Several months ago I wrote a piece, for myself, about home. In it I acknowledged that the place where you grew, unless you can keep your life dynamic, fresh, and full of new learning opportunities, can become a place of stasis. It becomes a place where your default mode is coast. It is place where people love you and want to take care of you because it's home, and they are family, and family takes care of family. At a certain stage in a person's life, when an individual has centered himself, has learned life's major lessons, and has learned how to truly live, that is ok. As a matter of fact, that is welcome. When a person still has growing too do. When a person needs to learn how to not only stand up but also to stand tall, then home is a only a refuge for the afraid and will, in time, become a jail cell with velvet bars. Minneapolis has become that place for me.
There are some realities that I have to own. Because of the life I was dealt as a child and because of choices I made as an adult, I only know how to survive. I only know how to live from paycheck to paycheck. I thrive in crisis and create crisis when I should enjoy peace. My work life, which has had rough spots overall is the only place where I am able to not only survive but to thrive. But that ends now. With this move to Oakland, I am done with survival. I have a plan for surthrival. These are things I plan on accomplishing in my first 60 days in the Bay.
Brandon's Surthrival Plan
- Find a CMA Meeting in the East Bay. Attend Weekly.
- Take a budgeting and financial planning course.
- Attend weekly services at Glide Memorial Methodist Church
- Audition for the Glide choir
- Take a yoga class at least once a week and work out at least four days a week.
- Take a meditation class to learn how to self-center.
- Make an appointment with a Bay area ASO and join a Poz social/support group.
- Finish at least two more chapters in my book.
- Meet at least ten people that are not related to my job.
- Make three friends that are not folks from work.
- Do something at least once a day to actively love myself.
- Find a therapist that is going to kick my mental ass.
From now on I pledge to do the things that I have been afraid to do. I will live with fear but I will live fearlessly.
From now until I die, I will live with addiction but I will not be an addict.
I will accept that the man I see in the mirror is me and that I am not the man I see in my head.
I will accept love where it is given, honor that gift, and give it in return, starting with myself.
I will be accountable to my friends, my family, and my community, and I will require accountability in return.
I will survive only when survival is necessary. At all other times I will live and celebrate living.