Getting it right

Had a lovely chat with one of my neighbors tonight — she said I look a million times better than I did when I left town more than three weeks ago. I wondered how I could look better, when Shan and I hit every buffet on the West Coast and mom and I hit every restaurant in Pittsburgh proper and then some. But Neighbor Lady said I looked relaxed, content, younger. 😉

And it was nice to hear all of it. And it made me understand that maybe I am indeed clever instead of lazy for putting off the worrying about my future that I should be doing right now. I’m not worried right now. I don’t have it in me. I just believe that everything will work to my advantage eventually.

Ages ago, my mom dated someone whom I admired because I felt like I was just like him. He did exactly what (and, unfortunately, who, which is why they aren’t together anymore) he wanted, when he wanted. He didn’t let logic and reason and responsibility hold him back. He lived each day as if it were his last. He feared nothing. He savored everything. He apologized to no one. He radiated mischief and glee. I idolized him — he could charm even the most stoic individuals. No matter what he did or how much he screwed up, he landed on his feet.

And so will I.

Life is a series of events that we have to live through. Really. That’s it. I have worked every day since I turned 18, and I had odd jobs up until that point since age 16. I’m tired. I know it sounds cliche, but I really gave every ounce of effort to anything I tried to accomplish. I don’t do anything half-assed — once I sign up for something, you can count on me to take it to the moon. Same with my friendships — I get out when I realize that they aren’t giving the same effort as I am; likewise, if I feel I’m unable to reciprocate as fully as I should, I bail out of courtesy. In any event, all this emotional investment in every aspect of my life, my friends, has left me exhausted.

I spent the last few weeks thinking (and thinking some more), partly about where I’ve gone wrong in my life, but more so about where I can go … and go right. And I realized that I am my own biggest obstacle — I can talk myself into or out of anything, and those are usually the wrong things. I can justify any shopping trip or moment of slackerdom, and while rewards are important, well, I overdo it sometimes because I am compensating for some moment of loneliness or nursing some hit to my confidence.

It’s ironic, really, to be growing up so much at 30, when I thought I’d finished maturing in my teens. I think that’s why I never lose steam completely — I realize that no matter how badly I mess up, I could have done a lot worse and I’ve got to save my energy for the millions of things I’m going to fuck up in the future. But I also know that I’ve gotten a lot right, and I’m going to get even more things right throughout the rest of my journeys.

Anyway, all of my thinking and my series of self-epiphanies have also exhausted me, but in a good way. I feel like I am being handed an opportunity to have a completely new life, in every respect. I’ve spent a lot of time not liking me, and that has to change. Being me hasn’t been so bad, really. It could have been better, and it still can be. These days, my smiles are more genuine and my heart is wide open. And that’s not a bad start to filling the self-imposed moat that I’ve typically chosen to construct around me. I just have to do some damage control and convince some people that there are not, in fact, sharks in the moat and that it’s safe to get close to me — I won’t bite anyone who reaches out to me, at least, not unless they’re into that sort of thing! 😉

On iTunes: Dave Matthews Band, “Crush”

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