“The franticness of the struggle is not really realized until we are suddenly forced to discontinue it by some external event.” – David R Hawkins – Lett

In May of 2017 an external event forced me to discontinue working in academia, however, just because it is external does not mean it was not initialized by my own decisions.  I have struggled to let go of the loss, pain, and guilt this event brought upon myself and my family.  I still struggle with it sometimes but at the same time I can’t help but believe this is what the universe, God, etc intended for me.  My life was for all intents and purposes going fairly well, but my contribution to society and the world wasn’t nearly as much as it could have been.  I don’t know what the universe has in store for me, but I accept whatever it may be.  I have learned to appreciate those people who stood by me and I’ve forgiven those who did not.  There is not an ounce of anger in my body.  There is no pain now, only love.  There is no longer a feeling of loss, only openness to new opportunities that would not have come around had this event not taken place.  There is a bit of guilt, but only for the hardship and embarrassment my family experienced.  Eventually I will let go of that too.  Self punishment serves no purpose other than to distract us from making the right decision.


“If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you’ll come to understand that you’re connected with everything.” – Alan Watts

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Some people I’m close to recently told me I should get used to being alone…and while it kinda makes sense in some ways in others it does not. For most of my week I am alone. I wake up alone. I go to sleep alone. I work in my office alone. I go out for food but I don’t really talk to anyone. I go hiking/kayaking and most of the time I am alone. I watch TV alone. I’ve come to realize I’m actually very good at being alone and perhaps now I even prefer to be alone which is why living with a roommate or significant other scares me.

All of these people telling me to get better at being alone have friends they see on a regular basis. I have no friends in my city and only a few close friends that I know from online interactions.  There is never “hey let’s get drinks” or “hey wanna watch a movie tonight?”. Nobody invites me over for dinner or asks to come to my place. I also no longer have pets and sometimes I forget this. I still open my door cautiously so that my dog doesn’t run out… I still find myself worrying that my loud music is going to upset him/her. I still say goodnight. Sometimes I catch myself wondering if he or she has water…but there is no he and there is no she.

Sometimes the isolation I feel is overwhelming. Strangely enough the best cure for this is to go out to the forest alone. I’m a very frustrating person to be with, especially in the outdoors. I take notice of things most people ignore. I stop to look at small things. I turn over logs looking for life.  I’ve done this all my life and I doubt I’ll ever stop. The beauty of the world around me never stops impressing me. I jump in creeks. I swim in rivers. I fall down a lot. I get dirty. I smell like bug spray. If someone asked me what kind of cologne I wear I’d probably say DEET.

Sometimes I cry. I cry because I’m happy. I cry because I’m sad. I cry because I hurt. I cry because others hurt and I am responsible. Sometimes I cry because the pain everyone else feels pours into me in a way I can’t even begin to explain. Most importantly I cry because I love. I remember walking through the airport in Amsterdam on my way to Turkey over 12 years ago and listening to the song Hold On, Hold On by Neko Case. The very first line of the song spoke to me and has since inspired me many times. “The most tender place in my heart is for strangers”. If you can find it in yourself to love strangers, loving those you are close to becomes second nature.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not the best at showing people I love them. I usually forget birthdays. I don’t send cards. I don’t call.  I don’t always say the right thing. I avoid funerals, family reunions, and most gatherings. I say bad words, lots of them and sometimes I aim them at others. I call people names. I raise my voice. I flip off other drivers and drive too fast. I get angry but I still love…