One Year Later

There comes a time when you have to move on, places filled with toxic patterns and/or bad memories. Everything you see and hear serving as a reminder, especially since it has been a year ago today since the accident. In that time, we have been technically living in half of a house, the other part practically cordoned off and used for storage. The flashbacks, once rare, have returned with more frequency; pictures causing me distress and bad memories, I cannot remember any of the good times like there is a block in my head. When I look at the big, empty front yard, I see emergency vehicles, police cars and friends’ vehicles.

Truthfully, I will never forget that day, it is a constant presence. I remember that instant, and the fear of the unknown. Everything immediately after is as vivid as a movie. The burden of being the bearer of bad news, the aftermath, and fear of what was going to happen next.
The hatred.
The moment I went numb, drained of all energy as shock settled in after the adrenaline trickled dry.

I bear it with a bit of sadness and a sigh since dwelling just feeds it. It is better to learn and use it to become better than before, someone we both would like. Stoicism helps to a degree, along with preparing to move clearing my head with the more downsizing I do.

The idea of a smaller place as the captains of our own Destiny is relieving after not having as much control before. Another city, new places, and routines.

A fresh start.

The Calm Before and After the Storm

Last month was a first for me, I had never flown before, and after watching a plane take off I wondered if it would feel like a rollercoaster. I hate rollercoasters so when the time came I did a little diagphramic breathing on a four count to take the edge off of my heart starting to race. That was it, outside of sweaty palms it was great, something I look forward to again.

A few times that weekend I thought about the calmness in the face of things that terrified me before. Plane crash, crazy drivers, hit by a train (crossing tracks in a buggy), drive off into the lake; a lot of it crossed my mind while riding in my father-in-law’s Kawasaki Razr. Ripping through fields and over hills my adrenaline barely trickled if at all. I don’t think it’s caused by burn out either.

Is it a result of having dealt with the past year?

Is it the experience of facing actual danger and dealing with primal fear?

Is it the application of the Stoic Trichotomy of Control where I know where I am powerless so I don’t “what if” myself into panic?

I kind of think it may be all of the above, my scales adjusted to a point it takes a lot to move the needle. Things falling into the categories of a problem to be solved and if it’s something I can’t handle then it is what it is. How I respond is the only control I truly have.

Different, but Same

While on vacation my mother-in-law suggested we make a trip to Niagara Falls, which of course piqued my curiosity for many reasons. First, I have never seen it before. Second, never been that close to Canada before. Lastly, the people watching, in any group I am in I watch out for trouble and that situational awareness makes for interesting observations.

Among everyone, I saw Hindus, Sikhs, and many people from the Orient, and pinged on a few individuals that broke the pattern. One person had a quiet intensity in the way he carried himself, not tense but experienced, his hat marking him as a Vietnam veteran. Another was a stocky individual that moved with a hitch, he was not at home in his body, think sick gazelle if you want to bring it to how a human predator looks at the world. Then there was the heavyset person giving me dirty looks for some reason. I remarked to my father-in-law about all the different cultures that were present, I will just say he was not as appreciative of the colorfulness as I was.

Days later flying home I stared at the ground 6 ½ miles below thinking how everything is so small. It gives a sense of perspective looking at the Earth and not seeing the interpersonal differences, property lines, or borders, it is all tiny, and fleeting compared to the age of the ground it sits on. When I saw the different cultures, I was noting the similarities they had with me, the gawking, some stressed, some worried about where to go and staying together. Just like any human, you focus on the similarities the differences just become interesting stories.

I try not to judge others by anything more than harmful behavior towards me; it is the only issue that can affect me.

Why I Am So Quiet…

It is surprising how little it seems that people know about introverts; I attempted to explain it after I was asked why I was not going to a company picnic. My response was truthful, but confusing; I had said, “No, people make me tired.” It does sound a little insulting.

To better explain I want you to think about when you are out in public or a party atmosphere, does it make you tired or energetic? Within four hours, I am completely drained in large groups, however with close friends and family I am good for about four days, with breaks to recharge alone. The only exception is my wife she is special like that.

Introverts are like batteries, the more people around them the faster they are drained. Extraverts on the other hand are like solar panels, they absorb people’s energy around them. Where I like to talk with one or two people at a time in depth, my wife can entertain a group for hours. Where some may like to mingle and talk while entertaining others, I naturally prefer to entertain my thoughts (where do you think all this writing comes from ;)).

If it was not for Facebook I would probably barely talk to anyone, though to my wife’s credit I am opening up a bit. I manage short bursts and then I am done, something that took her six and a half years to accomplish. Still with introverts like me, if it is not time with those closest to me, I would be just fine at home alone. That is something my wife has a hard time understanding easily since she is the polar opposite. Just like with her I stay out as long as possible with her so she can enjoy herself without worrying about me so much, I will just be over here watching and reading.

Freedom Isn’t A Utopia

I am about to dab into politics again, only to retreat into the underlying issue. Recently my Facebook feed exploded about the story of a baby burned by a stun grenade during a drug raid. Armchair quarterbacking ensued; I wonder how many considered what information the police had. The stories cited that an undercover office bought drugs from the location, noted the presence of weapons. That escalated the situation to a level where people could die. That is the reason for intimidating body armor, flash-bang grenades, and choosing to come after everyone is probably asleep; using overwhelming less-lethal force to neutralize so lethal force is not necessary.

Having said that I will now say this, I have written about my stance on the drug issue before, legalize them. It is your body to do what you will with.
Now, with the issue of laws, most ignore the ones they do not agree with. Traffic laws are a good example of this. You speed, or drive drunk, you know its illegal and hope you are not caught. However if you disrupt the peace or safety of other people, you are going to get someone’s attention, and you know this. Any person you bring into it that does not have a choice is a burden on your soul and responsibility. You want the freedom to do what you wish; you have to bear the responsibility of your actions and the consequences of when someone does not agree with you.

Freedom is not a utopia.