I'm an angry man. I'm angry all the freaking time.
Not live violently angry, but I yell sometimes. Mostly I yell at the TV or the computer screen or the phone. Or I yell ON the computer screen or on the phone. My facebook friends, unfortunately, have to deal with me the most.
I make no apologies. Well, some apologies, but mostly I've learned to keep things controlled and harness that angry energy into other endeavors where it's OK to be angry sometimes. Politics, for example.
Today it's a long list of things I'm angry at. Politicians that create problems in other countries and then refuse to help the people displaced by violence. People that are capable of driving sports cars with a 6-speed manual transmission, but have a handicap parking permit, my own disabilities that sometimes make it hard to physically get from the bed to the bathroom (most times it's just some chronic pain and migraine, but sometimes it's weakness on the left side, vertigo, and general f-d up-ed ness), and the shocking disuse of logic in any discussion on anything.
When did opinion become so important? (probably with the invention of the Internet) When did everyone's thoughts on issues of state becomes all we talk about? I mean, sure, there's an election coming up, but why are we spending all our time debating the fate of Syrian refugees? It's not something most of us have any control over. Unless we work for the federal government, it's not really our problem. And as always these debates break down into the same old discussions about religion and guns and money.
Everything always breaks down to that. Religion guns and money.
And that torques me off too. What about PEOPLE? What about LOVE YOUR BLEEPING NEIGHBOR? What about just doing the decent thing for your fellow man? Be they local or foreign?
Rant over. I'm done.
I'm an angry man. I'm angry all the freaking time.
I want to be real. I'm freaking Pinocchio, trapped in a wooden body, fighting to break out and become a real boy.
And in some sense that is literally true. I am trapped in a body wracked with pain and limited mobility and often crippling headaches that render me unproductive for days and sometimes weeks.
But I am talking about something we all struggle with. We want to be what we perceive as our perfect self. We see that there is a version of ourselves that we want to be. Maybe that has to do with our job, or our kids or where we live, but overall I think we all see a version of ourselves that has more to do with habits and hangups than it does with outward appearance.
"If only"... if only I could quit smoking. If only I could lose weight. If only I could be a better spouse. If only I could stop doing x. If only I could start doing y.
Friends, "if only" will kill you. Literally. I'm being very serious here. Chasing that "if only" will literally kill you. Maybe not quickly, but it will steal your life and leave you staring at your mortality with a wasted life.
We all want to be better. We all want to do better. And that's good. We should all want to be our true self. The problem comes when we look toward that true self and weigh it on the scale with 'if only' and see the huge pile of 'if only' outweighing the potential of reaching the true self.
And we feel like a failure. And we feel small and worthless. We feel this way because it just seems like an insurmountable mountain of 'ifs' that we need to overcome to become our true self.
Friends, let me make this really clear.
You are perfect as your are.
Let me say again, YOU are PERFECT as YOU ARE.
YOU ARE PERFECT AS YOU ARE. RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW.
I don't care what your boss or your doctor or your church or family or anyone else is telling you.
Your true self is who you are right now. It's not an ideal that you have to waste your life to achieve.
Ok so you have this issue or that. You might have an addiction you need to deal with. You might be overweight. Yes, those are real things that you need to work on.
But those aren't the real you. Those aren't barriers to get to your true self. They're just globs of dirt that you need to brush off. Your true self is you as you are right now.
Everything you want to be is here. Now. Anything you see as a barrier is an illusion.
What is really stopping you from being who you are? Fear. Specifically fear of failure.
I have one question for you: Who flipping cares?
Ask yourself this: If you had unlimited resources and unlimited time, what would you do with your life? Put aside the mansion and the sex partners and the piles of guns and consider, really consider, what you would DO? Put aside your family and friends and the selfish things and consider actually what you would DO as a vocation. What is that THING you would DO that you want to be. Is it a writer? An athlete? A philanthropist? Movie maker? Comedian? Lecturer? Teacher?
Now ask yourself this: Even though you don't have unlimited resources and time, what can you do to do that thing you want to do? What is honestly stopping you? Put aside your need to make enough money to eat and have a place to live, that's your job, it's not who you are. What can you do, in spite of your job, to become that thing you want to be?
There is really only one answer, isn't there? Fear. What if I do it and I suck at it?
Let me let you in on a little secret. You will suck at it. Everyone that has done something you consider great has also done something that is a complete disaster. But here's the secret:
They kept trying. They KEEP trying. They DO.
I am writing as much to myself as to you. I live in fear of failure. Of failing my family, of failing my church, of failing my God. (Yes, I am a 'religious' person, this may or may not apply to you). What do I want my real self to be?
I just want my real self to be .... real. I don't want to be the mask that I put on to hide my pain and disability. I don't want to be the mask I put on to hide my addictions and stuggles.
I want to be that person that lives without fear.
I am in my late fourties. My life is probably more than half over. My father died in his 50s. I could lament over how much time I have wasted. I could cry over how many lost opportunites I have had. I could be angry about how much time I have wasted in fear.
But I'm not going to do that. I don't want you to do that. I want you to dare to be real. It doesn't matter what you define as your real self. Just DO IT.
Do it. Go. Do. Fail. Get up. Fail some more. Who cares? What is the worst that could happen? Well, ok, you could die. But unless what you are trying to is skydiving or Russian Roulette, is death really on the list of worst things that could happen?
It's been a while, hasn't it? Life and things and stuff just seems to have shifted my attention away from my blogs, so I just don't have much desire to keep it going anymore.
But today I feel like writing. So I'm writing.
My journey to "be normal" still continues. My headaches are being treated by Botox. It's helped some, but not a lot. I get about 4 less headache days a month. For some people that would be a lot, but for me that's only about 20% less. So that's some, and about 4 more days I can be productive, but .... well, there ya go.
I'm working on getting my weight under control again. It's hard without being able to commit hardcore to a diet right now, but I can do some exercise and just generally eat less. It's hard to get moving some days, but I'd really like to be able to lose 80 pounds by June next yeat.
There's a wedding!
Yes, my second child, Chenisse, is tying the knot with her beau Daniel. And guess what? I GET TO DO THE MARRYING! Yes, I am officiating. As an ordained deacon at my church, by New Mexico law I can do that. No fake ordinating on the Internet, just do the thing. I'm both excited and terrified. But I've got something like 10 months to figure it out.
What else can I tell you? Well we have a new grandbaby. Miss Rosey is about 2 months old now. We've only got to spend a little time with her, but she is sweet and adorable and healthy. School is in full swing, almost a month now. We have a 3 day weekend coming up. I still don't know why schoool starts before Labor day, but it does.It must cost a lot in AC, but oh well.
A few days ago I had a regular doctor's appointment. Technically I saw a PA (Physicians Assistant) but Bill is one of the most sympathetic, understanding people I know.
He was very concerned about my health and chronic issues, but we talked a lot about my depression issues and, for lack of a better term, my spiritual and intellectual health.
I left feeling energized. I really felt like it's time to look at things and really start doing something about how I spend my time and energy.
But here I am, three days later, and I'm still sitting on the bed, computer in my lap, wasting time on facebook and twitter and really not doing anything with myself.
I've been dealing with my pain and headaches and all the rest for about 12 years now. 12. Years. Things are in a place where the symptoms aren't getting worse - or at least not getting worse as rapidly they were. We seem to have things somewhat controlled. So it seems to be a perfect time to work on the intellectual and spiritual things.
So why can't I get out of this rut?
Over the course of the last 12 years I've started many little projects along the way. This blog, for one. Several other blogs, too, for that matter. Photography, videos, a youtube thing, trying to play guitar again, I started a book, a few coding project that I could never get to work, a box full of electronic parts and worn out computers waiting to be turned into something.....
I need to take these things out, dust them off, and see if any or it is worth working on or if it's time to dump them in the trash. Then maybe start something new. Or not. I don't know.
But I'm still here. in this rut.
And while on the one hand I feel a little energized to do something, I also feel really really TIRED. So freaking tired. And all the while my kids have to see me just sitting here, apparently stuck on the bed, struggling with the pain, yes, but also struggling to find meaning and purpose. And all the while being a failure as a father and person.
But I WANT to be better. I NEED to be better. I want to be a PERSON again.
I just can't move.