An excerpt from The Diaries of Debra Westlake
“Don’t let your fear of what could happen make nothing happen.” ~ Doe Zantamata
If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do move forward.”
“Hatred paralyses life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr
“I don’t get stoned anymore, just slightly pebbled from time to time.” ~ Some homeless dude I passed on my way home from work in San Franciso circa 2009
I’m looking out at the great big blue from Newport Pier, the sun couldn’t be more radiant as it compliments my sanguine mood. I glance to the right and there’s a seagull about to take flight. Is it just me, or are all seagulls analogous? The bird swiftly turns his head in my direction and looks me up and down as if he’s trying to elicit a response of some sort. I stare him down for a bit and he gives a subtle wave as he takes off. I wonder if that bird has had a good life filled with contentment or perhaps perpetual unhappiness. I guess my thoughts gravitate to this because it seems the climate the past year and presently are heated with some people constantly griping about something instead of appreciating any of the positives surrounding them. Not that this bothers me too much, but I imagine if people were better equipped to handle stress, what a different, more peaceful world we’d be living in presently. In my time, the one thing I’ve learned is life’s filled with highs and lows, no matter who you are or what your stature is. I get it… everybody has their something that gets their goat. What I don’t get is why some dismal souls waste time wallowing in their misery (becoming vindictive as a byproduct of things not going their way) instead of fixing what ails them peacefully. These same individuals that think others don’t have any complications because they don’t complain about them often. I am especially in awe of anyone creating better worthier reads in their existence instead of wasting time worrying about old worthless news ridden with grim, resentful feelings refusing to move on.
Here’s the thing, it’s how you handle the waves of dilemmas when and if they happen, not the problem itself. You could be a cruel spiteful judgmental scorpion surrounded in venom dragging things out (who’ll live their days alone and despised) or a brave altruistic non-cantankerous individual that finds effective options to remedy issues efficiently down the yellow brick road. The ones that intelligently pick the latter are the ones that live happier and fulfilling lives, a proven fact. Newsflash: you cannot change or live in the past! The only thing you can do is propel forward and make your present better. Think about that. How great is it to accomplish feeling happier overall? How sad is it to know that so many people out there are afraid of adventure or have fear of change that an outcome will be hopeless instead of progressive. Is that living? You know the answer. Another irritating thing to hear are complaints about “Oh they’re rich, they don’t have problems like I do.” Or “Why do these horrible things only happen to me? It’s not fair that I can’t get out of the hole I’m burying myself in.” “I blame you for all my problems because I’m perfect!” No you are not and run don’t walk to seek a Psychiatrist, they are well-equipped to handle your problems and a potential need of a padded room. Don’t bother us glass half-full folks with these shallow pleas because we truly have no desire to be brought down unnecessarily. And don’t get me started on the pathetic idiots who cast opinions on people they have never met… in fact, they don’t deserve any of my time or elaboration. Where was I? Right… not that I’m without woes mind you, everything is not always peachy-keen, but the bottom line is I thankfully do not permit it to consume me anymore.
Have I always been this philosophically optimistic? Yes. Has my life had any downs, disappointments? Hell yes! Did I let those struggles get the best of me? No. Have I let those strikes throw me into a pool of drowned dispiritedness? Hell no! In current times, no matter what the problem is, there are solutions to help any situation. Well, with one exception, terminal illness. Those souls aside, anyone that doesn’t utilize the help they need is making one of the gravest mistakes in life. While I’m at it, I think about heroes that have had a terminal curse put on them or saving a life in a building stratified in flames… living their last moments courageously. Along with them, I also marvel exceedingly at people who die doing what they love, some examples: ‘She died peacefully while gardening.’ Or ‘He was in the studio singing with his last breath.” You get the gist.
There was a time when I was on a relentless pursuit to erase mind-blowing (and mind-damaging) memories of days behind for solid reasons. That used to be the hardest thing for me or my ‘something’ to contend with. When you look back on life-changing times that you hoped could last forever but tragically didn’t—gut wrenching to say the least. The difference for me now is, I don’t look behind my shoulder anymore. Now it prompts me to make new and better experiences in the present. One of my greatest challenges to date (that kicks my ass each time) but it’s extremely rewarding and that’s what keeps me swimming with the tide, not against it. Routines, rewards, and cues my friends. You can change and replace unhealthy habits if you want to. I think of the old adage “If you can’t beat them, join them.” And figure there’s only one specific instance it applies to. If we’re talking about life, then I like these ones better “If you are not happy dealing with a tough situation, improve it.” “Where there is a will, there is a way.” “Even a dead clock shows the right time twice a day.” Enough said for now.
Currently playing on Little Mountain FM
Hamell’s Ramble – Hamell On Trial
Off The Grid – Beastie Boys
Everybody Got Their Something – Nikka Costa
Adventure Of A Lifetime – Coldplay
Double-play from Bob Dylan – Shelter From The Storm / Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright
You Got The Magic – Tammy Infusino
Start Me Up – The Rolling Stones
Do My Thing – Estelle (featuring Janelle Monae)
Good Day – Nappy Roots
The Difference – The Wallflowers
What It Takes – Aerosmith
Down In Mexico – The Coasters
Love Lockdown – Kanye West
Peace, Love and Understanding – Elvis Costello
Special dedication songs from one of my favorite artists, David Bowie. No one will ever come close to your unique creative brilliance.
Life On Mars / Lazarus / Stay / and the superb album, Live Nassau Coliseum ’76 David Bowie