Writing is time-travel. This morning I am reading through writing I did 6 1/2 years ago. So, today our “guest author” of sorts is, well… me. The me before drugs.
What a breathtaking morning it was. From every visible standpoint, today is a day like any other. I have no idea what is different about today, but I am in an exceptionally good mood. As soon as I splashed water on my face this morning, I felt unstoppable. I feel strong, capable, brimming with potential, and yet have no expectations of the future.
Damn. I just feel good.
There was a light rain in the air on my way to work. The sun was hanging just below the horizon and the water-laden clouds were bursting with color. With the windows down, each breath was ambrosia. What a day!
I really can’t explain the source of this feeling, but I wish I could. I would bottle it and save it for days to come. A mere dropperful of whatever this is would plow through even the worst of the winter blues.
I think the overwhelming sensation today is one of gratitude. I know I’ve beaten this dead horse to pieces, but every time I remember to focus on what I have, it makes for a brilliant day. A fully capable body, a sharp mind, the love of three beautiful girls, a marriage that would be hard to top, and the endless support of wonderful friends. I am financially poor but rich in all of the ways that truly matter.
I’m sure my wife and friends are sick and tired of hearing about Fight Club, but the more I read the book and watch the movie, the more it takes an almost biblical position in my life.
I am not my job.
I am not how much money I have in the bank.
I am not the car I drive.
I am not the contents of my wallet.
I am not my f*&%ing khakis.
At first (or maybe even fifth) glance, the premise of Fight Club seems nihilistic and chaotic. Neither the film nor book resolve anything. It provides no clear path or answers. But, every time I watch it or read the book, I am reminded to not waste time. Ironic, I know, that watching a movie would make me NOT want to waste my time. Funny enough, the DVD actually addresses this irony in a split-second warning that appears before the movie begins:
“If you are reading this then this warning is for you. Every word you read of this useless fine print is another second off your life. Don’t you have other things to do? Is your life so empty that you honestly can’t think of a better way to spend these moments? Or are you so impressed with authority that you give respect and credence to all who claim it? Do you read everything you’re supposed to read? Do you think everything you’re supposed to think? Buy what you’re told you should want? Get out of your apartment. Meet a member of the opposite sex. Stop the excessive shopping and masturbation. Quit your job. Start a fight. Prove you’re alive. If you don’t claim your humanity you will become a statistic. You have been warned ……. Tyler”
I recently learned that I am an ENTP personality type. It was amazing how much you can learn about yourself by answering 4 simple questions, but so many of the things I read about the type helped me make sense of other aspects of my life. ENTP’s don’t do well with structure or organized religion. We hate schedules. We act ADD (which I thought I really was for years) because we love the concept of a new idea, project or challenge, but once we have figured out how to accomplish it, we find the actual follow-through tedious and boring. We feel exempt from the rules.
This is such a disjointed post, but these are things I needed to put into writing. I want to be able to go back and read this later on in life. I hope that just the memory of this day will give me a boost of gratitude for all that I have. I hope that it will be an attitude adjustment. I hope that I can always live life with a sense of urgency, but not in a hurry.
Anything could happen. Today could be the day the driver of the car next to me suffers an aneurysm and crushes my Civic with their jacked up pick-up truck. However it happens, it is inevitable. We are all living on borrowed time. The timer has already been set for all of us. Eventually, the “ding” will sound for each and every one of us. So be it. Doesn’t that just make today that much more precious?
Hug your loved ones. Turn off the TV. Log off facebook. Get outside, it is beautiful out there. Escape from the hustle and man-made-mayhem. Run through the woods. Explore. Turn over rocks. Catch a butterfly. Eat something that used to gross you out. Call someone you haven’t talked to in a while. Drive with the windows down. Let the world in.
– Dan (July 28, 2010)
Oh… kid, you’ve got some shit coming. I’m sorry, but after divorce and bankruptcy and a crisis of faith you are going to misinterpret this idea as: “LIVE FAST – DIE YOUNG.” That tattoo of yours is going to be faded and surrounded by track-mark scars. You were never meant to be a Rockstar, buddy. We sure did learn a lot more about ourselves than mere pop psychology.
Crazy thing is… I needed to hear from you today. I missed this Dan. It took me a long time to find you again.
– Dan (January 12, 2017)
P.S. Did you seriously just tell me to log off Facebook?! Okay, honestly… you may have a point.