I think it’s good to take a close look at oneself often. I have been doing that quite a bit over the last few years and I don’t always like what I see. You can’t change what has happened, but you should never forget where you’ve been. We all have mistakes we wish we could change, paragraphs to rewrite or bridges to rebuild. If you don’t look into the future through the prism of the past, you may be doomed to a life like Bill Murry in “Groundhog Day”, constantly reliving the same mistakes over and over. It takes a conscious effort and force of will to change the path your on.
Sometimes we hear comments that ring with the sound of truth to them. Sometimes they were meant to be helpful, but we may not see them in the light with which they were presented. As part of a conversation I had recently, I was told “sometimes people think they have it together, when they actually don’t.” This came from someone I have been trying to rebuild a relationship with after many years of being apart. In the context it was used, he was obviously aiming the statement at me. Although I don’t think it was meant to be insensitive, it certainly set me back a little in my feelings toward my efforts. Was it a true statement? Maybe so. But now I’m not sure if I want to continue to pursue that relationship further. I guess the next move is his.
On the other hand, another relationship I am trying to rebuild seems to be progressing much better. Even though I may stumble sometimes and not express myself clearly, I think she is willing to take the time to understand who I am at this point in my life, and not be judgmental about any choices I am making. Because I’m still trying to figure out myself after decades of self abuse and insensitive behavior towards others, I can’t expect everyone to welcome me in with open arms as it were.
What these people have in common is they are the siblings I was closest to while growing up. I spent many hours playing on the beach with my sister at Fort Williams Park. We spent allot of time looking through all the things in the attic of the home our parents were renting, even though none of it was ours. Silly role playing games consumed many an afternoon. We would go sledding at the fort every winter. Our favorite spot was a hill behind the pond. I remember taking our “Speed-away” sled down the hill and over the rock wall and slamming onto the ice. Those were fun times.
My older brother was the person who defended me from the neighborhood bully, took me out in his car, and spent at least a little time with me when I was just a young boy. As I grew into my teens, he always had time for me and included me in his circle of friends, even though they may have thought I was a pest. I’ll always remember playing Frisbee on Cutter Street at 2 o’clock in the morning, or playing football in Cumberland when I broke my ankle. We had crazy adventures together, and helped each other thru some very hard times. I don’t think he realized how important he was to me at that time, and maybe not even now.
Starting in my late teens with my sister, and my mid twenties with my brother, something changed. We drifted apart very quickly. I had no understanding at the time as to the root cause, or what I could do about it. Much of that was due to the lifestyle I was leading at the time. All I knew was I felt alone, maybe even a little bit abandoned. So what happened? I have my thoughts on why, and I’m sure they have theirs. I’m sure there is some truth in all of them. Yet, self doubt still creeps into my mind and I ask myself, Is it just me?