Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Time Fades Away

As Neil Young once famously sang, "Time Fades Away".  Life can certainly feel like this sometimes.  It has been over a week since I have written anything.  Where did the time go?  Looking at my calendar I see a trip to my local cinema, a doctor appointment, a couple of trips to the pharmacy, dinner with my oldest son and granddaughter one night, and another dinner with my youngest son on a different day.  In other spare moments I have been packing for a ten-day excursion that begins in a couple of days.  I love going places, but I generally dislike traveling, especially if it involves an airport.  I am not afraid to fly but I find the experience of airports and security and tight schedules tedious and stressful.  I'm pretty sure most other people feel the same way.

Sometimes I think I suffer from mild depression.  I read this is common in older folks.  Feeling happy has always been challenging for me.  Yes, there are Zen moments and occasional contemplative enlightenments, but I have always been somewhat reclusive, and I think entirely too much.  In addition, I have a personality that strives to find meaning in everything.  I want my life to have purpose and direction.  It is not always easy to see meaning or purpose in one's daily life especially when you are somewhat detached from the everyday life lived by most people. 

May I be brutally honest?  I have come to believe that every person has some kind of emptiness or need that drives them, whether they realize it or not.  Somewhere in our past, most likely in childhood, we have been hurt or traumatized and we never quite got over it.  It has taken me many years to figure out what this means for me.  I think it is a sense of feeling unloved and unlovable.  Although my parents were not bad or abusive people, they were also not the most loving, touchy feely, warm and fuzzy types either.  I have no memories of being hugged or told I was loved.  As an adult my relationships with my parents were cordial and respectful but definitely not close.  Once in childhood I was part of a first string twelve-man football team.  I played in every game.  At the end of the season eleven boys were chosen for the all-star team.  I was the only boy that wasn't chosen.  In my adult experiences I was often overlooked and underappreciated.  I would be told I had skills but just not the ones being sought.  In other words, I have spent much of my life feeling that I wasn't good enough or talented enough.  As a result, I have spent most of my life feeling inadequate and lacking.  I have often felt like I was never enough for anyone or anything.  I don't think these feelings are unique to me.  Someone will read these thoughts and think, "This is exactly how I have always felt".  Others will think, "What a whiner"!  A few might respond to me by telling me to get over myself.  I could go on and on but I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.  One point that I would like to make with this is that most people have no idea what is going on in the minds and hearts of other people.  I believe most people are hurting and that much of their energy is spent covering it up.  Many suicides are a shock to the people close to the deceased.  

Be honest about your own feelings of pain and sadness.  You are not alone.  Some people are faking it better than you.  Other people are better at hiding it than you.  The fact that other people can cope with things better than me is just another way I feel inadequate.  Like most of you I am generally a good person.  When I'm being a jerk or acting grumpy there is usually a deeper reason.  Okay, sometimes I really am an ass but most of the time something much deeper is going on.  Most of the people in our lives need a break.  Cut them some slack.  We're all hurting one way or another.       

Be compassionate and show some kindness and love to yourself and others.     

1 comment:

Rinnie Brooks said...

What a whiner—get over yourself!😎 (Sorry, I couldn’t resist, and I trust you know I’m kidding, as usual.) I’m sorry I’m not there, because I’d love to go have a beer and talk firsthand. We’re very different people, but I always enjoy our exchanges.
You strike me as having artistic, right-brained leanings and empathy (like me), and the things you seem to embrace are less about precision and answers and more about openness and possibilities. I’d encourage you to celebrate yourself and all the things that bring you joy (which is one of the things I like about the Mike Brown I’ve come to know). Tie-dye, rock and roll, contemplative prayer and all the other peculiarities you enjoy make you the dude your friends and family care about. And that’s good!
I still love the old SNL Stuart Smalley sketch (Al Franken), with his mantra, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.” You can’t revise your upbringing or earlier disappointments but you can sure as hell count your friends and blessings, crank up the music and enjoy being Mike today. Matter of fact, I’m gonna go crack a beer and toast you right now. We’ll just be sitting across a 200-mile-wide table. Enjoy, buddy—cheers!