Here’s to a moment of honest introspection. Here’s to an honest inventory because at some point, and I’m not sure when or if this happens the same way for everyone else, but at one point, there comes a time when a decision is made. There comes a point where the realization of how things are and how we want them to be are incredibly different.
At some point, we look back at where we’ve been. We look around and we start to do a little fact checking. We look at the people in our life and realize the inaccuracies between what they say and what they do. We check the quality of our friendships and the necessity of bullshit phone calls or meetings, which in fairness, we can certainly live without.
At some point, loneliness is no longer a threat. The idea to stand up and walk away becomes more empowering than the ideas of finding a crowd or being part of a circle of friends.
There are times like say, take the sunset, for example, the sky is changing color and all is quiet. I am high above the world and standing alone and by myself on the roof of a building. The wind is blowing and neither the Downtown or the Uptown scene is important to me. I am high above the Kamikaze drivers that speed down the busy streets or the Kamikaze tourists that walk without paying attention.
There is no need for conformity here. There is nothing but the wind and the absence of noise. I like this. I like how the world below me is nothing else but the world below me. I like this because there were decades when the idea of me being alone was literally the most frightening thing in the world. The idea of me being on my own and without anyone was frightening, but yet, I can remember being in big crowds and being out with the people that I called friends, and yet, there I was, more alone than if I was in a room by myself.
I’m not sure when this hit me. I’m not sure if this hit me when I walked passed someone as if he were a complete and total stranger. Meanwhile, we used to be out on the town together. We laughed and we howled and we played the role. We fit the part, at least for a little while. We acted the way we acted until one of us learned the outfits could no longer fit.
I’m not sure if it was me that outgrew my friends or them that outgrew me. Or, maybe my tolerance for bullshit ran out, like sands in an hourglass that trickled way too slowly and for far too long because once the moment hit, I can remember thinking, “It’s about time!”
I’m not sure when I woke up. I don’t know if something significant happened or if the way I looked at people changed like the flick of a switch.
Maybe I was tired of the constant sarcasm. Maybe I was tired of worrying about the way I looked or if my outfit was right. Perhaps this was a long time coming. And perhaps this had nothing to do with bravery at all, but more so, I was simply too tired of pretending.
The lessons I learned are certainly unforgettable. I had to remember that everyone has their own agenda, which is fine. I had to learn not to take this personally. This is people being people. Besides, it is best to know this upfront. I had to learn it is important to believe people when they show me who they are. It is also important to believe them when they show me how they prioritize me in their life. rather than personalize this, I learned to accept it and act accordingly.
It is not deadly if something doesn’t work out or a plan doesn’t come together. It is not the end of the world if we part ways with someone.
Business is business. Life is life. And in the end, the view from places like say, the roof of a tall building is a good place to go with a cup of coffee.
It’s okay to be me. It’s okay to settle in and breathe out and forget the trails in my head. It is also okay to stop the blame we place on ourselves when someone else does something wrong.
If I had to pick, I suppose I’d say the best trick I ever pulled off was the time when I stood up from a table that I sat in for years. I pushed my chair back in and then I walked away without looking back, without worrying, and without wondering if anyone would miss me or even care.
There are times when I see people from my past. And there are times when I concern myself with their opinion or wonder if they think I look better or worse. There are times when I find myself encountering the senseless mind-fuck of me or them or the way they perceive me.
After a while, a time comes when the energy behind this is too draining. I’m too old now. I’m too tired. I am quite possibly at the second half of my lifetime, which means time is dwindling.
This means I only have so many days left. There is only so much time on the clock for me. In fact, there always was.
I just see this differently now. I had to become a priority. I had to find at least a shred of happiness and the games, the need for acceptance, and the acting “As if” was no longer a good choice for me.
I don’t have to bring my report card home anymore.
And it’s not such a bad thing, — being by myself, I mean.
The best part of walking away was that I didn’t feel alone or least of all, I didn’t worry about who my friends were or what they thought. At minimum, at least I was with trusted company.
I can say that I have travelled since then. I can say that the world did not stop because some of my relationships ended. I am still here and still capable, still growing, working, and still building.
I suppose the biggest threat to me standing up for myself and walking away was the fear of the unknown and the “What if” questions that come when we make irreversible decisions.
There was a person that told me to accept my role in this world. They told me that I would only amount to so much.
I’d never see what they saw or do what they did because I did not come from the same advantages as they did.
I took this personally and more accurately, I believed them. Then again, I know they’ve never seen the sunset from the Hollywood Hills. They never watched the sun go down at Imperial Beach or had a flight take them from one side of the country to the other because of a talent they had.
I know there is often pain in our history. More than anything, I know there is redemption in our future. We just have to keep moving, keep our focus, and more than anything, I just have to keep being me because being anything else is just a waste of time and life’s too short to waste time on things that are unimportant.