An Apocalyptic Spiritual Revelation On New Year’s Day Morning Leads To Breakfast At 6:00 p.m.

{By Schmutzie of Schmutzie.com}

My past year was filled with some heavy stuff. I went through depression, which is not abnormal for me in the least. If you look back at the prevalence of depression throughout my life since I was about three years old, you would think it was one of my most favourite things ever. It’s not, but there’s been lots of it, and there was definitely enough of it over this past year.

Then, I also faced the ugly reality that is the trap of aging with my grandmother and my grandfather. I came to a point where I finally had to throw up my hands and admit to alcoholism. I walked away from my main social circle in order to hermit myself away from almost ten years of habitual living to quit drinking. Basically, 2010 had me me quaking in my metaphorical boots about mortality and the brevity of life while turning myself inside out both habit-wise and socially.

I had to think and feel and do things that were hard for me to think and feel and do, and I felt like I was pulling out my own teeth a lot of the time. Somehow, though, this turned 2010 into one of the best years of my life. It really did.

There is a lot of positive-thinking noise about learning how to say Yes! to things in your life, but saying Yes! is often best done by judiciously and sometimes painfully say No!, and 2010 was the year in which I said No! a lot every day so that I had the ability to say Yes! in other areas.

Some Pollyanna out there is going to pop up and try to tell me that all those No!s were really Yes!ses in disguise, and to that person I say Screw you. Those No!s were No!s, and I know, because they were hard and awful and dragged me through the mud face down, and that mud had rocks in it, and it was rainy, and it was cold, too, and I had a really shitty time of it. I love those No!s, though. I claim them. They made me.

Anyway, I was lying in bed this morning reflecting on the mindfuck that was 2010 and wondering what it meant that I pretty much just walked away from a whole life, and what it meant for me that I once left a fiancee and did all kinds of drugs and had a doomed love affair and suffered life in the closet and was diagnosed with all manner of psychological illnesses in the 1990s and became an alcoholic and quit my office job for no job and had cancer and on and on and on as all the crazy stuff life throws at a person is wont to just keep happening.

Instead of falling into my usual thinking about how there is no point to anything if it always just comes back to being terrible, though, I was lying here thinking about how fantastic all that shit was, because here I am.

My mother once said to me “Why are you alway jumping from the frying pan into the fire when you shouldn’t even be in the frying pan in the first place?” There was this straight and narrow existence that she wanted me to live, because she naturally wanted me to be safe and happy, but that seemed like the worst kind of life for me to have. I’ve always thought that I had one time to do this in this skin with this brain, and I had better pack a lot of stuff up there.

I thought then, and I still do, that the frying pan is an excellent position in which to find oneself.

See, you’re born, which is that little star there.

Yes, you were born a star. It’s a little obvious, but it’s true.

And then you started living. It wasn’t very exciting in some ways, because most of it had to do with the basics of keeping you alive, and you had very little physical freedom to express your will.

But then stuff started getting exciting. Your parents divorced or someone touched you in a bad way or you broke your leg and got stuck in a cast for six months or your cat Fluffster was run over with a lawn mower or something.

You stopped being an individual with one forward path afterwards. Bits of you leapt off and explored this or that avenue while the larger changed part of you landed and established itself, only to have big things happen to you again, because you are only in one little body travelling in a huge universe bent on cataclysms.

The universe is very big, so the stuff it does is bound to be life-changing a lot of the time.

And on and on it goes, over and over, until your life looks kind of like this, at least when I draw it.

And here you find yourself full of stories and events. Bits of yourself speak to you from your past about what happened then, and the you of now speaks to those stories about how they sit in the context of all that has happened since, and you become a powder keg of stories informing stories.

My drawings are a little crude, but you get my meaning.

You don’t have to be a writer or a storyteller of any kind. You are made of stories all the way down to that little star at the beginning, anyway, whether you want to be or not. You can’t help but be that way.

It’s brilliant, really. It’s really fucking brilliant.

So, again, as I was lying here in bed this morning thinking about the thousands of things that have happened to me while I have been jumping in and out of a variety of frying pans, I realized that I am a bright constellation of my own stories. I am mapping my universe with each new step.

It was an incredible thought. It brought all the little exploded mes together under one roof and said We all belong together, because they all exist the way they do because of their interconnectedness, and if you extrapolate from that it becomes not only We all belong together but also I belong to myself.

I belong to myself.

It feels so revolutionary to belong to myself, not to be an almagamation of parts I could take or leave or love or hate as separate beings artificially cordoned off into falsely boundaried periods of time but to be this person whole, an indivisible unit of infinite selves, an exhaustive universe of one.

My life has been a series of frying pans and fires, and I would jump into them again and again and again, because the constellation of my life narrative would never want for less.


Schmutzie makes us crazy over her brilliant writing over here.
She also makes things and heads up things and makes the world a better place.
Follow her on Twitter. Love her.

Featured by Story Editor, amy turn sharp

Comments Closed

jen09:00 March 7, 2011

This is so awesome. my life has been a series of depression, fires, you name it.

I belong to myself.

I needed that one.

Keely11:32 March 7, 2011

THIS is brilliant. “We are the sum of our experiences” doesn’t quite cover it, but this does. We are our own universes, and we belong to ourselves.

Christine (spiral bound)12:26 March 7, 2011

As a fellow sufferer of chronic depression, I am so often turned off by the world of self-help, and the Pollyannas who try to put a positive spin on EVERYTHING. Sometimes things are ugly, and no amount of “journaling” or painting our feelings will turn those things pretty, or even tolerable. But this… this is lovely. Each of us a multiplicity, a constellation, a complex universe of selves, not exactly cohesive but not divisive either… it is a lovely thought.
Christine (spiral bound) recently posted..Words Planted Like Seeds

Stacy14:59 March 7, 2011

Oh my goodness, I am kind of breathless with vibrating YESNESS at this post! I used to run a magazine, and I always said to my team that our job was to help women in the process of becoming who they are, so they could belong to themselves!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I just stumbled across you last week on Twitter. And I wrote a book about falling all apart, and when that book came out, my life fell apart even more (hideously more) and everything was pulled away from me, which made my divorce look like a yawner.

Just wanted to enthusiastically say Yes! Yes! Yes! I agree with you. It’s all beautiful, even when it’s (and probably especially because it’s) hard.

16:55 March 7, 2011

I love the way you convey your thought processes, and how honest and genuine you are willing to share yourself. What you say resonates so much with me and where I have been. So often, this post, and the other ones in recent months on your blog too. And I’m so happy for you that your post is being shared on Storybleed!!!
Frelle recently posted..What I Thought Was Awesome This Week

elaine18:09 March 7, 2011

you are brilliant on so many levels, and you look so vital and so beautiful coming into full bloom

Mr Lady
22:43 March 7, 2011

Oh, Schmutzie, I just love this so much.

Audre Lorde once said, “…I sit here wondering which me will survive all these liberations and that always stuck with me because it seemed so hopeful in the face of hopelessness. And sometimes I am forced to remember that every hopeless moment is chocked full of hope. Sometimes, the stuff you doodle on the internet reminds me of that. So thanks for writing it.

Redneck Mommy22:49 March 7, 2011

There is no way you could know this, but today, Schmutzie, I needed to read this so very much. Brilliant. Just brilliant.
Redneck Mommy recently posted..A Taste Of My Own Medicine

LittlePurpleCow22:57 March 7, 2011

Without the frying pan experiences, there would be no sizzle. Enjoyed your words. Thanks for being true.
LittlePurpleCow recently posted..Patience is Required

Ann's Rants01:10 March 8, 2011

RT @velveteenmind: "The frying pan is an excellent position in which to find oneself." So says featured @schmutzie http://bit.ly/gObALt

Story Bleed Magazine03:17 March 8, 2011

"The frying pan is an excellent position in which to find oneself." So says featured @schmutzie http://bit.ly/gObALt

JennaFarelyn03:45 March 8, 2011

magnificent. swoon. RT @mrlady: Today on @StoryBleed, @schmutzie goes and blows my mind. Again. As per her usual. http://bit.ly/gObALt

Galit Breen 03:48 March 8, 2011

RT: @frelle Swoon! @mrlady Today on @StoryBleed @schmutzie blows my mind. Again. http://bit.ly/gObALt

Alexandra08:50 March 8, 2011

Love what Purple Cow said.

And the frying pans…maybe they find us.

LOVED this post.

Erin Margolin11:26 March 8, 2011

RT @StoryBleed: "The frying pan is an excellent position in which to find oneself." So says featured @schmutzie http://bit.ly/gObALt

Mandy12:12 March 8, 2011

This is such an awesome post and I’m reading it at the perfect time. I think life has a wonderful way of doing that – the whole good timing thing – to folks. Thanks for all you share and the encouragement that comes with it. You’re awesome!
Mandy recently posted..True Grit

Good Day, Reg People13:52 March 8, 2011

RT @StoryBleed: "The frying pan is an excellent position in which to find oneself." So says featured @schmutzie http://bit.ly/gObALt

giftsforbabies14:53 March 8, 2011

An Apocalyptic Spiritual Revelation On New Year’s Day Morning Leads To Breakfast At 6:00 p.m. http://tiny.ly/1sMP

Chrisor13:34 March 9, 2011

You have such a knack for self reflection. If everyone looked deep inside them like this, the world would be a different place. Last year was such a rough year for you but all the tough stuff allowed you to grow emotionally by leaps and bounds. You are in such a good and positive place now, I truly believe you will never lose sight of YOU ever again. You’re a great writer who I look forward to getting to know through the personal stories you tell. Your drawings are interesting too. :-)
Chrisor recently posted..Bridal shower or bath

TwoBusy19:07 March 21, 2011


By which I mean: I love this.

Laurie16:43 March 22, 2011

Lord have mercy. This is my favorite thing you have ever written and I’m going to read it many more times.

Last year was so crucial for you, and I’m so glad you had the guts to do all of that hard stuff because I know it’s made such a difference in the way you enjoy and experience your life. Your words are so much stronger now. I’m going to go now and read this post again.
Laurie recently posted..Bites

Mr Lady21:22 March 22, 2011

An Apocalyptic Spiritual Revelation On New Year’s Day Morning Leads To Breakfast At 6:00 p.m. | http://t.co/aDruLoH via @storybleed

Laurie White21:47 March 22, 2011

RT @mrlady: An Apocalyptic Spiritual Revelation On New Year’s Day Morning Leads To Breakfast At 6:00 p.m. | http://t.co/aDruLoH via @sto …

Arianne Segerman21:48 March 22, 2011

RT @mrlady: An Apocalyptic Spiritual Revelation On New Year’s Day Morning Leads To Breakfast At 6:00 p.m. | http://t.co/aDruLoH via @sto …

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