Wanting to believe, dealing with life and why the fu*k does the dry-suit I want cost nearly 2,000$

Generally I blog because I want to vent. Sometimes it's nothing more than a nice way to put my thoughts in order. As a writer, I like concrit on even my most intimate emotions put to pen. Hey, practice is practice, right?
Anyway, my life is.... on the brink.
Which sounds exciting and cool and all, but the reality of it is much less fun than I would have imagined.
Any of you that were test readers probably noted a HUGE jump in quality between the first and second parts of my book. At my editors request, I'm re-writing the entire beginning half. It's a setback, one that wouldn't particularly bother me, except for the fact that my ex(ish) husband lost his job, and therefore can't repay me the money he promised (Not his fault) I'm on a tourist visa in the U.K, thus making it illegal for me to publish work in this country (which was the largest chunk of income I had) and I'm basically on a do or die schedule. It isn't like I'll starve to death, but it's humiliating. My boyfriend makes killer money at his work right now, but it's a temporary thing, and all this cash needs to be stashed away for our next destination
-a destination, by the way... that we still haven't made a decision on. He's thinking the Americas somewhere. I'm thinking even Mexico is too close to my family.
They are insane, by the way. Really, honestly insane in a manner that I lack the linguistic talent to document. The only normal sliver of childhood I had was with my wonderful grandparents, now long time deceased. After their deaths, I was pretty much raised by my aunt and uncle. They are wonderfully, beautifully, deliciously nuts. Aunt Pam is a die-hard, recently reformed and now active member of the LDS Church, my uncle was a repo-guy cum bounty hunter. They both owned a bail bonds business in the heart of food-storage-for-when-the-government-comes-to-take-our-guns-Nevada. If it wasn't for them, I'd be just another boring hack writer with no unique experience to pull from. Because they raised me to shine a whole different light, I'm me. I like me. I like them. However, it's an acquired taste. After a lifetime of struggling with a very dysfunctional home, I've only just realized that it's ok. What took me twenty six years of constant exposure to realize won't be grasped by a person that's been raised in a mostly-traditional sense from his own culture, never mind, mine. I can't even predict how things would unfold. My uncle recently died, and since her entire life was devoted to his existence, the dynamic of the people I knew are beyond my fathoming at the moment.
I've handled Uncle Corky's death pretty well, I think. Maybe it really hasn't just sank in. Maybe it's there on the peripherals of my vision, but I just keep looking away.
I haven't cried, but I haven't sat down and thought about it, either. Aunt Pam asked me to write an eulogy, but there have been a lot of other projects on my plate. He was cremated, so it isn't like this is something that has to be strictly timed. He's not getting any deader. There is a little part of me that wonders if I'm being passive aggressive. I made the choice not to see my uncle when we knew he was gone but still biologically alive. I made the choice not to attend any services. I have this nagging feeling that the rest of the family thinks I'm being cowardly, and maybe I am. Honestly, at least partially, I feel like his memory is best served and his life respected if I always picture the strong, wild, reckless man that he was to me. It's far more dignity than sitting through some ceremony I'm intellectually against and he wouldn't have had time for, anyway.
However, the fact that they took my decision so well sort of annoys me. It isn't like these people to respect anything, no matter how logical. They yell and scream and threaten and manipulate to get their way no matter what way it is. Why not now? I've realized somewhere that my family doesn't need me anymore, and they have in fact moved on without me. Writing the eulogy was a way to have me participate on my own terms, and since they are willing to allow it on my own terms, I'm holding up the entire damn funeral because they were gracious enough to respect my wishes not to attend. How fucked up is that?
Too much introspection isn't a good thing. After a rather bad week, I stared long and hard at myself in the mirror. I've lost weight. I'm tired all the time but can't sleep. Things that usually hold utter delight for me can't even keep my interest for very long.
I told my boyfriend I thought I was depressed.
He responded that I was too mean to get depressed.
I always thought I was, too.
I asked about the restlessness and change in appetite/sleep habits. He said that hanging upside down from the rafters and feeding off the souls of forsaken children wasn't healthy, anyway and I could stand to loose a few pounds.
In a very out-of-character manner, I couldn't even come up with a witty response, so I just planned on doing something mean and painful to him while he slept.
But then I forgot.
This might be serious.
I was almost expecting a crisis of non-faith when faced with death. I've heard it happens to a lot of people. Maybe because I was waiting for it, nothing changed. It made me once again reflect on why people forsake reality in the first place. These are the primary reasons I've come up with:
1)The world isn't fair- Good things happen to bad people, and bad things happen to good people. Anyone with a sense of fair play and justice desperately wants to think that at some point, we all have to face up for our actions. When it's apparent that it doesn't happen in life, we give life itself an extension to a place where there will be accountability. People want to believe in judgment.
2)Afterlife- it is a huge attraction. Our brains can barely fathom the concept of eternity, let alone oblivion. In the place of an intellectual vacuum, imagination runs rampant. I know a lot of atheists struggle with this one, but it's actually something that affirms my conclusions. When I die, I either won't know it and won't care, or I'll be pleasantly surprised. Heaven/Hell can't exist without omnipotence, and an omnipotent deity would be above childish retribution for believing in the good of humanity rather than the literal interpretation of a 2,000 year old, countlessly translated text. If there is a god, (which all evidence has lead me to disbelieve in,) then god will know my heart, else he wouldn't be god. Subtract the 'us vs. them' instinct that humans have from natural selection which has trickled into religious division, remove the power stacks of ranking people based on race, gender, sexual orientation and class, and stop trying to block all science that doesn't agree with your belief system, and religion's comfort of an afterlife isn't a bad thing. But really, whatever.
3)Meaning- I've heard so many 'faithful' say that their lives would have no meaning without god. Sincerely, I hope their children don't overhear that. Or their spouses. Or extended family..friends..
It sort of pisses me off, really. There is this idea that life wouldn't matter if it was an accident of evolution. I find that is just some way of taking the pressure off of yourself to find fulfillment. The human brain likes patterns. We seek them everywhere. That means we like plans. The idea of randomness and coincidence is often second to some boogie-woogie-spine-chilling concept of sixth sense and supernatural abilities. Cold hard probability or picking up subconscious clues is a lot less interesting than miracles and wonders... Unless you consider the fact that the very numbers speak for themselves. Out of all the molecular constructions available in the universe, a special set of sequences make up YOU! Natural selection has been at work for millions of years, so you are literally the best it has to offer (so far) Sure makes me feel warm and fuzzy. A lot better than some guy making me out of a rib (wtf?) or dirt! Further, I think you have to be a real asshole to depend on the notion that even if everyone else hates your guts, some eternal fatherly figure still loves you. Perhaps it would be more productive to consider why you are in a situation where people despise you.....just a thought.
4) Habit.- Face it, folks. The law of inertia states that things like to keep doing what they are already doing. As long as religion is there, and as long as it's easy, people will keep going back like a favorite free porn site. I could go into the survivalist rewards that could have helped hardwire the human brain into getting feel-good zaps from singing in church, but then I'd have to cut and paste studies and facts and back them up, and frankly, this is a rant, not a debate.
Four is a good number. I'll stop there. That pretty much covers the basics, anyway. Out of the apparent stagnant pond of frustration and apathy that my life has become, at least I've been able to organize some free-floating thoughts into list form.
Usually brilliance comes while I'm clipped to a line underwater for hours at a time. I don't particularly LIKE decompression stops while diving, but they do give me time to think. It's a little surprising then that I've made it this far without it.
Why am I not diving, you ask?
Well let me tell you why! The dry suit I was using has been repossessed by the owner because his neck seal broke. Fair enough. The guy needs it more than I do. He actually makes money diving.
Now, I'm totally broke, which has hurt my self esteem, and now I need a vital piece of equipment if I want to get in the water. Since we had some odds and ends to pick up in Edinburgh anyway, a stop at the dive center to browse for dry suits wasn't a big deal.
Until we started browsing.
Now, considering the list of places we are looking at moving to are all pretty much warm water, the likelihood of me needing to invest money in a dry suit, pay to ship it and then not use it are very high. However, most future expeditions we have in mind, and all diving in Scotland requires one. This means it won't be something I use every day, every week or every month, but the difference between not having one and having one is essentially the difference between doing major dives or not.
Oh yeah, have I mentioned that I've got NO money coming in?
Used dry suits are pretty expensive anyway. But just looking at the new ones made me feel a bit dizzy.
Please note: I'm not a wuss by any means. My rebreather is 13,000$ roughly with all modifications and add ons. That doesn't include the lifetime cost of continued education on it, gas fills or the chemicals necessary to dive it. That's just the hardware. I understand exactly how much diving costs, probably more than most. My eyes are open...but now they are open and bleeding.
The ONLY dry-suit that would fit my needs was on special
...for about 2,000$


Well, thanks for letting me blow off some steam, but I should go.
I've got the eulogy to write......or not.
Might just read G.I Joe reviews online for a while, instead.

Views: 16

Comment by Reggie on August 8, 2009 at 8:04am
Uncle Corky? Really?
Comment by Misty: Baytheist Living! on August 8, 2009 at 9:38am
Well, his real name was Carlton, but he was known by Corky. Why? Is it that uncommon of a name?
Comment by Reggie on August 8, 2009 at 10:10am
It's not a name I have heard too often. I just thought it was amusing given your character descriptions. ;)
Comment by doubtingSteve on August 8, 2009 at 10:10am
Really enjoyed your rant. I wish I had realized at the age of 26 that a dysfunctional family wasn't so bad. Try 36. But at least I feel knowledgeable, knowing that I concluded so through deep introspection. Also wish I had traversed along my [lack of] spiritual belief system path from evangelical to agnostic (22) to atheist before the age of 42. But hey, it’s a work in progress right?
If you do make it to the America's, Mexico can be wonderful, but I recommend Peru. The Machu Picchu trail is phenomenal, as is the Manu biosphere.
Comment by Misty: Baytheist Living! on August 8, 2009 at 10:33am
Doubting Steve-
I'm really hoping for Central America, especially Peru. I had an aunt (also now deceased.) that was supposedly some sort of royalty from there, or of royal blood or something I don't fully remember, but was vaguely interesting when I was young.
Ecuador would be great because of the Darwin research and conservation facilities there, and the visa laws are pretty mild.
Frankly, Mexico doesn't hold much interest. It's a been-there-done-that-full-of-drunk-American-tourists-on-spring-break sorta place I'd rather avoid, but the cave networks DO have me all tingly inside.
Dunno. Won't even know until just before we leave, really.
Comment by Chris on August 8, 2009 at 12:29pm
Thanks for writing this, Misty. I can understand where you're coming from, although my recent loss wasn't nearly as painful as losing someone that helped raise me. I was going to write more, but I think I should make it an entry on its own. it could take up a lot of space in your comments.
Comment by Dave G on August 8, 2009 at 2:01pm
An excellent rant, Misty.

The Mexico cave systems sound good, my mother (who also dives, although she's recently retired from cave diving) has said good things about diving down there.
Comment by Misty: Baytheist Living! on August 8, 2009 at 3:39pm
Condolences, man. I wish I could say that death strikes atheists harder, but the proof just isn't there. Again, it makes me wonder if people actually believe the shit they've been spoon fed about an afterlife.
Dude... the fact that your mom cave-dives has further proved you are one of the most awesome entities on the face of the earth. We should name an element after you or something.
Comment by Dave G on August 8, 2009 at 3:57pm
Unfortunately, Mom sold her dry suit a few weeks ago, otherwise I'd see what the shipping costs to Scotland were.
Comment by Aric on August 8, 2009 at 9:57pm
Misty, you should check out Costa Rica. I was just down there, which is why I haven't gotten a chance to finish your book yet but the little bit that I have read is very entertaining, and if you get out of the main tourist areas it's really cool. Actually, even the tourist-y areas are still fun but it's a totally different atmosphere when you get away from them.


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