Crossroads Crossing

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I am at a crossroads in my life,

Turn left for a wild dream, an impossible possibility

Keep right to continue the course I’m on,

chained to my desk, in my cubicle, confined.

It’s not a cell if there are no bars, right?

Golden handcuffs encircle my wrists, keeping me from straying.

I have been here for two decades already and feel as if

I’m at the Hotel California, workday edition.

I can check out anytime I like, but I can never leave

(well, at least not until I’m 55)

It’s a place of topsy-turvy logic, where the rare and ever-elusive

common sense is supposed to roam, but I have yet to see it.

Where bad and mediocre are rewarded,

good is overworked, anonymous and taken for granted,

worked into the ground, ground into bits.

I ask myself – how much more can I take?

Of biting my tongue so much I have only a stump left

and words pile up likerocks in an empty well,

Feelings of frustration and stagnation rule the day.

Perhaps the crossroads really isn’t about choosing a direction or changing course;

maybe it’s more about attitude and acknowledgment.

Acknowledging the fact that with the soul-sucking atmosphere of any cubicle colony,

comes a steady income and the sense of security.

Keeping an attitude of gratitude and understanding that today’s hardships are

the lessons I’ll need tomorrow.

Understanding that wherever I go, I take myself with me.

Of having faith that there is a greater good and a reason for it all;

Knowing that this, too shall pass.

It all shall pass and all too quickly for the good times, the days of summer and

the wild nights that only youth in its arrogance can orchestrate.

In their place now are quiet nights of contemplation and relaxation,

Looking forward to a new chapter, a new direction and creating new memories,

Traveling and exploring, finding beauty in everyday life,

love in everyday interactions.

I am at a crossroads and I close my eyes, spin in a circle then open them,

walking forward, trusting my intuition to guide me.

With an open mind and my preconceived notions unpacked and left behind,

I move forward, always forward, away from the past, fully living in the present, heading

for a future that is unknown yet I’m certain full of promise.

Love, Loss and Learning to Loving Again

“We are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love, never so helplessly unhappy as when we have lost our loved object or its love.”
-Sigmund Freud

I love Freud. His name was the one that I look upon as being the holder of the keys to a magic porthole to the fascinating world of The Human Condition. My father spoke frequently of him and always with great respect. I believe my dad was also one of those people who are driven to answer the questions that an intelligent, troubled mind manifests when whirling and tossing thoughts about, crashing against each other – why? Why can’t I just…. Why am I failing? Why can’t I understand him/her/them/it? Why on Earth did I do/say that?

Free will is available to us, yet often it seems as though we are helpless to choose in certain situations; the relationship is toxic, but the feeling of love and need is greater than the intellectual knowledge that there is an element of danger to oneself. Why is that? What is that part of the mind that over rides even self-preservation? Why would an otherwise sane person choose to marry someone sight unseen? Or engage in a relationship with another that goes directly against their moral/ethical code?

I was raised on a steady diet of the importance of education, the power of intelligence and the responsibility that goes along with such great power (shout out to Spider-Man and Stan Lee) as well as some other not so healthy behaviors and coping mechanisms, but none of those schools could ever prepare me for the Arrival of Love’s First Kiss, First Loss and First Heartache. To be clear, it didn’t help with the first nor all the others afterwards. But here’s the best part – the Hopeless Romantic remembers only the best of those times; she edits out everything unpleasant and retains only the memories that capture the Best of Love. The Cynic remembers only the bad ending and holds that hurt in case Danger (Love) presents itself again. Nothing like an unfiltered flow of remembered pain and heartbreak to give one pause. The Intellect remembers it all, without the coloring of emotion to confuse it; the good, the bad; the laughter, the tears; the lessons learned and the losses born, the beginning, the middle and the ending. These three parts of my mind have been working under an uneasy truce for years now and I have made half hearted attempts to dip a big toe in the waters of the Lake of Love, I have had to understand that if I believe that I cannot really love another until I understand what love really is, I will never love another. Love is not to be understood, taken apart and analyzed; it is to be accepted, valued and celebrated for the complex mystery it is. It works well with Faith, as it is another powerful unseen force at work and it is as essential as the air we breathe and the nourishment we ingest to truly live. I have opened my mind to the possibility of love, I’ve brought forth a few of the Best of Love’s best moments and I’ve put away some of the darker, more painful memories and unhappy endings, as I believe they have been out and in the forefront of my mind for too long. My hands are empty, I’ve set free the resentments and old hurts I’d held onto for years and now they can hold whatever gifts are offered to me. I have stopped looking back and fretting and ruminating about what I had done/didn’t do and now face forward, eyes to the horizon, ready to move forward and begin again.
Photo credit: sidewalk in downtown Sacramento; artist unknown

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