Ch ch ch changes

I’m not one for change. I like what I like, and that’s it. Even when I think I’m happy, turns out, I’m just content with the way things are. Content is all well and good, but it doesn’t scratch the itch we all have in terms of personal fulfillment.

Content may be the symphony, but Happy is the dance.

Have you ever said “I’ve always wanted to…” and never found a way to make it happen? What about that thing you’ve been putting off because you just don’t have the time or energy, but it’s still on the front burner of your mental dream list?

When a friend passed unexpectedly last week, I literally felt shock waves throughout his circle of friends and family.

Tragedy has a way of waking us up.

MarkusQuote

Markus D Manley

I wasn’t terribly close with Markus, but that’s the thing about him – you didn’t need to be to have his influence wash over you. He was and continues to be a light of unparalleled energy and intent.

From our very first conversation, I felt his vision and passion for the arts. I saw myself in him; the way our eyes lit up when exchanging stories and professional plans. He was a visionary and person of substance.

As so many of us have and still do, I looked up to him as a dude who got his shit done. What he wanted, he sought and conquered. What he envisioned, he created. Check out his

Christine Macdonald

Objects may seem larger

“Dear, it’s no good feeling sorry for yourself. You’re gonna have to overcome these difficulties. And you might as well do it with some style.” – Doris Mann (played by Shirley MacLaine)

Shirley MacLaine is my girl. I’ve loved her ever since The Apartment, and when she rocked Doris Mann in Postcards from the Edge, my adoration exploded.

Doris Mann bubbles over with the type of moxie only movie screen legends seem to pull off. Such is the beauty of cinema. Somehow a morning vodka-banana protein shake doesn’t seem that tragic in the land of make-believe within the context of dry humor.

Denial is fun. Until it’s not. Kinda like when our “fuck it” switch goes off when we chose curtain number three, against our better judgment. And when you’re an addict, well, all bets are off. What’s fun about making the right choices? How will my brain be stimulated with such vanilla flavored normalcy?

The older we get, the smarter we’re supposed to be. In theory. Then there are times when when our fuck ups are so epic, it’s hard to believe we’ve evolved past term papers and learning permits.

It’s a well known fact that the age we start using drugs is where our emotional and mental capacity shuts down and stops evolving. In many ways, I’m still very much a teenager on the verge of a mid life crisis. The moment life tends to feel like it’s normal – like everything is as it should be – I whip up a huge batch of chaos in my favorite flavor of denial.

My non-addict friends are left scratching their heads.

“If something or someone is bad for you – why do you continue to go there?”

“It’s fun.”

“Is hurting yourself fun?”

“I know. It’s fucked up.”

“It is.”

“I’m fucked up.”

“No, your’re an addict.”

“Same thing.”

The hardset part about an addcit falling on our ass is owning the fact that no one tripped us. No one forces us to fuck up. Our brain is sick and we tend to make all sorts of fun choices when faced with the universe’s temptations.

Ever taken a piece of birthday cake at the office because your co-worker is passing them around – and you’re trying to lose weight? It’s the same thing. Sort of.

So chaos is created, and we fall on our ass. Now what? Feeling sorry for ourselves is the usual modis operati quickly followed by self-hate and shame. How could I be so stupid? I’m old enough to know better! Once we get that out of our system, the real work begins.

It takes a lot of balls to talk about the elephant in the room; especially when you’re the one who keeps welcoming it back. The good news is that we can learn to switch the wiring in our brain. We can choose to treat ourselves with kindness and love. No one’s really buying our bullshit but us anyway – so we may as well come clean.

The sooner we get real in knowing our chaos is self-induced and understand why we create it in the first place, the faster it will go away. Drama doesn’t equal fun. All it does is create a distraction from the kind of life we all deserve.

Your thoughts?

 

Christine Macdonald

Divisible by love

*In loving memory of a friend I only just met, but left a profound impact. His creative passion, humor, spirit and support with all he’s known will live on forever. Here’s to you, Markus D. Manley.  You vision will live on.

The next person who tells me everything happens for a reason is getting punched in the face. At the very least an eye roll.

We get it. Life is hard. Shit happens. We are exactly where we’re supposed to be.

Fuck off.

When the rug gets pulled from under us, leaving our bones shattered on the floor and our heads trying to figure out the why – a big “FUCK OFF” to the universe is warranted.

It’s been a few weeks since returning from my writer’s workshop in Guatemala and I’m looking forward to sharing the life-altering ride. Timing has not been kind as of late.

As if my Central American adventure wasn’t enough to knock me on my ass, I returned home to the kind of news that flattens you. We know this pain. It’s the type of agony that leave the fragments of what was once your whole and happy heart to suffocate your faith in the quiet space of an empty room. A place where you once breathed in love, and now sit with in solitude and wonder of how you fell so hard.

We’ve all been there. Hit with insurmountable pain, not knowing why. Still, is the fact that we’ve all experienced anguish enough to earn the knowledge of why? Collective entitlement. Works for me.  There are some kinds of pain we never overcome. We just learn to live with. The irony that we don’t learn why – if we ever do – until the sorrow weaves her way into our blood is nothing, if not cruel.

Ask anyone who’s lost a loved one to an untimely death. Free and happy one afternoon, then you get the call – they’re gone the next. Talk to a parent who buries their child. A lover who witnesses the loss of her partner’s life after lacing fingers with them, wrapped in love just moments before. There will never be a why. And ever if there was, does it even matter? They are gone.

Fuck you.

I read a quote today that resonates. “Grief is divisible by love.”

Nothing will ever dilute the pain when our hearts ache. Not even knowing the why. We are all so fucking fragile and life is insane and fleeting.

Instead of looking for answers, maybe it’s best to let go of the questions.

Surround ourselves with, when true and real will never escape us – what peels us off the floor and holds our hearts with one another in times of suffering  – simply, beautifully, Love.

Grief is divisible by love.

Christine Macdonald