Friday, January 13, 2012

Road warrior

My ridiculous life ~ I didn’t realize it was so ridiculous until I started dating again in my mid 50's, which that in itself is ridiculous enough. Recounting my history to others not only signaled to them that I might be a bit unstable, but it was rather disconcerting to my own ears as well. I knew deep down, or maybe it wasn’t even that deep, that my life sounded a bit flaky, like I really didn’t have much focus, that I jumped from one thing to another in traditional monkey style. It was almost like I was telling a story about some long lost crazy cousin or friend of a friend. But it was my story. To hear me recite my past, out loud, made me feel a a bit foolish, a bit skeptical of my own trustworthiness and character. Like perhaps I hadn’t taken my life seriously enough, like perhaps I thought I had a whole lot more chances, opportunities and life than was actually ever granted to one person in a lifetime.
When I was younger I was always attracted to those who marched to their own bass drum, who walked the road more rocky. And I guess in my own way, I followed in their footsteps and walked that same path. I did most things in a backwards fashion according to the rules of society, without giving things much thought, without planning much for the future. Always believing that I had several guardian angels hovering around to take care of me, to swoop me up in their overly large marshmallow soft angel wings should I trip or fall. Always feeling protected, I was rather invincible in a very careless way.

Now a bit older and still doubtful on the wiser, I admire those people who always had direction, that knew what they wanted to “be” early on. I am always surprised to hear that someone knew what he or she wanted to do with their life when they were mere children. My friend said to me the other day, “I always knew I wanted to be a dentist”. Since he was nine years old! Who does that? Well, apparently many more people that I ever imagined. I just never ran with those types of people in my youth. No, I hung more with the “butterflies are free to fly” crowd. And I have a butterfly tattoo to prove it. I"ll admit it, it is not that attractive almost 40 years later. Not that it was ever that attractive then. But truth be told, we might not have had a firm grip on our future, but what we did have was a whole lot of fun in our present.

But as silly as my life has been, as abstract and distorted as it may sound, it is my life, no apologies necessary. We all reach the end, right? We just use different road maps getting there. Maybe if there is such thing as life after life after life, I will get to go at it again. Try a different path. And who's to say, if in my next life I know at 9 years old that I want to be a dentist (or baker, candlestick maker) and I turn out to be a dentist, I might very well be longing for that life of forks in the road, detours, and ridiculousness, all the while boring someone at a little cafe table, telling them my life story.
"A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are for." –John A. Shedd

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