What have I done with my life?

Or maybe I should ask what has become of my life, because it seems to have slipped away. Oh, I’m healthy, but that’s just a technical matter. I’m not talking about the strength of my body, but the condition of my soul. I have made a lot of compromises, and I am trapped in the consequences, and now I look around and I wonder if it has been worth it. It’s gotten to the point that I’m afraid even to say what I want in my life, afraid that I will seem foolish, impractical, a dreamer. I’m running like the fox in a hunt, and the hounds are closing in. Will it end with me in a tree, paralyzed, or will I find an escape?

At this moment, I don’t know. And this is all before the real darkness of winter has set in.

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8 Replies to “Desperation”

  1. Larry, Only with age does a person realize the hollowness and myth making most people believe in and spend time trying to deal with isn’t real. All of a sudden the lies and misdirections become understandable and the Big Question slaps you with, “What have you done with your life?”

    You realize you can’t course correct after the fact and what is the “now” is what you’re stuck with… for better or worse.

    I think sensing mortality is a bit of cold water followed by course corrections which include a few, “screw you” and “I’m in free-fall, where’s my chute?”

    I figure to more or less say, “Ha ha, the cosmic joke is on me.”

    The worst part is considering all the could-haves and should-haves … those thoughts will never forster peace of mind. I know, I’m attempting to let that stuff go.

  2. I had nightmares about being stuck on an extremely high roller coaster last night. Penned in. I feel like it may be related in a way. Hope the emotional walls open up to a beautiful horizon for you, Larry.

  3. I think this is a difficult question (and you’ve read my blatherings on it as well). I think that we have high expectations, and high hopes; we–meaning you, me, most of the readers here–seemed to have taken care of many of Maslow’s hierarchy needs, and so we expect(ed) ourselves to Do Something. And, for a multiplicity of reasons, the Something appears to be a lot of little nothings, all piled up, like the dirt excavated to make room for our coffins.

    But I think we also expect too much from ourselves sometimes. No, we’re not on the verge of homelessness. Yes, we have jobs, and health insurance, and whateverthefuck. Sometimes we’ve even been able to carve out space for Fun–playing music, or baking, or dancing, or reading, or writing–and we wonder what we might have done if we’d had more time for that, if we’d somehow magically Made It a Priority. But the stuff we’ve had to do can just be overwhelming sometimes; moreso than we credit, because we’ve been led, and led ourselves, to believe that we coulda/shoulda Done More.

    Maybe I’m making excuses for myself, but I’m coming to believe that trying to be a kind person, and succeeding at least sometimes; doing things that are fun (making music, making food) for us and for others; sharing what we have in ways that make the people around us a little happier . . . those are all Good Things. They’re not big things, and they’re not measurable things, but they ARE Good Things. And I have to say, Larry, that you have, in fact, directed Good Things in my direction, when I’ve most needed someone to reach out.

    I love you, man.

  4. So I guess we all hit this interlude in our lives — assuming we’ve survived this long — when we wonder what in hell we did with the last half-century or so. We’re even kind of stunned that we can even apply the term “half-century” to ourselves. Some of us have lost parents and siblings and dear friends to disaster or disease. Many of us are staring our own puny mortality in the face. And we can’t help but ask, plaintively, “where did the time go? How did I miss my life? What will I do now?”

    Fact is, we haven’t missed anything. We’ve lived our lives to the best of our abilities. We’ve done all the things we were able to do (if not all the things we wanted to). We have a half-century or more of hard-learned lessons under our belts; a half-century of laughter, of kindness, of slights done and slights received. We’ve LIVED, and if we’re lucky we’ve loved, and if we’re luckier still, we’ll keep on doing just that for the next half-century or so.

    But now we’ll take each day just a little differently. We’ll stop now and then to notice the here and now, to spend some time laughing with strangers and make sure we see more of our friends. We know already how easy it is to sleepwalk through our days, and armed with that knowledge, we’ll try harder to stay awake. To stay here, in the now, instead of in the indefinite and treacherous future.

    Larry, my friend, you’re walking the road in good company. May your journey bring you joy.

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