In order to find clarity, we have to create clarity, which means this part will take some housekeeping. This part will require honesty and personal inventory. Afterwards, this will come down to an honest assessment of the company we keep. This will cause us to recognize some of our behavior.
But, let’s keep this simple . . .
We are who we are. Am I right? Or, is it more accurate to say that we are the sum of our surroundings? We are the boundaries we keep. We are the friends we have and the job we have. We are the total of our family influence and the culture we come from. Is this it?
I suppose no one will ever know why, at least not specifically why things happen or why we feel the way we do — especially when we don’t want to feel the way we do; and yet, we still do.
We still think. We still feel and there is an aim to feel differently.
There is a desire to think otherwise but the thoughts keep coming. I say this with a distinct understanding. I say this because of my past that was unrelenting. There were people who would say, “Don’t think like that,” or “You’re just being paranoid,” but it wasn’t paranoia. Besides, there was a difference.
I understand that most people seldom see where they fit in their own equations. In all fairness, it would be great to say that no one ever gets hurt. No one ever says mean or hurtful things. Loved ones would always be in love. In a perfect world, no one would ever argue or have to.
No one would ever say an insensitive thing and we could smile and laugh and see things in our own special way. In a perfect world, everything would be perfect. No one would use passive/aggressive remarks to show their pain or hurt someone else in return. But to be clear, this is not a perfect world. We are all imperfect. We argue. We hurt. We assume and somehow, we seem to hurt almost preemptively. Then we submit to the pains of something that hasn’t even happened yet.
This one might get a little personal. Then again, all of this is personal to me. I suppose that as a young boy, I wanted to grow up to be big and strong, just like my Father. I wanted to be like him and to think like him. I wanted to know how to fix things the same way he knew how to fix things. He was my hero and to me, I looked at my Father with such admiration. I wanted to be charismatic, just like he was. I wanted to be able to talk to people the way he could or tell a story and make it just as interesting.
At last, I was free. Or, at least I was somewhat free. There were more steps that I would have to take but I was unaware of what those steps would be. I had no clue about the need for personal change or growth. I thought this is just the way life is.
I was alone, yes. I was uncomfortable as well. The small rooms in my tiny apartment were empty. There was nothing on the walls. There was nothing to absorb the sound or stop the echoing in the rooms. There were no decorations or anything of the sort. My kitchen was the smallest I have ever seen. The cupboards were empty with the exception of a few plates and a few utensils that were left behind by the previous tenant. I went from living in a large home with a two-car garage, an in-ground pool and a nanny’s quarters to a small, upstairs apartment in someone’s private home.
There are basic motivations in life. There are motivations to be, to think and to feel a certain way. There are also certain motivators to keep us moving in a preferred direction. Ideas and thoughts lead us to the end results of feelings and emotions, which trigger a sense of need, desire and urgency. Motivation is neither positive or negative. Instead, motivation is an energy source in need of direction. The direction of our energy depends upon our motivator as a primary drive.
There are undeniable truths about our life, which we often deny or try to overlook. In fairness, however, truth is always truth. Thoughts are only thoughts. Feelings are only feelings and fears are only fears.
Long ago, it was said to me that perception is not truth. Perception is only true to the one that perceives it is true. To which I say the truth is if someone believes an idea of thought, wholeheartedly and repeatedly, then this becomes their truth.
As a kid, the most common answer to the question “Why?” was a simple “I don’t know.”
I would always say the same thing.
Why’d you do it?
“I don’t know.”
I would look away with a lost expression on my face. I remember the time I threw a rock that unintentionally hit a car window. I was about seven or maybe eight at the time. I ran away but someone told on me. And sure as hell, I was asked “Why’d you do that?” to which I replied, “I don’t know.”
Jesus, I say. Where did the time go?
There was a little sleepaway camp somewhere up in the mountains of a little upstate town with a lake and docks and a little beach area with screaming kids, running around and lo and behold, I was one of them.
There are pictures of this somewhere. There are pictures of me, little and small, innocent and pure.
There is a song I listen to sometimes. I watch a video that comes with it, which is not the artist’s video but still, the video fits the feeling. This is not a music video at all. Instead, this is someone that put their home video to the song by Jerry Garcia, which is absolutely perfect.
I use this combination of music and video to detach for a while. I let the music set in so I can unwind. I watch the old video because it reminds me of a time, like when we were young and the world was more of a technicolor place to me. the 70’s were the times. The Old Man had sideburns and people wore shirts with wide collars. We were approaching the 80’s and me, I was this little hopeful kid, just trying to find my way.