As I sit here fast approaching my 57th birthday contemplating my life story I smile, then feel sad and then smile again thinking how things might have turned out. I have a sense of accomplishment, and a sense of great failure, a sense of being ahead of my time and a sense of just fitting a stereotype and I wonder what if? What if I had stayed in school and applied myself to my studies? I held a 96% average when I decided to apply myself, unfortunately I found school boring, but to outsmart my mother, teachers and persons in authority fascinated me and so in the end I out smarted myself. I never got the tools I needed to live up to my full potential. Too late I discovered that life is like a game of golf, you may be in a foursome and you may be keeping score, but your opponent is really the course, or you pitting your skills against the challenges of the course and not the other members of your foursome.
I sit here contemplating the time in my life spent in the streets committing crimes as a teenager and young man, everyday putting my life at risk and the lives of others as well and wondering to myself how I could have ever found that path interesting, or fun. I remember the cars, the jewelry, drugs alcohol and women and how they tempted me, seduced me to the point that I felt that I had to have them all immediately and the fastest way was not the smartest way, or the legal way. After going to jail, losing everything and having children, things changed in my life and although I needed money to survive in this world, the rest seemed not that important anymore. I did eventually realise that I was falling into a trap, taking a path that led to failure and not success, but it was too late to save myself a lot of pain and suffering and the same for those unfortunate enough to be around me at the time. Every once in a while the police would take it all from me, the courts would send me to jail to punish me and my family would hang their heads down ashamed of me, just to let me know that the road I had chosen led to a dead-end.
I said it in the story of my life, when I said, “I was afraid to live and equally afraid to die and my life was stirred fried crap. The saying that “God never gives us more than we can handle comes readily to mind”. It took me almost 20 years longer than it should have for me to stop running from myself. I am a smart guy, but I was ignorant. True I was abused in almost every way possible and it made me bitter and angry and afraid; afraid to love; afraid to be loved; afraid to seem weak and afraid to leave the pack. I had allowed myself to stop being an individual. I the abused became the abuser and I the heart-broken became the heart breaker. In my quest to belong to something where I could feel accepted I began to trade things off to get there. I traded my education for acceptance. I traded my family for friends who would accept me for who I seemed to be, because we were all making the same mistakes. I wanted to be seen as strong so I beat, robbed and lorded over others. I gorged where others starved and never got full; I remained empty inside. Eating, but never tasting; having sex, but never making love; standing in a crowded room, but feeling alone; living the street life and strutting around proud as a peacock outside, but ashamed secretly inside” and yet I wonder if I had not taken the path I did, as bad as it was, what would I have missed, what kind of person would I be today and would I have all of the things that I love and thank the Creator for everyday now?
I look at my kids, my grandchildren and where I am today and wonder would they be here if I had done it all the other way the so-called right way, the path that led to a good education and I shudder to think where that path might have led if not to them. The failed relationship and the failed marriage that gave me my 2 daughters, that in turn gave me my 5 grandchildren that I love and adore and would lay down my life for; I could not bear to think of a life that would not, or could possibly not have them in it and so I think to myself as bad as it was I would not change a thing save hurting others, if it meant losing them. If I never had them in my life how could I miss them, or is it possible I would have ended up with the life I have now without the taking of that path? Who knows but the Creator? I in my soon to be 57 years on this planet now know that life’s roads are many, with many forks and crossroads and the only way to know what is at the end of anyone of them is to follow it to its end. The end of the road comes at the end of your life’s journey, leaving you and the Creator knowing the answer to the question of, what if?
Now that I have thought it through, mulled it over again and again I understand that it changes nothing to look back and wonder what if, because what if is the only mystery of life that separates us from the Creator who knows all things. Ultimately there is no going back, no taking it back a deed that is done; once it is done it is done. In the Creator’s ultimate wisdom and love, the Creator gave us the ability to change ourselves and chose another path. I am a believer that everything that I have done has made me who I am today and like it or not there is no going back, but there is hope in learning from what I know were mistakes and changing them to what I know to be better for me and everyone around me.
I will end my contemplation having not solved the riddle of the paths of life, mine or anybody else’s, because it is not mine to solve, it is merely my destiny to choose a path and perhaps choose another as I come to a fork in the road. Some paths seem so clear before they get cloudy. I know people who took a different road than I, they stayed in school got the good paying job, but to this day they have never found success as a person and like me, in their quest to belong to something where they could feel accepted they began to trade things off to get there. They gorged where others starved and never got full; they remain empty inside. Eating, but never tasting; having sex, but never making love; stood in a crowded room, but felt alone; Lived the rich life and strutted around proud as a peacock outside, but ashamed secretly inside”
I will keep what I have and know that for others their paths have led to much worse. I will try to be a better man in my next 57 years and try to pass on what I have learned in hopes of doing what I can to make this world a little better place if just for one person. I now realise that peace and contentment of life was always mine to reach out and take, but that the long journey always begins with the first step. I will say it one more time, “I in my soon to be 57 years on this planet now know that life’s roads are many, with many forks and crossroads and the only way to know what is at the end of anyone of them is to follow it to its end. The Creator has ensured that the end of any road comes at the end of our life’s journey, leaving us and the creator knowing the answer to the question of, “what if?”, but leaving the secret of the Creator a mystery to the rest of humanity and our destiny to choose a path to follow, or a crossroad to take, until we come to the end of our life’s journey.
- Say What You Need to Say: 3 Benefits of Speaking Your Truth (blueheronwisdom.wordpress.com)
- I am walking through the “mesh” and into the Light…. (imallmeshedup.wordpress.com)
- What You Deserve (thoughtcatalog.com)
- The Day I Took the Road Less Traveled (thelifeofjwo.com)
- Something to Think About (patcegan.wordpress.com)