(I wrote this several years ago. Posting it here to keep it with my other posts. Sometimes, I still feel like this)
I must confess, I am struggling and have been struggling for a little while. I’ve been writing like a fiend to mask my inner turmoil, but that turmoil seems to be clamoring more and more for my attention.
I don’t need to talk about why I am struggling. I know everyone here has some issue that they are dealing with. I am certainly not unique in that respect. But, as I tell friends who are having troubles and feel guilty because there are other people who have worse troubles, we can only deal with our own shit. And make no mistake, our shit is very real, no matter how much worse someone else has it.
So… I’m struggling and I take my sister to an exhibit and special 35th Anniversary screening of the Bruce Lee movie “Enter the Dragon.” It’s an amazing night, peopled by Bruce Lee fans from all walks of life. Martial artists, collectors, former co-stars, his widow and daughter (who spoke so eloquently about Bruce as a man, a philosopher, an actor and a legend). Watching the movie on the big screen for the first time was pretty cool. Watching my sister take in the sights, meet the legendary Taky Kimura and relive the film on the big screen, was even more rewarding.
When we got home, I took several items that I wanted to keep out of my goodie bag and gave the rest to Kim to give her son Cody. Then I came in, chatted with my friend Tiara for a bit and went to bed feeling guilty that I made Tiara feel bad because I was feeling so down and she could not help me. Tiara is very caring and feels others’ pain very deeply. I tried to put it down to the fact that by that time (after midnight), I’d been up for 24 hours, with only a 45 minute nap in that time frame.
I had a troubled sleep, despite a comfy new mattress and woke feeling as gray as the sky outside. No energy. No interest in the Garden Tour I signed up for with my best friend Pat. Not even coffee could perk me up. To distract myself, I went through the items I had saved from my Bruce Lee goodie bag. One thing caught my eye. It was a key chain with a little strap. I took it out of the bag it was in and looked at it more closely. The words “WALK ON” were etched into the side. Then, I noticed the bag also contained a slip of paper with lots of writing on it. I took it out and saw that it was a story. Here’s what it said:
"The years between the Green Hornet and the Hong Kong films were often difficult for Bruce Lee. In Hollywood, he wasn’t getting offered the roles he felt he deserved, he struggled to support his family and he injured his back very seriously and was told that he would never be able to participate in martial arts again. He turned to many self-help books during this time for inspiration.
One day, he took hold of one of his own business cards and wrote the phrase “Walk On” on the back. He bought a special stand for this card and kept it on his desk as a constant reminder to keep moving forward. With this as his mantra, Bruce Lee worked himself into the best shape of his life, wrote volumes of notes on many subjects and ideas, and further developed and named his art of Jeet Kune Do. The rest is history. When life gives you obstacles, you must summon the courage and…
Now, I have to insert something here. Before I fell asleep, I asked for a sign that my life was worth living, my work worth doing, my writing worth continuing and sharing with the world. I woke up to find this note. Now, I’m trying to figure out if this is the “sign” I asked for.