limitless potential.

Welp, here are some random scraps that I jotted down here to reflect on later... rather than reflect, I shall let them speak for themselves. Happy

POTENTIAL. The opportunity to explore our limitless potential. Happy Blog! I'm excited!
Haha, classic Val starter excitement and closing problem! I will leave this here as a placeholder for me to come back and explore this idea further, because it sounds really cool to write about. For now what I will say is, I get these little glimpses of what a heart wide open, best and most conscious life lived might be like. They are electric jolts and shivers down my body, the tingles, felt in a location visited, time with an inspiring kindred spirit, in the flow doing something I love. There is some sort of block to accessing this place fully, and certainly not all the time... like if I'm fully realized... then what? Kind of thing. That might be the block.

But why not do a lot more of the things I love to do? On purpose, intentionally? Because they are not happening on autopilot and habit. I need to make it a practice to incorporate more awesome and fun and satisfying things into my schedule on a regular basis. I'm the only one who can do it!

And, from some girl(s) movie: 

“The shitty part for the other people in your life is no matter how painful it is for them, when you’re a writer, you just can’t let shit go, you have to study it, and poke it, turn it over and investigate it incessantly..." Oh so true!!

For me, its about finding relational order with everything in my life, a term shared with me by my previous naturopath doctor, who we affectionately call PhD dude- he suggested that I need to have relational order, and how it is tied to science of who we are as a person, and that I won't stop until I get there, much to the chagrin of the normies in my life...


meditation_Sep081

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inbetween days.

After being sick this entire holiday break and quarantined in my pajamas, with one happy exception on Christmas Eve, (my work is closed for the holiday season until after the New Year), I'm back to the grind of purging and sorting.

It is draining, emotional, lonely, wandering through the hallways of the past. It is necessary work. It is also incredibly poignant, fun, and daunting. Feeling the feelings as they come and allowing them to pass through me. The deeper I get, the closer I get to me. This is the cool part. As strange and
in-between a process as this is (I could use a good dose of The Cure right now, the anthem band of nostalgia), I know I am marching towards my most authentic and true self and destiny, and that feels exhilafrightciting, to use a phrase created by someone I used to know. Swimming in the depths of nostalgia, scraps of thought, kind words from loved ones, glimmers of who I want to be, things I want to explore, and old shit, it is like walking the pages of a Choose Your Own Adventure book.

I took a mental break this evening and saw
Dallas Buyers Club, and something Ron Woodroof's character said rang very true for me: "Sometimes it feels like I'm fighting for a life I ain't got time to live." I feel like I am playing catch up so much of the time that I don't get a chance to stop for a minute, catch my breath, and just be in the present. I try to reassure myself with the thought from my doctor that I have indeed been living, all these years, just like everyone else, just doing different things, and learning in different ways. I may not have been out "playing pinball" as he put it, but I was living and learning just the same. That comforts me.

I've connected on a deep level to the HIV and AIDS movement since the early nineties, when I was very ill and could relate to so many of the struggles faced by those afflicted. It's worthy of a separate post sometime, but this raw passion for health, born out of experience and hardcore empathy, is an important chorus that rattles around the chambers of my heart, and physical space, present in books, articles, notes, people, and knowledge. It was a nice reminder to supplement the deep dive explorations I'm doing in my surroundings. A few finds from today:

Consent for treatment, 2002.
photo 1
Dreams.
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My very first Apple product, my PowerBook G4, circa 2005, is being laid to rest.
Bon voyage, silver bullet.
photo 4
My cute Momma helping me sort
m
I've carried this thing around from state to state over the years. Must be I liked what it said...
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"getting organized."

I remember talking to my Dad on the phone when I was away at college, and whenever he asked me what I was doing, the answer was usually "organizing" or getting organized" - you can ask him. Happy I'm still at it! After examining my values through a tool we have where I work called Values Explorer, I know that 2 things I always value are knowledge and wisdom, so that seems to be part of it- I've been hoarding bits of knowledge for decades now, organizing it, and then eventually planning to share it I suppose with the world, and at the least use it to make me a more effective, directed individual.

I think it also explains why I have a hard time getting rid of these kinds of things, such as books, newspapers, informational articles, resources, etc. because I value them so. I know some people who couldn't be more opposite in this regard, and they value other things more. For me, there is always something to do, something to learn, something to discover. I could remain in this house for the rest of my days and I wouldn't be able to read all that is currently in my possession. That's something, seeing as I'm still in my 30's... Laugh

I'm learning the balance now of amassing and digesting knowledge, and then releasing it, to move on to the next thing. So much is constantly changing and improving anyway that it is hard for any of these things to remain static. There are some classics that just are, of course, or sentimental. But other knowledge is time and date sensitive, and there's always new material being generated. For someone who values this stuff so highly, this can create quite a tension and stress, trying to keep up with it all and not wanting to lose the history of the old. I definitely resemble many professors I know in this respect. Knowledge is power. Wisdom is a goal. But if you have so much of it that it becomes difficult to meander lightly through life, its time to lighten the load.

A friend was talking last night about how the internet available at any moment to us has changed our learning and existence, in that kids don't feel they have to learn as much any more, because they can just look it up. That was an odd concept to consider. It's both freeing and frightening. The thought of our brains atrophying because we no longer seek to learn, just look up. Perhaps different skills are being harnessed in this technological era (I hope). A mantra that comes to mind often for me when considering this work is from a Be Good Tanyas song:
Keep it Light Enough to Travel. Ultimately, I'd rather absorb and process what I can and store it in my mind, and release the rest so that things can flow on, but I know this struggle will always be one I wrestle with. For now, I'm working to trust as much as I'm able to technological archiving and sharing sites such as Pinterest, and then my electronic filing, which basically is a black hole that I am 99% sure I will never look at again. Old school paper sometimes is more in your face, tangible, and accessible, especially after spending most of the day on a computer - I just am not very inspired to do it at home as well.

I'm down to 2 (admittedly very large) bookcases, 4 filing cabinets, 2 closets,
1 dresser/console, and 1 trunk of books/paper Happy
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25 years of Crohn's.

25 years of Crohn's. Woah does that sound heavy looking at it in a sentence, in word form. So concrete and data parametered, defined. There's no hiding from numbers.

Thing is, numbers don't mean much to me, just swirl around in a survivor's haze, and I peek my head out now and then to come up for air. I feel young and "behind" and just waking up, which is why I always describe the experience as Rip VanWinkle-y. Nowadays I'm hitting my stride more and it's so exciting. For the first time, I am living my life from a stronger platform, getting to make informed choices and experience the present more fully. There are still plenty of challenges, of course. But I'll take these struggles any day over all the rest.

I think about what has kept me going, and even though at first glance my aesthetic may appear fluffy and over the top with all it's cheery rainbow goodness, it runs deep. The motto came to me at a time when I was having my first relapse of Crohn's and was out of high school for a month. I felt like I was dying, and I had to rely on the small things to keep me going. When I received a love note from someone that said "It takes both the sun and the rain to make a rainbow," it clicked. I didn't always like the fact that there were hard times, and I was 16- quite a dramatic and tumultuous time. The phrase has taken on deeper layers of understanding over the years for sure, and I can look back now at that streaky blur of an existence I had, clinging on for dear life while the wind blew me sideways, and see that rainbows
are roads between dreams- those rainbows during the dark times kept me hanging on and believing that there was a higher purpose. The roads have been long, 25 years long some of them, and I am weary sometimes. But I continue to trudge the road of happy destiny, because these roads are leading me to my dreams! It doesn't matter how long it takes. Being on the road is the journey that is important to where I will go and the dreams I have, I now realize. Those roads and walks are making me who I am: strong, funny, mentally tough, appreciative, grateful, tenacious, persistent, dedicated, sharp, competent, knowledgeable, my own Chief Medical Officer and health case worker/manager. I know stuff! People come to me for advice.

I remember visiting my cousin Guy in England and talking to him about his job- he is a private investigator for Scotland Yard, which is like the Brit's version of the FBI. I used to want to be in the FBI as a special agent (until my poor vision shattered those dreams!) and I was enthralled by his work, and wanted to know how I could sign up! He laughed and told me that I needed to put in my time as a beat cop for 20 years first. Wahhh Whannt Whaaaa.... that was a letdown! Happy But I think of it now seeing this magnet on my fridge below, and feel warm inside knowing that my connection with rainbows is something to the core and almost indescribable (yet I still try) - somehow I knew as a kid that they were placeholders, transporters to other dimensions and places (a la Rainbow Brite) and that I could rely on them to get me safely to the place I needed to be, when the time was right.

photxddo

Being a bone fide child of the 80's, I LOVED Rainbow Brite. I can vividly remember Starlite's (her horse) clomping as they trotted away on a rainbow bridge that they made appear with stardust to go help or save something. I always wanted to stand on a rainbow like they did, and still do Happy

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Paint a Rainbow In Your Heart
If this doesn't make you smile, or get stuck in your head the rest of the day... Happy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMLJ3JJOBFs

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birthday girl.

Today is a great day to be born! I love my birthday. My family has always been big on celebrations and holidays, starting with my Grandma in her home when her girls were young, and filtering on down throughout our lives. My family made us feel very special on our birthdays, Valentine's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, with lots of gifts and positive attention, and of course delicious and made from scratch favorite foods.

After the health struggles I've faced for most of my years, I love my birthday even more because I'm on the up and up for once, and I couldn't be more grateful to be alive, truly, and to get a second chance to make this life count. I feel extremely fortunate to have been adopted by two incredible people on December 8th, and to have been so loved and well cared for. Birthdays are important ways for me to celebrate life, and all the special people that are in it.

I'm giving myself two gifts this year- sharing this website with the world and letting others in, after many, many years in the making, and a rainbow tattoo, which has also been percolating for a very long time. Stay tuned for updates on that process in the coming weeks!

My favorite birthday photo- I remember it sitting on my Dad's desk- Apalachin, NY, circa 1981?
VS bday

Austin, TX, December 2002, last ditch effort to save my health before surgery- eating a homemade
special diet "cake," weighing 90 pounds- my most fragile birthday.
val bday 2002

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After my group birthday dinner tonight, my mom said to me: "You can tell a person's character by the company they keep, and you have a great posse." Well, I couldn't agree more about my amazing posse! And I KNOW that they help improve upon my character. Grateful!

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