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How am I doing?

That’s a difficult question to answer.  I have felt like I’ve fluctuated all over the board lately.  It’s like there are two completely different people inhabiting my body.  There’s Normal, Adjusted Rhys.  The one that smiles, that does his job, that hangs out with friends.  It’s the public face.  And it’s not fake.  It comes from the heart.  My smile is genuine.  My enjoyment is pure.  Those are the times I try to hold on to.  There’s also Sullen, Lonely Rhys.  That’s the one that creeps across Twitter or Tumblr at odd hours of the night.  It’s the one that questions all of the decisions and keeps looking at the clock.

I have felt an increasing urgency around time.  I feel like I’m running out.  My logical brain tells me that’s because of the sudden nature of my father’s death and the very real knowledge that nobody knows the hour when their time will be up.  I don’t feel that it’s impacting my decisions, but it is starting to weigh on my mind.  One of the last pieces of advice that my father gave me revolved around my marriage.  My wife and I had just separated.  He told me that if there was anything I could do to keep things together, to do it.  This advice came from a man utterly broken by divorce; he’d lost everything and everyone.  This isn’t the fault of my mother; Dad just simply couldn’t restart.  And when my marriage ended, I knew it was for good reason.  That knowledge isn’t as helpful in the cold dark of night when I hear his voice.

Thinking about it now, though, it’s harder to hear his voice.  I actually broke down today, completely unexpectedly.  I was feeling a little down, but I chalked that up to the dreary, cloudy weather.  It was at work; I was heading back to my desk after getting some water.  I was walking through a room, totally by myself, and it just hit me.  I had to hold myself up using a table.  It was a sudden realization on how LONG it’s been since Dad died.  It’s been over a year.  From those I’ve talked to that have experienced this loss, it’s normal for these geysers of grief to show up from time to time.  It passed about as quickly as it emerged.  But it recalled, again, that dread in my gut about my own time.

I’ve been thinking lately about seeing a professional.  It’s been almost a year since I talked to anyone about all this, and perhaps there’s a root cause behind all this.  Perhaps it’s still normal.  I can’t help but feel like it’s abnormal and I’m broken somehow.  I keep pushing people away.

About rhysfunk

Rhys Martin was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1981. In 2009, he sold everything he owned and left the country, living out of a backpack for ten months. He discovered a passion for photography while traveling throughout Southeast Asia and Europe. After returning home, he looked at his home town and Oklahoma heritage with fresh eyes. When he began to explore his home state, Rhys turned his attention to historic Route 66. As he became familiar with the iconic highway, he began to truly appreciate Oklahoma’s place along the Mother Road. He has traveled all 2,400 miles of Route 66, from Chicago to Los Angeles. He has also driven many miles on rural Oklahoma highways to explore the fading Main Streets of our small towns. Rhys has a desire to find and share the unique qualities of the Sooner State with the rest of the world. Cloudless Lens Photography has been featured in several publications including This Land, Route 66 Magazine, Nimrod Journal, Inbound Asia Magazine, The Oklahoman, and the Tulsa World. In 2018 he published his first book, Lost Restaurants of Tulsa. Rhys loves to connect with people and share his experiences; ask him about enjoyable day trips from Tulsa, locations along Route 66, and good diners or burger joints along the way.
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