Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Gift Horse Needs A Breath Mint....

'cause I'm looking him square in the mouth!
How is it possible that, after the journey of this past year, I still go through the motions some days? How is it possible that I'm not in a jubilant mood every single minute of every single day? I was George Bailey standing on that bridge and I screamed out to the Almighty asking for a second chance at life..and I've gotten it. Dear God, how many times have I used that tired cliche/image since I started this blog? But since I have gone down this road again, let's peel back some layers on old George.
His problem wasn't just frustration. His problem was an inability to see the big picture. He saw friends that had gone on to a life of luxury that made his own life seem void of accomplishment and success. He didn't see that by saving his little brother from that cold-ass creek he'd also saved the lives of "every man on that ship." I too am quite short-sighted in measuring where my life has taken me, what I have and what I've accomplished. I only see things started and not finished. Dreams born and dreams dying on the vine. Like many, I've jumped on board with these networking sites (Facebook etc...) and have caught up with some of my favorite people in the world. Folks whose roots are buried in the same ground as mine. Rather than relishing the opportunity to catch up with them, I often find that I'm constantly measuring my life against theirs. One high school/boy scout friend is a real-life "Maverick" flying F-14's in Japan. When someone says "I'm flying F-14's in Japan..what are you doing these days?" how do you answer?? "Uh, I cut the grass then shook up a martini and went to sleep in a patio chair." I need to learn to measure my life against, well, my life and not others'.
A year after my surgery and the woman I love the most continues to be my rock. The other night over dinner, I told her that I'm having a really hard time ridding myself of the regret over the many YEARS that I've just pissed away. She got rather adamant..."you didn't piss those years away! Those years brought you to THIS point and made you the person you are. You've taken a little bit away from every one of those different experiences and they've made you a very interesting person. You've got a second thankful for it and decide what you want to do with it." She reminds me that all of the stories and songs and plays that I want to write would NOT be possible had I not done a bit of wandering. All of those people and places I've encountered over the years have given me a treasure chest of characters and situations. She further reminded me that a lot of the folks I measure myself against might be really, really bored with where they are and can only wish they had been given the blank page I've been handed. Like the old cliche about the kids playing ball in the street. If you hit a ball and it rolls down the sewer drain then it's a "do-over." I've been given a "do-over."
So why am I ignoring the proverbial gift-horse and most days telling him to go play in his own yard? I think it's my old arch-enemy FEAR. So I've been given a "do-over." What if I screw it up? Rocky to Adrian on that beach in Rocky III - "and if I lose?" (you're now laughing because I quoted a Rocky movie...can't help it. I am, after all, a guy.) No matter what stars have aligned for me in the past I was always able to rest on one excuse for not chasing them down - my weight. That excuse is now gone and if we don't move forward there's no one to blame but me. THAT'S SCARY! The first step is going to be the hardest one to take.

"So Clarence where are you now?
The script's been changed somehow.
It feels like the whole world,
is standing on that bridge."
(ok, I admit it..I wrote that. A song called "Clarence." )


Elisabeth said...

You know what, T? I'm there with you. In HS I was voted most likely to succeed. In college I was a writer. Today, I'm on my fourth or fifth career - definitely not the most successful of my class. But you know what, in February I started writing again - my blog. Yep, I wasted about 10 year of my life not writing, but I'm doing it now. And you are, too.

BB said...

I can relate to both of you. Since 3rd grade I have dreamed of being a writer, and yet I seem to have some sort of belief in myself that everyone else in the world interested in that pursuit is capable of accomplishing something noteworthy - and I'm not. Where in the world does that come from? What's holding me back? I'm 46 years old and what have I accomplished? Nothing impressive, that's for sure. I do like my life though, as inconsequential as it may seem sometimes in the grand scheme of things, and next to people accomplishing amazing things - so maybe that counts for something. And my recent discovery of the wonderful world of blogging (thanks in part to you, T!) has certainly opened a door into an interesting, colorful and FUN realm....

Melinda Sileo said...

"To my brother, the richest man in town." Don't forget it.