have a smaller memo pad. Here I make short notes about what and who is making me angry (I'm making myself angry, to be honest) at a particular time.
It's a little spooky how far back some of my angry memories go, some reaching all the way down the rabbit hole to my high school, and even grammar school days.
(Like that fat fuck Murphy who used to torture me in seventh grade, I hope you die, you lard-ass son-of-a-bitch...oh, where was I?)
Okay, clearly there's a problem, a sign the size of giant billboard that I need to do a lot of work if I'm ever going to be happy.
I've been looking online for various anger management techniques and programs. The fact that there are so damn many of them would indicate that I'm not alone in the fury department.
There's a whole industry out there geared for the rage-o-maniac in your family, which might even be you.
This has also been the week for even more bizarro dreams. I racked up three humdingers in four days and I'm looking forward to the three-day weekend so I can give my psyche a rest.
The first had something to do with wild dogs overrunning our neighborhood. My late mother was in this one and that's pretty spooky in its own right.
She appeared to be bleeding from minor wounds on her cheek and throat, which were marked by brown streaks I assume to be dried blood.
I forget what she had to say--she wasn't talking to me directly; she never does in my dreams, but she was talking matter-of-factly about tussling with one of the roving mutts.
The last image I recall is a Great Dane trotting up the driveway of my house. My shrink suggested tonight that the Great Dane might be my father and I tend to agree.
Dream Two found me back in Hawaii, thank God, but instead of enjoying myself, I was apparently involved in a burglary gone bad; it had gone so bad that an innocent person was now dead.
I recall sitting across a table from a Hawaiian man whom I did not recognize and he was telling me the police had picked up our guy--the one who had committed the break-in and the homicide--and that it was only a matter of time before we were both arrested.
I sat there listening to the guy, trying desperately to find out a way out of this mess and coming up with nothing. When I woke up, I thanked God that it had all been a dream.
It seems something in my subconscious was looking to spoil my memories of Hawaii by immersing me in the middle of a B-movie murder plot.
I feel sometimes that I'm being held back by a lot of things in my life and I want to break free. I think this dream was a manifestation of those fears.
And finally, last night I dreamed we were under attack by some kind of flying creatures who scooped people right up from the ground and carried them into the sky, where the victims were killed and--I believe--eaten, and their remains dumped back down to earth.
I'm thinking now that this might have something to do with my fear of flying. Even though I'm off the plane and I don't have immediate plans to fly, the sensation of being up in the air and helpless is hard to shake.
I can work on my anger during the daylight hours. At night, though, my dreams are going to run wild. And I keep blogging about them.