Monday, April 4, 2011

Working the Obstacle Course

I have to admit, Mondays and Wednesdays are my hardest days of the week.  Global Media followed by Personal Growth is, I think, one of the hardest combinations I could have possibly come up with.

Global Media is a lot of research, a lot of finding small little details about the country my group has to work on this semester, Guatemala.  All I can say for that little country is that it's a perpetual black hole.  You really have to dig hard to find even the simplest information, such as the subscription fee for a newspaper.  So, the last couple of days have been spent digging and digging and finding things, but not the informational quality that's required for the class.  So, the digging continues there.

Then after Global Media, I walk the mile and a half it takes to get from Greenspun Hall to White Hall.  The walk is never very bad, actually I enjoy it a whole lot, it allows me to clear my brain and switch gears along the way.

Which brings us to today's topic in my Personal Growth class.  It's not one I'm willing to name because most of the rats in my hometown would love nothing more than to hear me lament on the topic, giving them cannon fodder to torment me with.  Two words.  Not happening.  However I will say this, in all of the hard work I've been doing over the semester on the details I feel I need to work on, this is the one topic I felt wouldn't trip me up.  Oh, how I was mistaken.  Trip?  Hell no, try a giant belly flop into a pool of anxiety.  I started crying right in my seat.

I've spent a lot of time trying to overcome obstacles.  The Ex, malicious people, the whole gamut of folks who have incessantly wasted my time that I'm now coming to grips with, and in the process, taking charge of my life.  I've been in stressful situations lately that, according to my friends, I've come through with flying colors without a shred of the reactionary tone I've had in the past when dealing with people who aren't nice and who aren't aware of how their actions affect others.  To that, I've taken two by fours to backsides in an effort to wake them up, and in the process exercise my own patience and fairness, being mindful of how my actions are affecting everyone around me. As a result, everyone around me is doing much better for me standing up, holding my ground and working through the problems with serenity and grace.

Today was horrible.  Of all of the things I've overcome, the topic covered in Personal Growth today was bar-none the hardest because I realized it was at the core of all of my issues.  Now at this point, you may think I'm being vague.  Yes, I am, but it's for a good reason.  Everyone has a core issue that they've not tackled or realize that it's the thing that drives them to their habits, good and/or bad.  Whether it be a horrible childhood, issues with your sexuality, love and relationship problems, it all boils down to one thing, we all have our demons that spur us on and they won't let go or give up the fight easily.  When you're faced with them, you've got two choices, you either consciously realize that your issue(s) have been the underlying source of your problems or you just remain ignorant to them.  I'd love to say I live in blissful ignorance, but for me, hyper-vigilance and all, I notice things like that straight away.

Here's the thing.  I sat there with my face becoming its own irrigation system, leaking from the face pretty good.  Doc Cat, gods love her, saw me struggling and dismissed the class, just letting it go for the day.  I walked up to her after class and said, "I'm sorry Doc, but this is just a really hard topic for me," and she let it go telling me that it was all right and that she understood where I was coming from.  Now what you all don't know is that during the semester, I've been having to write journals for her.  From family influences to relationships, she's been getting a very up-close and personal look at the Sophomore, warts and all.  She's heard the stories that I won't ever dare tell to the public and she's aware of each and every last skeleton rattling its' bones in my closet, so sufficed to say, like the excellent practicing therapist she is, she understood me completely.  I have to give her kudos, she handles me really well and by far this semester her class is the one that is worth the money I paid for it and then some.

After class let out, I wept all the way to the car, holding myself together by a thread.  I walked along wishing that some guy was waiting for me to hold me and make me feel safe.  As we know, I don't get that, so I had to tap into a resource that, while it seems trivial at times, really helps out in the roughest hours because I've come to realize that it's me that has to pull me out of the hole, no one else can do it for me.

I got into my car and started it.  When the radio came on, it was playing a song that definitely would have put me in the depression hole, so I hit the "next" button on my CD player and "Marchin' On" by One Republic started to play.  I remembered that it's the theme song to this blog so I pushed my tears back, singing at the top of my lungs, "For all of the wars we fight, for all of the things we'd like, with what we have I promise you now, we're Marchin' On."  It was at that point that instead of feeling sorry for myself and letting those old memories tear me up, I reminded myself that I've survived a lot of crap, and no matter what, I've kept marching on.  I've had things done to me that no one should ever go through and well, I'm still alive and kicking.  Yes, today's topic may have shook me up, but I remember that I'm still here and I've navigated those obstacles, but like someone who barely makes it through the obstacle course the first time, sometimes you have to go back and do it again until you're strong enough to traverse it with ease.  That's what today taught me.

By the time I got onto on the 15 freeway, P!nk's "Raise Your Glass" started to play and at that point, I stopped crying because I was singing at the top of my lungs, "So raise your glass if you are wrong in all the right ways, all my underdogs, we will never be anything but loud and nitty, gritty, dirty little freaks."  What got me at that point was the song serving as another reminder that I've survived a lot and for all of my perseverance, I deserve to have a glass raised to me for making it through it all.

By the time I got home, I had stopped crying. As I parked the car, The Temper Trap's "Sweet Disposition" played with the lyrics saying, "won't stop until it's over/won't stop to surrender."

Perseverance.  It's a good thing.  It helps you traverse the obstacle course and while you may get blistered, bruised and fall repeatedly, when you get to the end, you know you've accomplished something.  Have perseverance, your heart and mind will thank you for it.  It's KP's ever-constant reminder to keep working on those bridges.  We can get over them if we try.

So, for all of my fighters out there today, I dedicate to you the song of the day, The Temper Trap, "Sweet Disposition."

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