With the unseasonably bizarre warm weather moments of this week, the reduced class sizes and students oh so sedate, packages finally arrived and brightened my day...for a while. I also learned some other news that left me melancholy as well, but its all for the best. The combination of this enter weeks progression has left me feeling something strong inside, I just wish I knew what it was.
Its a feeling I get every christmas season. Its an anxiety of sorts knowing that family and obligation and love will collide in a often tragic and grandious flurry of haphazard exchanges of sentiment and love. Even though my families christmas' will undoubtedly be a meltdown as it usually is, I can say that in all honesty when I look back on my memories of christmas' come and gone I can't remember any of the train wrecks, blowups, or fights, or arguments, all I really remember is all the Christmas mornings we had, when we would gather around the christmas tree, me my bro mom dad and grandpa and grandma every year except for the Chile/Peru one, the tree dripping with tradition and collected artifactual ornements, to open up the stockings and gifts we so carefully searched for and selected for each other, not expensive gifts, but important ones that had to mirror our deep understanding and love for each other and had to maybe make up for all the things that went unsaid that year. Thats what I remember, the good things, thank goodness for that.
Its also a feeling of deep reflection as my birthday nears and I am reminded yet again that I have grown a year older, which bothers a lot for some reason, god, it always bothers me, mostly because life is so incredible and I love people so much I just can't imagine it all ending someday, I want to be immortal. But the end is what they say makes the rest of it "the sauce."
This year mixed in with my normal December jumbalaya of emotion I get to also add in the hopes of prospects and new opportunities in my goals and career. With a major location change in the future, this christmas brings a little added pressure, a little test if you will, to see if I really could move back to Washington. Last year when I went home for Christmas I was a little worn out by the time I had to come home to Alaska and I was looking forward to getting back to my teaching routine and my adventure in the bush with no conceivable end in sight. Now with the end of this experience on the horizon I wonder how I will feel as I am forced to return for the spring semester. I just hope its not as heartbreaking as my last days before coming up here this summer. I simply didn't want to come, I wanted summer to last forever.
I don't know what it is but the holiday season isn't an easy time for me, its a stressful time. Its a lot of emotions swirling around everywhere, it all builds to a crescendo of the best and worst of people, and then the new year, when you are supposed to reflect and try to yet again pull yourself up by the bootstraps and do it right this year.
You say, "Dammit this will be my year, I'm gonna change, for the better, I'm really gonna do it this year, I'm gonna (insert desire for improvement here)." But you know what, we rarely do, we rarely really change much at all. One thing that I have learned about myself in all of the extensive and exhausting solitude here is inexplicably who I am:
I'm self centered...still.
I'm an exaggerater and a storyteller.
I am an entertainer.
I'm a lover and a dreamer.
I'm a damn good teacher.
I believe in myself.
I need to be appreciated.
I'm a big brother to a lot of people.
I care about people I hardly know regardless of logic.
I am my fathers son and my mothers son simultaneously.
I am a good person that deserves good things.
I am loved, a lot (you guys ruuuuuuule!!!!!!).
Being alone all the time, culturally, age group wise, living alone with no companion to lie next to, you get to know the bizarre and sometimes frightening corners of every mental frontier of yourself. I needed to come to Alaska, I needed to do this, I needed to learn these things about myself.
And As I have been seeing more of my grandparents in my parents lately I see more of my parents in myself lately too, I miss my brother more each day we spend apart, I fantasize about how life could be someday, I don't want to miss a minute of it.
Life will inevitably always probably turn out in yet another set of pointless circumstances that leave me forced to deal with more of the bullshits of life, because in the end their are two types of people, those who cause bullshit, and those who fix bullshit, I am usually one of that latter. But at least I know who I want to be around when those bullshits and bullshitters come rolling down the hill.
I swing back and forth between two things most of my life, one a meaningful existence, and the other being a life that really has no meaning at all. Luckily if there is a meaning to this fucking miracle I'm certainly looking for it, and if there isn't, well, hell, I'm sure enjoying the shit out of the ride anyway.
I just couldn't go home to my internetless cave of a tiny apartment before I spilled some of this out. Its a been such a quiet week that I just needed to get it all out. One of the reasons this blog has been so fruitful over the last year is the same reason I'm typing all of this sappy self reflective crap right now, up here no one ever asks me how I'm doing, ever. Up here no one really gives a damn, and since I have no one to talk to about such things, I just talk to myself and this happens to be the place where I do my self talking, the awesome thing is that you all get to watch in horror and joy as I tumble through life, and I'm happy you've come along as unexpected as it always is to have such an audience.
Radiate Warmth is more than just a motto to me, or a credo, or a bunch of beatnik propaganda, it is my daily spiritual reminder that I need to cultivate love in my heart. When I log on, when I see that banner at the top it reminds me that I'm a good person, and only because I'm trying to be so hard. If I didn't I would just be another asshole like a lot of people, I have a great potential for asshole-itude as do many of us out there, I've been an asshole before, its a miserable existence believe me. But it wasn't until I started taking steps to try and be a better person that it all turned around, I haven't changed a bit over the years, I just found things about myself that I liked more than other things and put those first.
So this year, as it all starts up again, the stupid music, the decorations, the dumbass seasonal movies, the obligatory annual materialistic onslaught of commerce, the biggest lie ever told to children, remember that I said this...
The original idea of Radiate Warmth came from the feeling I got from the fireplace that my family has always had regardless of where we lived, and nothing is more warm and embracing than a fireplace, if I can make my love for people feel like that then I am being the person that I'm supposed to be.
So feel the love I'm sending it to you!