Wrong Turn

01Jul08

Maybe I need to invest in a Garmin GPS. I have what I’d consider to be a very good – or at least significantly above-average, for what that’s worth – sense of direction. I know major streets, I can keep track of which way is north, and if I don’t know a specific location I’m confident enough to circle the drain at it without getting worse off. This works alright most of the time, when navigating somewhere in the world, but it’s a severe detriment when speaking in an allegorical sense.

Since about fifteen months ago I set out on an honest crusade to be who I want to be, on my own terms, set high expectations for myself, meet every one of them, and fail to give a damn about what anyone else had to suggest for me. I’m succeeding brilliantly, I’m living up to my goals, I have the life that I told myself I wanted and I’m every bit as optimistic for the future as I like my present station. Things are looking up. But there’s something wrong, and I don’t know what, exactly. I’m coming to terms with the fact that I lied to myself about some very crucial details.

Become the change you wish to see in the world. – The Buddha

I am so dangerously close to being the person that I decided I wanted to be, and it scares me, because I’m realizing that I don’t want it. I’m missing something, or I got a part of the recipe a little bit wrong. I measured the salt in tablespoons instead of teaspoons, and it’s hard to pretend the product isn’t too salty. I wanted to go to Portland, but ended up in Seattle, and instead of bike lanes I got Starbucks. Those are great metaphors but in this instance, I don’t know where the problem is. I feel that I’ve fallen into another cycle of meeting expectations that aren’t mine; maybe this time, I’m pegging myself or taking something too far and forgetting where I started. I’m afraid that I wouldn’t like myself if I were another person. 

So I’ve got to do it again. I need to evaluate who I really am and who I want to be, what I want to be known for, the words I want to describe myself with, the little details that I glossed over the first time around. I don’t know how or where to start, or what I want, but I need to figure it out. I am so close, I’ve gotten flashes of it, manic episodes of lucidity only to be lost again.

Act instead, there’s no life living in your head; why not let it go? – Neal Morse

I have always wanted to be a writer; I need to write more – that was a flash right in that sentence. Perhaps writing will save me, and get what I know to be true out of me and into the world. I want to be a musician but I have no talent. Why is that stopping me? I realized tonight, having a cup of coffee and a cigarette alone, that I don’t love anyone at all in the world. That’s a mistake. I don’t know what else. I wish to be known for making wonderful things, and I do so with some regularity; why am I not as good as what I do?

A step backwards, after making a wrong turn, is still a step in the right direction – Dr. Paul Proteus

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