For as long as I’ve lived, I have never been anyone else but me. Although there were times when I tried to be someone else—the truth is I could never be anyone else but me.
Over the years, I have changed several times. My tastes have changed. My opinions have changed and my views on life and society are much different now than they were, say like, 10 or 25 years ago.
I have gone through several phases in life. Through each phase, my personality changed and my behavior did as well. I’ve grown enough to shed layers of old habits and layers of old skin. I’ve not only aged, I’ve matured, and in some cases, I’ve improved along the way. I have the benefit of hindsight and experience, but I am still guilty of repeating the mistakes of my past.
Thankfully, my fashion sense has changed throughout the years. I dress differently. Perhaps I should say my style has matured. My choice of clothing is different and the same goes for my choices in cologne, which is a good thing. Otherwise, I would still smell from the colognes that date back to the 1980’s with names like Eternity or worse, Drakkar Noir.
My opinions on music, art, and films have certainly grown. Now that I’ve grown, I have more of an extensive taste for different versions of art. Perhaps, this is something I always appreciated; however, now that I am less afraid or intimidated by the influence of others, I am free to appreciate whatever I enjoy.
Throughout the course of life, my hair has been long and short, shaven, and spiked. My waistline has certainly changed. I have lost and gained weight. There was a short stint of time when I had facial hair on my chin. And there was a time when my sideburns were long. There was a time when my sideburns were short or shaven down to a fashionable stubble.
I have changed jobs and home addresses. I have lived in big homes and in small places. I have seen both sides of financial, spiritual, and emotional bankruptcy. More accurately, I have lived, loved, lost, and in different ways on different occasions, I have stood on the shore of an empty beach; my arms outstretched and upwards to the Heavens in order to submit and supplicate myself to a greater power. Or, if nothing else, I submitted my scream to the distant sea with hopes that the anonymity of ocean waves could take my contempt and wash it away in the outgoing tide.
I have stood on mountain tops with a plea in my heart while feeling stranded and shaking my fist at the sky. And here too, I stood on the tall rocky peak with my face lifted upward towards the sky. I screamed with all my might.
I asked out loud. “Why?”
Why is life this way?
Why was am I this?
And please, will someone tell me why everything needs to be so goddamn difficult?
Through it all; regardless to my looks, behavior, location and surrounding; I have always been me. Whether I was happy or unhappy; as long as I’ve been alive, I have only been me and nobody else
I admit to the times that I wanted to be someone else. There were times when at my worst, I wanted to be anyone but me.
I have run away in both the figurative and literal sense of the word. I have run from my past. I ran from my problems and found them always trailing behind me. I could not get beyond the reach of my addiction. I could not escape depression or my learning disabilities and a long list of other emotional discomforts.
I ran for a very long time. But no matter where I was or how far I ran; no matter how fast I tried to move or hide—no matter where I’d go, I was always right there. Always . . .
People ask why I write the things I write or do the things I do. I write what I write because this is all true. These are honest aspects of me. In the later portion of my life with my youth behind me, I would like to remain as I am and not allow myself to be fooled by the whispers of doubt or insecurity. I do not write for the critics or for pity. I write because I honestly believe in my words.
I have survived and endured. This is something no one can take away from me. I have been called stupid and told that I would never be worth anything. I was told I was a failure and that I would always be a failure.
Someone who I once called a friend told me that I would never be as successful as him. “It’s not fair for you to compare yourself to me because you will never be in my position.”
“It’s not fair for you to do that to yourself because you’ll never have what I have.”
“I come from money,” he told me. Then he bragged about the money in his family. He bragged about his family business, his home, and his family’s toys
Meanwhile, the person who told me this (and he said this on more than one occasion) lives in a trailer that’s parked in a Kmart parking lot. His family business is gone and bankrupt. And me? Well, I’m not in a mansion, but as I write to you, I am comfortably sitting in the upstairs loft of my home and typing away in a place that I worked hard to gain.
After coming to the understanding that I needed to push myself away from the people, places, and things that kept me sick; I decided that I never wanted to be hinged upon or live my life contingent upon a happiness that was more important than my own.
Equally as honest, the bravest thing I ever said to myself is, “This is me!” As a result, I wholeheartedly accepted my flaws and imperfections.
And now, instead of pleading to be someone else, I’d rather be as I am. I’d rather grow as me than shrivel while trying to be like someone else.
This is me
Perfectly flawed and wonderfully imperfect
This is who I am