As another birthday quickly approaches like a Big Mac through a colon, it gives me pause to think… think about milestones and things I have achieved in my life, the things I have done right, the couple of things I have done wrong (okay, maybe more than a couple), how life is different looking back than looking forward. I won’t comment in any detail on what I think I did right or wrong – I know what these things are and how I see they went. That is all I need and I am happy with that. Others may think differently, and I respect that.
All in all it has been more up than down, more good than bad, more right than wrong. In looking back I can honestly say that there is not much that I would change… if anything. Even the worst times in life were something to learn from, and they continue to be that even today. I AM damn glad that they are much fewer and farther between nowadays!
That is NOT to say that I would do much of it over again. Some things yes… provided they were done again exactly as I did them before. To go back and re-do things in your life to get a different outcome is not only impossible but will also never happen. The things you have done – both good and not so good – helped define you not to others necessarily as much, but more to yourself. You cannot erase that imprint. Ever. People always use the phrase “…if I knew then what I know now…”. Well, guess what… it ain’t ever gonna happen so move on and quit wasting energy thinking “Gee… what if…”. With that said, however, you can learn from it and not only avoid the same mistake again, but also maybe get something more out of a situation than you would have if you would have never had the prior “learning experience”.
I have learned a lot, yes, because I chose a more ambitious pathway than many others did. It gave me not only different experiences, but also more experiences to choose from. For me, it would have been suffocating to simply lead an existence and give up “me”. I want excitement out of life – to accomplish exciting and interesting things and push myself beyond a ho-hum existence. I may not be a completely fanatic “Type A” person, but I want to live my life and will not let my life live me. For those Type A folks, they take many risks, but their rewards are even more. For me, risk is PART of the adventure, but not ALL of the adventure. If I had not taken the risks that I took, I would not have been able to have all of the amazing experiences I have gotten to have in my life so far and still continue to have. My rewards have been amazing.
For others, they determined that their lives need to be a bit more “safe”… and there is nothing wrong with that. It is not how I have chosen to spend my time here wandering the planet, but I do have respect for how others choose to live their lives in any aspect, and everyone should respect the ways that others choose to live their lives that makes them happiest and fulfills them the most. I am sure that many people thought I have been crazy to do some of the things I have done. Well… that MAY be the case, but for me it was crazy to NOT do them and compromise living my life. I wanted, and decided, to live my life all along and while I was young and able – NOT when I could no longer do things.
But with all of this complicated shit is other, more basic things that I see differently now. Certain bands, songs, types of music, cars, clothes, booze… the list goes on. I find that many things I liked back in the day just really do not strike me the way they used to. I would not wear Levi’s Big Bell bellbottom jeans again. Even though I still love my heavy metal and hard rock, I listen to progressive rock mostly now (but I still like it loud). I find the 60’s Corvettes are not as cool-looking as I thought they were since it appears to me now some of the parts were leftovers from a Corvair (taillights) or some other POS car – same with the old Camaros. And booze – used to be I could not drink a Guinness, but now it is only one of a very few beers I will drink. I used to be okay with Smirnoff or McCormick vodkas. WTF was I thinking? That stuff is like turpentine. It’s Grey Goose or Crystal Skull for me now. But, I STILL hate to dance.
I guess at various stages in life you stop and take a look back at yourself. How you have changed, how it is different than you thought it would be, how YOU are different than you thought you would be, and if you were doing what you thought you would be doing at this stage of your life. Some people may use this as a GPS to get “back on track” and follow their itinerary to the letter. Not me, though. I just pause and think back on all the great times and how good things are and maybe what else I want to accomplish in my life that I have not done. I often wonder just how many people can honestly say that their life has gone according to some “plan” they had (and please… no “divine intervention” comments – I really don’t care and don’t want to hear it). I know mine has not gone like that, but I feared the boredom and wanted more out of life so I never really had a plan anyway as I look back to my younger days.
I never thought about this until the very moment that I am typing this entry, but I guess that not having a plan is the one constant I have had in my life after all.
It has worked out just fine for me.