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So This Was Christmas

So the holiday has come and gone and I feel like a post-Christmas-post is mandatory.  I suppose that alone shows that on some level, the holiday has meaning to me.  Last year’s post was admittedly non-festive, but left the hope of the holiday spirit in the hands of the children.  This year, after a hard year, the holidays didn’t bring anything special except the reminder that things are getting better for 2016… and that the holidays are about family.

The man I work for had right around thirty guests in his home for the holidays this year – all of them extended family of some sort.  As both his Executive and Personal Assistant I was naturally involved in a great deal of the holiday arrangements: A large tree, gifts for both family and clients, and decking out his mansion in massive amounts of light and ribbon. In execution it was fun.  I met a ton of great people and observed a close family coming together for the holidays.  The house was festive, the tree was beautiful, stockings were hung, junk food was abundant, and christmas music often played in the background (fortunately only when we had guests.)  But the thing about being The Assistant in any case – holidays or otherwise – is that you are a part of everything but at the same time you’re always separated… always in the grey area.

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No Seriously… this is the house. (Next year we’ll do some lasers.)

It’s an enlightening self-study, to see what the effect of seeing an “ideal” and somewhat traditional family Christmas has on me.  Further it reinforced to me that Christmas is indeed a matter of family in my mind, and without it the “holiday spirit” simply doesn’t hold up.  I watched this group of people who were familiar in ways only a close family can be, and I realized that the concept is nearly alien to me.  To be honest there are maybe a handful of people in the entire world that I trust on that level, and out of them probably only two are actually related to me.  And yes, I know, family isn’t about blood relation.  I’ve had many surrogate family members in my time thus far.  Some have endured, many have not, but regardless my family is something that I still need to build… and I haven’t the slightest idea how or when (or with whom) that will happen.

The above sounds whiney… it’s not really meant to.  If anything, it’s hopeful.  I know it’s entirely possible for me to get into the spirit of Christmas, and I even know how.  As usual it’s a matter of patience and making sure I have myself in a position to do it right.  The majority of 2015 was an (arguably necessary) step backwards, but I learned a lot in the process about standing my ground and knowing what my priorities are. Even my current role is already teaching me a great deal about my motivations and where I want to be.  Truthfully I’m not certain in the long-term it will get me there, but for now it’s the balance I’ve sought through many months of barely scraping by, and I’m grateful for that.

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That’s all the holiday spirit you get from me this year.

Also, my Christmas wasn’t bad. I wasn’t alone, it just wasn’t a huge production. The budget was (by necessity) very, very low and I gave little and received little (though to be honest what I received was way cooler than what I was able to give.)  This is all very okay though, I like giving and I kind of suck at gracefully receiving (unless we’re talking in the bedroom… but this is Christmas post, get your head out of the gutter.) To be honest I was grateful that it was what it was and not something far worse.  I have been fortunate that the final month of this year has set up for a vastly improved 2016.  Had I not (finally) gotten some very good options and offers for work in the last couple of months, Christmas might very well have been a dark day for me.

But in the meantime, this year I was a first-hand witness to the sort of ideal Christmas I hope to someday have.  But in order to have that I have a lot of building and developing to do, the least of which involves finding somebody to share that building with.  I suppose it’s entirely possible that things won’t turn out the way I hope and a completely different set of circumstances will bring back the holiday spirit for me.  At least at the moment I can say that although that specific spirit currently eludes me, my personal spirit does not.  As of now I have the hope that can find it, build it,  or make it… one way or another.  But that’s the beginning of the spirit, of anything good really: hope.

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The sharpening of the tool…

“He had to be bereft of friends, of relatives, of teachers and knowledge and the Universe and everything that could help him. He had to be reduced to nothing—or rather, to himself only. And then he had to act—to act purely out of himself, out of his own inner being. In that state of complete disinterest, everything else having failed him, he had no choice but to be himself, to choose and to act.”

(*Regularly scheduled programming will resume next post.)

A Personal Fairy Tail: Epilogue

*Many Years Later* A dialog.

Kaska-Ta  paused for a moment and turned to look behind him… nothing was there.   Then he turned to move forward and again saw only the endless grey haze as it was behind him.  “So I’m alone again?” he said aloud.  “No… never alone, you know this.  I am always here.” a voice echoed through his head, quite possibly a sign of insanity.. or perhaps a higher being.  Sometimes it was hard to tell.  “Well.. what do I do now?” Kaska-Ta asked defeated.  “The same thing you’ve always done.  Move forward.  You are weakened now, your heart is broken.  In truth it has never really healed, but now you can feel it, so you can learn to live with it, and, eventually maybe mend it.”  The voice replied.  Kaska-Ta did indeed feel weak.  “I can’t see it anymore…” he said “I can see the fantasy but not the reality.  I can see everyone else’s reality and potential… but not mine.” Kaska-Ta was certain he heard a soft chuckle from the voice of god in his head.  “Patience.”  Kaska-Ta knew that.  It was always about patience.  He had been patient for so long now.  “I’m tired.” he said “I want to just stop.”  He paused for a moment, and then continued “Everyone is gone.  Sure they are still there, but none of them are mine, not my people, not my family.  Even my fledgeling has long since been drifting away.”  “As she should.”  the voice added.  “I know… I know.” Kaska-Ta replied.  “It’s just hard to keep going when I don’t know what I have to show for it.”  The voice nudged Kaska-Ta within his head as if to gently get his attention “You have touched many lives and shaped many destinies.  Let that be enough and practice the gratitude you so readily and correctly try to teach.”  “A lot of THEM don’t seem very grateful.” Kaska-Ta was now feeling bitter toward his own weakness.  “Perhaps not.” the voice replied “But what you do, and have accomplished with or without anyone should be enough for you.  Sleep now, you will feel better as the days pass, and there is still work to be done.”  And so Kaska-Ta laid down and he stopped for a while.  He knew he would get up again, but he didn’t know when, and he didn’t know when it would feel better after he got up.  He just knew he had to move forward.  There is still work to be done.    

The Grey Area

Since ancient times, man has sought power.  It’s interesting to think about how that came about, the concept of wanting power instead of simply surviving and keeping your family (pack) safe.  The strongest hunters became leaders of their tribes and natural selection took care of the weakest.  But as our society grew and advanced, intellect began to surpass strength through tools and innovation.  Strength gave way to manipulation (Leadership in it’s most open form, and deception on the other end) and numbers became far more powerful than any individual.  Thus was the rise of man, and eventually the ideals of society and theology.  Perhaps sometime I’ll go into the rest of how I feel that developed, but I’m trying NOT to bore you.  My point is that to this day we have antiquated systems of control in place with which to steer the masses in the direction the controllers please.  And who ARE those controllers?  It’s hard to answer because they exist on so many levels.

On the surface many answer to god.  I also believe in god, but my god does not seek to control me himself or through anyone claiming to be his (or her.. see? even I have a predisposition to assign a male gender to a higher being!) representative.   At no point will I claim to be a representative of this god’s authority either.  My spirituality is personal.  Regardless, the authority of god is by far the most often used tool of control/oppression of the masses.  The logical holes in most of these doctrines are blatant, and yet people ignore that and continue to believe because people have to believe in something, especially if they can’t figure out how to believe in themselves their own purpose.  I will never tell anyone (including many of my religious friends) that they are wrong, because I’m willing to admit that I don’t know.  But I will say that I very often disagree with what people do and do not do in the name of religion. (Especially those that are clearly bias and repressive toward women…)  I cannot, and will not buy into it.  Those that use antiquated, unfair and abusive rules of religion, society or tradition to repress and damage people will never be my friends and under certain circumstances could easily become a personal enemy.

Just me.

Welcome.

I am not a “good” man by any means.  But I strive to be an honest one.  It’s my belief that the more honest we our with ourselves and those around us, the better we can understand this life.  I seek experience, pleasure  and happiness for myself with no malice or desire to harm anyone else.  In some cases, that might end up being “wrong” to some of you, but I won’t ever force my ways on to you and it doesn’t feel wrong to me.  So  welcome to a small bit of my life.  Welcome to the grey area.