The older I get the more I realize what living a life means. It means really fantastically wonderful, make you want to scream at the sheer joy of living times and seriously suck-ass bad, make you want to scream and curl up in the fetal position times. It means going through the motions when you don’t want to. Giving to people when you think you just don’t have it in you to give. It means becoming a person you’d like to hang out with.
How do we do this? Become that person? Through observation, trial and error. Through making mistakes and forgiving ourselves for those mistakes and, here’s the really hard part, forgiving others for their mistakes. Through realizing that each of us do the best we can with the circumstances that are in front of us. And I’m not talking about the really evil people; we all know who they are.
After Half a Century You Learn Some Stuff
You do, you learn. I look at my parents, people I admire and others who’ve hurt me and I them, through an objective lens. The good and bad experiences, people who have had a major affect on the tragectory of my life. I know now, with a surety, that we all were doing the best we could at the time.
I realized this more after my Dad died. I can remember thinking sometimes when I was younger, he wasn’t always “there” for me. He always was, in his way. I thought this when I was younger, when I thought I’d have him forever.
That’s what you do when you’re young, as you should and as you’re learning life’s lessons. Learning who those people are who really know you. The ones that look you in the eye and have the strength to tell you if you’re effing up or doing it right. The ones you can call in the middle of the night.
At my Dad’s funeral, I talked to people who knew him when he was a boy, a teenager, a young man. I talked to him at his bedside, really talked to him. I learned who he was. Before he was my Dad. Just him, as a man. An artist. A person who wanted to do wonderous, great things. He did some and didn’t do others. I wish I’d learned this earlier, but regrets, like hindsight, can eat you up or set you free. I choose the latter.
The Path to Greatness — It’s All How You Look at It
Aren’t we all like that? Don’t we all want to aspire to greatness? We have dreams and they may change as we age, but there is always this something inside us, that we aspire to do. It’s personal and beautiful and unique for each of us.
Here’s the rub: In the grand scheme of things, whether we do or don’t do them (in our wildest dreams of that thing) doesn’t matter. We do do some of that greatness here and there, throughout our lives, in small measures and some times, big flashy ones. There’s a quote I like, written in my book of quotes that I have and refer to: The road is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself. Something like that, but very true.
Each of us has a greatness that shines. Terrific things that we’re proud of — tell people about. Put on our resumes. Think about it right now. Really think about it and you’ll find that you’ve reached that “greatness” already. Whether it’s a portion or sliver of that dream, you had and maybe still have, you’ve done it or are doing it right now. Maybe it’s everything you thought it would be or maybe that thing has changed.
All that matters is that we are at peace with our decisions, mistakes, successes and so-called failures. Where we are right now, at this time in our life. Because really, that’s all we got — right now.
Dreams — They Come and They Go
We live some dreams and let go of others. It’s about who we love and who loves us back. Each person, each experience molds us into becoming who we are and hopefully someone we, ourselves, would love to hang out with.
That’s what I try to do anyway. When I look at myself in the mirror and see the changes there, I try to be gentle with myself. This me, right now. Because I’ve lived some amazing experiences and some dreams I had came true. I know I’ve got many ahead of me and new aspirations as well.
What’s even more important, I look at me in the mirror and think to myself on really good days, “You’re okay. You’re someone I’d like to hang out with.”
That’s pretty freaking great in my book.
Happy Monday everyone and enjoy some Stones.
What are some of your dreams of greatness? What dreams of yours have come true? Have they changed over the years? Share and don’t hold back — go big as if you could do anything if given the time and means to do so. Tell it, baby — tell me yours and I’ll tell you mine.