The Soundtrack of My Life – 1 – Announcing a Goal

Music is truly magical for me. It can unlock my deepest emotions and bring to mind memories I had long forgotten. It’s incredible. I don’t know if many have that ability, but I do. Which is why sometimes I go through phases where I cannot bear to even listen to any music. I’m so overwhelmed with my current reality that all I am willing to listen to is spoken word (ie comedy albums, podcasts, audiobooks.) But sometimes even those can come accompanied with a euphoric recall. (Except for the book on tape “Rock your Revisions,” that just brings out agonizing anxiety.)

Like any writer worth their digital ink, I wanted to write throughout 2022. Specifically so I can hone my craft but also because I need to do things that are just for me. I need a hobby. I have to have something to alleviate the pressure inside my head. (The space in which I reside the most, by the way.)

Wanting this, I began to run through the parameters for myself. I considered writing everyday… But that is an unrealistic expectation. Life inevitably gets in the way. Especially mine. Which is why I have scaled it back to a more manageable and achievable goal, and in the end that’s how you want to do something. Therefore I thought once a week is good. In the end I will write 52 blog posts and have succeeded in completing my task.

While weekly is a more than manageable goal, the next obstacle is: what do I write about? The only thing I know more than my own imagined fantasies is my own life. I am also SUPER obsessed with myself. I mean… how could I not be? (P.S. I am kidding… Sort of.) There is nothing I love to talk about more than myself. And the topic I enjoy even more is sifting through memories.

The one thing that trauma and emotional distress has shown me is that it loves to take away my memory. My brain used to be sharp as an obsidian arrowhead but since the death of my father, my mother’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis, my husbands terminal diagnosis, and fucking covid, what super brain-power I use to have has fallen by the wayside. Instead I am lucky if I can hold onto short-term tasks. It sucks. Therefore… music.

Trauma may have taken my active memory recall, as in if I try to specifically remember something specific I cannot, however music remains powerful. So, I am going to pick a song, an album, or even a mundane tune, I’ve heard over the course of my life that has attached itself to my memory and write about it. Hopefully these posts won’t be as longwinded as these last two sentences. (Good lawd.) And even on an off-day, when I can barely hold onto my sanity, I’ll use a new diddy to write about something equally undiscovered. The best part of all this: I get to share some music with you. And more than the love I have for talking about myself, and even more than reminiscing about the past, I am excited/elated/ecstatic to share a song with someone. It’s one of my weird love languages. If I send a song to you, it means it unlocked apart of me that thought of you and that will live with me forever. It can and never will be replaced/erased. It belongs to you.

Just Keep Going

Well, look at that. Only three days in and I have already missed a day. But seeing as how it isn’t a resolution to “write everyday” but a goal, it doesn’t matter. And if you do miss a day in achieving your goal, you pick yourself up and keep going. You don’t look back and you don’t hold regrets. You just keep moving.

Yesterday was miserable, mentally. The news had me fuming and work had me stressed so that it felt like I was wearing a blindfold of pain. In the end I chose to be with people who would make me feel at peace than allow myself to dwell on my misery.

I could claim all the excuses I want to why I failed at my goal, but it would do nothing. In the end I chose not to because I was tired. And that’s okay.

We have to be happy with our choices because it was the best one we could have made in the moment. (Plus, I didn’t want to make a post about the shit the world is going through. Because enough has already been and will be said.)

Most people dwell on the things they should have done as opposed to what they did. But if what they “should have done” was the right answer they would have done it in the moment. Be happy with your choices. They were the right ones.

All down hill from here

As is custom, when I sit on the edge of a new year I take a look back at the previous one. And it must be said that 2019 was quite the train wreck. All the politics and world issues aside, my personal life was a rollercoaster.

Going chronologically, it started off great. In February of last year I passed my real estate appraisal licensing exam (on the third try) and officially became an appraiser. Then in May I was awarded my AA degree, summa cume laude (then proceeded to transfer to a more distinguished college campus). And in the space between these two landmark achievements, I felt empowered and returned to editing my novel (because nothing could stop the success train!)

I got halfway through my revisions before life turned on a goddamn dime.

The first punch to the gut was my mother getting, officially, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. (Prior to that a nurse practitioner diagnosed her weird mental failings as being under too much stress.) Her loss of memories be damned, it was her erratic and bizarre behavior that finally showed my father and I the ugly truth we had been denying.

Following that my grandmother was diagnosed with stomach cancer. She was given a month to live and that she did. She passed away in the early morning hours after everyone had left her to rest.

Immediately after that death, my father fell and hit his head while taking his morning piss. (His third time falling that week.) He arrived at the hospital unresponsive and stayed that way until I gave the order to let him rest. He was gone in less than a minute, surrounded by his family.

Since then it has been failure after failure as I struggle to balance my job, my academic life, my romantic relationships, and being the sole caretaker for my mother. I try to keep up but I’m always letting someone down or forgetting to do something.

This had been the way of things until very recently…

After my husband had his weight loss surgery he began to have issues with his balance and walking. It got to be so worrisome that he was sent to a neurologist who ordered MRIs of both his brain and spine, and who gave an early diagnosis of “pressure on the spine.” He has since had them and now we wait for that news to hit us across the face.

To say that 2019 fucked me up would be an understatement. It bludgeoned me and left me on the side of the road to die.

But all is not lost…

This notion that at the stroke of midnight we are all given new lives and new opportunities is ridiculous. In reality we have that at all times. Even when things are shitty. Every moment is new and undiscovered. We get to forge new paths everyday. But just like any route the terrain is vastly different from the one that came before it. How you navigate through it depends solely on your willingness to keep going.

I am glad this year is done. But the shit storm that has become my life will only get progressively worse. It’s just the path I tread. However, I will take every moment I can to find happiness. I will surround myself with love and companionship to remind myself that in the end all that matters is what we did with the time we were given.

Get in, Sit Down, and Shut Up

Here is day 4 and I am still doing it. Surprising to say the least. But I do feel myself pulling away. Although, why I don’t know. Is it because of the pressure I am putting on myself to perform? Or that there is a quasi audience reading what I write, judging me. Or is it because I’m just a lazy fuck? The world may never know.

In all honesty I should have done this earlier in the day. I’ve been bored watching television and stuffing my face with the holiday cookies my husband made last night. He’s been really busy the past few days, which left me alone to my own devices.

I had attempted to continue reading about druidism but it was throwing so much information at me that I thought I was going to die. Eesh. But once the husband goes back to work and thus leaving me all alone, I’ll pick it back up. Plus I need to read a book a month, per my year long goals.

Year of Writing Prompts by Brian A. Klems & Zachary Petit
January 4 365
“Days Something life-altering happened. As a result, you’ve decided to give something up for an entire year. Write a scene detailing the cataclysmic event, or the struggle to keep the vow you made.”

I stood staring at my car parked in the driveway. It was covered in a thick layer of dust, that some punk from the neighborhood had decided to scrawl obscene words in, along with the images of dicks and even a pair of boobs. Any other time I would have been furious. I had loved my car. It was the lover and friend I had always wanted. Loyal. No one drove her but me. Now, I couldn’t care less what happened to her.

Ever since the accident I can’t bring myself to sit behind the wheel once again. My girlfriend says that I’ll get over it, in time, but I’m not so sure. It’s been a year since the incident and I still don’t even feel comfortable in a car, let alone drive one myself.

Angela walks up behind me and drapes and arm around my neck.

“What’re you doing, honey,” she says.

I lower my head. For some reason I can’t bring myself to tell her that I had gotten the urge to try and drive down the street. Maybe it’s because it would give her hope that I didn’t feel ready to give.

I look into her sapphire eyes.

“Just wanted to get some air.”

She hugs me tighter. With a peck on the cheek, she feels satisfied and turns to go back into the house.

I slowly walk around the front to gaze at her other side.

The body shop did an amazing job. No one would ever know that a Ford Bronco had t-boned me in the intersection.

A faint memory flashes through my mind of he headlights getting brighter and the deafening crunch of our cars colliding.

I stumble back out of breath. I double over and try to catch the air that has left me.

I still don’t know how I survived. By all accounts I should have been crushed. When I replay it I just hear sounds. No other details come to mind. It was like my brain had put me into suspencion to protect myself from the crash.

The next thing after the lights, that I remember, is waking up in the hospital days later. The doctors were afraid I’d never wake up.

The doctors released me into my own care, but what they failed to realize is that I would be consumed with fear whenever in a vehicle. I close my eyes and tense my body every time I go through an intersection. Every car that waits until the last minute to stop will surely collide into me. I just know it.

My heart begins to race. I was stupid to even try. I turn and head back into the house.

Halfway up the walk I hear Angela’s scream. I rush up the rest of the way, throw oopen the door and find my girlfriend sitting on the kitchen floor, blood all over the white linoleum.

“What happened?” I say.

“I’m such an idiot. I dropped the knife and it went right through my foot.”

She’s clutching her bare foot, the bloody knife only a few feet away. I rush to the drawer with the tea towels and grab everyone of the neatly folded cloths. I drop to my knees and begin wrapping them around her foot.

“You need to take me to the emergency room.” She says.

I look up at her. My eyes are wide and my mouth is open. Very slowly, I shake my head no.

“I’ll call an ambulance.”

I stand up, but she grabs me around my arm and stops me.

“Are you insane? We don’t have that kind of money. This isn’t that bad.” She says. “You can do it.”

I look at her. I want to tell her know. But her eyes plead with me and I can only agree.

I scoop her up into my arms and take her outside. I don’t even bother to lock the door behind me.

I gently lay her in the passenger seat and rush around the nose of the car to the driver’s side. I stop only inches from the repaired handle.

“Hurry, Jon,” she says, “I’m getting blood everywhere.”

I scream from the deepest part of my chest and pull open the door and toss myself inside. She starts up instantly, like she was waiting for me. Carefully, so carefully, I back out the driveway and head for the emergency room.

“You’re amazing.” She says.

My hearts pounding in my ears. I can barely focus on the road and all I can think about is she did this on purpose.