Cold Reality

Sometimes, we all just need a day.

So I let my hair default to Chia Pet, blasted Silversun Pickups through defunct iPod earbuds, and ventured into a hand-numbingly cold, blustery day.

Oh, Chia Pet hair. How unwieldy ye are.

Because, sometimes, we just have to walk it out.


Reconciling unemployment with everything I’ve been conditioned to think about success has been harder than I thought.

Even though I thought I knew better, I’ve realized my default definition of success has involved a 9 to 5, 8 to 4–whatever. You know, the American way: working yourself to the bone, even if you hate what you do, because that’s just how it’s done.

Because you’re told to keep your head down, your nose to the grindstone.

Because your parents did it. And their parents. And their parents’ parents.

Because that’s just how you derive from life the things that make it worthwhile.


Life throws shit at you. And you step in it. And you drag it around with you, stinking up everything.

But there comes a time when you have to scrape it off your shoes with as much grace as possible and move on.

Get that mess off your mental shoes.

Because the people who matter know better. They remind you that you’re not useless. That your contributions don’t have a price tag, and don’t come with a pay stub. And they never have.


Self-worth in our society has long been measured by bank statements, rather than by the degree to which what we do impacts others.

That’s what really matters. Not who contributes what or how much.

These relatively simple realizations smacked me across the face with more punch than the freezing wind and snow flurries as I walked around Raleigh today.

As I looked for answers in battered facades.

Battered, but not yet beaten.

In signs.


In street notes.

Priority mail for "Witch Kult Friends." You'd think they'd at least get the spelling right.

In unfinished portraits.

Unfinished body. But aren't we all?

In masks.

Masked temporarily. But the beauty underneath is what counts.

In inner-workings.


In emergency exits.

Escaping halfway.

In pops of color.

Pops of color.

Not in me.

But that’s where they are.

Locked away, layered with dust. Waiting for today.

When the pity party ends.

When I realize that I did this.

That I’m happier for it.

That I’ll be fine.

7 Replies to “Cold Reality”

  1. You will definitely be fine ! And you will contribute more than you realize. Give it time and open your heart and mind to your stengths and potential. I’m excited to follow you and see just how high you can go.

  2. You are seriously more talented than you may realize. Please keep writing! Your posts are more delicious than all the Nutella in the world. Keep it up!

  3. Love your blog! It’s not what you do or how much you earn, it’s about who you are. And to me you seem like a fine fellow. Soldier on!

    1. Hi Mike!

      Thanks *so* much for your wonderful comments–they really, really do mean a lot, and I’m glad that some of my ramblings resonate!

  4. As a fellow rambler I totally understand your musing. Often times I think of one thing which reminds me of another & we’re off to the races! Somehow I missed your first appearance on AT but I saw your most recent & here I am!
    I’ll be checking in and if you have any questions about CA, I’d be happy to help if I can. ( My mom is from NC & the difference in social climate is remarkable. I think you guys might like it here….)

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