This might be one of those installments which could easily lump me into a specific category, and I’ve come to accept that. At this point, perhaps I welcome it? Not really sure to be honest… I really don’t care either way. That’s the beauty of self-awareness.
Those who truly know me, know who I am through and through, and that’s all I really need. If folks want to pass unwarranted judgement and smack a label of sorts on me, I understand. No big deal. Do what you have to do. I’m comfortable.
Engaging in my hobbies has led me down some wild paths. Dark paths. Strange, out of the ordinary, often scary paths. Goose-bump inducing, heebee-jeebee, full body shiver, crazy, sometimes yucky paths. Uncomfortable paths. I won’t say one way or another how these recent years and personal quests of seeking, discovering and searching have changed me as a person, but I do spend quite a chunk of my life researching and exploring.
Wanting to become a story-teller, and practicing the craft of writing, takes an individual down a few rabbit holes; mostly by accident. Some are on purpose, I will admit, not everything is stumbled upon. However, climbing up and out of that strange place, is a challenge. The rabbit hole is a part of me now. That realm of “conspiracy theories”, the unknown, the unorthodox philosophies and topics that go against the grain.
Some may say, “that’s weird. Why go down that hole? Why invest valuable time and energy involving yourself in something that won’t benefit you? What purpose does it serve?”
Who’s to say it doesn’t benefit me?
They might scream, “You need to get out of there!” They might unfriend you or block you on social media. They might whisper to a mutual friend in the group, “You shouldn’t associate with ‘that’ person anymore. They’re going off the deep end.”
They might talk about you behind your back. They’ll refuse to engage in conversation. They may become aggressive, angry, and frustrated. They lump you into a category and smack a label on you.
Hey… that’s cool my peeps. Lump away. I know who I am at my core. I can’t allow the things I read, research, and listen on podcasts, channels of diverse content creators, and YouTube documentary channels and the things I find fascinating and interesting, define who I am as a person. Will those research expeditions affect me in some fashion positively or negatively along the way? Perhaps. I’ll cross those bridges when I get to them. Will it define me?
However, it’s not for everyone.
It takes a strong will, at first, but then it becomes easier. At least it was for me. An instantaneous magnetic pull. I never asked to be dragged in there. It just happened. Six years ago while browsing the web looking for the answer to a random question I had on my mind.
I’m not the sort of person who will approach a friend or family member after a few weeks of silence and busy work schedules and immediately say, “Hey… did you hear about ‘this’ crazy new thing? I’ve been looking into it a lot, and it’s pretty wild. Here’s a couple of links if you want to check it out.”
We’ll still have the same conversations we would normally have. However… if someone asks my stance or opinion of something specific that exists down that diverse rabbit hole… I’m all over it. I can talk for hours. Hours and hours and hours.
I just choose not to talk about it, any of it, unless I’m asked.
I was cornered recently by a co-worker during a lunch meeting and a topic was brought up out of the blue. I was asked if I was following a specific story on the news and I said, “Yes.” Then the questions started flying around the table and I was asked to explain the situation from the perspective of the rabbit hole. The group needed to understand the other side of the fence in order to follow the squabble. Because I sit on that fence comfortably and observe both sides equally, sometimes I’m the one asked to explain the alternate side and the varying points of view.
When engaging in that kind of dialogue with people who have never heard the alternate side, I have to maintain a certain construct to describe what needs to be conveyed, because one question always leads into another more difficult question.
“One group believes “X”. The other group believes “Z”. The few miscellaneous folks floating around in the middle, believe “Y”.
“The “Y” group will say one thing, and the “Z” group will refuse to acknowledge “Y’s” position and then “X” posits the idea…” (or whatever the case may be)
But I never say, “I”. “I” believe in “X, Y, or Z”. I’ll just explain the scenario(s) the best I can, through the viewpoints of the individual groups, and then let the questions fly and try to keep the conversations alive. I’m by no means an expert on anything, far from it, but I make sure I “try” to understand the dynamics of both sides the best I can before engaging in any conversations that describe the alternate side of the fence. That uncomfortable side.
I exist in the realm of, “what if?”
What does this have to do with anything?
I ponder sometimes what would have happened if I wasn’t around in her life back then, as Nancy’s issued caretaker. I think about it often. I’ve been told on more than one occasion there was a good chance she may not have made it. She didn’t really have anyone who could have been there, to help her get through it all. She would have had to fight the battle alone. What if she was alone?
If you care to believe in the opposite of my musings, that’s fine and dandy. I’ll never tell anyone what they should believe, or reject, but a small piece of me feels as though we came together, and found each other, at exactly the right moment within our broken paradigms. To sound completely cliche, and commence eye rolling right now, “it was meant to be.”
No one believes in that bullshit.
If it was meant to be then it all happened for a reason. If it happened for a reason, then it wasn’t accidental, and coincidental happenstance. That leads me down the path of exploration to: everything happens for a reason. I can’t help but go that route.
If everything happens for a reason, then I feel compelled to investigate. What I’m shown and exposed to in my everyday world, just isn’t good enough for me anymore.
And other than the few shows I watch on Hulu, while taking a break from writing science fiction and fantasy projects and engaging in a few video games with some close friends, that’s what I do. That’s my entertainment. My TV. I investigate what’s down the rabbit hole. I research the alternate side. I enjoy exploring that which is deemed impossible and crazy. If that lumps me into a category, then so be it.
If everything happens for a reason, which I’ve come to adopt, that also includes the bad and the negative. There has to be a balance in life. Sometimes the bad is compounded exponentially and slowly builds an overwhelming pressure to a potential overload. Always at the cusp of a breaking point, but never truly ready to cross the line. Walking up to the threshold of madness.
I was finally able to bring Nancy home from the hospital.
I had to drive 25 miles an hour all the way to our house and creep slowly over the ruts and potholes so as not to tear her stitching. I had rearranged the entire downstairs living room and kitchen to accommodate her needs. It was easily five minutes of exiting the car, and shuffling across the driveway to get inside.
Our living room is small, but she had the couch. The mattress was too low to the floor for her to be comfortable. The couch was the perfect height.
On a small mattress on the floor beside her, is where I slept. The mutt rested comfortably at my feet.
It was almost twenty days living downstairs before we attempted the second floor. We’d exercise on the porch outside, weather permitting, when the cabin fever settled in.
The moment I assisted her into a place of comfort, I dropped her medicine bottles across the surface of a TV tray. I stood over the couch, waiting for her exhaustion to take over. She slipped into snoring sleep shortly thereafter. Day one of the new journey.
Her eyes shifted back and forth under closed lids, and from out of nowhere, with a tap on the shoulder, my good buddy Joe returned.
Thank you for reading and joining me on my journey. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts by email or feel free to follow me on Twitter @jeremymorang. Please give this a like if you like it, share with others, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.