WARNING: My writing can be sarcastic, profane, irreverent, wise-cracking, and somewhat serious, sometimes all in the same paragraph.
As we begin a new year, I looked back and asked myself, what I have learned?
The first answer that came to my mind was I’ve learned things about myself with a depth and a clarity I’ve never had before. Over the last eight and a half years since I turned forty in May 2014, I’ve had what I call ‘moments of clarity’. A moment of clarity for me is when a thought comes to my mind with perfect sight and sound. These moments come like the calm after a storm, lifting weights of shame and guilt off of me that I had no business taking on in the first place. And in this past year, they’ve brought healing to me, something I never believed was possible before now.
In the past year, my moments of clarity came to me as I asked questions and found all the answers I could. Then I dealt with those answers no matter how painful they were sometimes.
So here are my key moments of clarity that have come to me over the past year:
From the question, what holds people back more than anything and its answer, other people, came this moment of clarity:
Not every single person is going to like everything I say, write, or do. And I’ve accepted that even as I believe people are free to say or do what they want in response to me. But I’m also just as free to respond to anyone in any way I choose to.
This moment of clarity came from one prior to that:
I’m not responsible for pulling someone’s head out of their ass. That is not my purpose in life nor is it anyone else’s. If a person has their head up their ass, it’s up to them to pull it out.
And that moment of clarity dovetailed into this:
I’m not responsible for appeasing someone’s butthurt feelings if I’m not doing anything wrong, or being cruel, insensitive, thoughtless, or acting without conscience, empathy, or compassion. If I’m not doing something wrong and someone has a problem with that, it’s not mine to deal with.
In the past year I feel like I’ve been living and working in a vacuum. I haven’t had a lot of feedback on what I’ve said or written, and I have wondered if it’s because of the ‘don’t fuck with me’ vibe I’ve honed to perfection. If so, then that’s one less piece of bullshit I have to deal with. And again, I’ve accepted that and am now moving forward in my life.
Now before I go any further I want to share something my late father used to tell me a lot:
The vast majority of people in this world are good people. Don’t let the few assholes in this world ruin things for you.
I’ve spent most of my life trying to be everything to everyone and failing miserably because that’s not possible. I’ve spent too much time trying to appease people to try and keep them from hurting me more than they already did. Appeasement and people-pleasing are not possible, and I’ve accepted that. And to anyone who has ever told me that if I live my life on my terms I’ll end up all alone I will say this: no one knows what the future will be for anyone.
All my life I’ve been told I can’t do things before I even attempted to do them by people who said they had my best interests at heart. My father was one of them though he also used to say to me, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. The thing was these people were talking from a complete lack of knowledge and experience. Or as I like to say, they were talking out of their asses. And as to why that was doesn’t matter at all and isn’t worth thinking about in any way, shape, or form. Because as I read somewhere recently, if you don’t know something you can learn about it.
And at this point if you’re reading this and your back is coming up and you want to lash out at me and say I’m just out for pity or sympathy, or I’m just trying to be seen as a martyr: ask yourself why you and think and feel this way and keep asking until you find all the answers you can. But I will give you a warning: you might not like all the answers you find, and sooner or later you will have to deal with them. I don’t say this in order to hurt, just the opposite. I say it in the hope that it will keep someone else from being hurt like I’ve been.
Accepting that I’m not perfect, that I can’t be everything to everyone, that I can’t spend my life appeasing people, and most of all, accepting myself as I am- good, bad, ugly, and anything in between lead to something I never thought was possible: healing.
For me, healing is finally feeling pain easing off. It’s knowing I can learn and grow as a person, and that I can weather the storms of life and inside myself and come out in the light. It’s accepting that good can’t exist without bad, and that pain can’t exist without happiness. The Universe likes balance and when you find that balance then you can truly move forward in your life.
So. for the coming year I will be learning and growing, taking life one day at a time, and working towards my goal of living and working from the road.
And this is one from the road…