Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Dreaming Qualities

My dreams have been all over the place lately. It's obvious why my brain is overly active right now, but it's odd the places my mind has gone.

Recently, I had a dream that I was standing in a line, in a sort of bank or MVD type setting. I believe I was standing there with my girlfriend, Melanie. It wasn't an unhappy line, but it was odd being there. I distinctly remember the color palette, which I usually do in my dreams as that's something I've always noticed in my subconscious land. The color of the area was composed of golds and beige. I remember looking over to the entrance and seeing my younger cousin Trisha leading my late aunt (Trisha's grandmother) Celia into this building, whatever it was.

Trisha lead Celia, holding her hand, weaving in and out of the lines. I knew that their moving ahead of the lines as to be okay, but I wasn't sure why. I knew that Celia was dead, even in my dream state, but I didn't question what I was seeing. I wanted to call out to Trish and Celia, but I hesitated, feeling like maybe I shouldn't say anything.

I woke up thinking, "What the hell?"

My aunt Celia died a few years ago, her body horribly ridden with cancer. It was a bittersweet time for my mom, in particular, because my son, her first grandchild, was born on a day where it was becoming increasingly clear that Celia didn't have much longer. I remember the day my mom came into my work to tell me that Celia had passed. She looked numb, but prepared. That's the only benefit of having to wait; it steels you for the imminent tragedy.

It's obvious where the dream has come from. My mom has been battling cancer and cancer related complications for a while now. While her condition isn't anywhere near as severe as Celia's, it's no less trying, scary, or painful. Mortality is a subject I've long hated and been afraid of, but chance has saw to it that we keep being reminded of it.

And really, it isn't chance. We all die. I'm not telling anyone anything new. We all know this fact. But I feel like I was among the many who didn't really understand that reality. Sometimes, we have the misfortune of having people taken away from us too young or "before their time." I don't put that in quotes because I don't agree with it. I put it in quotes because it's used often, and I hate that I have reason to use it. And now, as my mom plans her move to Colorado, I worry that this will be my last time with her. That hurts more than I could ever have imagined.

The dream I had last night was blissfully nothing to do with mortality. At least not directly. I dreamed of two people with whom I used to be good friends. And I'll say their names here because I have nothing really negative to say; Zach and Laura.

Our friendship ended because of paranoia, trust, and anger. Zach felt slighted by my doing a podcast with others. I think he channeled a rage toward me that pushed his thoughts toward me being a thief. And I became angry, wanting to remind him of my ideas towards the subject matter long before his store closed.

Only now do I look at my anger and say, "What was the point?" Was he wrong accusing me of stealing or feeling slighted? Sure. But I was wrong too.

One of the bad parts of my personality is this emotional wall I've built around myself. I'll listen to people's issues, help them through whatever problem, unless it somehow involves me. Then I put the wall up and get mad when people don't just get over it like I did. But was I getting over it? Not really.

The exact moment that bridge fell down was when I posted the short we did together, "Calendar Company," to try and raise funds for a feature I wanted to make. He took offense to my posting it and that was that. I called my anger at the time justified. "I directed it, I helped write it, I facilitated much of the project" blah, blah, blah. It's true, but it's also horseshit.

You see, I saw well ahead of time that there was conflict. But blaming them for all of it is a problem. Imagine if I'd said, "Zach, I'm going to post this video to help raise funds for the next project." Changes the landscape, doesn't it? Imagine, even more than that, if I'd talked to he and Laura much earlier about the problems that were perceived, because in hindsight, there weren't any real problems, just trust. If I'd told them Nick and I were doing a podcast ahead of the fact, it wouldn't have mattered. But I rationalized that I wouldn't have time with my kids around. Partly true. But a phone call, email, all of that was readily available. I should have torn down that stupid wall of mine and put it all on front street. Talked to them. I didn't.

I know it's not all my fault, but neither was it theirs. And it may be a cliché, but life is too short. Way too short. Grudges are really bad, especially when they are about nothing important at all. There are some people that I've cut contact off with that I'll never speak to again. But there were some honest wrongs committed. In the case of Zach and Laura, not at all. It was just a misunderstanding. Everyone has faults, and I wholeheartedly acknowledge that about myself, and it's wrong to ruin all of the good times because of these misunderstandings. And make no mistake, there were really good times.

Jokes, friendship, all of that was there, and I'm mad at myself that it's gone. I don't know if they'll ever want to be friends again, but I hope so. I don't care about apologies, going one way or the other, though I emphatically apologize for my part in it, my apathy, and my inability to open up emotionally. I know Melanie has a different view on it, and fair enough. She was never involved, in fact was pretty unaware of all of it, until she was sent an email and was dragged into it. She holds grudges better than I do, and in fairness to her, she had nothing to do with anything and was called out for no real reason. She needs to do what she needs to do. But she understand where I am and has as good as given me her blessings in that regard. Melanie's tale is hers, but I feel like she's finding peace with it.

Zach's an angry guy. But so am I. We've both experienced loss, painful loss. Chance willing, I won't have to undergo it again until the end of my days. And both of us are likely very angry at this loss. We've just channeled that anger differently. But I can't be angry anymore. Not like that. I don't know if I'll ever be completely free of that rage, but the rest of it I can channel into my writing. And as much as I tried when we were friends, I can't make Zach give up his anger. He has to find his own way. I hope he does. He and Laura are good people and I ultimately wish them the best, even if we never find our way into friendship again.

A lot of my friends have been good about everything going on. Nick and Andrew in particular. We don't discuss what's going on with my mom right now, though one might point out, justifiably, that I'm just walling off my emotions again. But I'm not ready for that right now. They've just been friends, and that's been therapeutic more than they'll ever know. I wish I could show gratitude in some way, but I can't. I don't know how to put it into words, but I hope someday I find a way.

Obviously, one who is older and/or wiser than I would look at what I've written and say, "Welcome to growing up." I would counter that and say one of the biggest fault of those who like to pass on wisdom is that very notion. You can't tell someone, "Oh, you're growing up. I've done that." It doesn't help. You have to let people grow up. You have to let them feel these pains and these changes and understand them as an experience, not as some vocal lesson that will ultimately ring hollow. It's hard, but I, like all people, deserve the chance to suffer this emotional growth my way.

I wonder what my dreams hold for me going forward. Catharsis? Longing? I don't know. The ultimate goal in the real world is that Melanie and I want to get to Texas and be with my kids. Have our life their. Along the way I'd like to make movies and tell stories, even if just for fun, while we establish our more practical and concrete futures. And maybe, once there, once with the two people I care about the most of all, with the girlfriend who has meant the world to me, and, if all things go well, my mom being happier and healthier, I can find some peace.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Free Writing 8

Much to do.
But where is the time
To do it all?

I find the time
All around me
     But I filled it
     With my visions of fancy.
I've wasted the opportunity to do what's right
By throwing away chance for desire.

So please, oh, please, can I have a little more time
To pull myself out of these waters so murky
And do what I should have done all along.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Self Observation Time

Yup, it's that time. Time for some introspection. But fear not, dear reader, this isn't going to be weepy, whiny, pleading, or anything like that.

This will be my best attempt at some honesty about who I am. So, let's do this as a list, bullet, sort of thingy, kind of, -esque.

1. I'm a better actor than I've given myself credit for in the past.  Previously, I couldn't watch myself on film without groaning or picking it apart. That's changed. I do see the bad, yes, but instead of it owning the entire performance, I can see what I need to improve and see what I do well. And there are many things I do well. I'm starting with this one because it's happy.

2. I'm a very confident person with generally high self esteem. But I do have issues sometimes with self-worth. Not horribly. Not as bad as a friend of mine who goes to great lengths to tell "little" lies about his set of skills, his education, his job, and a plethora of other things. I don't need to build up falsehoods about myself to make myself feel better. But sometimes, I tend to lose faith in my abilities. I will feel these spells of hopelessness where I feel like I can't do anything. I'm going to correct this. The only people who should ever truly despair are those who know what's going to happen in the future. And no one is really in that position. I'm going to be more hopeful, but I'm going to ask for help more instead of trying to do everything on my own.

3. I'm afraid of vulnerability. Very afraid. It's actually one of the things keeping me at just being a decent actor instead of a very good one. You have to be vulnerable to let those emotions out. And I never do. For so long I've rationalized this as me just seeing emotions as a sort of weakness. Which is text book. Holy crap is that a text book, cliché problem. And I understand that. The reality about all things is that we were all born unique little snowflakes by virtue of DNA, genetics, and all of that biological wizardry. We shouldn't be trying so hard to be utterly different from each other. It's actually good to have similarities with others, as well as the differences, because it's the combination of those similarities that makes social interaction interesting.

And that social interaction shouldn't be a place for me to hide my vulnerability. A lot of my self worth issues that pop up here and there are probably tied into the fact that I don't open up. That's not to say I'm going to cry every time I'm with friends. But maybe I shouldn't worry so much about showing any kind of honest emotion.

With all of my mom's health issues, I'm starting to see things differently. I shouldn't be bottling this up so much and being more honest about how I feel about things.

4. I don't like Dr. Who. I didn't say the show was bad, just that I don't like it.

5. I love writing. And I miss theatre.