Thursday, September 3, 2009

Rocks and Hard Places

I've have had a pit in my stomach for awhile. It sits there... some days quiet... some days loud and nagging. Today it is yelling in my ear... "J’aurai toujours faim de toi"

It used to be that the decisions to be made were blacker. And whiter. You wrote them down and balanced the pros and the cons and the path suddenly appeared... like a lighted walkway, suddenly appearing in the dark. But perhaps the comic gods of fate have decided to mix things up a bit and make the pros and the cons equally wonderful... or equally horrible. The win wins have been replaced by lose loses.

And when I talk to people, I see them facing their own rock and hard place situations. And my heart hurts. For them. For me. But inevitably I manage to feel optimism for those other people. I know that things will turn for them. That situations that seem unwinnable from this vantage will shift and change and take on a different light when you move down the road a bit. I encourage them to meet their demons. And tell them that it will be alright.

But I can't quite convince myself of the same thing. Why is that? Why is that we are better about helping others over obstacles than we are at climbing them ourselves. I say "we" because I want your company even thought it haunts me. I say "we" because I don't want to admit that I can't get my legs to work just now. Because it is easier to push you ahead and tell you to face your own demons than it is to admit that I am scared.

The fears of childhood... the bogeymen that wait in the closets... are transformed from the imaginary and into full bodied horrors that we call regret. The worst rock and hard place decisions are ones that leave a trail of regret regardless of the decision that you make. Either decision by itself can bring joy. But choosing one over the other causes the color of both to fade. Moving one way... leaves behind the wraith of what could have been which sucks the soul out of the path taken.

I seek no sympathy. Since this is my path. I don't seek advice. Because having dispensed much in my time, I know that words aren't the answer. I can't even wish for company, because it is better simply to find my way alone. But the pit started the day I willed my legs to move. Even though it tore my whole being down the middle. It is grayer now than it was. Both in front of me and behind me. But if I keep moving perhaps, eventually, I will find the sun again.


  1. I have a rough outline of how you feel, if not precisely the feelings themselves. Who knows if mine is better or worse than yours ("mine" referring to experience, psyche, etc).

    I can say that this write has hit my inner core. Personally, my decisions have been made. Gray decisions for sure. Along with a few that were black and the few that weren't. None were white.

    A wrecking ball has recently passed through my life. I'm cleaning up, hoping to rebuild, but I can't afford the bricks for the structure, you know?

    Regret? Oh hell, yeah! (hell to the yes?) I am tired and traumatized. But time will pass for both of us, bringing us to another time. And then, let us not blink, as we might miss the happy. :)

  2. Wow this really struck a chord with me. I've been in situations such as this before... where regardless which path you choose the path not chosen somehow also ruins the path chosen. I totally feel ya. I'm not sure there IS advice for this situation, nor would I insult you by offering any. I've been there. It sucks. The only positive light I can shed on the subject is that atleast I'm not STILL in that place. So hopefully one day you will be able to say the same.

  3. So many can relate to your feelings. I've kept a journal of quotes I like over the years and I practically sleep with it under my pillow. Here are two:
    "If you watch how nature deals with adversity, continually renewing itself, you can't help but learn."
    Bernie Siegel
    "Fresh activity is the only means of overcoming adversity."
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

  4. @happy... I don't blink a lot. I hope your clean up continues successfully.

    @Lindsay... I am.. if nothing else... every the cynical optimist.

    @Margo... the ability to quote Goethe in comments will carry you far with me.

  5. My clean up will be great...I've got what I need, even if it's not what I want. I hope your heart heals quickly, Mobius.

  6. Its like standing in front of a large tree, and trying to decide which way to circumvent it to get you where you want to go. The person standing a few feet away in the same forest is better equipped to give you advice on what lies in each direction. Oui?

    La faim reste jusqu'a ce que l'on ne soit satisfait. Duh.

  7. Eat. Before you starve.

    But if you always order the same dish, and it always leaves you cold and wanting, sometimes you just have to drop a Zantac or two and order the General Tsao's.

  8. @PC... Or I could just climb a tree and hang like a sloth. That sounds nice. But oui.

    @Mona Lott... I have no trouble eating. I have trouble stopping eating. And now that you mention it, General Tsos sounds about right for lunch.

  9. The beautiful thing about always being able to help the other, even when we can't help ourselves, is that together we've got enough support for all of us. I love how that works.

    I am fortunate to have a support system that doesn't let me go astray and to have others who will listen to my experience, so they don't take a hazardous fork that they don't have to.

    It's "we" all the way. It's good that you see that.

  10. @Just LD... it is always "we"... it is sad that so many forget that so often.

  11. I wrote a comment for this blog that was at first charming and clever. Then I shared something relatable dipped from my own deep well of experience. I was finishing with some sage advice that didn't sound preachy, or show-offy. That's when I accidently deleted what I wrote...


    this too shall pass, brother.

  12. @richard- oh... I hate that. the losing of the good comments. but thank you for the thoughts.