Well, this is me three weeks in. Twenty-four years have passed since I last actively tried to learn something and become a productive member of society. Not that I haven’t been one all this time, but I will be the first to admit I have spent all this time living well below my potential. Then again, I think the same could be said for many of us. Whether it’s from living in fear of failure if we try and fall short or just simply circumstances put us in positions we can’t seem to fight our way out of, it is the rare human being who actually gets to become the person they thought they’d be as a kid. Sometimes it’s just easier to let expectations slide and give in to staying as you are.
Thing is. I couldn’t be that person anymore. Not that I didn’t like myself, because for the most part I did. I just didn’t like the things he/me were willing to accept. I once had dreams, and over the years I let most of those dreams die. I let art sink into the shadows. Lately, I’ve let my writing follow the same path. It took these three weeks being back in school to show me why.
I had no purpose in my life. I won’t say I had no reason to get up in the morning, but it was close. I had no reason to be the best I could be. Call it a midlife crisis if you want, but now, I know I need a reason to go forth and be me. Yeah, that sounds about right, but it’s true. Age doesn’t dull the need to strive to be a better person, a better you. If anything the older we get, the more we need to find purpose. Without it, we stall and can’t move forward. We can’t become the best us possible.
And, don’t think that ever happens. Humanity is an evolution unto ourselves. We evolve as a race, and we evolve individually. When we stop seeking knowledge we stop being. We simply exist without the ability to live or to drive to new heights. That in no way means it’s an easy process, or doesn’t come with a certain amount of fear. Trust me it does.
Over the past three weeks, I’ve questioned this decision more than once. It’s hard to accept you don’t know as much as you thought you did. Worse still it’s hard to think there are some things out there that can beat you mentally. Again, trust me there is, and those things have kicked my butt. Being stubborn and having some amazing family and friends, I refuse to give up. Might be better to say my support group refuses to let me quit. I’ve heard it said that it takes a village to raise a child. In this new day, let me add this, it takes an internet community to keep a middle aged man on the right track.
It is humbling to realize that you can’t do it all yourself. You can’t even get twenty-five percent done without someone or several someones hanging around to never let you forget you’re a little bit better than you give yourself credit for being. On the other side of that, you need someone to let you know you’re not as smart as you think you are either. That one there should be the number one thing every person needs in their live. It is so easy to become full of your own potential that you forget you haven’t got there yet. Looking back over my life, I can point to several parts of my timeline where I should have had that person in my life. Sadly, I have even more instances where I did, and was too full of myself to listen to their sage advice. I probably still have that problem. Before I end this paragraph let me say this, someone reminding you that you don’t know everything isn’t the same as someone telling you that you don’t know squat. Never let someone tell you that you can’t do something you want because you’re not good enough. You are! So let you dictate your worth and never allow someone else put a price tag on how much you affect the course human events.
I’m sure there’s more in me to say about myself, but I’m not in the mood. Honestly, no one should be forced to listen to that crap. I don’t believe half of myself in any case. Why should you?
I do ask you to allow me to paint an example for you. In my life I’ve been a success, a failure, a son, a father, a boy and a man. I’ve been alone, and I’ve had the love of my life. Now, at the age of forty-seven, I have an old dream made new. I’m going to be a teacher someday. It isn’t the maybe that I kept talking about to convince myself I could do it if I ever got time. No, it’s the time now, and I will do it. I might screw up, but I will never be able to say I didn’t at least try.
So when you think you’re too old to try something, remember old J. Morgan. He was stupid enough to try and hopefully will be crazy enough to succeed. I kinda like the sound of that.
Until next time, Happy Reading!