Memories From the Balcony – Prepare to Dance

I never minded the rain; least of all the summer storms which come out of nowhere. I never minded the way the clouds crept in, as if to show the sky was closing in on us. I know that this changed our plans but hey, life has a way of changing our plans when we least expect it, right?
Or maybe our plans change even when we most expect it. But life is life and thus, into each life, a little rain must fall – or so they say. But I still don’t mind the rain because I know this is part of something necessary.
The sun disappears and then the rumbles come. Then the thunder begins to growl and we know that it is only a matter of time before the lightning strikes. But don’t worry, it’s okay. 

One droplet becomes two. Then two become four. And just as quickly as the sky changed, the rain pours down. In a flash, heavy and hard comes the rain, as if the heat and the humidity made the world too crazy. So eventually, there’s a clash.
I suppose this is why Mother Nature decided to step in – to calm us down and to stop us from the madness – to break the tension and ease our madness so that eventually, we can breathe again.

I don’t mind the rainstorms. I don’t mind the slowness of a rainy day when the sky is covered in a sheet of clouds – the sun is up there and we know it is.
For the moment, there’s nothing but the hush of the wind and the sound of raindrops as they hit the roof.
Or, if you live on a quiet street, there’s nothing but the sound of a random car that drives by and moves through town with somewhat of a chattering sound that comes from the tires as they drive down a wet road.

I don’t mind this.
I don’t mind that temporary sense of hibernation. I don’t mind the wetness or the dimness of the day because to me, this is all just a lullaby. To me, this is Mother Nature’s way of saying, “Hush little baby. Don’t say a word.”
This is her, stepping in to protect us from the intensity.

Sometimes, and I swear –
We can feel this coming on.
Sometimes the madness around us becomes too intense.
Sometimes the pressure is too much.
Something has to break. Something has to give.
Something has to separate us from the heat and the tension.
And sometimes, we find ourselves on the verge of a personal storm.
These are the clouds rolling in.
Our sky is turning dark because sometimes . . . We can only take so much.
We can only endure so much before we explode, just like the sky when the storm breaks.
This is just like the heat from the summer storms. And eventually, everything breaks.

This is why the sky opens up and rains down so heavily, and above, lightning strikes and the rumbles in the sky are the heat and humidity arguing back and forth – fighting it out. Thankfully, the rain comes and in a minute – it’ll all be over.
The tension breaks and finally the heat and the humility give up
and we can lay back for a while – just to rest for a minute. 

For the moment, Mother Nature allowed the skies to shower down on us, the inhabitants who reside down here on Project Earth.

She washed us down and cleansed the earth of its dusty remnants that come from us and our useless little arguments – and, for the moment, we are removed from the tension.
At last, the heat breaks.
At last, we can breathe again.
We can breathe easier without the weight of the air sitting down on our chests.

I use this analogy for more than one reason. I use this as an analogy when it comes to our crazy lives and how eventually – everything catches up to us.
All the tension, all the frustration, all the worries, expectations, anticipations and all of the anxious chaos that goes on in our heads. These are the ingredients to our perfect storm.

It’s okay to get heated. It’s okay to fall apart at the seams.
It’s okay to get crazy sometimes.
This is called life. So, don’t fault yourself for this.
Life can be a crazy thing. trust me, I get it.
Oftentimes, life can be confusing.
Life can get out of hand. We can lose sight of ourselves.
We can lose interest in the world around us.
We can have anxieties that make it too hard to calm down (if there is such a thing).
There are days which (I swear this is true) we move a thousand miles an hour and literally go nowhere at all.
We can move around the world only to learn that no matter where you go – there you are.
So, this is now (It’s nice to meet you).
This is right here, which is where we’re at.

There are times when nothing makes sense.
There are times when the people who are supposed to love us the most will either show us the least or show us they don’t love us so much at all. This happens far too frequently but again, this is another storm moving in.
There are times when the people we trusted the most will betray us first – and then what?
Then comes the foolish textures of humiliation.
Next, comes the constant battles in our head that sound out the question, “Why am I such an idiot.”
But you’re not an idiot.
And neither am I.
We’re jut going through a storm you and I.
But don’t worry.
the sun is up there, somewhere, just waiting to make its mark.

Life is filled with peaks and valleys.
Life is a constant change, like the zig and zag or the up and down chart that shows the status of your heartbeat on a heart monitor.
Do you know what this means?
This means you’re alive – so long as you haven’t flatlined – so long as you’re still breathing; you’re alive.
Yes, I get it.
This might hurt. This might be painful.
You might be too tired for the next round but either way, the bell is about to ring and the fight is far from over,
I get that.
This might be frustrating and hell, when you’re frustrated or when you’re tired of your surroundings; or when you’ve outgrown your environment and you want more – you want something else, you want something better yet there’s a doubt that lives within you that says, Sorry kid, you just can’t get it! Believe me, when this happens to us, this is the representation of the sky turning dark.
This is the upcoming storm, ominous and angry. The thunder in the sky is our rebellion; this is the rumbles of our conscious because, in no other terms, this is our heat and humidity. This is us in need of something or someone to step in; but more, this is us when reaching a point where we say: To hell with this! I just can’t take it anymore. 

I get this now.
I really do.

I think about all the times of doubt or shame. I think about the moments of foolishness and vulnerability because I gave too much to the wrong person.
I think about all of the moments when my mind was revolting against the information around me.
I outgrew myself. I outgrew my work. I outgrew my life and the rewards were fleeting to the point of diminishing returns.
There was nothing left to inspire me.
There was nothing so valuable that I needed to hold it or touch it.

I could lose it all and what different would it make?
What difference does it make if you lose everything but you believe as though you don’t have anything anyway – and now what? Now you’ve lost everything (or so it seems) and for what reason?
The reason is that in order to understand or make sense of yourself; you let go of everything because you were empty on the inside. So now, the external matches the internal. That’s why we let go . . .

I believe there’s a word for this.
I believe they call this depression or depressive-based thinking.
I believe these are the results of depressive thinking, to which he and I have been on a first name basis for as long as I can remember – I call this me, Ben, or Ben Kimmel. 

I will never say that I “suffer from” or I “struggle with” anything ever again.
No, I live with things, such as my own challenges, which means the status of my heartbeat is still moving up and down.
This means the breath in my lungs is still moving in and out.
So long as this is true, then so help me because this means I am not through.
Not by a long shot.
The bell is about to ring and yes, I get it, the fight is far from over.
But I am not going to quit.
No, I might have the rains and the personal storms but ah; I know that it can’t rain forever. 

It used to be that I was waiting for life to come along to save me.

Not anymore – because first, I have you.
I have the steel in my spine that refuses to let me fall.
I have this need to move and grow and go and be and to do.

I know that so long as I have this, I will have life.
I won’t mind the storms anymore.
Instead, I’ll understand that this is nothing more than the love of the ultimate Mother, or Her, Mother Earth and her way to bathe us – to settle the dust of our sorry little turbulence – and keep us clean.

Do you want to know what my favorite kind of stories are?
These are stories of survival.
These are the stories of the underdog who made it but learned to stay meek and humble.
Rather than sport the crown, they remained grounded instead of proud and glorious.
That’s what I love because this is who I want to be; the underdog, the unbeatable, even in loss – to be able to get up once more, to endure, to take what comes and never give up on my one special dream.

So let it rain. And let’s not worry
I’m fine with this because the sun will come out soon enough.
And you and me, we’ll be able to dance again –
trust me
it’s coming sooner than you think.

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