Before you go on with this (and I hope that you do) I want to be clear that this note to self is a personal pep-talk on a day that has particular meaning to me; however, if we could all put our therapist hats away for a moment and skip the judgment and suggestion part, I think that my ideas below are relatable. So, without any further hesitation, here we go. . . .
Good morning, world. And here I am.
Today means that I have traveled around the sun 49 times. The question I find myself asking is what have I learned? What have I seen? And of course, what have I done?
I have traveled around the sun on this huge conveyor belt that we call earth and each year, I change a little bit. I grow. I learn some and I forget some. But mostly, I see myself as a traveler. Yes, this is me.
I am a searcher. Or wait, no. As a matter of fact, we are all searchers. I grant the idea that we are not all searching for the same thing. But maybe we are. At least, maybe we are in some ways. Maybe we all have different dreams and directions but whether we search together or apart; still, we are all on the hunt for life. We want to live. We want to find what fits us the best. Where will we end up? Who will we be when we are old and gray? Or wait, no. Who will we be when we are young and capable and better yet, how do we keep being young even when youth has passed away?
Maybe we are all searching for the one undeniable thing called “Self” and each year, we modify our search. Each year we ask Google two trillion questions but yet, we somehow overlook the simplest, yet, the most important questions of all.
Questions like, who am I?
What have I done?
What have I seen?
What have I learned?
This is me. I have my outfit. I have my background and my culture. I have my own DNA and my own fingerprints, which means that no matter what, I can never be repeated or duplicated. (And for the record, neither can you.)
It is clear to me that as searchers, we are always on the hunt for what seems to be the want-able ideas but yet, we are often looking for the unknowable or the unforeseeable. We have this picture in our minds. We have this vision in our hearts and more and more, as we move along, we adjust our sights. We modify our vision and adjust our settings. Along the way, we see and we learn. We find ourselves chasing this idea of status; otherwise known as the great, “Who am I really?” question; in which case, we often look with our eyes closed; as if to feel for something that is beyond our sight.
I do not know if this is what I expected to look like at 49. I do not know if I expected to be where I am, which is in a small hotel room at a special convention to learn more about mental health and addiction—which is something that I’ve managed to move beyond. I am not someone who chooses to identify myself by my dilemmas but instead; I only identify myself as me. I am who I am. My goal in life is to learn to identify each and every aspect of who I am. My goal is to put down the swords and the shields and to allow myself the peace of mind that I have always been searching for.
Along the way, I can say that I have seen some incredible things. And no, I have never seen the Fjords like William Burroughs told the poet Jim Carroll to do. I have never seen Tahiti. I’ve never seen the sun go down in Montana, but yet, I have seen people open their eyes after being brought back to life. I know this because I am one of them —perhaps more figuratively than literally but still; I know what this feels like.
In fact, yesterday, I saw someone who couldn’t clean up from Heroin for more than a few days and yet, now he is clean for more than seven months and living in sunny California.
Is this my status?
The answer is no.
Instead, this is a small but intricate piece of my journey.
I’ve seen the world through my eyes. I have come to the realization that my focus on status has been misdirected by commercialized opinions, thoughts and ideas. I don’t have to prove myself. I don’t have to bring my report card home anymore. I have learned that people are all trying to find their comfortable outfits to accentuate their life as best as they can. And as for me, the outfit that I wear is suited perfectly for me.
When I was younger, I wanted to live in a certain type of house. When I was young, I wanted the prestige of living a certain kind of life. I saw people and looked at them through the eyes of envy. I wanted to perfect my craft so that I can pull off my trick and manage to find the life that fits me best.
Does my life not suit me?
Or better yet, how could my life possibly not suit me? How could this not fit me — especially when this is me. I am a vessel. I am a traveler in this program in search of the undying truth, which I already know.
I know there is only one truth. Any variation of this becomes an opinion or a derivative of truth—but in my search for peace and personal divinity; I have traveled and back-peddled; I have tried to fast forward but found myself rewinding back to old protocols and subconscious maps that were consistent with me repeating myself.
I was told to give it away to keep it—and what does that mean?
What is “It” anyway?
I suppose this means different things to different people.
To me, I have to give up my search in order to find what I am looking for. I have to stop posing and pretending and instead, I have to start living and understanding that who I am is who I will always be. Since this is so, rather than fight with myself or overthink and overreact; I have to learn to accept and adapt. I have to learn that my focus on job titles and positions and whether I live by the shore or in the mountains are truly insignificant to my overall happiness. I say this because put simply—I could have all of my dreams come true tomorrow but if the novelty of my dreams wear off then what? So, there is obviously more to the scene.
Good morning, Self.
And Happy Birthday.
Today marks 49 years around the sun.
You are far more than you ever believed you could be.
Now, having said that:
Imagine how far you could’ve gone if you actually believed in yourself.
Do you get it?
Yes. I think I do.
Now go and believe.
Oh, and stop overthinking.
It hurts the soul.
Happy Birthday, Benny.