I enter this as a person who works for a living and humbly, I offer my thoughts as a person who understands that choices matter. It is clear to me that the value of our choices are more important that we assume. However, youth is not always patient or understanding. We think; therefore, everything we think must be true, even if it is not true.
I offer this as a page from my old playbook in which I recognize life is more than a game of chance and everything we do is up to chance, which sometimes we take and other times we settle or give in. But more, I write this as proof to myself; to give myself a true vision of the life I lived and the doorway which is where I find myself now.
I write this without direction and in streams of consciousness, which means I am not monitoring or judging my words. I am only offering them.
If you’ll have them, that is.
Here I am, sitting in an office that does not belong to me,; yet, I have come here for more than a decade. I know where everything is. I know the contents of the drawers in the room. I know why I come here. I am here to exchange my time and my flesh for a wage that supports my living. I am here, Sunday morning, tired after a long night and thinking about the different trips I’d like to take in my life. But time is fleeting and moments like this or times of awareness are only as astounding as we allow them to be.
The city is cold, which is my reason for being here. The temperatures are below freezing which means my so-called “Day job” has requirements that I need to fill. After all, someone has to turn on the heat to warm the bones of tenants and their office spaces. That’s what I do. This is my day job, which I have been transitioning from in healthy stages of professional education.
I have been in this position since 1998, which to me is almost amazing. I am amazed to think that I have been doing the same thing for this long. I am dumbfounded to think that when I started, I assumed this plan was only temporary. I am here before you, literally in a state of disbelief to think that somehow now, I am more awake than before and open to the ideas of my life’s improvement.
They don’t know me. No one knows. I say the word “They” as a pronoun or more like an umbrella, in which so many people stand beneath and I lump them together in an all-inclusive judgment. They are them and I am me. You are you and together, our feet turn the world. They and them; they are the opposed and there they are. Opposing, grinning and growling, depending upon their point of view. And here I am and I am nothing like who they expect and to me, no one is the same as I used to believe.
I don’t need their world or their approval. I am passed the impasse and beyond the crossroads of young revolutions. I am ready, waiting and hopeful perhaps more hopeful now than when I was young or simply youthful. I am hopeful now and perhaps more; to which I say “More” with a sense of gusto and not bravado or pride. Instead, the masks and the disguises are no longer necessary. But more, the lugubrious lies and the long sad harangues are simply meaningless; as if I am an actor in a scene. Only, this is not a play and I have no time to greet the crowd with some great soliloquy.
I think of the people who I met when I started this job. And I was young then too, running around in my late 20’s and thinking that I had enough endurance to outlast the world. I remember me then, young as ever, misled and misguided and stuck in my misperceptions of life. I was too nervous. I was too frightened to admit when I didn’t know. I was too blind to see that I am human and so is everyone else.
There are people who chose their life and took their choices to their grave, thinking and wondering, “What would happen if I had turned left instead of right?”
Everyone has those thoughts. Or, at least I suppose most people do.
Do you even know what I’m talking about?
What would happen if I caught a later train? What would happen if I stayed a little longer or chose one idea instead of another?
I have seen so many different things since my time as an apprentice. Nearly 25 years. And all I can say is, “Wow.”
All I wanted was to find my place. I wanted to know where I fit. I wanted to know that I am someone deserving and that I fit; yet, all I was doing was trying to find my place in the circle. I wanted to know where I fit, which led me to walk around, questioning myself, everyone else and asking, “Is this it?”
I am older now and moving closer to a 25 year relationship with a job that I took because there was nothing to do at the time. I am 25 years into a work-life and my knees are not meant for bending. At least, not like they used to be. My back is not as strong and nor is my patience or tolerance as forgiving. I see the new generation and I watch them come in, following in their father’s footsteps, working with their hands and swinging wrenches the same as their fathers did and their fathers before them.
There is history here for me and I am neither blue collar or white. I am me. I am a person who has seen both sides of the fence. I have scars and war stories. I have moments that have happened; in which, had they not happened, I would never be the person who I am now.
I still want to find myself. I want to find my place in the circle. I want to find my spot and create my path, which is and will always be entirely up to me. I want to be stripped of doubt or worry and let go of the people-pleasing process. I want to stop taking my report card home and seeking the constant state of approval.
I have chosen to go about this honestly rather than those who I see, loud and verbose, complicated by their own schemes to impress or “Get the job.” I don’t want to do this to prove anything. Not anymore. No, I want to come to the realization that I already have the job.
I am me. Whether I am in an office or speaking in a roomful of people, hoping for a moment of their time with the desire to make them think, either way, I have come to this new plateau.
I have come to a new level of understanding. I have nothing left, except for this; me, you and my trick, which I have been building for a long time.
I have the numbers which represent my dreams and the need to find myself at a place where nothing is missed, there are no regrets and no reason to look back. At last, I want to find myself in the presence of mind that yes, this is exactly where I am supposed to be.
I want to remove doubt. I want to get rid of the muted rainbows of depressive thinking. No more blame. No more shame. No more guilt or regret. I want to arrive here at this moment where I realize everything has led me up to this moment. Right here, right now. And all would be a waste if I chose not to seize the day.
Seize the day.
What a concept . . .
Or Carpe Diem, a saying from the Roman poet, Horace or otherwise known as Quintus Horatius Flaccus whose work goes back to the time of Augustus.
Horace was born in 65 BC in Venosa, Italy. He died in Rome, eight years before the Anno Domini and still, the saying holds true.
Seize the day.
I like that.
Charles Bukowski once wrote, “Find what you love and let it kill you.”
I’ve found what I love; but me, I’d rather you give me life.