Saturday, August 18, 2012

Vive la libération!

The French Tricolor on a church, in Koreatown. How Los Angeles.
July 14 is called Bastille Day in most of the world, but in France it is La Fête Nationale. It is the National Holiday of France, commemorating the day in 1789 when the Bastille, a fortress-prison was stormed and the anti-royalist prisoners inside were liberated, all seven of them. That moment is also seen as the forming of the modern nation, the France of today.

I have my own Bastille; the fortress of my mind. I sometimes allow my fears to imprison me from stepping out of my house or my comfort zone. My biggest fear now is the fear of the unknown. It could be the fear of the unknown where dating is concerned, or just the fear of meeting new people. It cold also be the fear of driving and will my car break down, or the fear of financial risk.

Fear is a normal emotion. Yet, allowing my fears to imprison me isn't normal nor even healthy, it is crippling. It hurts.

I didn't used to be like this. I'm not sure why I've changed. Age, maybe? It didn't necessarily start with the divorce, I sense that it began before, and may have played a part in actually precipitating it. I don't know, and may not necessarily ever know.

But, I do know I have to liberate myself. How do I do that? Just by doing it. But, it's a vicious circle. I have to get out and meet people, but I bring up the finances again. Indeed, there are low-cost options. Even getting together over coffee can add up. True, it doesn't have to be expensive, but over time it will still accumulate. Then, there's fuel. Costs are going down and in California we are switching to our less expensive winter formula. Yes, we have different formulas depending on the season. It has to do with the smog and the heat of summer, I believe. They say, the economy is on an upswing. It's too soon for me to feel it, but in time I will.

I began this post around July 14, as it had a special meaning for me, and always will though over the years it will diminish. But, I am not going to relive that here, as I already have.

What I am going to write about is where I am headed. In the previous post, I talked about my instincts. I stand by them. I need to begin thinking of the long term versus the short term. Two years ago this week I received a certain email from a certain someone asking to end our fifteen year relationship, the last year and ten months of which we were legally married.

I have come a long way in the two years since. Yet, in some ways I have stagnated. Coming home from work and sitting on the couch playing with my cat, dog and iPad until bedtime is not a life I want to live. Yet, that is all I can afford for now. But I need to live my new single life. And in order to do that, I need to have a life to live.  I may need to take some drastic steps to increase the quality of the life I want to live. And such an opportunity has fallen into my lap. But, I mustn't let the fears of "What if?" cloud my instinct. My instincts tell me to swallow the bitter pill for the cure is worth it in the long run. My instincts tell me to trust and let go. It will be fine.

Am I scared? Yes. Will I survive? Yes. I have survived these two years on my own, and will always survive.

Now, I need to live.

I need to be like Nike and just do it.


  1. This is powerful. Fear is something we all have to overcome, even when it doesn't seem possible. Thanks for posting this.

    1. Thank you for your comment. I am finding that it is always possible, we just need to believe we can. And then go for it. But, it isn't easy taking that first step.

  2. Jeff,
    When we open ourselves to the opportunities placed in our way, we are taken down the path that was meant for us.

    I never thought I'd retire as soon as I did. I never thought that my retirement would take the direction it has. Who would have thought I'd be a communications volunteer with the LA City Fire Department, climbing on roofs installing antennas, riding the world on the air waves?

    1. Jutti,

      You are so right. I never considered myself a writer, and now I have a published essay and this blog. And in a short while, my first novel will be out!

      Thank you for your comment! And continue your good work and I know you are having the time of your life!