Bear Shorts: Somewhere I got Lost-2018

2018 has been a raucous and wild year ranging from super excited and chill, to the pit of self-loathing and despair, all the way up to happiness beyond measure. In all this, is a dichotomy of reality-how can all of this happen to the same person, at the same time, within the same physical space and time.  Well, let me tell you, it can. Here are just a few highlights, taken in a loose reverse order.

  • End of the holiday season:  Normally people treat it as a sad time, and they look forward to it next year.  I’m not in this category. It’s my business to bring cheer, merriment, and put on the illusion of the holiday.  I must create a world that is free of crazy and mimics the spirit of Christmas. On the flip side, the level of personal investment this takes leaves me hollow, not wanting any human contact and dreading the passing of time.  Christmas is always coming just like winter.
  • The death of a friend: Being prior military, I understand death as a tool.  I understand that death can be a way to ‘hit the reset button’ and start over.  I also understand the when a person dies, there are many ripples in the lives that remain, for many people, and other have to ‘clean up the mess’ to to speak. For whatever reason, the death of a friend this year, really impacted me, because I couldn’t connect any reason to it.  Acceptance is hard.
  • A visit from friends:  This year, my husband and I hosted a group of friends from around the USA.  It was the first time in our relationship that we got a chance to share the fruits of our labors, and really showcase what he have built, guided, and committed ourselves to since coming to CT.  It’s one thing to send a picture to some friends and talk about things, but when they can see it, touch it, and experience it for themselves; it’s an entirely new adventure. I hope we lived up to the hype.
  • Confirming that i’m Adopted:  Yes, I had kinda-figured it out about two years ago.  I knew something was off then I received a box of old photos, comparing them to a photo album I was given, the pictures had been cut apart and collaged back together, cutting out my real birth mother.  Kind of shitty when you think about it, but in relation to the end result of the man I am now, it seems to be okay. Still working through this one, not sure how much more I want to dig, or just leave it alone. Sometimes the answers you want, are not the ones you need.
  • Entering the political world:  This was not something I did out of a need to complain, or fight, or curse this or that political figure.  I jumped in when I saw coworkers, and friends being impacted (good and bad) by administration policies and practices.  Through this experience I have determined that there are normally three things that will divide a group, wreck friendships, and other wise polarize a person- Politics, Religion, and Sexuality.  When this happens laughter ceases, work stops, and connections fade away. This leaves a vacuum, often filled with guile, disgust, and angst. In the end, I should have just kept my mouth shut. Was my few seconds of vindication, worth losing what I had struggled to build?  Were these friendships built on sand?
  • Offering help and being rejected:  Boy-howdy, this is where I took the hardest hit this year.  No one asked me to help, but I offered someone a chance to work, learn, and grow here in CT.  I opened a spare home we had for him to stay, massaged his workplace, and duties behind the scenes so he could work within his comfort zone, ensured he would be at a good pay rate commensurate with his experience, and answered every question he had with honestly, caring and reassurance.  In the end, the person did not take the help, and asked me to never offer it again. Months later, this experience has left me bitter, judgmental, and horribly guarded. Don’t extend your hand any further than you are willing to have it cut.
  • You can’t lead from the middle: This year (for self preservation) we installed other leaders that could assist me with pushing the vision set forth at my workplace.  This was super hard from me, because I love what I do. When I engage in work, it’s ALL IN. The struggle for finding these people, has proven to be one of the most challenging and gut wrenching part of my civilian experience thus far.  Leaders by default.
  • Letting go of two of our five dogs: in my relationship, I’m often called to task, to be the unemotional one.  The person that can shut all emotions off, complete a task, and lead everyone else through it. This is a role that I am becoming tired of, it’s something that the military gave me, a wall that goes up any time emotions seep into my mind….Honestly it stinks to watch everyone else cry, and I am devoid of it, until much later…..Sucks I tell you!!!!  Is this what happens when I Cry?
  • Putting everyone else before myself:  It’s been a way of life for me, for as long as I can remember.  The ideal of being in service to others as a way of bringing personal joy.  Well, that’s a lie, and the height of personal hubris. Somewhere I got lost. Lost in what everyone else wanted and needed me to do, be, and move. My talents were sucked dry, expectations set sky-high, and the pace unrelenting.  Following these paths and changing direction with no thought to my own wants, needs, and desires. Somewhere I got lost.

So, at the end of 2018, it would seem that the last thing I wrote was the theme through the year-Somewhere I Got Lost.  Not sure when I subjugated myself to everyone around me or seemingly took a backseat to my own life, but here I am. At the end of the year, wondering what the hell I did wrong, struggling to focus on the things I did right. — Somewhere I got lost.  

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