Status Quo Woes No Mo
A brief introduction of myself and what is about to happen with me. I hope you tag along.
I am about to enter my mid-50s with about as many chaotic moments in my past as one can have. I was a leader in the Army infantry, entered into marriages that made sense at the time but were in reality were a convenience for both; a byproduct of being a young single parent.
I survived cancer and transplant, and have even been extradited across the US for a crime I did not commit and was later cleared … twice, 30 years ago. That is a few of the bigger things. I am a victim of nothing.
They really happened, extradited by US Marshalls one time, but it was not me and I was later cleared. Ever hear someone say to you, “The United States Government puts you under arrest?” I did, it was different, and certainly makes you think. Lucky for me, it wasn’t me, though I did get to take the airplanes with my new friends.
When I was diagnosed with liver failure in 2011, they told me I had six months to live. To that, I said, “I don’t buy your myth of death,” and walked out. Six years later it developed into liver cancer. In those six years, I lost my home, wife, and career.
Still, I insisted I would find a way through. I changed careers, went vegan, and absorbed all the alternative healing and spirituality I could find among the oldest traditions.
But returning in February 2019 from the Veterans Administration hospital where I received my care, I was broke, living in an apartment above a garage, divorced…again, and the digital empire I created from 1997-2014 was gone as I had sold it to YAHOO! to finance my illness.
In the years since leaving online media and while exploring spiritualty I entered the substance abuse world and became certified first as a recovery coach, and then last year as a counselor. But I was still independent, my style very much unlike traditional counselors, and the clients I worked with rarely, if ever, had a problem with the substance itself, but rather it was the effect of something else going on in their lives.
It was all about finding themselves in the maelstrom of life’s challenges. So, I stopped seeking referrals from local practices and decided to re-invent a future for myself to live, and it would begin now.
So here I am, almost 54, single, working nearly exclusively in the digital space since the mid-90s, and it is time for me once again to drop everything and go, but this time international.
In the more than 6,000 hours of sessions with individuals in the clinical setting that I needed to be certified by the State of Georgia as a Certified Alcohol and Drug counselor, time and time again it was about being lost, not feeling love, and unable to grasp hope.
Those conditions are worse than waiting for a transplant, worse than being diagnosed with cancer, and even words than losing a loved one to death. It was a place I was when a member of my family committed suicide when I was 14, and it was a place I swore I would never be again.
Four years after that, I dropped out of high school, hit the road with my backpack, and ultimately ended up joining to Army when times became tough. That only lasted a few years, I loved it, but it was not truly me, and so I left that too with the familiar “go back and blend into society.” Nope, it was right to following the Grateful Dead around the county up until the time Jerry Garcia died for me. The month he died, I logged onto the internet for the first time. Two years later, it was my full-time, self-employed, job.
Then came 2011 and the diagnosis of liver failure. Now, that is over too, and though I will likely forever need to be in consideration of my body somewhat diminished durability due to continuing medications, I am not letting it stop me from stamping my passport to explore the world.
Now I head out to places I deem of deep cultural and spiritual meaning in a non-organized way. Where did the most important things happen? Where did the worst things, and the best things happen? What is that place like today? How did people get through? Is there still a memory or is it long in the past? It does not matter where, how dangerous, or how far I must travel.
I am trusting the intuition within me that has kept me safe through so many logical, and reasonable, conditions that say otherwise. I do not listen to them, I never have, and it is something I cherish. It is my personal freedom and choice. I believe that if I make the fittest decisions more often than not, I will be just fine.
I am doing this kind of as the last digit effort to understand why we are like we are before my time is up. Living as a transplant survivor is hard enough, but it does not have to be unless you let it. Still, it is real, and I can not control my mind or my body, really (can you stop thinking? Can you stop your eyes from seeing when they are open?), and so I go with my heart because it has never stopped though at one point my mind briefly did in 2018. I gave up at that moment, the pain was too much, but my heart pulled me back.
The gift I received from who I believe was a fellow traveler of sorts knowing what little of her that I do, provided me with another shot to rebuild. I can not do the cookie-cutter lifestyle. I have done all the things, struck it rich during the early dot com years, four wonderful children, and was even able to see Jerry Garcia a couple of hundred times. Hey, it has not all be blood and guts.
I want to understand why we make the choices we do, why we believe what we do, and make some positive contribution to the species before my ticket is punched for the biggest adventure following this life.
As of this moment, my passport is being processed by the US State Department. I have arranged with the VA to be able to get my medications as need while out in the world, plans are in place on how to get any needed blood tests, and I have purged myself of most of the things I own as I prepare to leave.
I am also doing this for anyone who is in that toxic relationship, or waiting for a transplant, or perhaps sitting in a prison cell, to remind all of us that we can do anything we put our mind to if we just believe in ourselves and make the fittest choices.
Check me out on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter: @windandraven