#10: I talk to friend today, and we celebrate what it is like to be well

I talk to friend today, and we celebrate what it is like to be well: What it is like to have been putting one piece here, one piece there, another in the center, one in the far back and a few others tucked away for safe keeping.

We celebrate what it is like to have stepped forth steps kin to excellent campfire mound stick construction, and we smile from polar ends of Memphis in matched expectation. This is a rare feeling we have. The feeling called, “Things are working.”

Of course, we know that things are always working, because of that idea we intellectually choose to cling to: That idea that nothing is wasted.

Of course, we also know that waiting is suffering, because of those traumas and deferred prayers: The ones that make our hearts grow sicker.

So that feeling, the one called: “Things are working,” is a good feeling.

Last Spring, when “relieved of my teaching duties” at Collierville, I asked myself, “What career can I pursue that allows me the opportunity to operate in integrity, such that the same integrity that hires me is the same integrity that is prioritized when the questioning powerful that be, question the workers that are?”

I thought that because I could not yet identify a traditional, single career position, that “relief” was right.

Well, that is certainly not the case.

I remember the day I said to myself, “If I cannot work for integrity, that I shall live my integrity and find a way to get paid for it.”

I remember that day because it’s when I grew a little more content with the idea of a single career with many different careers tied into its features. I remember because it’s when I said I will build my own client partnerships that allow me to tag team with people who explicitly ask and consistently follow through to build their mental health, educational and artistic muscles.

When working through the attached shame, stigma and fears from ugly opinions of non-traditional jobs without my former 401k, 403b and health insurance and other benefits, I doubted myself so often that I missed deadlines, opportunities and events all together.

Then when I went to the ER, I said, “NO MORE REIGNDEAR GAMES,” and I said I’d “get well or die trying.” Honestly, death is inevitable, so supporting the wellnesses I can enjoy was the only real “option” that allowed me participation. My point is, there have been many, many, many too-long-feeling lifespans of labor. Springtime is coming.

The immediate has not changed. The diagnoses have not changed.

The scans, test, doctor visits, medications and pain will increase. The near future is unlikely to change for better. My coping skills, contentedness and willful work ethic has not increased. My self-awareness, understanding and knowledge has not increased. The near past has not changed. The change: Expanded symptoms, number of earth days lived, dollars spent, emotions processed. Without change: Self-preservation, self-sacrifice, self-made victories.

I talk to friend today, and we understand that our concrete realities are exactly that: concrete, and our finite powers are exactly that: finite, and are our emotions are exactly emotions: unpredictable.

We celebrate today because we have done nothing, because we have done well to steward what is within our control, and because it feels very, very good to say, “It is and feels well with my soul.”


Photography © kendall crouther