Standing Against the Waves on the Beach

Hey, welcome to Tuesday! Back once again at the WordPress console, getting started on something to write. Today, I’ve got Pandora Radio’s “Zakk Wylde” channel playing. So that’s the basic soundtrack while I am trying to twirl out another topic.

These are some really strange times currently taking place. Life was already weird here in the States with Trump in place as President. Add a global pandemic on top of that, with the “shelter-in-place” and “lock-down” craziness – and its definitely a surreal environment, that’s for sure.

Currently, I have “Throwin’ It All Away” playing on my headphones. These lyrics just struck a major note with my thoughts….

You’re just throwin’ it all away
No you didn’t care to see the light of day
You’re just throwin’ it all away
Like the sand upon the beach
Your crashing waves came took you away

So, this evokes a thought that used to run like a rat in a cage in my mind back when my life would hit those imploding moments. I recall one really tough point in time – when I left the US Air Force after eight years. I didn’t leave on the greatest note, I was discharged for my own fuck-ups, but also because the lifer (career military) that was my First Sargent did not believe I was worthy of being in *his* Air Force. When I made it back to the states (I was stationed in Germany during all of this turmoil), I had no job prospects nor any plan on where to live. My bank account had less than $300 in it. Essentially, I had hit rock bottom in my life, through my own dumb fault. At that moment, life certainly had that “crashing waves on the sand” feeling to it.

The next few weeks were spent trying to figure out where things were going to go. Eventually, my mother and father allowed me to move into their house. Then it was a matter of piecing things together and trying to figure out where to go from this point. I spent a lot of time trying to find something compatible with the job of “cryptographic, command-and-control systems, operations and maintenance” which is not a really sought after skill set in the civilian world. The next step was to break things into the component parts that made up the job, and see which ones fit what I was capable of doing. In the meantime, I went back to college, seeking a degree (Associates level – 2-year) that would be helpful for my skills to be showcased to an employer. Step-by-step, I worked on trying to get things back up-right. Unfortunately for me, I was trying to get things back to where my life had been. Big mistake.

You see, this wasn’t about rebuilding my life to where it was. I was never going to get back to that. No, this was about building my life up from that point into what it would become. There was a time of necessity, not of memories. It took time, but I eventually made it back into the Information Technology world, and found ways to put myself in the right spot at the right time for the employment that was available. There was a lot of re-inventing of who I was at that time to fit the new job descriptions. None of it was a move up a corporate ladder. I did eventually make it to a position of Vice President of Technology Operations at a very small company. But I found climbing higher up in a company only removed me further from what I loved to do. I’m not cut out to be a manager, and I am very well aware of that. I am happiest when I have my fingers inside the machines or am working on the programming languages.

So, let’s translate some of that to where the world is at currently. I am sure there are a handful of y’all that are looking around in panic. The stability of a job seemingly has been pulled out from underneath you. Everything looks uncertain. You cannot see a way through the miasma that seems to have settled on life at this moment. You can feel the panic as you try and see a way forward into the future. I grok you, like you wouldn’t believe.

I have been there. I know that aspect of an unstable ground to stand on. The first thing to do, in my perspective, is to stop with the panic. Assess where you are, what you have, and what you need. Trust me, there’s a lot of stuff in your life that you don’t really need to worry about going to the wayside. I just got finished with moving out of one place…you would not believe the amount of stuff that I realized that I didn’t need. So, take a good look at what is important and necessary. That will be different for every person. The next step for me was to find somewhere that I could land for a temporary period of time, while I tried to set myself for the next direction. After that, it was a matter of implementing the work and effort it was going to take to achieve what I needed on my own. The important part? Having the friends, family and relatives who will be willing to help you with some solid footing – out of love. You might not think you have that, but you do. Everything is just so clouded with your panic that you’re not able to assess where that is. That’s why the first thing is to not panic.

Now, don’t be fooled. All of this takes hard work, personal drive, and the desire to make change into reality. But you already do this in your life. You have done that on your Spiritual Path. Sure, you have stumbled and sometimes even fall flat on your face and directly on your butt. That happens. Sure, feel the pain, let some tears fall, and then get back up. You have done that on your chosen Spiritual path. You can do that in your life as well.

Yeah, being closeted up in your home surely sucks. But this pandemic is not going to be the far-flung future. Stay in your home to avoid catching this virus. Stay in your home to avoid being an unknowing carrier of this virus to others. Take some time to ground yourself hard and deep in your Spiritual Path. You have lamented that you never have time to work on things that you need to do. Now is that time. Find time to play too. Lots of games online or in the gaming system attached to your tv. Lots of books to read. Now is the time to focus on you. Pay your bills, if you can. If not, talk with the people you owe money to. Not in a panicky way. Calm, cool, collected. No matter what the answers are – you will find a way. I’m confident that you will. Because I believe in your ability to turn things around, just as I did.

Lastly, let me point you to a book that has helped me numerous times when the world gets dark and crazy. Cat Treadwell‘s “Facing the Darkness“. This book has become one of my most valuable resources to go to when things turn sideways. When I first read the book, a lot of the scenarios talked about in here didn’t seem like they would apply to me. Turns out that a better way to go through the book might be to look through the scenarios and find one that equates best with your situation. Then read that section and dive deep into your understanding of things, as well as how to get through those rough times. I strongly recommend this book….

–T /|\

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