Monday, April 27, 2020

Another Path

When I began working on Frequently Interrupted, I had no idea this would still be a thing five years later. That’s not typically how my projects of this nature work. I mean, it’s built right into the name, you know? I get interrupted. I move onto other things. I just stop. That’s always been this way. This time, though … Five years with no significant interruptions.

Things haven’t gone entirely to plan. After the beginning stages, I didn’t get nearly as much long form writing done here as I had intended, and we never did quite build the audience I was hoping for, but there have been plenty of words and the audience we have has been great. Considering that, ultimately, neither of those were the point, things have worked out fairly well.

I began this project as a way to work through grief. After my dad died and I wasn’t there … To say that I was having a hard time holding the pieces together would be a severe understatement. It would, in fact, be a disservice to what was really going on at the time. I was not doing well, and I needed to find a way to get back on track. I decided that the best way to do that was to go back to the beginning of the track, to work on the foundational principles of mental health and awareness that I had used many years back to “get on track” in the first place, and, furthermore, I decided that this time I would share. If these thoughts and ideas could help me, I reasoned, I could also hope that they might be able to help someone else.

My dad died on April 26, 2013. I am writing this on April 26, 2020. So much has changed, and yet, so much remains the same. There is a hole that will never be filled, but I have learned better how to walk around its edges. I trip and stumble sometimes - Don’t we all? - but I don’t struggle quite so much these days. It’s better, and I think that’s all we can hope for. I still have those times when I want to tell him about something but I can’t. I guess those times are never really going to go away. I’ve made peace with the conversations we didn’t have. I’ve spent years saying goodbye now, and I’m still working on that part, but it isn’t like chewing on broken glass anymore. Again, it’s better. I miss my dad every day, but I can do that now without that fear of falling in and drowning. I think we’ve gotten to a good place, and I think he would appreciate that. I love you, Dad.

I’ve been considering this for a while now, and today feels like the correct time to write it. It’s been five years and I think it has served its purpose. It’s time for me to move on, to see what’s next down the path. I began Frequently Interrupted as a way to get back on track, and I believe that I am now back on track. I don’t know where, exactly, this track leads, but that’s life, right? None of us knows what our path may bring. We have to walk the path to find out. We live and, hopefully, if we’re doing it right, we learn along the way.

Thank you to everyone who has been walking this path with me, whether it has been for a few minutes or for five years. I couldn’t have done this without you, and this has been more important to me than you might know. If it has helped you in any way then I am grateful for that as well. The lessons we learn while we are walking our path can help to make us a better person, but the lessons we share can help to make a better world. That is the entire idea in a nutshell. I told you five years ago that I believed in making a better world one person at a time, and I will continue to follow that belief in one form or another, wherever I may go.

I’ve spent much of the last five years sharing with you some of my favorite quotes, and my own thoughts on their meaning and significance. One that I have returned to over and over again is that, in the end, “We are all just walking each other home.” (Ram Dass) We are all walking a path, and it is our path to walk. Those paths twist and curve, and, if we’re very lucky, they spend time with good people walking side by side, sharing company and sharing burdens. You have helped me with a very large burden, and I thank you for your company. I don’t know where this path leads next, but we’ll find out. Perhaps we’ll even walk side-by-side again at some point. We’ll see.

From a practical standpoint, I’ll be keeping the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts open. I don’t promise to use them as often as I have in the past, but I will use them. I won’t be publishing to the website anymore, but I have some thoughts as to the material that is already there. No promises, but I’m going to look into capturing some of that in a more permanent form. We’ll see what happens next, and you can believe that I’ll let you know.

Remember, you have survived every bad encounter life has thrown at you so far, so your track record is pretty good. You’re stronger than you may realize, and you’re never alone. Someone is there, and someone can help. Keep moving forward, regardless of the interruptions. Stop and rest as often as you need but then keep going. The secret to making a better world is to make a better you. The more people who do that, the better the world gets. One light at a time.

Thank you, and we will see each other along the path. Namaste.

As always, if you or someone you know needs help with a difficult stage in life’s journey, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is always available at 1-800-273-8255, or at their website: Text HOME to 741741 (in the US and Canada, 85258 in the UK and 086 1800 280 in Ireland) if you would be more comfortable going through text rather than voice.

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