(This is one of those raw, uncensored stream of consciousness blogs where anyone who reads this regularly knows I write to get emotions out and no other reason really. I clean this stuff up more for when I speak formally and obviously it gets edited better for more formal stuff but I hope I always keep it pretty sincere in here.)
People have seen me smiling through a lot of life's difficult circumstances. Even my neuropsychological in the emotional section mentions that I smile sadly and crack jokes while talking about cancer and divorce. People have asked how do you do it? I try to come up with a witty answer tailored to the person here or there but usually I resort to one of two standards, "It's against my religion to have bad days and I rarely sin" which people then start asking what religion is that when they don't realize I'm trying to be funny. So the more common joke answer I give is "Cocaine and prostitutes." Now just for the record, I have never taken cocaine or done anything with a prostitute but people laugh and say "oh that's your secret" or "oh whose your dealer/pimp?"
A simple reality is that some other people who have been through hard times find joy in that things could have been worse because they've compared it to other people, knowing that 20 years ago this technology wasn't there etc. For me, I compare it just to me. I woke up in an ambulance... wrong place or time I wouldn't have woken up at all!
Throughout human history, we've learned to cheat the brain's coding. The brain has reward centers that reward the good things we are supposed to do like exercise, work hard and love/be loved... we runners call the feeling at the end of the workout, the runner's high. I live in Austin and went to college in California where there's plenty of hippies who tell me there's a more efficient way to get high and exercise your lungs. Actually every time a media thing comes out I get a slate of new cures to cancer, seizures etc. This happened shortly after the first media pieces http://pickingupahitchhiker.blogspot.com/2013/04/dead-wrong.html . The most common one is always pot/marijuana/thc. Now because I have those hippie friends, once many years ago I tried pot once and unlike Bill Clinton, I did inhale. It's to many people around the world the magical drug that will fix everything. Now I know it's becoming legal in more and more places and I don't know enough about it to advocate for or against it but when you send me a link as to how this will cure all my issues and the next article on the website is "best sexual positions to use when stoned," you see why there are those who struggle with the medical credibility of it all. But then again, I am a guy who takes drugs twice a day to not have seizures. Leaving everything to nature would likely kill me much earlier than I would have imagined.
But anyway, my answer as to why I'm "still alive" may have to do with human knowledge and invention. But the reason I'm ALIVE! is things that weren't invented, they were simply discovered and then we decided to have some fun with them. Running is definitely one of them and there's a media interview again next week (how these keep coming is beyond me because it literally is just one foot in front of the other). But we may have fine tuned running with sports, random distances, tracks, GPS watches and medals but it is just a simple instinct. If you don't believe me, go watch any kid growing up and shortly after they learn to walk, they want to run!
I've been working on my Waco playlist, each playlist always kind of reflecting the mindset I'm in and/or the one I'm trying to over come. Music is another one of those things that we fine tuned as well. My facebook status yesterday was getting people's suggestions for good running songs. One of the songs on the list is Bon Jovi's last man standing for a variety of reasons. It has some great lyrics:
It might change the way you think
There's no dancers, there's no diamonds
No this boy he don't lip synch
And if you've watched the youtube video of me singing, it's bad enough to where it's obvious that I'm not lyp synching. But it's also cause I've been thinking/feeling about that whole haven't had a girlfriend since high school thing. There's obviously enough references on here and that my longest playlist ever made was entitled hopeless romantic that shows I have that same basic human longing of both companionship and intimacy that most of us desire. But when the memories/trauma of the last relationship come up, it just leads to bad nights and bad dreams. But the next set of lyrics which appropriately/ironicallly I will be listening to on a digital download:
Kiss the lips where hurt has lingered
It breaks the heart to hear him sing
The songs were more than music
They were pictures from the soul
So keep your pseudo-punk, hip-hop, pop-rock junk
And your digital downloads
And every time I'm getting too close to a girl, the guy with memory problems remembers that he once invested 14 years into someone who walked away overnight. In simple frankness, I've literally asked the George Clooney girls that if they decide to end it, to tell me and then be kind enough to do it and then hang out with me for a day to just let is sink it. You're welcome to judge how sad/pathetic/whatever that is. But I remember fondly the ones who were kind enough to remember that.
There are various arguments that could be made of why I'm thinking about it so much these days but let's go with the excuse/fact that Valentine's stuff is everywhere which is what some call "Single Awareness Day" Still, still every time I realize that I'm starting to fall I go back and listen to a classic by Caedmon's Call, Mistake of my life (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0Kwd0hVThg):
"I'm in love, I've never been so sure of anything
but then again, could be a tumor in my brain tricking me,
into thinking that we were meant to be
Either way, I'm about to shock my family in my hometown
Since we met my life's been so up in the air
Here today but by next week I could be there
On the street struggling to support my newest vice
With a sign that says 'I will work for love advice.'
'Cause I will mow your lawn
If you'll tell me what I'm doing wrongl
Maybe I'm on my way to find you
Maybe I'm gonna make the mistake of my life "
Sexuality, various emotions, and affection are oddly enough found near my tumor so this song is perfect (or a perfect cop out) for me. Last year I shared my new year's resolutions and this year they aren't on here but this year one of two I considered as goals were either being chaste the entire year or actually getting a girlfriend by year's end (of course if you're my mom and you're reading this, you're hoping I do both but neither was put on the resolution list). This stuff is all on my mind enough that for the first time for any race, the Mistake of my Life making the Waco playlist but it's early on. Later on it's more of the fun stuff. (Oddly enough I recently learned that cocaine is the drug that most closely mimics being the wiring that gets affected when one "falls in love." So maybe there's something to my joke about that the way I handle this is cocaine and prostitutes.)
But the end (or at least I hope it's near the end and not the middle) is mostly rock and roll, musicals ranging from Bon Jovi to Maroon 5 to Elvis to Elton John. We all have to get through the day somehow. And some people think that if they can get their bicep to be one more centimeter, or their half marathon to be a few seconds faster, or their salary to be a little higher, or their house to be a little bigger, their soul a little calmer, or their title to be a longer, then they will achieve happiness.. Maybe that's true... I don't know. Maybe the secret really is sex, drugs and rock and roll.
Many of us think that if someone joined our religion, our hobbies they would achieve all they are looking for. I don't know if there is a universal solution but on Monday Kiana ran 1.25 miles prepping for her 5k and on Wednesday she ran 1.5 and today we're doing a mile and each time, each time we've sat and played on the playground afterwards with her friends (she's getting better at the monkey bars than me). Different approaches to happines take the sophisticated way of trying to capture it with art, achievements and music or easier/cheating/efficient ways of doing it with things like pot, cocaine and prostitutes. And even as I am thoroughly intimidated by next weekend's marathon... well let me say this I hope neither Kiana and I ever forget the simple joys that putting one foot in front of the other with people you love is the foundation of meaning and happiness. Maybe, just maybe putting one foot in front of the other with people you love is meaning and happiness. Or maybe it's sex drugs and rock and roll.