A dirty little secret about life

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Yes, it is possible to have it all, and still have nothing.

It’s a platitude, but it’s also sage wisdom.  It’s good advice, and the sort of dime-story therapy which can make all the difference in one’s life.  Too often, we dismiss this sort of assistance as saccharin.  Our world has become so cruel, so soaked-to-the-bone in conspiracy theories and tribalism, it is difficult to discern genuine kindness for fake compassion.  Yes, we all make mistakes, and we all find moments when we have to understand why things go how they do.  Those moments are also when we have to discern the difference between those who are trying to help our of compassion and true generosity, and those who have a hidden agenda or something to gain.

I’ll be the first to admit, I was one of those folks who didn’t not trust easily and, in some ways, I still am.  I find myself in competition with others constantly, more out of habit anymore than desire.  Rather than chasing a dream out of a desire to achieve, my life focused on racing ahead of my peer group.  I was consumed by the need to be ahead of the pack, and to be relentless at everything I did.  Precious little meant more to me than being able to come out on top.  Knowing that some of my friends, both current and former, were doing “better” than me, was a gnawing feeling.  I couldn’t escape what was going through mind over and over again.

You. Are. A. Failure.

Dirty little secret I learned:  grief amplifies those feelings.

Yes, I graduated college almost 25 years after first starting.  Of course, I have a family and wonderful kitties.  Indeed, I live in the Tampa Bay area, a place many would sever limbs and offer in sacrifice to various deities to be able to call home. Also, I have not one, but two book contracts, making me a published author.  Last but not least, I have a great job with possibilities for the future.  That reality was – at least recently – all those feelings of inadequacy came rushing back.  It opened some of the worst parts of me to look at yet again.  Those nasty, awful, terrible feelings you feel hit you in the wee hours of the morning, when you believe anything that evil side of your brain which want to make you feel a half an in tall will tell you, are what I needed to beat back.  They crippled me, and continue to dog me many times a day.  I wondered why it was still happening when so much in my life was turning for the better.

Dirty little secret I learned:  grief amplifies those feelings.

Another dirty little secret I learned:  when you discern true friendship and compassion from agendas, the former can help offset the grief and find the things which will help you find yourself.

Yes, you can cue the platitude music – you know, the emotional piano music score which cues up during the “epiphany” act of any series or movie – and you would be right to do so.  This is a collection of platitudes, stale experiences, and cliches talking, but they are also useful to illustrate how it is so easy to look at someone who seems to “have it all” but don’t have the most important thing to go with it – the ability to choose to be happy.

That was me for a the longest time, then again, then again, and again some more.  I’m slowly coming out of it, I’m coming back to that wierd, intense, crazy center which defines who I am.  The desire to write like a madman is returning, and I’ll soon be back in the saddle fully.  It’ll take time, because I’m healing…again.

Yes, it is possible to have it all and still have nothing, until you realize that having life is better than having anything else.

And off I wander some more…

3 thoughts on “A dirty little secret about life

  1. Dear Wandering Quill,

    Life can and of times will be messy. As you plod, plough, jump, race through to out do everything and everyone, something will come along and humble you to your bones.

    I can truly identify with your analysis and yes grief will amplify every sticken “I’m Not Enough” song. You will feel even worse than you’ve ever felt.

    This I have learned about the dirty secret of life. Take each moment and learn something from it. And always remember no matter what You Are Enough. This too shall get less intense but never forgotten. You will always remember those special moments and what they meant.

    Your Friend 😊

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