There’s no shame in bein’ crazy…

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depending on how you take these words they’re paraphrasing…
Beautiful Mess – Jason Mraz

I decided to get out & stretch my legs tonight. I usually walk around my neighborhood whenever I can, displaying my East Coast oddity in a city dictated by the movement of automobiles.

Under the auspices of finding myself some coffee, I headed out towards one of the bajillion Starbucks that dot the Los Angeles landscape – as Kate was delighted to learn while she stayed with me, there’s a Starbucks one block from my house in three out of four compass directions… seems they couldn’t manage to carve out any space in the residential space to the north.

Unfortunately, that does no good if they’re all freakin’ closed.

:sigh: As a native New Yorker, eight years in LA is still not enough for me to be annoyed at the fact that a city built for partying is short on spots to sober up afterwards. In NY, there are lots of all-night delis. In New England, there’s Denny’s if you want a meal, Dunkin’ Donuts if you just need a mobile mainline of caffeine. In LA, after 9 pm, outside of Mel’s on Sunset or Swingers… you’re kinda screwed.

That said, I figured there had to be something still open on Melrose, so I turned south down Fairfax to see what there was to see.

Much like the amount of time that it takes to get to the beach from anywhere west of the 405, I’m afraid that I have to take a moment & let non-LA residents in on a little secret about Melrose – TV & movies? Totally lied to you. First, there is no actual place calledMelrose Place, although I do find it amusing that there are billboards for the new version all over Melrose the street, which I honestly think is just a bad display of media buying – I mean, there’s irony, and then there’s just redundancy. Guess which category this falls into.

Now, the basic instinct would be that walking around L.A. at that time of night would be a bad idea, but you’re forgetting one basic principle – nobody else walks in L.A., so if anyone tries anything, it’s really easy to be heard & seen from the front window of every restaurant patio around. Plus most criminals worth their salt have a car, so I’m sure they’ve got other sh*t to worry about than me.

I tried to take a morning for myself today. I was supposed to row a demo boat that I’d wanted to try, and then head over to Christian’s place for the weekly group meditation – he’s been encouraging me to come for over a year and a half now, I thought I’d just take one day and be selfish & sneak off to take some time. There’s too much lately – too many voices, too much that I can’t block out… I just wanted to be able to breathe for once.

In the usual trend of my life, it only kinda half worked – instead of having a nice gentle row, the demo was double-booked. Since I knew I wasn’t going to buy it, I gave to the actual prospect of a sale and went out in a double with one of our novices. Normally I’d be okay with that, but M sits on port like a mo’ fo’ when she’s nervous, and the stretch aggravated my craptastic left hip to the point where we docked early. Luckily (depending on how you view things), what M lacks in symmetry in the boat, she makes up for by being a PT student, so it kind of worked out that she was able to work on me when it actually hurt, a fact that was illustrated by my periodic display of vocal obscenity when she would hit just the riiiiight spot.
Good news, it’s not an SI injury, it’s muscular as I suspected.
Bad news, it still stings like a bitch, and M informed me that I’m so tense that trying to work on my muscles meant “I need to show you how hard I had to push before you felt anything – it’s like trying to press into a table.” psh. She hasn’t even touched my back – I once had a Russian massage therapist who was another rower inform me that my back was such a mess it would take her month of daily treatments just to soften things up. Hey man,what can I say – everybody carries their stress somewhere, right? :shrug:

Truth of the matter is, I just needed a break more than anything else. I’m just… tired lately. In talking to M this morning, I finally had to admit that in the last two months I’ve been doing the job of two people – coaching and admin. And it’s nothing against our coach, it’s just the way the schedule has shaken out with his life right now, but that doesn’t change the fact that I’ve been trying to juggle everything and still manage my non-boathouse existence, and it’s just left me… kind of broken. Everyone else went on vacation, and I stayed behind and covered them.

Here’s the thing – there’s no stopping. It’s not like I came to this realization, and now I get to take a break. Instead, everyone’s back and ready to go again, and I have to keep up with that. I have work to do so I can get paid, and things that need to be done, and all I really want to do is find a warm bed, and someone to curl up with and take a nap. I want to be warm and safe and not have to figure things out or get anything done and just surrender control of everything and be able to trust that I can sleep and have that be okay. For once, it’d be really nice to have someone else look out for me.

Unfortunately, I know that’s not going to happen. There is no vacation, there is no one to crawl into bed with. There’s no one to trust. There is no haven, no family to run to, no home except the one I carve out for myself. I have to stand on my own, I have to do the work myself. Such is life. Such it has always been. The best I can do is steal a bit here and there for myself and carry on until I can sneak another break.

So I gave the few things that needed to be done over to H, slipped out of practice early and went to Christian’s house for a bit so I could be somewhere that I didn’t have to be anything. For two hours, I could just sit in a corner, and listen to a couple of guys talking about the surf that morning, sip the iced hibiscus tea that Christian & Theresa seem to always have in their house, meet people that had no expections on me, do my meditation in a place that wasn’t my car or my living room couch, and just be there while everyone else talked about the subject for the week. Honestly, as a recovering Catholic, I have to say it was kind of like Church, except with exponentially less guilt, much more comfortable clothes, way better beverages, and no risk of being called up to help with the Mass because the scheduled altar server didn’t show up & Fr.Ed knew that the kids in my family would always be at the 9:30 am service.

Back in the day with the Bronzers, one of my favorite things to do was just to be able to lie on a floor (or admittedly sometimes on a person, shush on you lot) and just… listen. To just sit and let the conversation happen around me and not have to participate in it. If you know where to look on the internet, there’s actually copious photographic evidence of the fact that many a hotel suite floor has been broken in with that pasttime. In a way, being able to hang out for the discussion at Christian’s place was a nice throwback to that. I miss my Bronzers sometimes, I’ll tell you that.

But like everything in life, the Bronze has passed, and in that vein, so did the group meditation. I went home, and tried to convince myself to get up and get things done. I got a little – not enough, and finally fell asleep for a while more, which is how one ends up wandering around Melrose after 9pm on a Sunday night looking around at the few other pedestrians thinking, “Okay, I know it’s a holiday weekend, but seriously why are your children not at home? I don’t even have kids & I know that this is not the place for anyone that can still fit into a stroller to be hanging out. < mockery>wtf ppl omg. < /mockery>”

I need to create a better structure for myself so that I don’t end up doing this – being listless and wander-ey at night because I can’t sleep. I’m going to go check out the wi-fi at the public libraries this week. Working at home isn’t getting the job done, and I just can’t settle in at a Starbucks with that many people around – I’m too much of a 5-year-old, it’s just way distracting. When I was in college, there was a corner of the NDC library where a big comfy armchair faced a window in front of a tree, and I used to be able to go hide there and get things done — well okay, I’d do stuff there after I got off work in the mornings until I fell asleep and my cell phone alarm would wake me up to go to class, but still – some progress was actually accomplished, indeed it was. I hear there’s free wi-fi at the Santa Monica libraries, think I’ll take a crack at them this week – after all, thanks to Kate, I’ve now got InkSpot to keep me company, and you gotta figure somewhere on the quest to fill a 120 GB iPod, there’s got to be a playlist or two that would keep me focused for a while, eh?

Luckily for me, Vienna Cafe on Melrose was still open, so I finally found some decent (if IMNSHO overpriced) caffeine to keep me up a bit longer. When all’s said and done, I really don’t have a choice. It’s time to keep going. Time to move on. Time to remind myself – there is no haven. There is no safety. There is no trust. I need to take care of myself, I need to protect me. It’s time to work on that. I just need to keep repeating it, and doing it, and remember that I’ve gotten this far, I can go a little further. Maybe one day there will be the warm bed, and someone to depend on, and the comfort of safety, and the release of rest, but it’s not here yet. Miles to go,  my friends. Miles to go.

Buffy: You don’t have anything useful to tell me, do you? What are you, just some immortal demon sent down to even the score between good and evil?

Whistler: Wow. Good guess.

Buffy: Well, why don’t you try getting off your immortal ass and fighting evil once in a while? ‘Cause I’m sick and tired of doing it myself.

WhistlerIn the end, you’re always by yourself. You’re all you’ve got. That’s the point.

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  • sandra742

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