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RIP, Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs died today. It's been a long road for him in fighting off various health issues, and today he lost.

I feel really sad about this.

Steve Jobs is a name that most everyone recognizes. He was rich, successful, and very private about his own life. He certainly made mistakes, and I have no idea if he was a nice guy in person or a complete ass, or maybe somewhere in between. Still, he touched my life on so many levels, and in so many ways. It's kind of amazing to think of all the things that I love that he touched in some way.

I'm typing this message, for example, on a MacBook, and texting with my friends about his death on my iPhone. Millions of people use iTunes and iPods and other products made by his company. The reach of his creative genius and ability to run a company is worldwide, and some of the inventions that came out of Apple transformed the way we interact with the world on drastic levels. I recognize that Steve Jobs did not singlehandedly come up with these items, or make them, or design them, but he started a company that did. His handprint is all over the technology in my home.

In addition, he was directly involved in the eventual creation of Pixar. Pixar is my favorite moviemaking studio, and hands down has brought me more laughter and joy than any other director or movie company I can name. It is instantly recognizable to children all over the country, and I can now go on Buzz Lightyear's Space ride at Disneyland or cry as Boo gets put back in her room in my living room because of Pixar.

Steve Jobs made amazing things happen. He died young. I wonder what he could have accomplished with another 30 years? What the world misses out on because of his loss cannot be known, ever.  For me, this is one of the first personal living legends to die during my lifetime. I don't remember John Lennon getting shot, or the assassination of John Kennedy (because I wasn't alive), or the death of Elvis. But I will remember this feeling of sadness and heaviness today, when a man whose life transformed my own in so many ways, passed away. Forever. What a sad, sad loss.

RIP, Steve. I am glad your hard journey with your health is over. Your creative talent and vision will be missed.

TTITD

A couple of weeks ago, Burning Man sold out for the very first time in the history of the event. This represents a major shift in how tickets are perceived, and will likely affect the rate which they are purchased next year. Tickets are now a commodity being sold for ridiculous amounts of money on CL and eBay. Of course, there are plenty of good Burners who choose to sell for face value, because it's the right thing to do, too.

Three days ago, my coworker who has gone every year for 14 years, told me he found a ticket. He was trying to decide whether to take it, or to skip Burning Man and do something else for a change. I spent 5-10 minutes enumerating the reasons he should go. Among these are:
  • The theme is Rites of Passage. It's appropriate that Burning Man sold out for the first time with this particular theme going on. The event will change in some ways forever after this one.
  • He has camp placement, finally. Hushville, where he lives, was not initially placed. For this reason he had really seriously considered not going. Their camp is located centrally. Awesome.
  • A ticket was offered to him. If a ticket for Burning Man is offered by the universe, you TAKE THE TICKET AND GO.
As I was discussing the reasons to go, I realized I was also thinking about the reasons I would go. Among the reasons I wanted to go (and couldn't because of work-related things) are:
  • The theme is Rites of Passage. On a personal level, I feel like I am in a place of great change. I want to be part of this theme.
  • It has been 11 years since I last visited the playa. I wanted to bookend last year from pre-Matt to post-Matt, but couldn't because of money issues last year. I was just not hooked up enough to get that arranged.
  • The Shame Project has affected me deeply, and I really want to go to the playa and collect Shame. I want to see the temple of Shame built in real space.
  • Personal, spiritual growth.
  • Memories.
  • Adventure.
I realized after that conversation that I could not skip Burning Man this year because of work unless I actually asked work for the time off and got denied. 15 minutes later, I had devised an email to my boss, and my coworker, asking for the time off. In typical supportive fashion, my coworker had even been urging me to go to Burning Man the day before, while I listed off the financial and work-related reasons I couldn't.

Turns out it was a ruse. I hadn't realized that there would be a way to make it work. After a conversation with my coworker for 15 minutes or so, we had worked out all the kinks of me being gone for a week. She emailed my boss and gave the green light. In my world, a green light from my coworker pretty much always means a green light for vacation.

That was Wednesday morning at around 11am. I immediately kicked into gear once I had permission. I emailed my camp to see if there was any possible space left for me to camp with them. I emailed the local Burner group to find a ticket. I emailed a campmate to see if there is space in her RV to get myself down and back.

48 hours later I had a ticket in hand, permission to camp with the Shame Project, transportation to the playa (but not back), and water arrangements made. I still need to figure out how I'll be getting my stuff there and back, and me back from the playa. Oh, and I need to get a list of gear and check it off as I acquire things. Plus I need to sew more fun clothes.

For now, I'm just basking in the glow of knowing I will be returning to that thing in the desert. My life changed forever the year I went to the playa. It's time to go there myself, let go of some of the demons from that voyage, and create new memories. It will be different this year, because I myself am different from the woman who first stepped out of the RV 11 years ago. I am wiser, more centered, and more prepared to accept whatever the playa gives me. I can let go of expectations, because I have none. I mean, the last time I went I found a husband and a whole new circle of friends. This time around, I have some very dear friends I will not let go of, but I am open to creating friendships, love, snuggles, sharing water and food, and exploring.

This is the most spontaneous thing I have done in a while. It feels good, and terrifying, and stressful. I have a ton of things to do at work to meet this deadline, including the development of three e-learning modules that need to be made, tested, and loaded before I leave on August 26th at the end of the day.

This summer has been a crazy ride. I would say it seems to be accidental in its pleasantness, but I know better. I planned on joining up with the Shame-bearers in February, and when I committed to doing the work and raising the funds I was committing to myself to do other kinds of personal, internal work as well. I thought I was playa-bound for a while, but then it didn't shake out that way. I am pleasantly surprised to see the tides turn on that. I am also thrilled to be able to go this year, when there is a project that scares me to my very core, and means so much. I cannot wait to sit in the swing on the playa, and read the shame we have collected. I know the playa will receive many tears from me this year. It is a time of mourning, and a time of weeping from joy. To forgive myself for making mistakes I could not have prevented, to forgive Matt for doing the best he could and still failing as a partner, to accept my body as it is where it is, and to acknowledge and see that the universe is abundant....these are all life-altering experiences as I move through them. Amazing. I can only express that I feel blessed by all that I have in my world.

I can't wait to get to the playa.

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Life

Life is feeling good and sweet tonight.

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Flirting

Oh. My. God. This flirting is sooo incredibly hot.

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Home

Home home home home home home home. Have hit seatac. Now on to snuggles with Nancy and then my cat. I bet he misses me.

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Getting Worse

The loneliness is getting worse. Sitting in a meeting with coworkers I adore and it hits me that I feel trapped in my life. Like consider walking into traffic to get free kind of trapped. Do not want.

Guess I need to call my therapist and set up an appointment.

=sigh=

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Nightmares

Last night I had a terrible tummy ache that kept me up from 1-3am. When I finally did fall asleep, I had two consecutive dreams about my husband (not Matt) hunting me down and murdering me. In one it was by knife and the other by some sort of automatic gun. Neither of these experiences was a great way to start my day. And the dreams were creepy.

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Reminiscing

Apparently this is the year of revisiting things from my teens. By the end of the year I will have:
  • Visited Hawaii for the first time since I was 17
  • Gone to see They Might Be Giants do a Flood show, playing all the songs off their hit 1990 album
  • Visited Mexico for the first time since I was 16
  • Rediscovered all the aspects of play in my sexuality I had forgotten about, including my kinks
  • Revisited my love of women, my shyness around them, and the feeling of wanting to find one to be with for a long time
I will have also done some very new things, including:
  • Getting open water certified for diving
  • Losing my fear of flying
  • Finding peace in silence
  • Discovering I'm a pretty cool person
  • Discovering I'm an intense person to partner with
  • Advocating for what I really need, and asking for what I desire
Good stuff, overall. It's been a big year of change. I'm sure there is more to come. Bring it.

Wishes, dreams, hopes and shattered hearts

It hit this week. After many months of telling people I'm getting divorced, and feeling nearly completely even-keeled about it, the darkness has finally descended. I'm not sure what instigated it. Could it have been a weekend full of hot sex, followed by the realization that perhaps that was a poor choice for someone who is already emotionally unstable? Could it have been Matt's departure for Boston and the ensuing emails back and forth about the division of the assets which has been all over the board? Maybe the powerful influence of the moon? Too many hot days without a break?

Does it really matter?

I have spent this week weeping over glasses of good red wine, holding babies screaming their lungs out and unable to be comforted, watching whimsical park theatre, eating ice cream, and chatting online with friends. I've listened to everything from Indigo Girls to KMFDM to This Mortal Coil. At any given moment I might be experiencing the tremendous pleasures of taking in the moment, surrounded by friends or alone on a deck, or I could be driving to work, tears falling onto my blouse as I weep uncontrollably, influenced by a sadness I cannot pin down. It feels like my soul is being ripped apart, pulled into a million directions. Attempts to stay grounded, to sit with the feelings, to retain some semblance of perspective fail me repeatedly. I know these must be normal experiences for those whose lives are devastated by the forces of divorce. The compass by which you have guided your life for so many years ceases to work. The magnetic polarities fritz out. Which way is up? Which way is down? It all feels like falling, like Alice down the rabbit hole.

I really try to take in the good moments when they are happening: the sight of Mt. Rainier, purple and wrapped in creamy orangesicle colors at sunset or sunrise, my city as the sun sets over Gasworks park with a crowd of people dancing and friends nearby, my cats curled up on the sofa together snuggled up, the sound of coworkers laughing in the kitchen in the morning. The world is full of simple pleasures. I try not to miss them because there are so many moments where I cannot hear or see those things, instead I am centered in my heart, feeling the amazing pain that loss creates inside of it. Is there any other kind of emotional pain except for loss? I am beginning to think there is not. We experience loss regularly, loss of friends, family, dreams, plans, ways of seeing or being with the world. If I listed out all that I have lost, and weighted it, though, I would never be able to make it weigh as much as all the amazing things I have gained. Each painful experience in my life has led me through the darkness and back out into the light, filling me with joy and love once again. There is always the capacity within ourselves to love and hope again, even on the darkest of days. I am working on loving myself for a change of pace, and remaining open to loving, even if it is not returned equally. I believe that putting more love into the world is not a wasted effort, just as I believe learning is never wasted.

It's hard right now. I am working hard to fill my time seeing friends, reaching out for the support I so desperately need. I don't know how to talk about it, though. I am unprepared to cry on the shoulders that might be offered. If I open up that door in front of someone else and make myself that vulnerable I am afraid I will never be able to stop crying. I never thought it would be so hard, even though I had been warned. Like so many things in life, the only thing that can prepare you for the experience is the experience itself. How lame.

A big thank you goes out to all of the people in my life who have offered support. I know you are out there, even if we don't talk often, even if we are not as close as we once were. Know that I am thinking of you, and that my love for you has not diminished. You have touched my life, and I am amazed at how that has changed me. I am very, very blessed. Some day, when this story is less fresh, we will look back at it and have good laughs, and reflect on how much I have grown and changed since the experience. I look forward to that.

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