What is and what should never be. Those two things are much too often one and the same. How do you continue from day to day once you realize that everything you’d originally hoped for yourself is never to be? How to push on in the face of knowing that you’ll never be what you imagined that one day you would? Radical perspective adjustments mean dramatically racheting down expectations and finding joy in the small things.
My dysfunctions actually helped me get through the earlier parts of my life, when I was rejected from all sides but the world seemed like a basically safe place to me. I could go wherever I wanted to and do whatever I wanted to even though in my 16th year my parents didn’t like me enough to keep me. The vision of “someday” that kept me going was the hope and belief that I would be loved by the masses. I would do “something” important and finally be recognized for the special, amazing, unique person that I was. So, no matter what was happening right now, whatever shit storm I happened upon or created for myself, “someday” I was going to make everything right and receive the recognition I deserved.
When I was 27 I met someone who was different. He was outside the realm of the type of man I had encountered in the past. I really should never have even met him, if the natural flow of my life had just continued on. In the natural realm, I should have found another angry alcoholic to do the dance of life with, just like the one I had just left, just like the ones before him who had given me life. I was destined to dance from dysfunction to dysfunction until I finally died a miserable and unfulfilled middle-aged loser like my mother.
So there were those two opposing storylines going on: the one I was destined to follow, and the one I created in my head about fame and being appreciated. And then I met this man when I was 27 who was different and I decided to go for it. He was younger than me, only 22. He was running from his perfectly stable and normal family of origin life where his mother and father were married and committed, where he’d been required to attend church at least three times a week like a good Southern Baptist. He was running from all that and found himself down in a valley and there I was. I don’t know what he saw in me. Maybe he saw adventure.
Scratch that, I think I know now what he saw, even if neither one of us realized it at the time. I got him. For the first time maybe, he was getting to know someone who understood him on a gut level, intuitively. I understood his creativity, his spontaneity, his randomness, and it didn’t scare me at all. It invigorated me, entertained me, and turned me on. I encouraged him in his supposed madness and not only that, I went with him headlong into it.
We become best friends and lovers. And he rescued me from my destiny. He appeared outside the natural order of things and scooped me up and put me on a different track. Because here was a man who had a moral foundation, who valued truth and decency and who could still rock a damn good Metallica concert armed with some truly kickass weed.
The day I met him is the day my life changed. And since I only saw two possible tracks for me: to become a loser like my mother, to be eternally rejected, to live in chaos and screaming; or to finally find myself in that “someday”, “somewhere” place where all would be well and I would be beloved by all and recognized for my talents, I figured that this man was taking me to that second place. My life would now be charmed. I had paid all my dues early on in life, how fabulously intelligent of me, and now everything was going to be perfect.