After the time span written in my memoir, The Wellness Diaries 2001-2011, many things happened. I was trying to do a lot at one time from any combination of bus, bike and boots. There was joy, pleasure, fun and relaxation. There was also pain, hardship, stress and fear too. It all added up to part of my experience, part of the journey. The whole picture will be shared in upcoming writing projects.
For now though, a brief update seems to fit: After realizing the impact of the ten year detour that my life took due to the mental illness, I have major plans. 🙂 I am looking forward to getting caught up after being virtually behind in experience for my age. Initially, it would be easy to get upset, and I could say that ten years of my life were wasted due to mental illness. I know better than to use such language. So please watch your damn mouth when around me. 😉
Having recovered though, but knowing how to watch and take care of myself, I do know myself and my limits. Just as a person with Diabetes who, through taking excellent care of themselves, is able to go off of their insulin with doctor’s consent, they would know to not jump head long into eating three doughnuts and a milk shake a day.
I simply see all of my experiences, the joy the pain, as part of the journey. Coming real though; I still have a lot to learn. I’m not my age in some ways; I am not almost forty. There’s no way! As far as experience goes, I really do seem more like someone who is in their twenties. Common things like jobs, schooling, social experiences, traveling, etc, the things that most folks were able to do at ages 23-28. For my age, I have less experience than average in all of these ways. As experience goes, I would fit more with the average person who is in their twenties, than someone in their late thirties… Still, it is what it is. For example, at age twenty-five, when most people are in the middle of college, and/or nearly ready to graduate, I was in the midst of the battle with Schizophrenia. Most people who are almost forty are well established in their lives, either in career, relationships, family, or any combination of all three. I look forward to finally being able to establish these things. School, work, life, loved ones-regular things, the things that people do. They are the same things that I am just now having a fair chance to start working on them…See this??? And I am looking forward to it!
“It’s life John. Activity is available.”
-Jennifer Connelly, in the film, A Beautiful Mind.
I have learned throughout this journey just how much there is out there!! Yes, I managed to cram a lot into this time. The detour that my life took due to the side swipe of mental illness took a total of fourteen years! It’s been quite the ride. Perhaps some people who know me would disagree here, but emotionally, I feel that I am actually age seventeen. Feel free to laugh; it’s okay. I have to laugh about it sometimes too. I have a lot to learn yet; but I feel like my experience has added wisdom, knowledge about life, people, animals, and the earth. These combinations, and ways that I have started to learn them are just the things that are not taught in school. Maybe this is because only experience can teach them. Oh yes, these are handy to have as a teen. The journey has seemed like a journey through humanity, a look from the beginning, our origins. I have developed an ability to look at the overall picture.
Having said that though, I am a reasonably well-behaved teen. It is what it is. I strive to live by sound rules, and I do my best with the set of circumstances that landed in my life, the big collapse of things. One takes the sad times, moves on, even the joy, takes it with them, and moves on. One cannot dwell for too long on the hard times.
I look forward to starting my plans with the fair chance that I now have, applying wisdom, cycles and order toward my goals and everything involved therein. I definitely have my work cut out for me.
These days, I don’t really use the term botanist. This was fitting for the time when I was so enthusiastically studying plants in depth on my own. It is still fitting in the sense that I see things from the beginning lens of creation/life that was here first. This lens will always be part of me. Before people, there were animals. Before animals, there were plants, trees, lichens, mosses, ferns, lush vegetation… You get the point. During this time of enthusiasm was when I was pushing Botanist on a Bike, the small, indoor plant maintenance business with an eco-touch. This title fit nicely while writing some pertinent books. Always, I’m a plant, animal and earth guy, always interested in the natural world-since I was a kid. I think that we are all plant people, and some just may not know it yet. Everyone knows there is nothing quite like growing your own tomatoes, and eating them at a party with your friends in the salsa that you made fresh from everything in your garden! I know enough about plants to know how much I don’t know. It has been amazing to see another side of things and see how much my coworkers at the nursery know! They can tell people all the flowers that bloom throughout the summer and into the fall, which plants blossom the longest. I have learned to appreciate others’ knowledge, and their contribution to the world and the earth as their own knowledge, abilities are applied. I still love going to the mountains and feeling confident to pick a Service berry, Thimble berry, or an occasional Eleagnus fruit, or even a leaf and feel comfy in which plants I can safely eat as I walk. I thoroughly enjoy my experience with plants and being able to view life from this lens, the studying on my own that I have done, and the botany classes have both been rewarding. As plants go, I know them fairly well, and I just love them. They are now part of me. (After eleven years, I should hope so.)
I now have a car! After three and a half years of bus, bike and boots, it was time. I felt ready. I regret nothing about those years of learning to pack lightly, keep my wits about me, watching the weather, my own legs are the vehicle to take me there, awareness of the amount of energy expended, when to conserve, when to splurge, etc. It was an education in and of itself and nothing is wasted. This part of my journey almost felt like something of another time and place. However, it was time for some safety, security, not being so exposed to everything/everyone including the elements. All is part of the journey. My car is an old school ’97 with no A/C and I’ve had fun with that thing! I strive to be mindful about my driving as much as possible while working, and I look forward to a time coming very soon when I don’t have to drive quite so much. However, it has been a refreshing and welcome lesson in applying balance. It is a counter balance to my taking bus, bike and boots for three and a half years. I have learned other things being in my car, and it has given me some security and shelter from the loud noises in the city. As a veg, I like to think that it will all balance out as I do this amount of driving for a short time while making it count as I am rearranging many things in my life.
I still don’t take medication, preferring the natural approach that I have worked very hard to discover, learn, and apply it for myself. It hasn’t been easy, but very worth it. The extremely hard work has paid off. It works very well for me.
Last but not least. Three years of hardship, and high levels of stress have lead to anger issues and brain chemistry, which very closely resembles PTSD. I am actively working on these, and I feel confident and optimistic about where I am going with them. I don’t call it an illness though… It is not. I watch my language…It is hygiene… I know myself. I know my limits. There is a lot to positive, determining-self-talk and language.
There you have it. Thank you to all of my readers throughout the globe!! I thank you a hundred times over for your support, good wishes and positive energy. Truly. Feel the love from here my friends.
I am now here. I am Owen Staples. There is work to do. There are loopholes. They exist in society, religion, even in the family unit. Early on in my life while setting out to just do what people do, I found them by accident. Just trying to do what people do did not work for me… There’s my first lesson… I have some things to say about my experiences, whether writer or not. I am here to tell it how it is, how it was and also how it can be. Tell on I will until I am done… Namaste.