I’m reading the book Let Me Out by Peter Himmelman. I’m cheating. I just finished Chapter 8, and I haven’t completed any of the activities the author has requested. Partially because I’ve done similar activities when reading a different book, mostly because I just want to read until I get that Ah-hah! moment. When I read that sentence and remember why I love writing. The exercise at the end of Chapter 7 piqued my curiosity, The Two Minute Drill. It asks you to take exactly two minutes and write down all of the things you’d like to do in your life right now.

Here goes, no erasing, stream of two-minute consciousness.


(Wait, getting some tunes on, can’t dance naked without the tunes.) Hm, I wonder how much mileage a therapist would get out of my choice of song?

go to Scotland

Live my “Pleasure”

see my kids being happy adults

lift my siblings from where we’ve been left

body confidence

recognize my life from the vision in my head

vision board

ability to care for myself

write what I want

 meet those people who touch me so incredibly on the net

that house on a few acres with trees, gardens, a john deere and the prairie


Two minutes are fast!

Okay, this post isn’t about that list. LMAO Though, some scarily interesting things showed up there. Whew.

As for the song…I made a new wish list a couple of weeks ago, and purchased one of the songs right then. The Voice ’16’s runner-up Billy Gilman (I know, I recognized him before Miley did, oi) I Surrender. This is the first time The Voice has sent me to Itunes to purchase a song. The only other show to do it, American Idol and Adam Lambert’s version of Mad World. FYI, I don’t watch either show regularly, and just happen to come upon these pieces in other ways. So, no, I don’t know who was gypped, I don’t know who was better, and yes, I’m a little surprised that a guy named Sundance Head who reminds me of ZZ Top was the big winner.

Okay, moving on to the reason I’m sitting at my computer, before the music completely takes me away. The next chapter. This is how much I’ve read.

Chapter 9


HOW IMAGINING THE SPECIFICS OF A PERFECT FUTURE ENSURES PROPER ACTION IN THE PRESENT. There’s an expression I used to hear a lot as a kid, “Think good and it will be good.”

~Peter Himmelman

Reading that, I was immediately transported to a little parking lot in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA. It’s oppressively hot and humid, thunderstorms today, for certain. I get of out the car and feed the meter eight quarters. It only takes quarters. I’ve added the stop at a laundromat now, just to be sure I have enough. I click the button on my key fob one more time before I walk into the alley, hearing the comforting honk of my horn saying ‘jeez woman! You’ve locked me three times now!’. The Boston Market on the corner is making my mouth water as I step out of the shadows and onto the busy sidewalk. A few steps, a nondescript door with the number 6A, a flight of creaking uneven stairs. Pushing open the door, I sit down as close to the dripping air conditioner as I can. At 2:00pm the door opens, and she walks out. Dark glasses today,  a scarf around her head, business suit and heels. She’s been crying. I busy myself tucking my phone in my purse.

“Carly, it’s good to see you.”

His quiet voice, I briefly meet his eyes before slipping past him into the room beyond. I have a question today, one that’s been bothering me. It will take all of my fifty minutes to figure out where to slip it in. He’s a sweet, patient man. It should be simple.


Finally, with only about five minutes left, I manage to ask my question. “Is it weird that I go away to places in my head sometimes?”

He doesn’t look up from his scribbling on the yellow legal pad. “Does it worry you?”

He does look up when I don’t answer.

I didn’t know how to answer that, then. He assured me I was a functioning adult. I had successful relationships, a well cared for child, I did things that needed to be done, did things I wanted to do. If I needed to go somewhere in my head for a time as a break, it was nothing to worry about. Time was up.

All these years later, I know the answer to the question, for myself. After having spent months, not needing to go anywhere in my head because where I was…was so wonderful I couldn’t imagine ever leaving. I know the answer to that question.

I just wanted to write that down before I read the chapter. Before his opinion on living an alternate reality in your head changes or tweaks my own, I wanted to write down my truth.

Now, let’s see what he can add to my vision.







0 thoughts on “Surrender”

  1. I love going to other places inside my head. It’s an occupational hazard and a lifesaver at the same time 🙂 Love your list. I need to do the same thing.

  2. Maybe you should worry whether you were a functioning adult if you DIDN’T go other places in your head …

      1. Freud said something in one of his later works about the purpose of psychoanalysis being the search to transform neurosis into ordinary misery. Given that, I think a lot of people are probably escaping their real lives and not saying much about it. Perhaps, however, I am projecting.

        1. Instead of neurotic, just plain miserable, got it. I see that too, but mostly with alcohol, smoking, and taking it out on the unsuspecting. I guess it makes sense that I wouldn’t see it in those who turn inward.

          1. Getting back to your comment earlier about work and how people stay busy as a hedge against things, I think that one of the biggest unnamed confrontation lots of people have is with the sheer purposelessness of life. If you don’t have a family or a passion, what do you do? How do you keep on living?

          2. But, surely they must love something? Even if it’s just the smell of rain, or the sound of the ocean?
            I feel like we’re standing on the edge of the Marianas Trench looking down. My knees are faltering.

          3. I think busy-ness occupies people enough that they don’t think about it much.

            Forgive me if I have told you this story already; it made a big impression on me at the time. I remember having a conversation with an OR nurse before one of my mother’s surgeries. She’d just completed the transition from RN to BSN, which had required her to take some humanities courses, and my mother had told her I was a history professor. She told me how pointless she considered all her humanities classes, but especially philosophy. She said, “why would anyone want to read all that stuff?” I said: “Because it makes moments like this more bearable.” She looked at me like I was nuts.

            I think people get really involved in what they are doing (and I don’t want to say this wasn’t a great nurse — she was probably great at her job and very interested in it, more so than I would be), whatever that is (and I don’t want to say OR nursing is inherently uninteresting) and that protects them from having to perceive other things that might make them doubt or wonder. I do think there are people who feel purposeless, or who experience life as one long stretch of boredom, and I think it’s one (although not the only) major reason for doing drugs.

          4. You haven’t told me that one.
            Interesting that she was required to take take humanities courses that far into her education. Sounds like she needed them. The only nurse I really had to deal with when it came to my mom was my sister in law, who is 90% empath. I think the nature of their jobs leaves many of them resorting to believing existence is pointless. How else could they do what they do, day in and day out?
            I agree that people let the current take them and so many just go where it goes. Having fought the current for a couple of years, I can say there are moments when drugs don’t seem so vile. Kind of like that guy in The Matrix that just wants to taste steak and doesn’t care if it’s only in his own mind. That kind of desperation for pleasure.

  3. An RN did not used to require a college degree, but the pay is higher for BSNs, so there are a lot of nursing school grads who want to up their earning power. I have a friend who teaches a history course to people in this category a lot (history of disease) and she says it is really an uphill battle because they are so focused on illness as a scientific product and not as a cultural one. I will admit that I was repeatedly disturbed by how few times during that episode I encountered people who questioned what they were doing on an ethical level (should we give this medicine, does this procedure have a point?) even though I know ethics courses are required for those qualifications. I find it kind of a weird juxtaposition — in that they are so aggressively engaged in prolonging life (often at the cost of quality of life), but don’t ask what it is for — but I agree with you.

    Yes, re: drugs.

    1. I agree with the prolonging without thought to quality. I think with younger doctors it’s in the beginnings of being addressed but I think it’s more because of their own life experience and not a product of their education. It’s a hard line, inflict pain without flinching, knowing when science won’t serve you.

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