Archive for coming-of-age

Perception

Posted in Life, Present with tags , , , , , , , , on February 10, 2011 by Shea Atkin

It’s everything and nothing, all at the same time. Whatever that means.

Recently I have gone through a series of dramatic occurences that leave me scratching my head.  I have more questions than answers.  Tonight I realize that is ok.  As I look at stuff from an objective viewpoint, I start to grasp the true definition of perception, which is:

The act or faculty of apprehending by means of the senses or of the mind; cognition; understanding.  www.dictionary.com

I’m struck by the word ‘act’.  Knowing doesn’t get me anywhere without action.  I have tons of intentions that end up nowhere.  Action is the only way to truly be fully aware of perception and it’s role in my life.  Over the past month, I have asked ‘why’ about a million times.  As the days go on, I find that timing is everything.  These situations were not ‘bad’ or ‘good’–they just, were.  I guess if I really knew the big picture, I would try to rush things.  But reality is, all I have to do is live.  One day at a time.  That’s it.  It’s hard for me because I like to make things happen.  I want to force whatever I perceive to be ‘right’ into the equation.  This inevitably leads to a big, fat mess.  I can’t even tell you how many times I have to relive and relearn this lesson.

I heard a quote today that resonated– “When emotion and intellect are in a battle, emotion usually wins.”  This rings true more often than not, for me.  That 18 inches between my head and my heart try to meet, but usually one dominates.  Theoretically I can calculate what to do in a given situation, but throw my crazy emotions into the equation and I wind up a basketcase.  This leads me to the understanding that I need to work certain steps to ensure that ‘Crazy Shea’ doesn’t break onto the scene once times get tough. And I learn.  And I learn.

I only have the tools to change the crazy in me, not in you.  I can only affect my perception and not impose it on others.  For most of my life, I have tried to fix situations so everything runs smoothly.  This results in huge resentments on my part since I can’t control anything.  Now that I am finally just staying on my side of the street (for the most part), the ‘crazy’ has lessened and life doesn’t feel so piercingly loud and chaotic.  The perception shift is dynamically profound and produces a calm I have never known.  For once, life is as it should be, in this moment.  Nothing more, nothing less.

 

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Beginning of the End

Posted in Life, Past, Present with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 8, 2010 by Shea Atkin

Discovery when the time has come

To be present–even when forced

Conjuring creativity while channeling authenticity

Alive when recalling the past

Even though it was dead at the time

Or maybe it was just benign

Inclusion of the whole with an abstract approach

Sacrificing self to foster life

Increments of thorough fabrication, personified through experience–

Melded together to produce artistic expression

Hoping for acceptance

But the strength to withstand the opposite

Consistence of constant and conscious awareness–

While vulnerability seeps through

Selfless objectivity being the reward of a life lived in the light

Invited in as a welcomed guest

Appreciative for the gift of opportunity

Humbled by vanity

Longing for what was once rejected

Cyclical balance of compromising solitude

Reciprocation of energy from the very last of choices

Circling back to the origin of the beginning

Goodbye

Posted in Past with tags , , , , on November 16, 2010 by Shea Atkin

When I wrote this, I didn’t realize that I would ever get to say hello again.

Usually my MO was to run from conflict–and then journal about it to pacify the emotion.

I was reading some of my old stuff today and had to smirk at how everything is starting to come full circle.  Most of my goodbyes have not been permanent, and for that I am quite thankful.  Who I was back then was a completely different person–but in essence, completely the same.

I’m glad I always documented feelings, It makes reality more clear now.  I’m equally glad that in the past couple of weeks–these goodbyes I wrote about a decade ago were ended with a simple hello.

 

“The first day of the rest of our lives–

Is it goodbye

Or simply hello

 

Nothing is certain yet

Except for the beat of my uncertain heart

 

Memories forgotten

And memories unfortunately remembered

Pushes me to make it all better

 

Gratitude goes out to the forces

That establish my feelings

Singing the song we try so hard to forget

And striving to be thankful for all that we are

 

Sometimes I laugh

Sometimes I cry

But it all boils down

To the equation of you

 

Smile when you think of me

Because I will do the same

 

Dare to dream the impossible

I will dare to love unconditionally

We will evolve into the people

That we wanted to be at 16 years old

 

Fierce Independence

Posted in Present with tags , , , , , , on November 15, 2010 by Shea Atkin

is my current status….

Contemplating where I am on this continuum.  Today I was given words to these feelings I have been having.  In some aspects, I never matured past the age of 15.  Most of my relationships consisted of being completely dependent.  To me, the relationship was more important than my actual self.  I compromised who I was to be accepted.  I gave away bits of me just to fit in.

More recently, I have become fiercely independent.  The balance has switched to my actual self being more important than relationship.  Unfortunately, many relationships have suffered because of this decision.  In certain aspects, compromise would be equivalent to death.  Establishing who I am, instead of who everybody wants me to be has been enlightening and strange with a spark of amazing.  It’s not necessarily the decision that I make–It’s the acknowledgement that I get to make the decision that is most important.

This inevitably leads to interdependence.  Eventually I will come to the place of being able to coexist in certain relationships without feeling “loss of self”.  Having 2 whole individuals in relationship enjoying each others company.  I have to say, I am very much looking forward to that day.

Realizing that I am right in the midst of independence, gives me a certain freedom. It’s in the lack of control that I have found peace.  Talking to God and giving my day to Him on a continual basis.  Not worrying about what other people are thinking about my journey.  Being true to myself and authentically seeking truth.   It is a reconciliation of sorts, but more importantly–it is the evolution of maturity.

Blaming the past and people in it gets me nowhere.  Actively staying present is what I am striving for.  Some days are worse than others.  And some days are really easy.  But the calm that I feel in the midst of complete chaos lets me know I am right where I need to be.  Right or wrong–I am me.

Addiction

Posted in Past with tags , , , , , on October 27, 2010 by Shea Atkin

“Reject me if you wish, but selfishness lies in the heart of the accuser

Lie after lie makes this ordeal rather comical

Accusations start to become a joke to myself and everyone else in contact

You think I am strange, I find myself a stranger

The pieces of the puzzle should have been put together long before the detrimental outcome

Verbal phrases thrown, lie dormant and then rise up at the most inopportune of times to puncture my soul

Are you sure of this truth that you know or are these lies in disguise?

Temporary relief of anger causes a lifetime of regret

Apologies are not an option, so is solitude the answer?

Just push me away so your faults are non-existent.

Now who is the selfish one?

I blame not those who blame me

But simply ask a question, so the truth can be revealed.” -Shea 1998

 

 

Our Deepest Fear

Posted in Past with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2010 by Shea Atkin

“As I journey into the unknown realm of my 30’s in a few days–many changes are taking place. Partly because of the inevitable evolution that is life, and partly because of my desire to stay as far away from complacency as possible. Over the past month, I have made some choices to utilize parts of me/mind/body/spirit that have been stagnant for quite some time. Over the days that pass I’m starting to recognize extremely positive results in quality of life through relationships, business and interactions in general.

I have loved the following quote for many reasons. But most of all–It gets me out of my insecurity and into the mindset of channeling positivity for the greater good. It’s not about “me”–it’s about others. So the way I read this now is : It is my duty to work on myself because the life of others truly depends on it. We are all created as such individuals–and only we have the capability of doing things that only we were created to do.” -Shea- August 2010

OUR DEEPEST FEAR

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson

Generation X

Posted in Past with tags , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2010 by Shea Atkin
“I am contemplating with my fingers right now. Writing is my coping skill, and vice versa. Today was a particularly peculiar day. I was in the truck driving while listening to the radio. We have a completely amazing radio station up here named Gen -X. Every song that comes on, takes me back to a time. Almost every time something comes on I will remember a person I heard it with first, smell something in my mind or laugh about an instance that happened while it was playing. Now, these artists range from Biz Markie to Nirvana. As I pondered what I was thinking at these time, my memories started flashing in segments which caused me to ask a few question to my subconscious, apparently. It was the time period that I felt. A whole station dedicated to the ones that no one could really label. So they just gave us an “X”. An ignored generation of slackers, I have heard quoted recently. Now I was born in 1980, so I am on the cusp of Generation X and Millenials. However, I am proud to say that I relate more with X. 

Gen X was an era of the underdog. Nobody really expected much of us after the Baby Boomers so our minds started to wander (which isn’t such a bad thing!). As Jeff Gordinier writes:

“Gen-X stomping grounds of the past — the espresso bar, the record shop, the thrift store — have been resurrected in digital form. The new bohemia is less a place than it is a headspace. It’s flexible enough to bypass all the old binaries. It encompasses mass and class, mainstream and marginal, yuppie and refusenik, gearhead and Luddite. It’s everywhere and nowhere in particular”

This takes me back to when The Epitome was still the place to be in Tallahassee. We would go and sit for hours, writing our poetry and listening to spoken word. Smoking a few cloves while we were at it. Contemplating life and the realities that were, us. Imagining and dreaming of what was possible, but at the same time not truly believing that I could make a difference. It was all relative and theoretical. It forced me to think outside the box. Heck, I don’t even think I knew what the inside of one would look like. I was challenged and related to the writings of Kurt Cobain with all of the passion I could muster. Finally, someone who understood.

A generation of where I didn’t think of the future. I didn’t really start that until a few years ago. Life for me at that time was more about the journey, not the destination. It was tangible and personal but not overbearing. We didn’t grow up with good computers. Do you remember those huge dinosaur manilla colored Apple computer that contained Oregon Trail? The biggest concern digitally was whether or not I was going to die of diphtheria along the way! Sesame Street didn’t have to worry about being “politically correct”.

Now as I said earlier, I’m just writing. I’m not too worried about being accurate because this is what I remember feeling. I find solace in public writing. It’s quite cathartic for me and makes it more “real”. Also, I tend to find comfort in the fact that not much was expected of me from previous generations. That provided a blank canvas, a list of endless possibilities and the permission to screw up. Somehow I found a niche that I fit comfortably in, but it was forever evolving. The niche was that of inconsistency, unpredictablity and openness. The Holy Grail of a free spirit mentality. Now, this doesn’t mean that things were great. I just mean that I started liking the way I was starting to think. It challenged me and I forever push the envelope of myself. On the surface it may not have appeared that way, but underneath a storm was brewing. Nothing was ever truly defined. My mind was much like a Monet. I could think of things distantly but if I applied it closely, it was just a bunch of dots.

What does all of this mean? I don’t know. I just felt inspired to write what I was feeling. I miss the days where I felt free of obligation and my only priority was to think. Not that I want to go back to that period of my life because being a teenager was hell, but I appreciate the mentality now. It made me who I am today, and I’m starting to get to know that person more and more. I’m learning to let teenage Shea off the hook and allow adult Shea to, just be. Reminiscent of those stories where you could pick your own ending, but not really. I now realize that none of this probably makes any sense, but I’m okay with that.” -Shea 2010