Reaching back to reach forward

I’ve written in previous blog posts about my journey.  It was never easy.  I survived many trials – everything from vicious child abuse and horrendous bullying, to several adult struggles in parenthood and relationships.

Somehow I made it through all those moments.

Today … my struggles are more internal.  Both physical and mental.

Last Monday, I spent the morning at Dr. Mohler and Choo, D.D.S., as Dr. Mohler and his dental assistant, Ms. Brace, gave me a Monday morning root canal surgery.  Normally I would be worried about such a surgical experience.  I mean, you mention the words “root canal” and automatically you get a visceral reaction about drills and Novocaine and needles and all that.

Somehow, I made it through.  A little discomfort afterwards, but short of taking a couple of Tylenol pills, nothing out of the ordinary.


Right now I’m focusing on several art projects in and around my life – stitching up a burlap bag with skeins of yarn; tearing apart shipping crates and crafting new creations from them.  I’m watching YouTube clips like it’s an episode of Sunrise Semester or something.

Normally I’d be afraid to tackle these new projects.  I’d feel overwhelmed or nervous or skittish about what’s happening.

But not today.  Today I’m feeling more confident about my crafts.  I’m branching out from photography to these new physical accomplishments.  That’s not to say that I haven’t been taking photos … I have a couple of photo projects that are also giving me very strong, positive vibes.

It’s a confidence I haven’t felt in many, many years.

I’m not used to it.

But I kinda like it.

Maybe I’m finally finding my balance.  A personal balance between health and heart, between mind and soul.

It’s still a tentative search … I don’t think I’ve reached the point of perfection.  Maybe I never will.

But there’s something different in the world.  Different in terms of where I am and what I’ve achieved in this short, finite time on Planet Earth.

I look back at a scared, frightened kid who just survived two vicious, cruel beatings in a day – one at the hands of his classmates after they waited for me at the bus stop after school, and the other immediately afterward by my stepfather in his Schlitz-fueled rage.

That kid is still there.  But his grip on my life is slowly fading away, less of a grip and more of an alert.

There is an old adage that creativity is born from struggle.  And we all go through those struggles.

And as you long-time blog readers know, I had to leave a lot of struggles behind me.  I walked away from abusive relationships, both personal and professional.  I had to find the courage to say, “No more.”  It wasn’t there at first.  But it came.

For the past year, I’ve been repairing my damaged body.  I’ve got a medical team working on my teeth, on my eyes, on my bones, on my blood.  I’m not dying tomorrow, don’t worry about that.  In fact, I’m not dying tomorrow because I felt more confident in visiting my medical professionals.

Little tidbit – I don’t even take the appointment cards from the receptionists any more.  I turn on my phone, activate the Google Assistant, and ask it to set up an appointment.  Right there at the reception desk.  It’s a schedule now.  It’s not dread.  It’s now a reckoning.  As in, “I reckon I’d better get to the appointment on time.”

If I can keep this going … who knows where it will lead?

I mean, there’s still that inferiority complex deep inside me, the one that says I’m not good enough or smart enough or strong enough or enough enough for anything.

It still peeks out from time to time, like a mouse sniffing through a hole in the woodwork.  But more often than not … it seems to sense a mouse trap of positivity and hope.

Again … I’m not used to these feelings.

But again … I kinda like having them.

Let’s see what today brings.

And tomorrow.

And next week.

In other words … I think today is going to be a great day.

And I’m okay with that.