I’ve had a lot of space to think this summer. Too much if anyone would ask, but…I’m willing to admit, here in my old age, that may have been part of the problem to begin with.
So…I’m going to embrace it. Instead.
There’s a lot of confusion woven in to the dichotomy between right vs. left. Up vs. down…and between needing that crucial space for reflection, and being terrified to take it at the same time. Avoiding it. So I don’t have to reflect at all. And, I think…I think, if I had to be grateful for something ‘new’ at this point in my life, it would be that I Get It now. I get now that it was necessary. That time.
And, strangely, I’m not afraid of it. Anymore, that is. Many times before, I’ve dressed up the ugly things that used to be inside of me in order to properly explain them. And get them out of my head. Things I didn’t like about myself. They weren’t bad on the whole, but I knew they were covers for other flaws. That I hadn’t taken time to fix. Or look at. Because I was scared to. That dichotomy again. Maddening. But fascinating all the same.
Back in the day, I used to wake spinning. For a lot of reasons. And I hit the ground running every single morning. The occasional afternoon. Usually smiling and full of avoidance. And loving the hell out of it. And thinking I was loving the hell out of myself, too. And, superficially? Boy, Me and Myself were stupid for each other, flying from island to island together, cackling like hens and spending like sailors.
Maybe one of us got old. I don’t know. But, I lost interest. I blame him for not keeping ‘hisself up.
Today. After many months…many, many months of trying to figure out where I stood with Me. I think I know. And I’m starting to understand exactly why all of it was necessary. Why things came my way. Good and bad. Why things found me. Why I lost. Why I looked. What I looked for. Why I did what I did, said what I said and felt what I felt.
Say it with me: Uncover. Your. Insecurities.
Blow this fucking outdated airport up and set that broken runway on fire. Rebuild bigger and better. More efficient. Maybe add a Starbucks or a Panda Express. Get one shiny, newly engineered plane successfully into the sky, with one pilot (that handsome devil) who can confidently land it safe. Every damn time.
So I do. These things don’t happen overnight. But I do.
I showed my worst. To myself and everyone around me. I tried my best while I was at my absolute worst. Now I see it. And I know it was just never going to work.
It was quite a mess with a lot of crashes. Over time. Not knowing where I was headed. Or how in hell to get there. So many things wrong. But I lived through the biggest crash yet. And it saved me. It quieted me. Made me remember who I am. Rather, reminded me to step back, not up, and be that person. Again. It’s been a while.
A strange mix of confidence and extreme insecurity, I was putting on a show for myself that I’m ashamed of in order to cover up the things that always made me feel less accepted. In these Grand Realms of manhood, such as they are. It’s easy to get caught up in bravado and swagger. Cockiness. It’s just not me. And it’s all too easy to protect yourself from you when you’re brandishing those kinds of cheap tools. It’s easy, also, to forget you haven’t looked at yourself in a long while.
Fact is, I like quiet. I like calm. I like caring and kindness. Providing. Simplicity in the every day. I like doing plain family stuff and being creative. Laughing and being with friends. Spending my free time outdoors. Learning about people. Not that exciting, right. But it is what it is. My entire life I’ve read, learned, written and watched. I’ve realized a whole new level of shame these past few years in trying to hide my hearing loss on top of learning to accept it fully. As well as accepting that I’m happy being exactly what it’s made me. I am all of these things because of it. And I have been for many years. I’ve enjoyed it. Nothing needed to change. And I’ve accepted that I can openly be all of those presumably ‘boring’ things, and still absolutely not be ‘just some guy’. That is where you would have me all wrong.
And if that is truly what I’ve come to know about me, then there is nothing in this world worth risking giving a negative impression of myself. Especially when it’s come from trying to cover up any softness inside of me. Which is what I like about who I am in the first place. Dichotomy. Yet again…I sense maturity happening here!
…When the fires have died down. When the construction crews have gone. When that new engine is idling. Waiting for whatever comes next…I’ve got me. All opened up, cleaned up and cleaned out. In silence. And I love it. Just fine, again. Finally.