Being Me  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

Once I was very much like the swarms of humanity that I am drowning in, busy trying to figure out how to survive, how to get laid, how to eat well, how to keep a job, how, how, how. Some people get HOW down pat after awhile; others don't, and I imagine I have fallen somewhere in between the two extremes. Except I never really did figure out what I wanted out of life; the things a person can and should want kept changing as I went along. Fads and fashion come and go, the hormones ebbed and flowed, pains and aches crept in, failures and frustrations and minor catastrophes took their toll, and after all that and a fair share of wonderful triumphs, here I am, and if you tried to get me to specify exactly where that is, I couldn't tell you if I tried.

Perhaps limbo teetering on the edge of uncertainty is the best I could come up with.

I'm sure you've heard of the "self-made man" (or woman) and perhaps you consider yourself to be one of them, hauling yourself up out of the gutters by those bootstraps. I would offer that most of us are actually "made" by where we find ourselves and in whose company we have kept all throughout our lives. We have had caregivers (the lucky majority get parents, the rest of us get what we get), mentors (again, if there was someone in that capacity there for us), romantic interests, profitable friendships, and fellow sojourners who banded with us to take on the world. Our personalities and ability to take advantage of our given situations would dictate how we gelled with these people and how their influence would shape us as we spent our fated times with them.

After all this time, it seems that somehow I have retreated into myself and am now locked in a mental bomb shelter looking out at a world I was not expecting and feel more and more disconnected from. Oh, the world itself, at least those parts of it least impacted by humanity, is just fine with me: I can't imagine any place more beautiful that what the Gods have created, not even the most awesome constructions man has built. I even have a great love for so many of my fellow humans, people I consider so much better than myself in all ways I can imagine, for whom I could only wish the best. Yet humanity as a whole has become this "thing" which scares me, which shames me, which amazes me with it's capacity for brutality and hate. I do not feel as though I ever belonged to humanity, even though I do know that deep inside I share all the shortcomings that make us such monsters. And, I do know that those who know me well would be more than happy to point out all my shortcomings, even those closest to me, and I couldn't argue the fine points and expect to win very often. I am a stranger in a strange land.

So, the biggest question I am faced with now is what am I supposed to do with all this, and with the rest of my life? Am I ever going to be happy knowing what might be in store for all of us and for me personally? Am I the monster if I refuse to put on a happy face and just chill with it? Am I doomed to alienation from those closest and perhaps not so close to me simply because I can't seem to get a lid on this overt selfishness I seem to suffer from (at least as has been observed by friends and family)?

Yes, these are certainly dreary questions and I don't really expect someone residing outside my brain to try and answer them. And besides, most of the answers I probably don't want to listen to anyway, since some of them would be a bit exaggerated from what I'd consider to be the reasonable truth. Yes, I know I am not the best person that one would wish to know but I also refuse to give into the idea that I am the worst, either. I DO take pride in some of the better things within me that make me believe I am a better human that some. I DO care about people, and I DO care about nature, only in such a way that doesn't rely on false feelings and bullshit for the sake of getting along. Some of you, my friends, my relations, piss me OFF. But, that is something going on within my own heart and head and I can live with it, because I also know that I return that favor, so, I guess that makes us even. And yes, my loved ones, I love you all despite the pissing contests. The sorry fact of the matter is that humans cannot coexist without daily compromises. Some of us DON'T even bother with compromise and are just as happy killing each other off rather than having to give up personal autonomy of any sort.

I may be an island, and I might think of myself sitting in a sea of discontent, but I do know that I would probably go mad if everybody were to disappear and leave me here alone with what's left of the rabbits and squirrels and lowland guerrillas and all that cool nature I observe on PBS. I love my dog but he's pathetic when it comes to heavy conversation, even if he does agree with everything I say. I would love having ALL the bed to stretch out on, and I know I'd be miserable not having someone to cuddle up to; not having someone WANTING me to cuddle up to them. I would be very unhappy not ever seeing someone smile because of something I did or said to them, because I DO thrive on those smiles and the tiny validations of my existence here in this world.

My mother got knocked up, did a great job being pregnant, and brought me into this world, and whether or not I am happy she did that, here I am. What's done was done. I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth, and I was lucky not to be born in some third world hell hole with no water and a God that wants me to kill people. When I die, that spark which is ME is probably going to simply wink out and that will be that. But, in the meantime, I really do care about the impact I am having here, and on those who cross my path.

I hope you all can say that you knew me, and not frown doing it.

I really do.

This entry was posted on Monday, March 17, 2008 at Monday, March 17, 2008 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

5 slick comments

The only way to know what comes next is to die and I'm not quite eager to do that.

We have from birth to death to either live or exist - and I have done both. Living, in my less than humble opinion, is a whole lot more fun than existing. Thank you, I will be the judge of what constitutes life and what constitutes existence. If someone doesn't like my definitions then they need to make their own.

One thing for sure, Michael, you have made a difference and you do make a difference.

And that ain't a bad thing.

March 17, 2008 at 2:55 PM

Thank you my grizzled old friend.

March 17, 2008 at 3:28 PM

Hmmm. Things that make you go Hmmm.

March 18, 2008 at 4:41 PM

I don't worry about the after-death part, because i think this is all we get. So the best you can do is live your life with as much compassion and peace as you can.

March 18, 2008 at 5:44 PM
The Good Twin  

My past comments and blog had nothing to do with selfishness, we all tend to have our selfish moments. It had more to do with common courtesy, compassion, and a little respect for others feelings. None of my comments (including this one) have been written with the intent of being nasty; tone is hard to perceive in typing so I do apologize if you perceived any of it as being nasty.
Love ya,
The 'Good' Twin??

March 19, 2008 at 12:54 AM

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