I’m completely normal. I am just joking! I just wanted to see what it felt like to say that. Seriously though, if you apply a very liberal definition of the word normal, I could almost be that. When asked by other humans what I am, the labels have changed many times during this particular human incarnation. I have been a strawberry picker, rhododendron flicker, horse poop scooper, lifeguard, swimming/boating instructor, arts and craft instructor, US Army HEMMIT driver, administrative assistant and ammunition specialist, butt wiper, waitress, Disney World glow, stick seller, store clerk, truck driver, cow shit shoveler, jail guard, maximum-security corrections officer, kindergarten teacher, oral history audio transcriber, history museum curator of collections, counselor with violent offenders (both juveniles and adults), police patrol officer, counter-narcotics agent, pharmaceutical diversion agent, lion and tiger caretaker, social science researcher for the Green Berets, director of capacity development with a US Aid project in Afghanistan, fiber shop owner, sheep shepherd, sheep finder, and not so successful indie author.
For the last year, though, I reply, when asked by curious minds what I do for a living, “I’m a complementary therapist and intuitive medium,” This declaration always draws raised eyebrows followed by a transition into a look of confirmation, as though something this weird is not a surprise really but more of an expectation from one who has never been precisely ordinary, whatever that is.
These judging looks, well, they are what happens when you return to the small village you grew up in after thirty years of trying to stay away. People judge you based on the person you were, not the person you have become after a lifetime of misadventures and feeble attempts to conform to societal and cultural restraints and be something you’re not all in an effort not to embarrass family and friends as well as not getting kicked out of the clan so to speak.
I am 51 years old and finally feel like I live a life more in line with my true nature. While physically, things are not where they used to be, I can carry around more. There is gray hair on my head, and, unfortunately, in some rather unfortunate places, the wrinkles are everywhere. Bones and joints creak, groan, and growl. I no longer need sanitary pad supplies but find myself browsing the adult diaper aisle at the local Giant Eagle, just in case. There is arthritis and cataracts to experience. I can never find my readers, and I often forget the right words to say and sometimes completely forget what I would say altogether. I walk into rooms on a mission only to forget what exactly that mission was. Interestingly though, while in the past I would have struggled to control my temper in these situations, I am calmer, and more at peace, and stronger mentally than I have ever been before, and this is an amazingly excellent way to live.
My physical body may be on its journey to who knows where but my mind and spirit are growing and lifting in surprising and magical ways. As a historical nonbeliever in anything and skeptic of everything, I now find myself in this place foreign to me. A place where I can be still, breathe, ground myself, take care of my energetic spaces inside and out, enjoy a glass or eight of water, and not just be thankful for everything, but live my life in gratitude.
I would love for everyone to experience life the way I now get to. It is in the hope that by sharing my story, my experiences, my teachers, and my guides that I will be able to offer at least one path toward this life of contentment that could encourage others to find theirs.
Where to go from here?