I have just watched the season finale of Mythbusters, and the AMA special with Adam Savage on YouTube. He quotes Jon Kabat Zinn as saying, “You wanna know how your life is gonna turn out? Look around you because it’s already happened and and this is what it’s turned out to be.” I can’t find the original version of this quote, I suspect this is paraphrased because I would be surprised if Mr. Zinn would use words like , “wanna” and “gonna.”
Whatever the original form, however this may have been intended. I felt a stab of pain (and am still feeling it now) when I heard this. Because what I see when I look around is absolutely, completely worthless.
I used to be able to console myself by thinking of my work here, at this blog. But certain recent things have happened to cause me to doubt my authenticity as a spiritual person, which throws the entirely of everything i have written into doubt. Besides, a few years of blogs and websites? That’s what I leave the world, should I die right now, in this moment?
A few moments ago I thought back to when I was a kid. I still remember him, the “ladies man”, my shirt unbuttoned, no fat anywhere on my body. I had 3 girlfriends in the space of a few years. Hell I have a scar on the back of my head from when they fought over me outside the restroom, girls on each arm, as I struggled to escape, before they let go and I struck the rough brick wall.
Things went downhill around the 6th grade, the two girls I liked the best moved away, one right after the other, and I fell out of touch with the one I did not like so much, because when we kissed her lips were all prickly. It was the weirdest thing! Still I should never had treated her like I did, ignoring her, she was there the whole time, as each of the other girls left. Why is it we ignore the ones who have always been there for us? What the hell is wrong with us?
The thing is I can’t think of a single hero I had as a boy. A single man or woman I looked up to above all others. A single role model. A single thing I really wanted to be or do. I am thinking back, remembering to listening to music on the radio, but I am drawing a blank. Either I killed my dreams early on in life and blocked the memory of them from my mind, or those who raised me killed them. I do not criticize or judge. I lay no blame. I bear no bitterness or resentment.
If what I learned recently about myself is true, I have carried the burden of bitterness, hatred and resentment long enough. I have decided to act as if what I have learned is true and let all that shit go. It’s like a homeless person’s cart, being so attached to this thing I have to push around everywhere I go, afraid my stuff will be taken or worse, thrown away, always fearful, trying to protect things that, in all likelihood, only have value to me, and are garbage in the eyes of everyone else. I see no difference in that than in locking an iron ball to my ankle and walking around with it.
But it still makes me sad, as I look around at the life I am living, and really, I am just a step or two above that homeless person pushing their cart. The only difference between us is that I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back and food in my belly. That I can lock my door at night and feel safe. That I can sleep somewhere warm and comfortable. But very soon, in just a few months, I won’t even have these things, and I won’t have a shopping cart either. Just a bicycle, my bags and whatever I pack into them. Just the clothes on my back and in my bags. For as long as I have them.
I have had to manufacture dreams as I have forgotten my own, if I ever had them. I am alone in the world. Outside my family and friends I can count the number of on one had, I have no one. I have done nothing of any lasting, real value with my life, I have contributed nothing of any lasting, real value to the world. Maybe people will treasure my poems hundreds of years from now. More likely I will be forgotten in physical time.
Whatever dreams, ideas or visions I had as a boy they are as lost to me now as a balloon carelessly released in my childhood. It is unlikely I will ever find them again. Whatever words I have written here in this blog have to be questioned and scrutinized, tested in the forge of each reader’s individual experience. I hope I played the role of spiritual teacher well enough that some gold remains after these words have gone through the refiner’s fire.
The plain and simple truth of it is I fucked up. I can’t get back any of those early years. I have between 30-50 years left on this planet, and I can’t think of a single, solitary reason to continue living them. I can’t think of one thing to do with my life. The one dream I can remember, developed later in life as a teenager, was to work in the video game industry. I went to college and tried to learn how to program, and hit one of the first walls they put into place to weed out weaker students.
I failed, completely and utterly. In fact failure is the one thing throughout my life I have done, to use one of Adam Savage’s favorite words, “Spectacularly!” You don’t believe me? You doubt it? Well as additional proof let’s just say I and a certain movie that came out some years ago about a 40 year old man have a lot in common. I will let you use your imagination as to what I mean. I don’t have the courage to come right out and say it.
I am not sure what I am going to do now. I can’t find any acceptable painless ways to kill myself, and I don’t want to be even more of a looser (which I would see myself as being) by just giving up when I have not yet exhausted all other options. I would like to at least get out and explore the world a little. So many people around me just do not understand why I want to take this crazy, maybe even insane, bicycle trip down the Pacific Coast. They just don’t get it.
The only way to get anywhere is to move. It doesn’t matter in what direction, moving (or action if you prefer) is the key. I have to get out there and experience what out there is for myself! I have to have this direct experience of the world, see what happens, what I learn, and then I will be in a qualified position to make a final decision about my life, continuing it or ending it.
So many who would call themselves my friend, or say they care about me, do not like it when I talk about this. They refuse to respect my decision. They refuse to help me, consigning me to only painful ways of seeing it through, if that is what I choose to do. Maybe I could leave, as my legacy, these words as a message from everyone currently considering suicide, or who may consider it later. If you truly love us, let us go! Respect our decision and help us out so we don’t have to suffer through the process of death as much as we had to suffer through life.
Note that these words are spoken from the heart of a broken man trying very hard to superglue himself together. A man who is putting on a brave face for everyone who is concerned about him, who smiles and will try very hard to get you to laugh. Who wants everyone he cares about to be happy, who understands how much it would hurt them if he decided to take his own life.
A man who has weighed the pros and cons very carefully, and has been considering this, thinking about it, for 20 years or so. Someone of whom you can not say, “He didn’t think it through!” I have thought it through more than most anyone else in the history of mankind who has chosen a similar course of action, as far as I know. I don’t think many people take even 10 years to think about it. The act, by its nature, is somewhat spontaneous, driven by pain so great the only way out is death. One of my few gifts is a very high tolerance for pain.
These words I write here, and any words I may write in the future, are not written by the same man who started this blog. I suspect, I think I may even believe, that man was bitter and resentful at his parents for taking him out of school. He was playing a loving son role, but his sole motivation was to punish them for what they did. That man was also bitter and resentful at himself. He probably hated himself, and at least secretly hated his own parents. He punished himself by putting himself into the life he is currently living, and the physical form he is currently using. He drove people away, even his own friends, and isolated himself. He blamed everyone and everything else, even God, for his problems, and never took responsibility for the role he played in all of it.
That man died the day he opened his Nook and found the Tarot card Death. He realized that he needed to change, he had taken something that allowed him to see where he had gone wrong, and was already in the process of initiating the needed changes. This man, writing to you now, is the result of those changes.
When people tell you that, “People don’t change” never, for a single moment, believe it! That is complete and utter horseshit, and for whatever reason the media seems hell bent on making us believe this most terrible of lies, second only to the lie that we are not already perfect. People change all the time. Some people may choose not to. But change is inevitable in everyone’s life, without exception. Things happen all the time that cause us to have to change. I don’t think there has been a single human being in the history of our race that managed to live a full life without changing a single aspect of themselves.
If I leave one more thing of value, let me leave that. People can change, but only if they choose to. Change can not be forced, it must be chosen. Forced change will never stick. Marrying someone thinking they are some project you can work on, to make them someone else more compatible with you, will not work. It will end in failure and a lot of pain on both sides. It is perfectly OK to want someone to change. To desire them to be different or other than they are. Nothing wrong with a desire, any desire. But to try to force that change, or make that change occur, is not OK.
If you don’t like what you see in another person, instead of trying to change them, love and accent them exactly as they are, and work on yourself. Change your perspective of them and the story you tell about them. Tell the story of how they are the way you want them to be, not how they have never been or will never be what you wanted. That will create the space they need to change, if they choose to. But more likely, as you change your beliefs, feelings and thoughts about someone, you will begin to see them differently.
Always remember that you have all the power you need to change yourself, and no power at all to change anyone else!