Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Who Am I Anyway...?

(With apologies to "A Chorus Line")

Well it's the start of the New Year. A time for me that usually includes some introspection. Years ago I realized I had a personal belief/superstition that things didn't become "real" till I said them out loud. If they stayed inside my head the could be avoided, ignored, worked around. Once I said them out loud they had a life force of their own and I had to deal with them. Very often saying things out loud reveals just how silly they really are. This makes dealing with them much easier. Silly things are easily disposed of, in fact you can sometimes just laugh at them and watch them disappear.

So 2009 is here. Who Am I Anyway?

I'm almost 51 years old. That bothers me. When it comes to age I am the stereotypical baby boomer. I resent getting old. I resent that the skin on my hands has begun to show signs of crepeyness. I resent that I'm slowing down and that some things just don't work they way the used to. It's not overwhelming me and I'm finding ways to come to terms with much of it. But I don't like it. Not one expletive deleted bit.

I am shamelessly stealing the following from my friend Dan. As in word for word, cut and paste - I have a deeply held belief that I am an intelligent and talented person who could do something completely extraordinary with my life if I really tried. However, I am too lazy to try, and am also a little worried that if I did I might discover that this deeply held belief is untrue. (Thanks Dan!)

The dominant emotion in my life I have realized has been fear. See the item above. Too often I've either taken the safe road, or chosen not to do something because I was afraid. Of what? Failure. Embarrassment. Letting other people down. I may have only a third of my life left. I don't want fear to retain it's position during that time. Which is why I need to say things like this out loud. (I have no idea if all this stuff is going to interlock this way. Surely you don't think I'm in control of this little ride do you?)

Despite the fear I have been a damn good husband and father. I want to believe that I've been a damn good son, brother and friend. I've decided I'm going to be proud of that. I've earned it.

In my life I have been truly passionate about three things - the theater, radio and youth ministry. My pattern is to fling myself into what I do, to study it, to serve it and to love it. I've come to realize that this is not usually a healthy thing in the long run. The objects of my desire show their flawed and human side. Willing to give myself to the point of physical/mental/spiritual exhaustion I receive the same devotion in return. I'm not sure what to do about that. I am who I am. I left the theater because she demanded more than I was brave enough to offer. I left radio because she was a two faced liar. In youth ministry it is my love's family's indifference that is wearing me down. But I love them all still.

I draw more comfort from the teens and young adults I work with than most of the adults. I work with some wonderful adults whose company I cherish and enjoy. The kids accept me as I am and are happy just that I'm there and care. Adults are in many ways much more high maintenance.

I desperately want to be more creative. I want to write. I want to take photographs. I want to teach. I want to make videos. One of the items on that list has never been said out loud in public before. Now it begins to become real and I will have to deal with it.

A quick listing of things I am - I am lazy, shy (rather profoundly, which surprises people), vain, a little messy, crazy in love with my wife, not a fan of winter,truly trying to figure out how to be closer with most of my family, intensely proud of my daughter and intensely scared for her as well, more comforted by having a black cat in my life again than I expected to be, deeply aware that I retain father issues with my own father and they have affected my relationships with male authority figures my entire life, less spiritual than I wish and more consumerist than I wish, not satisfied with the life I have lived, pretty good with tools, capable, reliable and very much to my constant surprise apparently rather likable. I'm reasonably intelligent and reasonably well read. Some people think I'm funny (using virtually any definition of "funny" you chose, in fact!) I'm surprised to discover that I am a person of faith despite my doubts.

So who does all this make me? Just a guy trying to make his way in this craxy, mized up world.


1 comment:

forsythia said...

I love posts like this. I hate to say "Thank you for sharing," but it's all that I can think of to say at the moment.