Yesterday, I was hit with the Indignant Stick which could have made for an interesting post. Unfortunately, I was also hit with the Boring Stick, which turned my entry into a lecture akin to the Worst Lecture I Ever Heard in College, which was in a health class and the instructor told us about her father's colostomy bag. I began to feel faint in a room full of strangers; a room with hard, concrete floors; my face getting hot and sound getting distant; wondering if I could get up and walk out or if I would pull through to full consciousness...that was yesterday's post.
The apartment building where my friend lives caught on fire earlier this week. She and her daughter got outside of their second floor apartment while the first floor business burned. She was able to grab a few clothing items, but every belonging of theirs smells of smoke. Clothes, bedding, shoes, toys, Christmas presents, towels, all of it. She said there is a company coming to treat their apartment and things for the smell, and they say they can remove the smoke smell from everything.
My friend is so matter-of-fact about the whole thing. Last night she had brought some things she needed in the meantime over to her sister's house, where she is staying temporarily, to try and wash out the smoke smell. She took one day off from work, and she is not a crumpled mess like I imagine I would be in the same situation. I admire her very much. I am so glad she and her daughter are safe and I hope she lets me know if there is anything I can do for her.
My dad used to say, "Thimk, Leroy." That's not a typo, he used to say 'think' that way. He was trying to convey to me in a humorous way the value of slowing down and thinking before acting or speaking. I haven't yet learned that lesson very well. That, combined with how I tend to generalize and speak in a big picture, overall sense means that often I do not say what I mean to say. This has unintended consequences, because while I may not be expressing myself clearly, I do so with passion and force. This is not an ideal form of communication. It's not clear or useful.
I remember dad's words after a few recent experiences of my unclear, impetuous, passionate communication causing problems. I think that there's no use in getting knocked down a rung unless you can learn from it and use it to climb up past where you were to begin with. I haven't done that second part very well.
I wonder, how well I am learning the lessons I have been given? I have a huge amount of regret for the way I wasted so much time when my dad and brother were alive. I took for granted that they would be here much longer than they were. Am I still doing that, taking people for granted? I know very well how drastically life can change. Am I making the most of my time, and of my relationships with loved ones?
One of the reasons I started this blog was to have an outlet for writing on a daily basis. This forum provides a way to not only record one's thoughts as in a diary, but to obtain feedback.
I have read blog entries that have entertained me, and I have read entries that made me cry. I appreciate someone who shares their experiences publicly so that others may relate. I enjoy the feeling of "I am not the only one" because even though I know intellectually that I am not the only person who has lost loved ones to Leukemia, sometimes it feels that there is no one who understands and no one who has lost as much.
Much of human experience and emotion are universal. We have more similarities than differences. It's interesting to come across someone in a completely different geographic area, with a different age, marital status, job, hobbies, routines; and find that you and they have one key thing in common. Whether it's a tragedy, like infertility or death, the daily struggles and joys of being a parent, or the strange simultaneous feelings of loneliness and freedom when you're single, it's nice to know there is someone out there who feels the same way that you do.
I do not communicate the way I intend. When I think about what I want to say in my head, it's so clear. When I write it down it doesn't quite have the same feeling, context, or weight, and that's frustrating. I rely too much on nuance and implication. I need to work to develop my writing style. I have, after all, only very recently found my voice. The only way I am going to get better at communicating is by practicing, but am I learning to write better or am I repeating the bad habits that lead me to generalize? My feeling is that the latter is true. I am going to spend some time and think about that, about how to change.
I haven't seen some people in a long while, both friends and family. It's time I connected again with those I've been neglecting, and not take them for granted.
Thanks OH, for pushing me to do better. And thanks, dad, for reminding me to thimk.