This phenomena of end-of-the-year assessment is new to me. I have not made resolutions since I was a kid, and though I am a maker of lists, I do not restrict my list-making to New Years Day. I have also gone on record as being one who writes for the sake of writing, without tailoring my writing to a specific audience.
However, I cannot help be influenced by what I read at other blog sites, especially when I feel that I am the one who is out of step. Honestly, I am a very steady individual. I have had five careers, but only five jobs, one per career. I have only applied for two jobs in my life and obtained them both. I have never “lost” a job; I lived seventeen years at Fellowship Street, in SoCal, and thirty years here in this house on our ridge top, in Northern California. I am not a flighty sort of fellow.
However, I have undergone a profound metamorphosis in the past eighteen months, a Bildungsroman [German: “formation novel”] of sorts, a literary term which refers to the “growing up or coming of age of a sensitive person who is looking for answers and experience.” I have also broadened my social network to include my community of writers, and have read with great interest, perspectives that are different from mine, and quite fascinating. Therefore, I have determined that in order to fit in, in a non-threatening way, I need a Word.
I was at S. Stauss’s site this morning, and her word is “tree.” What she wrote so impressed me, that I decided I was in. At that instant, when I made the mental shift to get on board, I pictured Feste, from Twelfth Night and the word that flashed across the TelePrompter in my mind said “whirligig.”
The second definition from my new Oxford American dictionary, of whirligig, a noun, is “a thing regarded as hectic, or constantly changing.” By extension, “hectic” is defined as “full of incessant or frantic activity.” Thus, I would define myself as a person who has undergone a radical transformation, and who is frantic to continue my unexpected odyssey. I have noted that my transformation is emotional in nature, and has not affected any of my values, or my feelings about those around me, especially Annie.
I wrote out the sordid details in Six Days a Week, the piece of writing that detonated my explosive outpouring of words. Freeing myself from forty-eight years of being held hostage to the presence of panic attacks, and the ensuing anxiety which pervades that malady, has produced a whirligig of frenetic action, which has consumed me for almost a year.
Transformed from a low-key, staid individual, to a person who defines himself as fearless, I have only just managed to hang onto dear life during this unprecedented excursion. Now, inspired by those around me, I want to try and not so much slow down the process, but rather, attempt to better control it, so that those around me can see that there is a method to my madness, and that I will begin to decelerate.
I saw Dr. Jill for seven visits initially, eighteen months ago, but there is more work to be done. Who this whirligig is, that I have become, still remains to be seen. A spinning top or pinwheel, or even merry-go-round, if you prefer, which is the first definition of whirligig, no longer applies, for I have stopped reeling. But I am not yet a tree.
My goal is to return to a competent therapist, both by myself, and together with Annie, immediately, so that I can lasso this whirligig once and for all, and operate with some degree of equanimity. Otherwise, I will remain a tumbleweed rather than a tree. And it’s hard for a tumbleweed to form roots and a foundation.
So now I have a Word, and I have a list, with one item on it. I’m ready for action-I’m ready for danger. Thank you all for validating my ticket, in the parking lot of blogging. I can now get though the exit gate, and onto the expressway, where the going is bound to be smoother. Says so in the manual, page 12, paragraph 4, subsection W, for whirligig.