Welcome to my blog—this window into my rapidly morphing life, tipping toward something so wonderful and grand that I can hardly believe it. Right now people are coming over from my “regular” life on Facebook, plus a “secret” Sasquatch blog I frequent. I can’t imagine that the general public will find me for some time. So, you’re likely visiting as a friend. And I am extremely glad that you are.
Just a polite heads-up that if you’re someone to whom myths and fairy tales hold no credence, you’re probably in the wrong place. Because I am living them, right now. I will not fault you if you read no further. This is not a place for everyone.
Lest you think this blog is only about our large, hairy, unseen watchers and protectors in the forest, let me stop you right there. These pages will be about my relationship with fear, and overcoming a lifelong addiction to being less than I am.
I wrote this poem when I was in the 8th grade at Fairview Middle School, when I was only 15 years old. Fifteen!! In many ways, it might as well have been etched in thin brass, tacked to a cheaply laminated piece of fiberboard and hung like a Mission Statement on my wall for the next 40 years of my life. I’ve always had a high degree of fear and anxiety. Let me tell you, it’s exhausting.
In case you can’t read my early handwriting (which, coincidentally, looks exactly the same today), here it is. Oh, and I am reciting this by heart, by the way. If I could, I’d go back in time and give the kid that wrote this the biggest hug imaginable. Then I’d tell him he’s infinitely more interesting, wonderful, and capable than he has any idea. And certainly, more loving. Sadly, I cannot (until I finally accept that the concept of time really is just an illusion), so I will instead be telling him all those things, right here.
Fear is like a shadow
Following you wherever you go
Just turn around
And it will be there
Following wherever you go
Quite an Albatross to hang around one’s own neck at such a young age, wouldn’t you say? And to my Sasquatch friends (my human ones—heh), take a look at that art, would you?! Jeez, not like my path wasn’t self-etched in black felt tip or anything, huh?
See your future, be, your future.
As you’ll learn in my next post, I attracted the Sasquatch people to me because I had to. They are my spiritual guides and catalysts for helping me to overcome my fears, and to begin to understand that there can be light found in even the darkest forests, troublesome dreams, and interpersonal relationships.
I have always felt that good things will come. If you live long enough.
Fifty-five is long enough. Anyone who has worked with me professionally has seen first-hand what struggling with performance anxiety is all about. I believe most people have genuinely liked working with me, and have typically found me to be pleasant and, hopefully, competent. But when it comes time to show myself to the world (and clients), I crumble. To stand. To be heard. To be SEEN. Shudder…
It’s better now, but client presentations were always the worst. Quivering voice, sweaty palms. That little bit of pee that I’m just sure is soaking into the front of my jeans or slacks for the whole room to see. Pure compounded misery.
And that’s on a good day. I knew my workmates couldn’t understand it. I hardly did.
A lot of that comes from the unfortunate mix of a too-strong Father and a too-sensitive Son. But we are who we are, and I know now that I chose this incarnation before I ever took a breath in this world. I was here to experience fear and anxiety, but now I’ve had my fill. Therefore, whatever contract I signed before I came into this life is now null-and-void. Sue me.
I’ve recently come to realize that I have the qualities of a highly sensitive Empath. It’s hard talking to a room full of judgmental clients when you not only can read their body language, but also internalize their energy. Decidedly not the right fit as an advertising account exec in my early years, but my fear helped sharpen my innate abilities to better feel the hearts and emotions of those around me. My sensitivity has a purpose, and you’re about experience it firsthand.
I have finally found my reason for being. I have discovered a profound joy that I thought was reserved only for other people. Married people. High achievers. Those people who-wake-up-every-day-knowing-exactly-what-they-want-to-do-and-are-thrilled-to-be-alive, people. Anybody but me, people.
We all wear cloaks.
This blog is about the cloaks we wear in life, and the purposes they serve at the time.
With luck, it will be about how I’ve found the courage to shed all of my cloaks to finally stand in my own light. Maybe this is it, right now. I can’t know for sure. But I do know this is a good start.
I’ve worn many cloaks over the years. I finally blossomed in high school, and traded much of my boyhood shyness for football cleats and a ‘69 step side Chevy that helped make life a lot more fun. Hey, girls! Cool is way better than invisible. Interesting word choice, invisible. I’ll just leave that there to percolate a bit…
In college, my good-natured manner served as both an attractant and repellent. Some of my fraternity brothers accused me of just being too nice. Read: boring. One fraternity brother began absent-mindedly musing aloud one day, having fun with my last name, Malloch.
“Malloch.” He said. Then “Malck.” Hard “K.” Next, “Milk.” Then the inevitable and ever-lasting moniker that was to stick with me all through college, “Milquetoast.” As quickly as he’d exposed my very psyche in front of a few of our brothers sitting nearby pounding beers, he threw out a softer, kinder abbreviation that turned out to be an okay nickname: “Milky.” I can still hear his first pronunciation: “Meelky.” You can’t hide who you are. I know. I’ve tried.
At my most outgoing best (you know, when not a complete stay-at-home, rather-be alone-with-my-dog-cat-and-thoughts introvert), I have another nickname also well earned, “Esteban.” Esteban was given to me after a particularly eventful trip to Mazatlan in 1996 with another close friend and fraternity brother. On this trip, my alter ego managed to talk the prettiest girl you’ve ever seen to come out dancing with us. A Mexican native, she lived in Monterrey and was there vacationing, like us. A classically trained Flamenco dancer, I was out of my league from the minute we met. And I had no business whatsoever getting anywhere near a dance floor with her. She later came to Seattle to spend the summer with me, and I’ll never forget a moment of it.
Esteban is the guy my friends call when it’s time to go play. Sometimes he even takes the call.
Two people are writing this blog: Overly sensitive Milky, and playful and ever-confident Esteban. Somewhere in the middle, some guy named Steve will likely throw in a word or two. Pretty good guy. Terrible dancer.
And yes, this blog is also about our unseen Forest Friends.
There are entities and energies in the forest (everywhere, actually) that we have long ago forgotten. They are the myths and legends of old that have been completely tossed to the wayside, forever dismissed in our headlong rush toward all things technological and material. We need $100-a-month cell phones and every type of device hanging from our ears to communicate. To use our gross misappropriation of the term, to connect. The Sasquatch people do it telepathically, instantly. For free. And when you send out a question to one, you’re talking to them all. Now that’s what I call a friends circle! Much more on that, later.
Most of us cannot yet see them (you’ll find techniques and hints in a later post on how we can fix that), but the question I have to ask, is why? Why are they hiding from us? How is that we have lost our friendships over the ages with the Forest People, Sasquatch, Fairies, Elves, and the omnipresent Elementals? And don’t forget the Giants. They’re out there, too. When you’ve been photo-bombed by a 100-foot being that looks like an inflatable at a Macy’s Parade peeking at you over treetops, it tends to make a lasting impression on your soul. You either accept the wonder and do the best you can to process it and lean into the woo, or you push it down so far it will hurt you. I choose the former. I choose the magic.
All of these beings (and ETs, and so many different Star Wars bar-scene characters that I don’t even know where to start) have been with us since, forever. So what have we done to warrant this division of worlds? Why, exactly, are they hiding from us?
A drumroll, please…
What I’m about to share in this blog is so insanely personal—so insanely implausible!—that I just ask that you remember that I am exactly like you. Human. Fragile. Imperfect. And that I am now, and will always be the guy you know as Milky, Esteban or Steve. Or better yet, Mal. He ideally embodies the spirit of all three.
I do not seek to self-ostracize (I’ve worked hard for each and every friend I have, and treasure you all), though a lot of this will be scary for some. If you know me—whether as a schoolyard or college chum, a hunting or fly fishing buddy, or as a colleague—then what you are about to read should be free of any doubt that what I am saying is the complete and utter truth, as best as I know it.
I will say it here for the first time, but it will not be the last. The world is not what we’ve been told. It is infinitely more magical, mystical, and wondrous.
These are my stories. My journey back to my own light.
And I am honored to have you read these words.