I don’t have to leave anymore
What I have is right here
Spend my nights and days before
Searching the world for what’s right here
– The XX, “Islands”
A friend writes on the facebook. “Catch me up on your life.” What’s to tell, really, that I haven’t told already, in a dozen different venues, to scores of different people, each with their own insights, advice, opinions, prejudices. The crowdsourcing of my reflected life is already well underway, and I’m not sure what I see.
Do I see a confident stride, broad shoulders, and clear goals? Perhaps.
Do I also see unfulfilled desires, half-acknowledged needs, purposes yet to be made apparent, angst and conflict and pain? Sure, that too.
In the meantime, I work. I write. I drink a bit, with friends. I hang out. I go see movies like The Social Network, about which I still have yet to write a review. I read books that I really REALLY want to hate, but end up liking, for all the wrong reasons.
I beat myself up. And I’m a strong guy. It hurts.
Yet – and such is the sucky part about being so wide, so internally expansive, so full of interests and predilections and amusements and desires – the contradictions can pick you apart, find the gaps and explode everything. A murder of crows follows, tearing at the shreds. The difference a week makes can be wild to comprehend, let alone try to describe. So I fumble, I fall, I pick myself up and simultaneously reach out and resist. Am I whole, capable of dusting myself off? Am I broken, needing encompassing arms to keep me together? Who knows.
Who fucking knows.
Do any of us know? I wonder. Some people I think just get lucky, to not have to think in these terms. But – as I write this, I know the answer – I also think of it as a blessing, to be so complicated, so sensitive, so needy and at the same time so giving. A lesson in contradictions. It’s not for everyone – to be that, let alone to be with that – but, given the chance to go back and remake myself, to become something I’m not, something senseless, dull, tone-deaf, selfish, incommunicable – I would not. I would not. I would rather lose an arm than to remake myself into something so wrong.
If others have luck on their side, then more power to them. Karma – super luck – comes back and repays us in spades for the good deeds we do, whether or not we know it. And I have a lot to be thankful for.
I think that’s what I’ll write back to my friend. “I’m thankful. I may not know it yet, but I am.”