Make It Count

I was told that suicide left nothing.
But I have one life to die in this tango for two.
It's been three months of progression
following a four month obsession
over a five second fixation that defined me.
And on day number six
God created seven seconds in heaven
where I ate all my feelings, but food was somehow forgotten.
I wasted away, nearly nine pounds in days
But this man made of tin failed to recognize he was just a cowardly lion.
I look at the clock, it reads 11:11
And then there's the look on your face,
It reads like peers numbered through twelve.
I just want to be broken down into 13 pieces.
Now I realize that at 14 my life was half over
And 15 from now my half life starts over.
Alone until 16 I kept my counting.
Can I ask for 17 seconds more?
Or is that asking too much?
Because at second one-eight is when life starts to feel great
But I always find myself lost in the nineteen
It's been twenty minutes since I last thought of the blade.
I'm 21, drink.
2 plus 2 must equal Jesus since he was always the answer
But it was at 23 when I started looking to the stars and not to the heavens
I scream to myself "STOP COUNTING" but i have a double dozen reasons to continue
My obsession has taken me from nowhere to 25 and my mind. won't. disconnect.
At 26 I met Dorothy and she said she'd take me all the way to Oz.
Walking a golden path, twenty-seven bricks wide
Twenty-eight miles we will pass in stride
and in my 29th year of life I look on to the Emerald City with the brightest of eyes.
30 seconds since I've last thought of the blade.

I realized this morning as I was sitting next to my french press that The Barber Story was lacking something. 
A story? Obviously there isn't much of a story now, I'm in the part of my life that I'm trying to escape. I can only deal with customers telling me "How can you sleep with yourself at night?" so often.

A goal? That seems pretty clear set from the first post. The more I think about it, though, I don't think a goal is as much of a crucial role at this point. Instead, I'm viewing it as an abstract path. I have my previously life to set up goals, this is new. I need to be comfortable with curve balls coming at me from every angle and adapt my plans accordingly. Will this continue being a blog? Probably. Will this ever become a store front? Possibly. Will it all happen in the time frame I'm giving myself? Who knows. I can plan and plan and plan right now, but to fine tune the small details may be opportunities of extra aggravation I'm not willing to dole out right now.

But the question remains. What is The Barber Story missing? I kept looking at all of the different components of what the website could offer, and kept telling myself those are future problems. Once I changed my focus from "what can the website offer" to "how can I improve this story" it came quick. I realized it was lacking humanity.

My perspective of the future is rapidly changing. I no longer look at it as this black cloud of the vast unknown. I see what my future holds, and I'm bypassing caution with my amount of optimism.

In five years, I will have opened my own shop.
In ten years, I will still be working there.
In fifteen years, I'll still be at it.
In twenty years, I will be known for my experience.

 I have a specific end result I'm trying to attain. Having never had that previously, it's been difficult to imagine what the future held. The future is specific. The future is no longer "the future", instead it's the next 40 years until I decide to stop working.

Looking at the timeline is intimidating at first. 40 years. I haven't even lived 3/4 of that, and my memories can only be recalled for about half of it. My career will be adding essentially another 2 lifetimes of experience, and honing a single craft. I cannot allow myself to get discouraged about the next 40 years. I have an end goal. 

Getting back to the humanity of this page. I wanted to give you a better picture of who I am as as a person. Up to this point, I haven't contributed enough to others to have them care about what it is that I stand for.

When I wrote the poem above, I was having a pretty big struggle in life. Every day I went to work, I would have a fifteen minute full blown conversation with myself about suicide. It started out as lingering thoughts that were fleeting at best, but then a few days later an affirmation. Two weeks would pass and I would rationalize but fail to act. I would hope for accidents. I finally got to a point where I talked to a doctor and he told me that I had bi-polar disorder, and that the past few years of medications I had been prescribed for depression were misguided diagnoses.

The conversations in my head stopped. I finally had something that made my head a quiet place of comfort instead of the hustling bustling wall street of never ending thoughts and ponderings it had been for  as long as I can remember. It lasted two months. Then came a new job, and new insurance. What previously was a $5 co-pay was now over $100 as co-insurance.

I can no longer afford to keep my sanity.

January 3rd, 2015 was the last time I was able to hear the quiet and calm. How do I keep my highs high, and away from my lows? Chemical imbalance, but there are still external factors. I can still choose to be positive about something, even if it isn't coming naturally. I NEEDED an end goal to focus on, something to drown out the noise. 

I think while I'm still in the thick of the exit interview of my old life, I will be scaling back to weekly updates like this on Sunday, and possibly a quick blurb on Wednesdays. Once I get in school it will likely become more constant, but that's the fine tuning I can worry about next month.

My to do list is getting shorter. I met with the financial aid rep and got my contract signed. My school accommodation paperwork is already approved at work. The website is up. The next month I just need to get in my tuition reimbursement paperwork in at work (unlikely I will get it, but you can't know if you don't ask) and as a first time student there's some extra student loan applications I will get done later today. I'm finding more comfort and calm with this transition than I anticipated.

That will probably change next month.

Chris BentleyComment