Your past isn’t happening right now - so don’t let it spoil your future.
As I fast approach the age of 41, I still find myself in a state of shock and disbelief of all that my wife and I have been through and had to endure through our 30’s, and the past ten years of our lives. The unthinkable, the unfathomable, the unbelievable, and the unconscionable have all occurred, almost one right after the other, and to the extent that my cancer fight 7 years ago just seems like a tiny little bump in the road. I guess that’s both good and bad, but I’ll take it either way, and just goes to show what life can throw at you. I’ve been haunted by all that we’ve been through, I’ve suffered from depression off and on for years due purely to the stress and burden of one godawful situation after another to deal with, and I suffered from PTSD symptoms for years just from my cancer fight alone which I thought would be the worst, only to have so much more to endure. I’ve struggled to find meaning, I’ve struggled to find my way, and even the desire just to go on.
But you know what? None of that is happening right now. It’s all in the past and not the present, and the only reason it continues to affect me is because I keep thinking about it all, remembering it, questioning it, and trying to make sense of it, because I’m a goddamned Scorpio and it’s just what we do, always searching for meaning and trying to understand things. I never forget a word, a look, or a gesture good or bad, but there’s no “sense” to be made of the completely nonsensical, the absurd, and the insane. Thus, the time has finally come to forget and just let all of this crazy shit go.
A Perfect Moment
I experienced a perfect moment sitting on my porch the other morning. A beautiful sunrise, the first crisp, cool breeze of autumn, and colorful leaves falling and rustling in the wind, all signifying a new season, that time had passed, and that I’m still here to enjoy it all. In that moment, none of the rotten things from our past existed, nor anything from the crazy external world that we live in today where so many human beings have seemingly lost their minds and all sense. This blissful scene from nature cared nothing of the rest of the world, nor in that moment did I. In that perfect moment I wasn’t struggling, I wasn’t depressed, I wasn’t worried or upset about anything, and was just at peace and immersed in the joy and beauty of that moment.
I need more peace like that in my life - a lot more.
Learning the Art of Forgetting
A few years ago this Scorpio taught himself the ability to forgive, not just for others but for himself and the numerous times he’d been a less than perfect human being as well, but I’ve never truly forgotten a thing. My goal for 41 is very simple - I’m going to teach myself the art of forgetting. I’ve found myself at a crossroads over this past year where I can either continue to be bitter and upset and angry about a critical mass of completely rotten and unfair things that have happened to us, and potentially become the same type of deranged psychopath towards others that others have been towards us in the process, or I can let it all go, forgive and forget, and move on completely in my life and find true peace and happiness again. My choice is the latter, life is way too short to spend it being so upset, and the time has come for me to just let it all of this baggage go. I flat out refuse to carry it a step further.
I’m Going To Forget All About…
My wife’s bigoted and hateful late father, who threatened to kill our entire family for the better part of a decade. I’m just going to be thankful that I never had to “do anything”, and that the problem managed to resolve itself. I’m going to forget my cancer diagnosis and fight and the years of mental trauma I experienced in the aftermath, being constantly under the gun with scan after scan after scan, and never really knowing if I would live or die. I’m going to forget the rotten pieces of garbage that have tried to sabotage our lives in various ways, the terrible atrocity committed by an extended family member, the numerous lives they destroyed and disrupted in the process, and the year it took us to clean up the mess. I’m going to forget about the masses of people including supposed friends that have said the most rotten, disgusting, dehumanizing, and completely untrue things about people like ourselves, simply because we believe differently, because we’ve experienced differently, and because we think differently, only to be judged so harshly by those that haven’t walked a day in our shoes and don’t actually know the first damned thing about us and what our lives have been like.
I’m also going to forget all about the people I went above and beyond for in every possible way to support for years, only to be completely disrespected and insulted in ways that I didn’t even think were possible, made into an enemy that I never was on a whim, and to see so much of that hard work go up in smoke in just a matter of days. I cringe to even make this comparison as a cancer survivor and it just cuts into my soul to say it, but tragically some people in our lives have been no better than cancer, malignant and invasive, and have just had to be cut out no matter how much you loved them, no matter how much you cared about them, and no matter how much of your time or life invested. It all hurts beyond belief and I don’t pretend to understand the slightest thing about anyone, but it’s time to forget all that too.
We’ve never needed enemies with some of the “friends” and family members we’ve had in our lives.
People just suck.
I Plan To Take All of the Good With Me
In the process of forgetting, I’m certainly not going to forget the many lessons learned, more often the hard way than not, the invaluable life perspective gained, much of which has come far too soon and painfully, nor the amazing friends made that are still by our side. My wife and I were never meant to be the popular types, and we were never meant to “fit in”. Our life experiences have been bizarre, unconscionable, and extraordinary in so many (not so good) ways, and it really is a small circle of near and dear friends that we keep that have even half a clue about half of what we’ve been through. Yet so many people can take one look at you and what you believe these days, and think they can judge you? The judgmental haters of the world that haven’t lived a day of our lives and who make the worst possible assumptions about us needn’t apply, and won’t be thought of either.
Celebrating 41 with Emerson
Here’s to my 41st birthday coming on October 27th with my favorite Emerson quote.
“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
You’ll find this quote in many places throughout my writing, and it’s never been more true than it is today. The past decade of our lives have been nothing but absurdities. We’ve always done our best not just for ourselves but for others, and our intentions have always been entirely honorable, despite the worst possible dehumanizing assumptions that others have made about us. We can’t control what others might say or think no matter how wrong or disgusting, and are just going to live our lives and leave these people behind. I still can’t get over how many people we’ve loved and cared about so much have turned into such epic failures and disappointments, but they will not be thought of again and will no longer exist to us, and my wife and I will continue to live the beautiful lives that we’ve built for ourselves, even if we walk a mostly solitary path. It just makes the people that we do have in our lives so much more important, special, and beloved, and for that we’re grateful.
Outside of these highly select people that truly know us and care about us, I would jump at the chance of never having to deal with other human beings ever again, which probably explains why we’ve grown to love our dog so much.
My wife and I have both worked way too hard for the beautiful lives we’ve built for ourselves, and I’ll be damned if anyone past, present, or future will be allowed to spoil or continue to spoil that in any way. Life is way too short, and humanity is far too disappointing. It’s just not worth it to keep being upset about people and things we never had any control over, and it’s time to fully embrace that by simply letting it all go, and freeing ourselves of the burden. We’ve always done our best, and that’s all you can ever do. All that have wronged us have been forgiven, and will not be thought of again.
The power is within you to leave all of the emotional wreckage of your life behind to begin anew, too. My next chapter begins now, sitting on my porch. I still don’t know what’s next, but I most certainly know what’s not, and this sure is a beautiful place to start.