Friday, October 29, 2010

How does this happen?

It's finally time to revive my blog. Been a while but seems like the right time.

So there I was, sitting in my van- my white, slightly rusty, 1995, soccer-mom van- when the phone rang. It was my friend with a suggestion to write a blog about recent turmoil that has led me to my present circumstances. His rationale was that I find myself in an interesting predicament and people might readily connect to it in print. Hmm, not a bad idea all things considered. Life has had several curve balls for me of late, and somehow, though I’m not on base I am at least still up to bat. My predicament being thus: a young entrepreneur who is somewhere near the very bottom of a downward cycle. I’m highly educated from Iolani School (6-12) and went to prestigious specialty schools in NYC (undergrad in Art) and San Francisco (grad studies in Chinese Medicine). I’m soon to be divorced, completely broke and living out of my van (yes, the same soccer-mom van) and my office for which I’m behind on rent. Yet I’m generally regarded as a go-to guy for stability, spiritual advice, relationship wisdom, small business coaching, etc. I’m a regular pillar of the community, and to prove it the homeless guys are starting to recognize me down at the Natatorium showers and say hello. If that doesn’t scream “He’s really made it in life” then I don’t know what does.

But in all honesty, I’m feeling better than I’ve felt in a really long time, maybe the best ever if I dare to say it. Why, you ask? Well, on one hand I can credit a lot of meditation practice for some perspective. It has allowed me to get really close to feelings of shame and failure when I closed a business last year, as well as be truly honest with myself concerning some heavy relationship issues; all without completely flipping out. Not to mention some truly mindful cold showers noting in my mind: “This is just a temporary, unpleasant, physical sensation.” I can also credit a stubborn optimism that is rooted in practical realism- whatever that means. But it’s true, I always expect the hero to come through, the love to spark between movie leads, and the impossible to appear on my doorstep. Perhaps it’s the result of a very low threshold for cheesy movies. Or perhaps it was infectious from my father who was a simple and hard worker always. In either case I know how life generally functions but I don’t see any reason that something shouldn’t work out sooner or later.

So what am I writing about? Well, when the call came in I was sitting in my usually-trusty van and cursing it for not starting. It’s been doing this to me lately and always at inopportune moments, and this was textbook for a bad moment. I had gone to quickly pick up some supplies for research on a new venture in mind and eager to get back to a friend’s house to get to work. There I sat hoping the battery would catch just enough, just one time. I cursed, I prayed to anyone who might listen, and I meditated. On one hand I was eager to turn the corner on failed business ventures with something successful. On the other hand I was pissed since the guy next to me refused to give my van a jump. Eventually I gave in and sat back with a book of my favorite poet, Rilke. One page and the call came in with the pitch to do some writing. It is an intriguing idea to me, and I can’t help but revel in the irony of the moment. But what is the moral here? I feel like there was one, or at least should be one. I think it’s to ride these waves with as much “go for it” attitude that keeps you interested in your life, while at the same time as much graceful surrender as needed to keep sane. And out of that you just never know what comes along for us.

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