Which came first, the chicken or the egg? “Who am I?” and “what do I want?” are ying and yang. One year ago, I didn’t know who I was, didn’t want to know, and that was a bad sign of a bad first. I had inching reminders of a broader view of who I was and was supposed to be. But I’d begun to push the important questions far away from me and that very wrong action paralyzed me. That’s part and parcel of succumbing to my dark side, something I talk a lot about on this blog as something I’ve overcome. For someone who’s now emerged from deep in my own psychogenic, psittacistic bullshit, it’s worth repeating.
I expected little from life. Took things for granted. Was blind by ignorance--an unwitting reality I regret. And unnaturally heartless.
At this time last year I was positioned down a path of misery, chaos, and shame. I was too afraid to make the right choices—the hard, but ultimately meaningful and right choices. A streak of anxious and neglectful decisions stemming from not understanding or acknowledging the responsibility of affecting others positively ensued chain-reaction style. I walked around as a ball of brooding sarcasm and indifference—I lost the love of my life, disconnected, got lost and didn’t want to be found in my perplexing, internalized, neurotic maze. Alienated friends and family, did not produce much, was not true to virtue; I lost a year I’ll never get back and can only grab onto for its brutal and razor-edged lessons. I would stare aimlessly and ignore all the people who needed and wanted me, dazed and consumed by anxiety and its pal, the anxiety attack. 2010 pummeled me into the ground and only in the past 2 months have I had strength and courage to never lie again, to change, change back into my true self and evolve from there. Sidestep, then step forward. These negative emotions and events (which felt gigantic and untenable as they were happening) did not spark my actionable insight; as anything negative cannot produce something positive. Only my rediscovery of the good and useful effects we can impart on each other—that’s what drove my epiphany to its now-present and logical course.
If I had a time machine… well, I don’t. No one does. No one can go down the road as I did and be alright. It’s not alright to beat myself up, to transfer that onto others, it’s not alright to look in the mirror and yell at the top of my lungs, “get a hold of yourself!” and then not set my life straight. I’d slap myself hard (and punitively) just to feel anything then, in those dark times. Can't cut off phone conversations when I felt the urge to sleep for 10 years and prayed for life to pass me by; that's a perversion of my before-then-and-now-once-again can-do attitude, a corruption that brought me heavy shame at any moment I'd pause to think sentiently about my surroundings. A harmful wish I don't have within me to repeat.
It's not alright to tire of thinking. Of questioning. It’s not alright to second guess arbitrarily, to shut down my emotions for fear of spillage, for fear of anything. Fear isn’t alright. Fear is evil, and a creeping death of everything in your life that could spark any passion or want. Fear is regression and baseness and baseless in any sane reality. Fear is degeneration.
But I don’t fear 2011. I’m paying homage to this year's worthwhile challenges with self-motivated, self-generated true hopefulness and happiness. I’m a positive person at my core and my core is exposed. Except I won’t go nuclear. In fact, 2011 is a year to affirm who I am. Warm, all-ears, and always searching for conversation, but these are adjectives. Who I am is what I’ll do, what I’m commited to. Committed to being there for friends anyone who needs an ear or a hand. Committed to living well, treating others fairly, handling every situation with openmindedness and honesty. Giving my best every second of every day because it’s what I want to do, and what I want is a big responsibility of who I am. Committed to not needing New Year’s resolutions to unfurl my bumbles, yet thinking of every day as a resolute opportunity for improvement.
I shoot up every morning out of bed and into the daylight. 2011 will be more of that. Life is filled with ups and downs, triumph and heartache, yet glorious that we have an opportunity to experience both. Well, especially that whole bit about triumph and happiness. Now and onward is a quest for the apex of excellence (and hard work) in everything pursued; here’s a toast to leaving nothing on the table, all on the line. Who am I? Someone who can honestly say I’ve imbibed the spirit of hope and wonder and I’m never coming back down.