long time readers of the blog know i spent my high school years living kind of sheltered by choice. I spent most of my time doing karate, hanging out with my brother and sister in law, playing guitar, doing church stuff, and not understanding myself. My life was mostly built around what I didn’t do.
If I could relive my life, I would have had more of the classic TV/movies American high school upbringing. I think I missed a lot of socialization and baseline confidence that comes from being a part of a group. Herd immunity.
My entire high school life I was invited to zero parties. Not because no one liked me, probably just because they didn’t know me, and if they did, might would have an inkling that i wouldn’t have had a great time.
Senior year, it dawned on me that I was missing out. I freaked. I realized that the door of the experience was ending and I hadn't done anything. So I did everything. I only needed 5 credits, but I did Spanish 3, jazz band, chorus, cross country, Spanish club, A.P. European history etc..
I’m glad I did. I learned about myself and met some interesting people.
When I graduated, I was so relieved. I truly in my bones hated school. I’ll never forget standing in alphabetical order line dressed up in robes in the North Charleston Coliseum to get my diploma along with the remnant of 2002 that made it. That day felt like the scene in the movie when the guy gets out of jail and they give him all his personal effects back. I knew school was not going to be my peak.
But then not being in school was even harder. My immediate plan was to teach karate and win the NKF karate national championships. I was living with my dad, but we ended up in conflict and I moved in with my sister.
I think at that point I realized how much I had isolated myself. I was an artist, who’s only expression was church.
I’ll never forget meeting up with another church kid for dinner one night. Like the two painfully awkward dorks that we were, we met up at wild wings downtown. This guy grew up and even more removed from main stream culture than me. If I was sheltered, this mother fucker was invisible.
For the rest of my life, I’ll never forget that meeting. I asked him what he had been up to and he said “nothing” and smiled. And as I looked at him, I knew he meant it. He hadn’t been doing anything. He was an eating breathing shitting cognizant creature with no deadlines, no dreams, no big goals, no runs no losses, no snow mo biles and no skis.
It made me laugh, and then it scared me.
Almost 18 years later, that still scares me.
Wasting time is a sin. And yet I know I do a lot of it, just in less recognizable ways.
My life has been a series of big pursuits with big reasons. Thats not a bad way to live, but I feel old lately. Not washed up, just old on paper. I know I’m the best version of myself now. I’m more self aware, I make more money, I do more good, I’m probably even better looking. But the hour is late.
Its always late though. Every day you have is the only day you have. You only have time retroactively. We only own things backwards. There is no future guaranteed ownership.
I’m doing a comedy show tonight, and like usual, I feel like the dude from Quantum Leap, dropped into a situation he is only somewhat prepped for.
All of this is me thinking on paper. Only at the end of this do I realize what I think I feel. This is my point:
Life is a continuum of certainty.
I need a certain amount of “yes” to be happy, and I need enough “no” to grow.
Most of my restlessness is tied to the yes’s, and all of my insecurity or angst is tied to the no’s. I’m amazed at people who don’t experience life like this.
G.K. Chesterton said that “a man must have enough faith in himself to have adventures, and just enough doubt of himself to enjoy them”.
Thats probably what I mean.