Tomorrow night is my story telling group. The topic or prompt is flight. The thing is that I’m not coming up with a ‘story’. I’m sort of stuck on a ‘feeling’. And while its nice sometimes to share where we are or what we are feeling, I need to move myself into more of a story mode. I’ve been stuck in feeling mode for at least a week and a half.

That’s not working for me. I’ve written a half dozen failed attempts at stories. They all shared the commonality of being an essay on what I was feeling.

That’s what this is below. The others I have mostly just canned. They were as good or as bad as this one.

imho a little too literary and way too vague.

maybe, probably not worth reading at all. But canning them and trashing them or worse saving them to clutter up my hard drive unseen at all, that process has not gotten me out of this ‘story tellers’ block that I’m in.

Its sort of worse than writers block. I’m writing, its just not necessarily worth telling about or is it?

I don’t know, I give it up to you to choose.

“Flight”

Flight is my current dream. It’s not what I want. Its just the thing I dream of when the fear starts to crawl up my spine.

Run away, leave and get to a safe place.

I do not know where that is. I haven’t felt safe in several years.

My fear tells me that I’m not safe here.

But I stay and fight. I get knocked down by life. I get divorced. I lose my home and then lose the next home and the next home after that too. I lose the new love of my life on top of all of that.

I want to take flight, but I don’t know where to go.

I stay and fight primarily for my kids. They are getting older and better able to take care of themselves, but not all the way yet.

My youngest child has special challenges and might need a parent far longer than many kids. I can’t leave.

But I keep losing my fights.

I am not sure how much I can keep helping my children. I want to help, and then feel like I’m not.

I witness example after example where I do help them. I am happy to do so and don’t know if I can keep that up.

My finances are upside down, twisted and squeezed to the point where they almost do not exist. My once pristine credit is too ugly to even look at even more. It’s at that level of ‘too ugly’ where it prevents a person from getting a job.

I’ve reached out to try and get help and only learned that I make too much money. My earnings are above the poverty level and above the level of many starting position jobs.  

And I struggle to make it work. It’s still too low for a family of four.

I am self employed as I’m the only person that can afford to risk employing me at this point.  

I have improved and grown my business month after month for months now, and its no where near enough to cover this months expenses.

It’s this feeling of improving and succeeding to make things better and still failing….

This makes me want to take flight.

Maybe time and space could let me get somewhere that I could fix everything and get caught up with myself.

And yet I know that life doesn’t stop just because we need a time out.

I meditate and meditate and work on my psyche. Its the only thing that keeps me calm enough to keep slogging through the improvements and growth to some day break my hand through the surface of the water and give the signal, “I’m drowning!”

I write this while breathing deeply. I’m soaking in the tub loaded up with baking soda and epson salt. I’m trying to sweat out the toxic cocktail of stress hormones, cortisol and more.

They do not help me hold it together. Cortisol is my enemy. It drives me like a cave man to ‘Get up and fix the problem asshole!’ And like a caveman, or at least like we imagine a caveman, its using all the wrong skills and tools. 

The caveman in me wants to clean or fix things that don’t matter. It wants to declutter and throw things out in preparation for a retreat.

It’s not useful at all at fueling the actual work that is paying off December’s bills.

So I’m trying to soak it out. I need clarity so that I can solve a challenge for a client’s IMDB profile. 

I need to get an invoice out to another client also. I have been helping her get some interesting results and traction for her podcasting project. And I’m not feeling terribly appreciated. 

I’ve done probably a dozen or more hours of work for free on her project. I don’t think she even believes in her own project at this point. 

I do. I can see the path towards her success. I can help her get there. I’m trying to help her get there.

I tell myself if I can help her, it might give me the great example I need for a case study, something that might help me generate more business from clients like her. 

Except maybe they’ll appreciate me and pay for the extra hours.

Or maybe I’ll learn just enough from this where I will be able to achieve the results with a more elegant formulae, no extra hours needed. 

I feel like a gambler that sees every near miss as a win. I recognize this feeling, and there’s not much I can do about it.

I have to pull the lever one more time, because I don’t have any other levers to pull.  It’s my one and only machine that’s paying anything.

I can even see that its paying more, about 4% more than last year even.

A 4% raise on top of too little to pay the bills and cover extra expenses isn’t very satisfactory of a thing.

I build my mouse trap better every week, every month, every year.  At any moment, it could be the moment when things start to zing.

And then I step back and look at the mouse trap and realize its no where even as good as the mousetraps I make for any of my clients.

Deep breaths.

I have something that grew on my shoulder late last November. It feels like a knot in my shoulder at times. I’m getting a biopsy in a week or so.

It too makes me want to fly away.

It’s probably nothing and yet its still there.

Maybe its a mini me, probably nothing and yet still here.

More deep breaths.

My story has no beginning and no endings yet.  

Its just a whole lot of spirals in the middle.

Even if I did take flight, I’d probably just be stuck in a holding pattern myself, spiraling round and round and never quite landing.

So I stay and fight.

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