“I got a mind full of aggravation. I can take it if I just relax. I say a prayer for the motivation. Keep me solid so I stay on track. But there’s a monkey on my back and it don’t know how to act, got me climbin’ up and down the walls. Now I gotta make a choice, maybe then I can rejoice ‘cause I’m sick of all the same withdrawals.
I got a mind full of inspiration and I ain’t livin’ in the past no more.” Shinedown
For the longest time, I perceived life as a race. There’s only so much time to accomplish missions in life and the only way to successfully complete a mission, is to run the race as hard as humanly possible.
After running for the majority of my life, the race became an exhausting endeavor. I was tired of running from this unseen and formidable enemy called, time.
Time is mean. It’s a cruel and heartless foe. It laughs, mocks and scorns. Time can bring you down, beat you up and make you feel small.
I experienced that mostly through my thirties. My thirties were such a struggle. I questioned if I’d ever find a finish line to this unending and seemingly pointless race. The finish line kept moving, and no matter how hard I sprinted, I could never reach it. Most of the time, I couldn’t even see the finish line and even doubted its existence, but I ran regardless.
Most would call it, The Rat Race.
Goal setting was an impossible feat. I’d attempt to set a goal or two, but the race was in constant flux, abruptly changing day to day, week to week, month to month, year to year and the main road branched off to another, and multiple forks appeared and dark dusty trails popped up and the paths splintered and continued branching and I eventually got to the point where I said, “Yup. This is the way life is supposed to be. None of these roads make any sense.”
“Life is destined to be nothing but pure chaos.”
I had to consider the idea, at one point along the journey that theoretically, from chaos, comes order. Unfortunately the order of life was hidden from sight. I was bombarded with a slew of constant negative energy. Yes… I speak often on energy. Positive energy yields positive results. Negative energy spawns negative results. As simple as that. This was a lesson learned hard.
At the time, I saw the negative as normal. Don’t we all? We become accustomed to it after awhile. Numb. Hypnotized. Caught in its snare. Then we change and transform into something that contradicts who we originally were, and what was once a positive mentality, becomes the antithesis.
The negative can be disguised as something positive. Ain’t that a humdinger. Life is sneaky and underhanded sometimes.
In my case, the variables are too many to count. The negative took on multiple forms and over time, I felt normal as a result of the full time exposure. I floated and drifted through reality like a zombie and spent a good number of years not fully being aware of what I had become.
I didn’t know who I was, what I wanted to do, how I wanted to live or how to run my race. I was living my life for other people and the priorities of life was dictated by others.
It affected everything: My job, my children, my friendships and my self esteem. My state of mind and my sense of purpose. Trudging through the day to day operations in a constant fog of “whatever” and not really caring.
That was the majority of my thirties.
Then one day, even though I had been watching it from afar and growing on the horizon, a storm of unprecedented power and energy tore through. As if a tornado formed overhead and the funnel shot straight down, swirled violently around my universe; ripping me away from my foundations. An awakening of sorts. My eyes opened wide and I allowed the storm to take me to places unknown and unexplored.
Everything changed after that.
I had to become familiar with the New Life. The Old Life was all I knew and understood. That in and of itself was a challenge all its own. New rules. New priorities. New outlooks.
It was the outlooks that set me on a different path. Potential. An unfamiliar path to be certain, but the scenery started to grow on me after a time. I saw new colors, shapes and patterns. The Old Life was gray and cloudy and the vibrancy of the new setting was a difficult pill to swallow… at first. Like a blind man seeing light for the first time.
It wasn’t until I reached my forties did I consider how awesome life truly is. At this age, we encounter truths. We know who our true friends are. We make decisions based on priorities and truth. We don’t allow for impulse, and our decisions are carefully plotted as opposed to acting willy nilly and carelessly. Relationships are easier to maintain and we tend to steer clear of selfish people. We discard and ignore the negative components of life. The friendships may be fewer, but they’re the ones to cherish and focus on.
As I crest over the hill, I know who I am, what I want and where I want to go. I don’t see the rat race anymore. In fact, I walked off the race track some time ago and never once looked back. That lifestyle doesn’t make sense to me and I now focus on what I deem as important.
So with that said, I’m announcing something I told myself long ago I would never do again.
Yeah… like I mentioned a couple of installments ago, some vows are destined to be broken.
This summer I’m getting married.
My children are over the moon about it. They love Nancy to pieces and I can’t think of anyone I’d rather spend the rest of my days with.
I guess once you start over the hill, life truly does change for the better.
To my father I say, “Good things come to those who wait. And sometimes we don’t have to wait too long.”
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