Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Melancholy Me

I'm in an odd mood, almost melancholy mood tonight. I don't think is depression setting in again but something other than love is gnawing away at the back of my mind. I think it is the sad realization that no matter how optimistic I may be about my future, it still unnerves me. There are so many variables to happiness and so many things that seem to stand in the way. At times, I wish it would just all go away, until the warrior in me kicks in. I guess this stretch of unemployment is really wearing me down. The economy isn't helping by keeping job opportunities low and the talent pool filled. I look back at all the bad decisions in my life and can see why I am here at this juncture in my life. It is a crossroads. Make it or break it time for sure. While I've always daydreamed about a better life, envisioning all the changes I would like to see manifest, a small part of me can't believe it is even possible. That I'm stuck in this rut, committed to this path regardless of what I do. It seems inevitable that I will never land a great paying job, or have a home that is genuinely mine in every sense of the word, or the wonderful companion to make it worthwhile or the financial means in which to enjoy my life, other than just eking by. It is truly disheartening to think that none of that will come to pass despite my efforts. That I will have never truly lived. All the potential, wit, charm, and intelligence will be wasted. No impact made. No mark upon the world. I know this will pass, as it always does, but right now on the cusp of a new semester, I wonder why bother. The great news is that I know the outcome if I never make the attempt, if I never get back up when knocked down. I'm very familiar with that outcome. Maybe that is why I keep going, keep trying, keep holding on.


Russ Manley said...

Dave, what you're feeling is pretty common when you get to middle age. Lots and lots of guys end up stuck in a place and a situation that there's no realistic way out of. And yes, by direct result of our own earlier choices. It's not just you, it's me and lots of other folks; so don't think the universe took a crap on your head in particular. That's just life. We can't foresee all the outcomes and all
the hidden obstacles when we are younger. You just pays your money and takes your chances.

Making a mark on the world - well, come on Dave . . . just how many other people do you actually know who have made a lasting mark? Very, very few. Most of us live and die in our little, obscure routines, and the world doesn't pause a minute when we are gone. That's also reality, the human condition. Even people of great talent who get all the right breaks may think they are making a big mark but . . . as the Preacher says, "this too is vanity."

How many famous authors, musicians, poets, playwrights, athletes, politicans can you name from 100 years ago, eh? Or even from fifty years ago? Maybe one or two of the very biggest . . . the rest are now dust, and so is their memory.

But that doesn't mean you "haven't truly lived." You live until you die. And I believe the path of wisdom and grace is to use our time and opportunities here to love unselfishly, not worry about being high achievers.

I feel all the things you mentioned, too. But I think the real question is not, What have we achieved, but rather, What have we learned?

And then what can we do, what will we do with that hard-earned wisdom in the time left to us?

So cowboy up and get a move on, bud. You'll get by all right. Live, laugh, love, and work while you can. And do what you can, not what you can't.

TomS said...

Dave, you have had an impact on me. Your writing, your humor, the safe place you have made here, the photos.....your visits....mean a lot to me, and I don't think I'm alone.

It's hard, not knowing if your life made a difference. Just here to tell you, that yours does.

Please keep going...

Ultra Dave said...

Thanks Tom, that was very sweet!

Yep, Russ, not giving up or giving in, just pondering.

witomski said...

Russ.....how true, how true......Joe

Java said...

I've been there. Heck, I'm in the neighborhood now. You DO make a difference. You've had a positive impact on me.

Hang in there, David. Persevere, as it's the only reasonable option. *hugs*

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