About Me

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Kymberlie Ingalls is native to the Bay Area in California. She is a pioneer in blogging, having self-published online since 1997. Her style is loose, experimental, and a journey in stream of consciousness. Works include personal essay, prose, short fictional stories, and a memoir in progress. Thank you for taking a moment of your time to visit. Beware of the occasional falling opinions. For editing services: http://www.rainfallpress.com/

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Timeless Flight

I think it’s going to be a long, long time til touchdown brings me ‘round again to find I’m not the girl they think I am at home…
Time is not a luxury.  It is the most expendable asset there is for humankind.  We spend our minutes quickly and without regard.

I have made peace with leaving some things unlived.  I have no need to chase a silly old bucket of adventures because focusing on the big things makes it easier to miss the little bits along the way.  The smaller pieces are the essence of us.
My little bits have been harder to find as of late.  Is it because I’m dwindling in the eyes of the world or am I too afraid to let the world see me anymore?  What’s left of me.  My life has become so viewable that there’s nothing left for myself.  I feel like an empty well – pennies landing at the bottom of my soul with a dull thump.  I’ve become so used to having these conversations with myself, I’ve forgotten to need other voices.

We tend to talk to ourselves when there’s nobody around to listen.
What I forget – besides everything – is that most people are often afraid to be heard.  Silence is easier.  When my voice becomes an echo, it carries my fears as it comes back around.  I become afraid that others no longer want to hear what I have to say.  Perhaps this is a consequence of the times; everyone has a platform, it’s common to feel obsolete.  Their silence, however, left me quite alone in a time I needed least to be.  

Something has been gnawing inside of me like a gutter rat trying to escape daylight.  It scuttles in futility until it dies, leaving the foul odor of a neglected death.  The cause of death:  loneliness.  I have this great fear that the events of this past year – my two near physical deaths eclipsing my metaphorical one - have burrowed into my marriage and left us staring at each other across the grave.  Inherently, I think we’re going to be okay – that we just need some space to process it all – but it’s still frightening.  Love never really dies, but it can change, and we all know I don’t do well with change. He has taken on the roles vacated by others, because they failed to show up. This has changed our dynamics a bit.
Yesterday, I had this amazing conversation with someone.  It was 32 years ago that I first heard Bob talking to me from the television.  I was 16 years old; angry, imprisoned, mired in eating disorders and wanting to hide in the darkest places of the universe.  I was sometimes able to lose myself in funny things, and stand-up comedy became a haven for me.  They were the bravest people I ever saw, standing there all alone talking to us about very real things.  Bob was different.  He wanted us to think.  Every word he slung was a challenge.  His sarcasm was an art form, his disdain of humanity had an odd allure, and it penetrated at a time I was unreachable.  When I look back at how I came to harness my inner power – my darkness, my questioning (even questionable) nature, my dry wit and penetrating pause – I can trace it back to someone who never knew his role.

So, I got to sit down and have a conversation with Bob.  Being awkwardly me, I didn’t know at first what to do with that.  I’ve become this person who has no filter whatsoever, so there’s a fear in what I’m capable of saying.  As we talked about anything and all, there was a sense of being understood for the first time in a very long while.  I didn’t have to defend my oddities.  I could simply and unabashedly be me.  It’s not a secret me, but it was a me who’d been cut out and amputated too.  So there I was talking to this stranger, only he’d been in my life forever.  At one point I expressed my fear of seeming like some crazed groupie, but Bob seemed okay with it.  It wasn’t that I was star-struck.  It was connecting with someone from my past.  Someone who never knew that he knew me. 
Then I found my bravery.  “You helped shape who I am today.”  That’s a thought I have occasionally expressed in my writing to very few, but have never said out loud to anyone.

Life is meant to be lived out loud.
Someone penetrated at a time that I’ve been unreachable.  I have allowed my loneliness to become a wall.  I miss me.  And I miss who I was when I trusted others.  I came away feeling unafraid to sit down and have this conversation with myself.  It isn’t a magic that dropped out of the sky.  It’s going to take time and some work to trust again.  Bob may forget our conversation as something insignificant though I hope it was a pleasant way to spend an hour.  I will likely forget everything said because it’s what I’m prone to do.  In writing this letter to myself, I’m adding to my collection of little bits that are gathered in notes and essays and books and sometimes in the memory of others. 

I am afraid that my trust in others was a delusion; that I wanted so badly to not die a neglected death that I believed something that never was.  I have learned to share the deepest, dirtiest parts of me to anyone from a distance, but now can’t trust anyone within a stone’s throw. 
My minutes are being tossed into that empty well and landing with a dull thump.  I don’t know how to come back from where I am.  I’ve done it before but I was another me then.   My unwanted survivalist instinct is shadowing me.  It’s telling me that this isn’t how I want to go. 

And my biggest fear is not being ready to go.
I miss the earth so much, I miss my life.  It’s lonely out in space on such a timeless flight…

Lyrics:  Rocket Man / Elton John

Saturday, February 3, 2018

A Hundred Tears Away

Go ahead and cry now, just give in to the madness.  The only way to feel your joy is first to feel the sadness…
It’s that time of year again.  The first page on the calendar that prompts us to climb our unresolved mountains before we come sliding back down at our self-imposed December deadline.  I’ve never been into resolutions, yet never work well without a finite date to loom over me.

Having stumbled past the ultimate deadline that I thought Destiny had placed on me, I’m in a bit of a free fall at the moment.  We’ve all been posed the philosophical question “How would you spend your time if you knew when you were going to die?”  Been there, spent the time as wisely as I thought best.  I lived every emotion; joy, sadness, laughter and melancholy.  I’ve cried a hundred tears, a hundred thousand times.  It turned out to be some sort of twisted cosmic joke when I didn’t die as prophesized.  Either I had misread the roadmap or Destiny moved the finish line on me.
Am I to find the answer at the top of my mountain?  Because here at ground level, the question remained – where do I go from here?

I felt that death would be a gift; an ending to a life that had gone on too long.  I was tired.  I still feel twinges of it some days.  People ask me how I’m doing and when I respond with “okay,” they almost always return with “just okay?”  They don’t understand – “okay” means I’m not having that twinge.  It’s funny how we can see negatives and positives so differently from one another.
There are things in our lives that we have different names for but they all amount to the same; gifts, blessings, good luck or fortunes.  What many consider to be a blessing would be a sunny day.  For me, that would be a curse because of severe and rare health risks. To everyone else, Kryptonite is just a pretty green glowing crystal. 

It’s all about perception. 
I’ve always known I was different from most.  I have been the outsider to my own life, feeling the need to justify or defend my existence and its variables.  It was a linear way to the top of my mountain.  What I have learned to be my footholds are things intangible.  Love as it means to me, the meaning of life and my purpose in its evolution.  I say that I’m in a freefall, but it only feels that way because my deadline is no longer as obvious as the summit above me.  Where challenges and chaos have defined my path, I now feel there is reason.  It no longer has to be justified to anyone.  It only needs to make sense to me. 

Living each day as a lifetime is often a fleeting thing that falls away with the drudgery of an obligated existence.  Not for me; it is in me all of the time.  It’s a lot to carry, but and because the weight is not mine alone.  There have always been lessons, but over time the consequences weigh more.  While my life has always felt like I was climbing to nowhere, suddenly I understood that I’ll never get anywhere if I continue to carry so much dead weight.  The hard part has been figuring what or who am I going to need later and what is best to cut loose now? 
My friends have always been the most significant treasures.  They made up for the family I wanted little part of.  They’ve all had their place and time, though it’s taken me a long time to realize that.  Not everything is meant to last, and that includes relationships.  We think loyalty is defined by forever and feel betrayed when everlasting comes to an end, but we aren’t replacing the people in our journey, we are replenishing our souls. 

In the past calendar run, I have been called many things from bitter and spiteful to kindhearted and a superhero.  I’ve been advised way more than I am comfortable with.  I’m quite surprised I still have a tongue left after having bitten it so often.  In conversation with someone last month, I alluded to a 25-year friendship that I’d severed last summer and he asked quietly, “do you have any friends you haven’t had a falling out with?”  I was hurt by that because it proved he wasn’t understanding things I’d been saying, which had become the common theme with most of my friends, hence the falling outs.  It has become important to me to stop giving more to everyone than I was getting in return.  And it isn’t a quid pro quo thing.  It’s a harsh learning that I am not a superhero, and that I am vulnerable. 
It’s still a long way to the top, and Kryptonite hides in the darkest of places.

Someone asked me today “why is every story so negative?”  Stuart was laughing as he asked, but there was a nugget of truth.  I was starting to tell him a story and finished with “See?  It’s not negative, it’s interesting. And if I were on a stage telling it, it would be comedy gold.”  In the same conversation, he commiserated about my physical disabilities and conveyed a brief sadness when he asked “Have you ever looked death in the face?” and I said that I had.  “You’ve had a lot of challenge in your life.”  That’s okay, I said.  It’s given me a different point of view.
Life is all about perception. 

It’s not so much about having survived my life.  It’s the view that it’s given me.  Have you ever stood at the top of the world and looked up at a clear night sky?  Not all peaks are found at the top of a mountain.  Sometimes they are on a sandy beach, an isolated field of dry grass, in a clearing or at the top of a city hill. 
I may be falling free, but that landing is just a hundred tears away.

Sometimes we want to give up but fools like us, we keep trying.  You’re a long way from someplace you feel safe but peace of mind, it comes from just one place…