Here’s the thing, and you may as well buckle up because this one will be a bit of a rant. I am who I am. I spent a good portion of my youth being someone I wasn’t meant to be. And that’s a horrible way to live, even as a child. As we grow into adulthood, there’s always this great expectation that we’ll conform to certain societal norms and kowtow to the masses. But realistically, we don’t live in that kind of world anymore. And with the advent of social media and the internet, it doesn’t take long for anyone who tries to suppress any individual’s thoughts, beliefs or lifestyle to be swiftly and sometimes radically, put in their place.
I take stock of who I was in my youth (my youth includes both childhood and my teens) and I recognize that I had a lot of work to do. Sure, I studied the martial arts and I worked on my health. But there were a lot of hiccups along the way. I was quiet and withdrawn. I didn’t associate with the world very much, which I’ve come to feel has damaged opportunities and taken away certain options I COULD have had in life. I made myself content with staying in my small corner of the world and ignoring the rest of it, all while doing karate and enjoying my few, small pleasures.
It wasn’t until I reached adulthood and took ownership of certain personal choices that I finally began to open up. Most people who know me now would likely be taken aback by the quiet, pliable and compliant individual I was throughout my youth. Considering how loud and larger than life I tend to be now, all thanks to my specific heritage, no doubt, I think it would come as a shock to most people who knew me “back then.”
What got me here? Honestly, I’ve screwed up during my life. A lot. I’ve made mistakes and errors in judgement that I’ll never be able to take back and that have had real and measurable consequences on the way my life has turned out. I’ve made poor and even bad choices. and have lost friends and loved ones due to my inability to say or do the right thing at the right time. Although some of them are dearly missed, their chosen absence tells me that they weren’t meant to be a part of my overall journey.
I’ve done a lot of good in my life. I’ve done charity, made donations and given away possessions and time. I’ve solved crimes and saved lives and tried to make the world a better place in whatever way I could. I have also done some bad in my life. I’ve failed to be there for people who needed me. I’ve ignored the needs of others and have ended friendships because walking away was often easier than fighting it out. Sometimes in the pursuit of eliminating suffering; sometimes not.
Among all of my direct and indirect actions, my words and choices comes one ultimate result: I am me. For better or for worse, here I am. Some people like me. Some people don’t. Hell, some people hate me. And I KNOW that some people love me. And therein lies the secret to life: it doesn’t care about your plan. And by that very fact, it’s important to recognize that one should never live with regret. Regret is insidious and can only lead to suffering. And it gets you absolutely nothing.
Learn to live with the life you have and you’ll never be without happiness. This isn’t to mean that you won’t ever feel sadness. Or loss. It simply means that your life as a whole will be far happier. Once you let go of hate (and the haters), eliminate the suffering in your own life and do what makes you happy, especially with THOSE who make you happy, you’ll always be on the straight and narrow path to a happier, more enlightened life.
I am me. I am who I am. I may be weird, although I prefer to think unique. I’ll always say exactly what I think and what you see will always be what you get. I find myself incapable of ever being otherwise. Those who know me, know this for a fact. I don’t make friends easily and keep them even less easily, especially once folks get to know the real me. But if you happen to be one of the select few in my life who stick around through the good AND the bad, my love and loyalty will be yours. Without question.
The only down side to being open and always saying what I think, is that it works both ways. If I don’t like you or you bring harm to me or my lobbed ones, you’ll discover that little fact quickly. I make no apologies for turning the page on the story that is my life. As the line from hamlet says, “To thine own self be true.” Life will throw you a lot of curve balls. Some good and some bad will always be inevitable. Such is the balance of life. But so long as you remain true to yourself in all aspects of life, you’ll navigate the good and bad without issue. Food for thought…. ☯️