No matter where we are at any given moment, no matter what we’re feeling, how we’re feeling, or why we’re feeling, there’s a natural existential setting all us humans have to endure one way or another—being in the moment and knowing about being in the moment.
I know, I get it. And trust me, I can’t help but agree when it comes down to it. What I just wrote sounds like some obvious basic bullshit that we all fucking get, so why am I here sounding off again like it’s some original idea? Let alone like it’s motivating, inspirational, expressive, or even meaningful.
The honest answer is that, well, I don’t know why I bring it up, I can’t really explain. I don’t think I could really explain or even fucking understand it if I spent the rest of my days among the living trying to.And get this, when I really think about it, I don’t know why it’s been one of the more challenging aspects of my very existence itself since I was young enough to realize that there was a difference between living and thinking, doing and dreaming, being and knowing.
I mean, in all honesty, I remember having those thoughts between naps or in sandboxes in preschool, and yet here I am, a grown man having essentially the same exact fucking thoughts decades later, and when I take even one step further, the real paralyzing follow-up questions come to mind…What the fuck have I learned? What the fuck have I changed? What the fuck happened to make me who I am today?
And to be really, really honest, all I can think is that here I am yet again thinking the exact same thing I was thinking finishing a chocolate milk in a sandbox, or learning to skate in Van Nuys, or being unable to stand still in karate classes and getting hit with a bamboo stick for it (they could still do that back in the day to their fucking credit, by the way), or trying to get to third base to Return Of The Mack sophomore year while wearing a choker, or getting into my first drunk car accident the day after my seventeenth birthday, or a million other examples—a million times worse—of a life that went one way and the thoughts about that life that went another way…And when it comes down to it… That’s all I know about myself.
So I’m no different than anyone else. Sure, the details might be this or that, and someone else’s might be that or this, but the real essence of all of this is that we exist and we know we do.Just like every single one of us knows about our lives and ourselves no matter who we are, when we are, how we are, why we are, or most importantly, what we’re thinking when we enjoy, engage, endure, or envision any given moment of existence itself.
So what’s to be done? What’s to be changed, appreciated, decided, or believed?
But now… Get this.
I stopped writing this piece earlier because I wanted to think it through, I wanted to find my way to a natural ending, a common sense, practical point.
In short, I wanted to find a way of looking at my thoughts and words that made it less about me and more about you. Or how about this? Let’s meet halfway—more about us. So what happened? What thoughts did I have? What greater, deeper conclusions did I reach?
Well, the truth is pretty much nothing happened, and the thoughts I had were empty, disjointed, distracted—basically off on tangents made of fucking tangents.
And then… This.
A dear friend of mine—a profoundly spirited, soulful insider who’s inspired me, taught me, forgiven me, even loved me for years—reached out to let me now how pissed she was that I didn’t get something done for her I said I would. Without going into detail—because it’s pointless and boring—I thought I was supposed to get this to her by the end of the week, but she wrote me today out of the blue and said it was actually first thing tomorrow morning. I told her I was busy, that I’d be home real late, but that I’d get her what she needed by the end of the night one way or another.
Unfortunately, her disappointment, frustration, maybe even just plain anger and resentment was so real, intense, consuming, and defining, that she texted me earlier and said she’d get what she needed herself, but she made a point to let me know how fucking angry she was.I clarified, I discussed, I detailed, I explained, I thought out loud, and above all, I fucking apologized. Over and over. From the bottom of my heart. And meant it.I meant every single word.
And after all that, here I am finishing my piece. You know why?
Because when it came down to it, the lesson I learned is that, yes, we all exist and we all think about our existence. But somewhere in between those two—in ways large or small, memorable or forgettable, meaningful or vacuous, real or metaphysical—there’s simply what we do.
What. We. Actually. Do.
And that’s the one that bridges the gap and focuses the clarity. That’s the one that gives us purpose and makes us consider things on purpose. That’s the one that proves the past is over and the future is overblown.
It’s the one that pacifies me and makes peace with you. And yes, all in all, at least it’s a step in the right direction.
Because I can never get past me, but I can sure as hell give to you. Or in other words, for me to even have a chance getting, well, anything, it’s really—pretty much only—about me giving to you.
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