Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Awake

I had planned on saving this until the two-year anniversary of the blog but, instead, I decided to express it now. I'm feeling quite grateful these days and while I've spoken of my gratitude to the vital people in my life many a time; I realize that I really haven't written about the true gratitude I have for the blog itself. I'm struggling with articulating this, so bear with me.

The pics on this post are from inside our vehicle while sitting in a car wash. This would typically be yet another moment to be utterly lost and stranded in my thoughts; so much so that when the car wash or whatever would be occurring at the time would eventually end and I would remain there; unaware that anything had changed; adrift in crippling worry and stress. Life would frequently pass me by and I would therefore pass on life as often as I could get away with it....I would turn Keith down to go out for dinner and choose to stay home as often as possible. I have always been a voracious reader but I wasn't reading for enjoyment so much anymore and instead just read to escape my own thoughts.....to turn my brain off. Work was always stressful and I often added to said stress with my own negativity. I was so weighed down with worry and anxiety about my family that I failed to live myself and also became a serious insomniac. I solved none of my problems with my own anxiety but the nature of my family's issues were not quick, easy fixes so I simply worried...all of the time. Thank God for Keith and his unyielding patience and fortitude for supporting me through every minute.

The element that turned me around however, is this blog. It took a bit, but writing about my passion for food which in turn allowed me to rediscover my passion for writing and photography. The blog began as a means to force me to be honest while attempting to become a better cook. As I recounted the cooking, the blog slowly became, indeed, "my life with food". Family and friend's recipes started including stories and histories. The turning point for the blog came when I cared for my aging parents last year....The Confounded Cook became the outlet for some of the most challenging and painful days of my life. My Dad would pass away less than a year later and now I've captured the last year of his life and been able to write down what he means to me. I wrote about my experience with childhood bullying and thus learned about writing as deep catharsis. I also learned the true power of words as the overwhelming response I received from that post stuns me to this day.

What I am most grateful for is a renewed outlook on life...one that I hadn't been able to recognize for some time. In the early years of my relationship with Keith, I began to feel it....the joy of discovery that came with traveling and the unknown that he wouldn't let me shy away from. What Keith did for me was life-changing, for sure....he helped me face my fears and helped me to relearn the joy of life. I couldn't completely give myself over to it, though....despite his best efforts, the worry always returned, the underlying self-doubt crept back in. Now, looking at life from the blog's standpoint has helped me to be truly awake again for the first time in a long time. Looking at life from a writing and photography stance has me waking up excited and looking at everything differently.

Now, I sit in a car wash and I'm awake....I see the shapes and colors from the water and light; I listen to the music and I'm already writing a post in my head. So, yeah, I'm still distracted but in a different way....my mind is adrift in creativity and the boundless possibilities. I was driving home from work on Monday night and there was a time when my mind was so heavy with bleakness that all I wanted was an escape but this night, like every night now is different....

...a storm was building; the wind was picking up and lightning flashed all around my drive home. The rain hadn't begun falling, so I rolled down my windows so that I could feel the electricity in the cooling air. The car radio was tuned to NPR and they were playing a soaring classical concerto that seemed to echo the elements. God, it was exhilarating. I would later find out it was Schubert's Symphony No. 8 "Unfinished".

Thank you, Confounded Cook. Its so gratifying to be awake again.

6 comments:

Ali, Terry and Garrett said...

Just lovely. As always, so inspiring.

Anonymous said...

Good to know you are enjoying life again. You never know what the key or turning point will be. Keep writing and cooking and LIVING! Rhonda

Bob said...

Enjoyed this Much,,Glad for You!
Bob, From Your Home Town.

Jill D. said...

The ending gave me chills, Greg. You have so much to be proud for. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us time and time again.

The Everyday Foodie said...

Wonderful post Greg. I have to say, I am very thankful for you and your blog as well. If it weren't for your friendship and inspiration, I may have never taken the first step with my own blog. We have been having a difficult time lately and I have been having a hard time finding any motivation to get anything done, let along work on my blog. Maybe it's time I change my attitude.

Anonymous said...

whoooohooooooooooooooo!!! LOVE THIS ONE!!!! BRAVVVOOOO!!!!

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