A Short Story About Reinvention

A Short Story About Reinvention

It’s probably a little silly to share this. Maybe a bit juvenile?

But…

When I dive into the dark depths under my surface, wrangle the beast within, victoriously grab the bastard by the throat and surface again with its corpse; I feel like I’ve conquered and taken another step forward.

Sometimes, my steps sort of, you know, slide backward. Instead of rocketing to the surface, breaking the water line a few feet in the air with prey in hand, it’s more like my bloated self slowly rises from the deep, sloshing back and forth as the tempest swirls around and the dorsal fin of the beast that just took me out circles my carcass.

Pretty dark.

Reinvention is like that sometimes. Take a couple steps forward and feel great. And then, we slip and fall back a step.

It feels like a mile backward for every one step forward.

Objectively, that’s not reality. When you set out on transformation—no matter how big or small it is—just the fact you’ve begun a journey of change is absolutely incredible.

Of course, it’s all in the way and how we see, and not just what we see, of our particular circumstance.

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As a writer, I focus on the metrics of a website to the point of obsession, and then wonder if the changes I’ve made were worth it. So much of the ego is tied up in metrics.

Those stinking data marks that tell us numbers but gives no details about the quality of anything.

There are writers out there that don’t worry about such things—what people say about their articles and books, or what the metrics look like (how many folks hit the ‘Like’ button on their published content).

But from what I’ve seen and experienced, we all do…fret over whether or not we’re accepted and loved.

Doesn’t matter what position or title or rank you hold in life.

We place too much emphasis on that damned ‘Like’ button instead of just being authentic with ourselves.

And, living an intentional and authentic life isn’t about pleasing people around us.

As a matter of fact, when we follow our convictions and finally cast off the garb that others have put on us as to what and who we are and where we should be, then we finally come into rhythm with our true selves.

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I recently joined a writer’s group. At the beginning of our meeting we have a short assignment. We all write for 15 minutes about what the group leader reads out of a writing prompt booklet.

This exercise directed us to write about an inanimate object in first person and bring it to life.

Halfway through writing this piece, I stopped and thought, “My God, is everything so dark with me?”

I pasted the copy of what I wrote below so when you get about halfway you’ll see what I’m talking about.

I mean, I’ve really focused on things under the surface and shifting my outlook to being more positive. But, as I thought about what I was writing (below), I couldn’t help but think, “Great, and here I thought I was making real progress.”

Then it dawned on me…Psst, you’re NOT done yet!

So, I followed that small voice into the depths for a moment. Time was ticking and I didn’t have the luxury of doing what I normally do: over analyze the crap out of everything.

I didn’t fret about the timer. I took a quick glance around where this little story was going and I found that it was not as dark as I thought.

The key here? Not fretting and worrying and definitely not over analyzing. Just allow a brief moment to reflect and then…

Keep writing, you’re not done, said the voice in the depths.

I felt the current flowing inside about where to take the story and thought, Wow! Amazing.

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Psst…

You…not me…but you, reading this, yes…You. Are. NOT. Done!

Keep working through what you’ve started.

Keep pressing forward.

Keep working on your dreams, your goals, getting out of debt—wriggling free of the cocoon around you and don’t stop until the fence of the corral is shredded.

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A Short Story:

The roof opened and a stark stab of light shone through the cylindrical ceiling. I squinted but I’m afraid it was no use, the warmth surrounding me began to escape in vapors that swirled around and up and up and up it went. The heat that encased me and gave me a feeling of well-being disappeared into the brightness above.

Whoa! I sloshed against the side of my home, tilted on end, and as I surged in my round sphere I lost my equilibrium and now, not only did I feel the cool air sting my face, the vertigo was too much to bare. The jostling stopped as I felt a hard thud below me. The plunge to the bottom and the sudden stop sent round ripples shimmering across my face and then, as quickly as the stab of day struck me moments ago; the ceiling instantly covered and the darkness returned.

The cool air above was now trapped under the roof that now was solidly in place. Suddenly, drip, drip, drip came from the ceiling above back down upon my face. Steam filled the vacant space between my surface and the roof above, and I finally warmed from the depths below. Thankfully, the ripples subsided, the vertigo eased, and I settled once again into a solemn state.

I’ve heard it said that such an owner will introduce another embodiment here, but I am fortunate; this owner likes me the way I am: dark, hot. Here I sit to fulfill my destiny, remaining as calm as can be, ensuring I don’t spill over the roof when the time comes to be sent forth into the depths of my owner; to warm, to console, to excite, to inspire, to ease the tension by creating an awareness and an awakening from within another body.

I am appreciative that they, whoever they are, have named myself and my kind…coffee.

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Well, the story’s a bit different and maybe a bit silly.

But, maybe not.

A lot can be learned from a cup of coffee.


Photo by MaxPixel

Posted by Christian Martin Jr. in Reinvention, Writing
Banana Seats and Life

Banana Seats and Life

When I was eight-years-old, I had the coolest bike ever. I don’t remember the brand, probably a Schwinn, that was big then.

But the thing that made it very cool? The Banana Seat with the trick sissy bar. Yep, that was cool.

I’ve always been a lover of speed and general mayhem. I was that kid on the block that built the coolest bicycle ramps…ever.

You know the kind: pile a bunch of flat rock and strategically place a board on the top to make a ramp that you could launch yourself into the air and see how many matchbox cars you could fly over.

Hmm…to remember correctly, that flat rock? Yeah, that was broken pieces of asphalt that my buddies and I dug out of the nearest pothole (I know, we created a bigger pot hole—it was for a good cause!).

Oh, and the board? Yeah, an old shredded 2×4 or 2×6 or 2x something or other. Actually, anything the bike tires would fit on, worked juuuuust fine.

Then after this fine bike ramp was constructed?

Travel about two houses away and pedal as fast as I could. Fly up the ramp and Wham! I’m in the air and have defied gravity once again!

Again, very cool stuff.

Until one day…

I couldn’t find the perfect flat rock so I used a garden rock (um…no need to specify where that came from) to prop up the ramp.

I headed up the street on my fine banana seat bicycle and let the pedaling begin.

I was hauling buns by the time I came to the ramp.

Then, right before my tire touched the board, it slid to the side. I jerked the handle bars and I was launched, without the bike under me, straight into the gutter.

I blacked out momentarily, but when I came to, my bike was in the middle of the street, my friends just stood there staring at my corpse, and my entire right side was on fire.

Not literally on fire, but I had road rash from my right ear all the way down to my right ankle.

I still can remember the pain from that crash.

And…somehow, I survived my childhood.

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Life is full of pain.

It’s also full of good things too.

It’s extremely important to be able to see the goodness around us when feeling the pain that life dishes out at times.

Yet, the deepest wounds in life aren’t the ones we get from crashing our bicycles, but it’s the emotional pain inflicted by someone else; usually someone we trust, someone very close.

Emotional pain is deep, sharp, and can linger for years.

Enter the term…Forgiveness.

It’s an easy word to write. Easy to tell someone else to forgive. Easy to complain about someone else, “Jeez, they need to let it go and move on with life!”

But the reality is, Forgiving may be one of the hardest things on the planet to do.

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Anger, pain, joy, surprise…these are all normal reactions. Physiologically speaking, there’s nothing you can do to prevent them.

Walk into a room and everyone yells, “Surprise!” Automatically, if not expecting it, you’re going to be surprised.

Something good comes your way, you’re going to be full of joy.

Crash your bike into a city gutter? You’ll do what I did…run home a bloody mess looking for your Mommy and leave the darn bike in the street.

Broken promise? Betrayed?  A lover that decides it was just a fleeting season and now it’s time to move on?

Painful? Yes. But it also produces anger.

Anger is just as normal of a reaction and there is nothing wrong with you feeling anger.

It is NORMAL!

After the anger wears off, that’s when the tricky part starts.

Unforgiveness can warp the mind and heart and wreak havoc on you physically. Life is just too short to walk around pissed off at the past, and those that live there.

And that includes damning your own self!

Problem with emotional hurt is we have a tendency to replay what was said, the promises made, the actions done; like some horrible rerun, it plays over and over and over in our minds.

We find ourselves brooding over the hurts, which perpetuates the pain.

Brooding is an interesting word. The origins of the word is from German that means to breed, and to nurse feelings in the mind. As a noun, it relates to new born animals; as a verb it means to think deeply about something that makes us unhappy.

So, a step to Forgiveness, is to stop the reruns—the Brooding—that, unfortunately seems to happen naturally.

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For some reason, I have more of a tendency to brood and walk around under a cloud of despair even when it’s clear and sunny out.

It’s something I’ve been working on more and more over the past few years and slowly, the sun seems to be brighter these days.

Here’s a few items that have helped me to stop the reruns, refocus my energy on the positive, and ultimately has helped me Forgive others, and myself. I hope this helps in some way:

  • Journaling. Set aside some alone time, grab your computer (good old fashion notebook works too) and start writing about life. Write about whatever it is that is on your mind and heart. And, don’t hold back. Let it rip. Want to cuss, call someone bad names, throw a few F bombs around? Go for it. It’s healthy. Just don’t let anyone else read it. It’s for your eyes and your eyes only. You’ll be amazed at how clearer you will be able to think about a situation after writing about it. It’s like it purges the ick. Lot of research out there that tells us that those who journal are overall healthier and happier in life.
  • Concentrate on your Four Pillars. Your Physical, Spiritual, Mental, and Emotional health. Move, be it a walk or a run. Meditate and be grateful. Read or do a list of ideas (list 10 ideas about anything, doesn’t matter, just get the brain to think and sweat a little). Surround yourself with positive people; not those filled with drama, gossip, and complaining.
  • Grateful. I mentioned this above. It’s hard to be grateful when the reruns turn on, but this little simple thing you do is a huge game changer. I look at even the smallest of things, a flower, a bird flying, heck, just the fact I can see those things is incredible. Being grateful helps shift our thinking toward the positive and begins to erode the negative.
  • Find a confidant. Hard to do when you’ve had your heart ripped to pieces. Find someone you trust to confide in. Take it slow if you’re not sure who to trust. You don’t have to divulge everything all at once. A confidant won’t judge you or damn you; they’ll listen. And if anything, someone just to listen to us is a healing salve.
  • Accept and be kind. First(!), to yourself. When we get hurt, we have this horrible reaction of blaming ourselves. “If I were smarter, then this wouldn’t have happened.” “I should’ve listened to so-&-so, they warned me!” Needless chatter! Be kind to yourself and learn to forgive yourself. Accept you’re not perfect. Accept the fact that in life people do things to protect and preserve themselves (sometimes very selfishly) and most of the time, their actions have nothing to do with us at all. It does NOT mean you’re a bad person. Change what you can for you to be better in the future, but don’t continually beat yourself up over the past. It’s just not worth it.

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After about a month I healed up from my nasty crash.

I kept riding that very cool bike and had that thing for another 9 years before I stripped it down and used the parts to build the best BMX bike ever.

Yeah, more crashes, but very cool ones.

Life is exciting and full of good things, even the crashes…so much to learn from them that really does make us better at riding this crazy thing.

Posted by Christian Martin Jr. in Reinvention, Self-Improvement