“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
I have learned through the years to accept and have gratitude for the steps I took as a kid. My path was rocky and full of twists and turns. I took difficult circumstances and turned them into overwhelming disaster. Figuratively and literally; I was dramatic. I insisted on learning truths on my own, accepting that I would face consequence without REALLY knowing how seriously devastating that could be. I wanted to experience EVERYTHING; from this side and that, right side up and upside down, inside and out. I chose to open doors and walk through, even though I knew what I was about to embark on may have been morally and personally WRONG. I numbed myself in every imaginable way; that was the only way to get up and look in the mirror some days. I turned myself off and “decided” that I really didn’t care anyways.
“Curiousity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous mind.” – Samuel Johnson 1751
I had younger friends who were taken in by the stories I had to tell; even some of the older friends, family and even one of my (too young) counselors all seemed to be (of course shocked and amazed) mesmerized, in a sense, with the things I had to share. There was an air of excitement that seemed to be given to the tales of my mis-adventures! I had an audience that wanted more; I was doing things that were taboo and, we all know how as human beings we LOVE to know more about what others are doing, ESPECIALLY when it’s of the dangerous/naughty nature! As much as they were interested in the goings on of my life, I too was curious; I HAD to know how the “Other Side” lived and why they did what they did. I couldn’t settle for what was expected, required or demanded; I needed to know and feel more than that.
“No one can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude without finally getting bewildered as to which may be true.” – Hawthorne
It wasn’t ME though. I was playing a part; I had taken on a ROLE with my entire heart, soul and body. I KNEW that the majority of my actions were not coming from my authentic self and I knew that I was the one DOING these things; yet I couldn’t seem to find my way out of the tumbleweeds. I, of course, got tired and worn out; pretending takes more of a toll on a person than when they are coming from a genuine place. I knew that I couldn’t continue down the road I was on.
“We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.” – Carlos Castaneda
I was very “depressed” in those days and could NEVER seem to “see the light at the end of the tunnel.” All of the things that I had wanted and tried to think, believe and feel weren’t “working” for me and I began to doubt it ALL. Finally, I began to see that I WAS and COULD BE so much greater than the things I was doing.
“Doubt is often the beginning of wisdom.” – Dr. M. Scott Peck
Although it has taken many years, and, in many ways I am still working on it, I slowly began to see the experiences that I lived through as lessons. I began to appreciate the moments in time for what they truly were; gifts of understanding and knowledge. As I get back to my writing, I find myself examining things on a much deeper level and am finding new perspectives and appreciations in every place that I look. Everything that I have gone through has brought me to the place I am now at in my life, which means that I have a lot to be thankful for. I KNOW how much I have grown and can now, honestly, begin to attribute that to some of the hard times and the people that I used to think deserved not a second thought. I DO NOT regret a single moment.
I sometimes don’t understand why I do what I do in the moment; the choices I make confuse and stun even me at times. At the end of the day, it all makes perfect sense.