The Things I Carry: The Doghouse (Part 1)


Everyone carries something: a wallet, car keys, pictures of children, spouses or their dog. Cell phone, MP3 player, credit cards, a purse and cash. Lipstick, condoms, mouthwash, floss or a toothbrush. Some people carry all of those things. 

I’m a material minimalist. I carry a clip that holds my driver’s license, insurance card, debit card, library card, VISA, work VISA, Speedway Gas Perks card, business cards and money. I have my key chain down to a house key, parent’s house key, ignition key, remote fob and AAA key fob. Of course, my HTC Incredible (I love that phone), bluetooth headset, notepad and my Motorola Xoom.

In my car I keep a TomTom, a pigtail for the 12 volt charger, phone charger, blue tooth charger, garbage bags and a shovel (I’ll explain the latter later).

For emergencies I have jumper cables, flashlights and a small first aid kit. Depending on the weather and the time of year I might have a raincoat, wool hat, fedora, gloves, scarf and boots. If you travel with me, I’ll have enough for you too. After all, I’m responsible for taking care of you too.

I always have food – preferably Jalapeño Smokehouse Almonds from Blue Diamond, water, Red Bull and dark chocolate.

Oh, and a box to move it all between my car and rental cars for when I travel.

I’m a regular Boy Scout.

Other then the usual collection of jetsam – empty water, VitaminWater XXX and chocolate milk bottles and a few Three Musketeer and Dark Chocolate Kit Kat wrappers (okay – more then a few). However, I try to carry very little else. I hate feeling burdened with “things.” I actually dislike “things.” Which is why I occasionally do without. “Things” get in the way of the important “stuff” – whatever that is in the moment. Big things have never really been important to me.

As I said, I am a material minimalist. However, I am an emotional hoarder.

I just don’t know when or how to throw things away. Then I hang onto them and attach them to an emotional and mental key chain and carry them around like a high school janitor. Occasionally reaching out to jingle them so others know how sensitive I am and that my suffering is real. It doesn’t help that I am empathic – and arrogant – so I will sometimes pick things up and carry them that aren’t even mine.  And if you try to manipulate and punish me, my love of suffering tells me I deserve it instead of telling you to go to hell.

I keep those on a separate key chain in my other pocket.

And herein lies the issue – I lost a lover, confidant, best friend and soul mate because at the end of the day there is no room in our bed for her – too many keys on the chain. Truthfully, there is no room in our bed for me either.

Which is why I’m sleeping in the doghouse.

This happens because I do not leave the things when they belonged I am choosing to tie my life to the past instead of the future. And loving me forces them to live with it too. Which is why loving me takes commitment.

Secondly, I do not leave things where they belonged and as a result there are pieces of me spread out across time and space. I end up leaving pieces of me where they are. So not only is there no room in the bed for her, she is only getting a fraction of my attention, a piece of me, when we do manage to get into bed. She is not even getting all of me but is stuck with half-baked leftovers. No wonder she is furious with me.

In deeds important to maintaining an intimate, loving, passionate and longterm relationship I lack integrity. Integrity is more than simple honesty. It is, “the state of being whole and undivided”. As I look at myself and my choices, I am clearly not whole. I clearly am not undivided.

As such I hurt. Am angry. Am resentful. Am bitter. Am lonely. Am frightened. Am tired.

My urge is to bolt and run from the pain, from these feelings. Which is how I got into this mess to begin with. Instead, I’m hanging in there. Sitting in my pain. Trying to separate the feelings of loss from the choice of suffering. Trying to determine what is real and what is an illusion. I’ve been working on going through and picking up pieces and putting them back in the box. Every time I put something in the box I uncover another piece that needs dug up.

What I’ve dug up is disgusting. I am holding onto my past: past failures, resentments, girlfriends, wives and friendships. Hurt pride and missed opportunities. Suffering. Lots and lots of suffering.

I’ve hung onto mythology, illusions and self-deceptions.

Of course there is the outright lies and deceptions. Some of which I told and some of which were told to me.

I’ve always known I’ve done this and discounted it as part of my romantic side. My idealistic self. In reality, as a friend recently pointed out, I carry it because I am in love with my suffering. I’m tired of choosing that path. If it were a switch that could simply be flipped that would be outstanding. A simple pill or ten push ups a day and it all goes away. That isn’t the way it works. I knew this was coming and I’ve prepared for it for a little over a year. I just didn’t know what it was I was preparing for.

I realize now that I was making choices that brought me to this place. That brought me this pain. That brought me this truth. It was unconscious. If there is a fate or karma it was necessary. Apparently it is the lesson my soul needs.

So this is what I am going to do.

For a while, and where appropriate, I’m going to show you what is in the box. New and old. Not for your approval or feedback but because I’m tired of people only knowing a piece of me. I’m tired of hiding who and what I am. I’m tired of not knowing either. This is one of several things I am doing to find out.

It may not get me out of the doghouse but I am going to live whole and undivided regardless. I will have a whole and undivided emotional, mental and spiritual relationship with others and myself.

Change is hard. It may make people angry and upset. It may even hurt them – although that is never my intention. There will be failures and mistakes but there shall be integrity about them. As my honest twitter friend @TheOfficeMinx said to me: @Sean_Kinney “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~ Buddha.

I will have it.

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