Here goes…

Yes, I know it’s been since Christmas since I’ve posted. As I’ve always said this is a journey and some days I’ve felt like writing, but the things on my mind were difficult to put into words, and I’m not exactly sure they’re going to go into words any better this particular time. Oddly, enough, I don’t know why, but I’ve had an uptick in visits and still get at least five emails a week from people who read the blog and want to tell me their grief stories. There certainly is a wide range of ways people deal with grief and, each of them valid.

I thought I’d start easy, a kind of a “good news or bad news” first situation, so I’ll talk a little about my plans and what I’m up to. It’s been a long winter, and I’ve spent far too little time out hiking and taking pictures and far too much time playing video games, but I was able to get out and add to my portfolio. I’ve also taken on several clients for senior pictures, and I’d like to publicly thank them for letting me practice with them as models.

If you’d like to see the current portfolio, you can see it here.

I’m certainly looking forward to camping season and have already started planning my adventures for this summer. Assuming we don’t miss another month of school, which is still very possible, given this year’s weather. (You have to love climate change!) My current plans are to leave as soon as our teacher meetings are over in May and head to Tulsa where they are opening the Outsiders Museum in the Curtis’ house used in the film. It’s opening this month and I’m planning on visiting it within a couple months of its opening. I’ll probably stay and camp around Tulsa for 2 or 3 days, then I’m heading north towards Missouri, where I plan on swinging by the University of Missouri to see the van William Least Heat-Moon drove in his book Blue Highways. Then I plan to hike and camp in the Mark Twain National Forest in Southern Missouri for a week or so. Later in the summer, I plan on taking a trip east to see the family and stop at various Civil War sites either on the way there or on the way home.

On the podcast front, as I said, it was too hard to dedicate time to it and to school, so I made it a “summer series,” and season two will premiere in a couple weeks. I already have two episodes written and ready to record. Cool news is I had enough listens that a podcast company has approached me to make the Travel Bag part of their network and I’d get access to their system, a per episode stipend based on listens, and I get to drop in commercials for their sponsors.

I think having plans starting to come together is helping me in my current battle.

I guess I can push it later anymore, so here goes. These last months since just before Christmas have been terrible. Christmas, as I said in an earlier post, is a time of memories and it’s hard to avoid the thousands of emotional landmines the season lays out. Then, immediately after that comes Valentines, which, although, it was never a big thing with Kelley and I, is still full of memories and more emotional booby traps.

Now we are rushing headlong to a day I’ve been dreading for a long time, the first anniversary of Kelley’s passing. I know it’s coming and there’s not a single thing I can do to avoid it and I feel like I’m back where I was a year ago. I so very well want to shut down and go to bed and just sleep 20 hours a day like I did in the days and weeks after Kelley died, luckily, work prevents that, but I would love to right now. It’s weird how the littlest things continue to be triggers, and I’ve really still found no skill at avoiding them. I need a big sign that says “this is going to cause pain, step away, dumbass.” But instead, I just barrel right along.

I don’t know what the third is going to hold. I’ve taken a personal day because I don’t know if I can handle the natives that day.and need an escape plan. Send me some positive vibes that day and know that even though I may ghost for a couple days, I’ll be alright.

Grief Journey

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