I’m Coming Home

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“I’m Coming Home”

I cringed when I contemplated the time that elapsed between then and now. How long had I been gone? My hand cramped and froze while the cursor hovered over the hyperlink. I could easily determine that duration. But, what would that calculation amount to beyond the number?

In truth, I’ve written and rewritten this post infinitely in time and space. Whether it was one of dozens of drafts that exist tangibly in my documents folder, as a blurb in a journal entry, or on a note in a pile of obscure one liners. Or it was a flitter behind my eyelids as I fell asleep. This has existed in one form or another since the gap began to widen, and I started to only be a part of this from the growing distance.

Timing has never been my strong suit. Truthfully, neither has decisiveness. It makes difficult actions that much harder. Combine all of that with a tendency to isolate myself from the world when I’m feeling vulnerable, and that’s exactly how a person can seemingly disappear completely.

Hilariously enough, I’ve always had a knack for unintentionally becoming a myth, a sort of an urban legend or a cautionary tale. Although, the reality of it was hardly as sensational. Just like the reality of my absence being so far from remarkable that I’ve found it so difficult to write about. How can I detail such a large chunk of time as being significant enough to keep me so preoccupied?

In July 2013, after my first significant absence, I returned to my own blog “Sunny with a Chance of Armageddon” with a partial explanation in “Emergence from an Emotional Coma”. I didn’t go into what initiated the coma, or the mechanisms that kept it going. At the time, it didn’t matter. I had done the impossible and come back from it as a changed woman.

Another year has passed, and I’ll tell you that there are more ways a person can become enslaved to the trappings of their own mind.

Later that year, I was pressed to take up employment in a position that I long since swore I’d “rather die than go back to”. With my renewed sense of optimism, I took it with the naïve notion that a state of mind would change utterly loathsome working conditions. Truly, I believed I could “make the best of it”. The world was what I made of it.

That was my first trial. The point of that trial was to provide evidence that despite ones best intentions, the world is the way it is. It was designed to eliminate naivety that can occur when optimism becomes blinding and starts sliding into idealization. This trial didn’t end when I left that job. It was emphasized throughout my last one, and it persists to into this time as well.

A dear family friend was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer around Christmas. That was the second one since Beast (my son) was born. This rocked both Xan and I, and we decided that a decade of smoking was enough. And we quit, for fear that our fate would be similar. And, there began my second trial that bore two more lessons.

No, it wasn’t about the virtue of perseverance. As a result of an awful job and quitting smoking, all of my hard earned physical gains were lost. The second lesson was that everything comes at a price, and we can’t always know that price until we get there. And as a cosmically hilarious boot in the ass, my overall health actually suffered as a result of quitting smoking.

That is where the third lesson comes in. There is no point where any one person can say that they actually know better. I knew quitting would be hard, but if smokers were actually warned of the realities of quitting, then they would never try. I can see how it gets harder with every consecutive attempt. And I also know how foolish it was to attempt it cold turkey against my better judgment with the knowledge of the very low success rate. All because I wanted to prove that will alone could defy statistics.

That last part was the most foolish act of all. Of all of the people in my life, I should have known better. Will alone is not enough. We cannot simply will something in or out of existence. If it’s applicable to bipolar disorder, then why wasn’t it applicable to my nicotine addiction? Because, I was gullible enough to be influenced by popular opinion, rather than by hard facts based in methodical research. How could that possibly happen?

Because, I’m human. Because, I’m no better or worse than any other living thing on this planet.

So, as you imagine, I’ve spent a great deal of time tangled up in the challenges of life, as mundane as they sound. That brings me to the present, and what ultimately opened the door back home – back to Canvas.

I wanted so much to come back with a heroic tale of a woman who faced the world as she was, and carved her own path with some wisdom, effort, and probably a lot of luck. But, as I’ve recently learned, as far as a person can go, it doesn’t mean they’re impervious to the gravitational pull that plants them right back at square one.

In the same breath, I’ll share the best lesson I’ve taken from all of this. Square one is not the worst place to be. It is not indicative of any regression or even any loss at all. Coming full circle, back to the starting line so to speak, is actually just completing another leg in the marathon of life.

It has allowed me to gain so much perspective on who I am and what I really want in my life. Shifting priorities brought on by immediate demands caused me to lose focus on the meaningful, fruitful endeavors in my life. That’s really what my own personal peace and satisfaction boil down to – investing in people and activities that bring meaning to my life. And when I take a moment to close my eyes, take a deep breath, and step back, it could not be clearer.

Thanks, Canvas, readers and writers alike for standing by my side. I could never have asked for a better family.

© Tallulah “Lulu” Stark and A Canvas Of The Minds 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Tallulah “Lulu” Stark and A Canvas Of The Minds with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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4 thoughts on “I’m Coming Home

  1. I love this (which you know already, but whatever). I think the journey you’ve spoken of has happened to nearly all bloggers in one way or another, unless they have only just begun blogging. I’ve taken frequent long absences — in fact I’m more-or-less in the midst of my longest now. You actually give me an idea that maybe, when I’m ready, I’ll come back and write about all of the things going on in my life right now: all of the the things that are too raw and personal with scars still forming (both literally and figuratively) that right now I don’t want to talk about. Things that right now aren’t anyone’s business. When right now turns to back then, who knows?

    Time will tell what I decide I want to share, but we are very lucky to have this place that’s still going to come back to and tell our tales when and if we like. As I’ve always said, once you’re in, you’re in. It’s like the mob — only much less violent. 😉

    And you know what? You will always be a heroic woman to me. ❤

    • I started to write a reply to this last night, but I’m in the midst of a pretty nasty cold. I’m finding it difficult to keep my concentration for longer than a few moments at a time. So, I’ll just kind of spew out my thoughts, in no particular order.

      Like I wrote about, there were so many drafts of this. What I didn’t include were the grizzly details of it all. There were many drafts where I went into it, and in every one of those drafts it felt like I was making excuses or justifications for my absenteeism. I realize that I have nothing to apologize for, but I still found myself making the attempt in one way or another.

      In any case, none of the drafts captured the message I wanted to convey.

      But still, I can’t help but feel like I glossed over a lot of the important details as a means of making my point. There’s so much more I want to get into, obviously in the broader sense, like my personal experience with mental health in the workplace and parenting a special needs child while managing my own health. And I hope to have the opportunity to share my experiences.
      I love the “mob” mentality – I think it conveys are certain strength that we have in numbers and influence in the larger blogging community. No, we’re not muscling in, LOL. But, if it came down to it, we’d stand our ground together.

      And again, you are too kind. I’m no heroine. There is no epic to be told. So far, I can’t really claim triumph over – well, anything, because I’m not exactly fighting “the war” right now. Truthfully, pacifism was probably the worst stance I’ve ever taken, because it eventually melted into this lethargic apathy. It’s not a war, but that doesn’t mean I can’t stand up for myself when someone shows me aggression and hostility (and someone literally did).

      That’s the takeaway ultimately. When it comes down to me vs. the world, I should always be on my side.

  2. ‘Lethargic apathy’ — a term I’ve never encountered until just now, but have experienced many times throughout my life. Thankfully, perseverance can lead one out of ‘that’ hole if you look for, then reach for, the light at the end of the tunnel. I have discovered it is not always a train coming down the track.

    As I’ve gotten older, I spend much less time soul-searching and much more time ‘doing’. I have quite a few projects in the works to date, with big hopes of success. Who doesn’t want to be the next famous author, or actress, or whatever else it is that their heart desires, on the road to self-discovery? If it happens, wonderful! If not, life goes on, and the sun is shining somewhere, and it is raining somewhere else in the world. Life aint’ gonna stop just because one of us loses our mind, if you know what I mean. So hang on, and hang in there, and roll with the punches. If you/we’re lucky, another day lies ahead filled with opportunities to pick up where we left off earlier.

    With age, and after struggling through Lymphoma last year, I’ve come to realize simply having a bowel movement has its merits. The simple things in life are often the best, and each day should be appreciated, whether productive, or not.

    I enjoyed your post. Thank you for sharing.

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