I don’t know what this post is going to look like. I am going to “follow the wild goose” which is a term I heard about a long time ago referring to a term the ancient Celts had for the Holy Spirit. So, I am actually not sure if I am using “follow the wild goose” as a literal or a metaphor.
Like many people, I have a hard time looking at images or videos of deformed people or children with severe illnesses. I can’t image the hardship of day-to-day life for them. The physical and social challenges. Every day before they even wake up, they have challenges that most of us can never and will never imagine. If they are deformed, they will likely have no mate their whole lives. Or those videos of people who have overcome 1000 more times the challenges that I have ever faced. Perhaps one of the hardest parts for me to handle is their attitudes and attitude about life. Many of them are generally happy and happy to be alive. The shame that fills me in those moments prevents me from engaging or watching those videos of humanity or hope. How can I be so unhappy or live with my pitiful excuse for an attitude? My inability to figure life out?
In recent times I have had a minor obsession with searching people’s wiki pages (famous and celebrity). I am always most interested in their personal information. Realizing that they live in a different world than I do. But I am amazed (not in a good way) by their search for happiness. Most of them have been married three or four times. They have fancy cars and mansions. In other words, their search for happiness. I assume that if you have been married four times you were looking for someone else for your happiness? And when they didn’t make you happy you trade them in? What goes through someone’s mind when they are saying their marriage vows to a third wife? Forget the damage done to any children they already have.
I have been alone most of my entire life. I watch people. I watch how they take their partner for granted. I have only been in two relationships in my life. I made every effort a man can make to never take my time and commitment to them for granted. I found a tremendous amount of happiness in the moment of not taking my time with them for granted. Part of me always knew that happiness would never last for me so you better appreciate these brief moments. If I only experienced the same from my partners. Besides you just have to look around to see the damage of neglect. Neglect is a form of terminal cancer. Does commitment mean nothing to anyone? All I have ever wanted in life was to be known by one person. But I feel like to be known by someone today would freak me right out in a really bad way that I could not handle.
As an adult, I had a few occasions where I was involved in kid’s lives. In a way, I cared for them and loved them like they were my own, generally at great emotional expense. Having a father that has generally been too busy for me my entire life I understood the importance of being present to those kids the moment they entered my daily world. To intentionally drop whatever work I was doing to make them my focus and priority. I have no relationship with these people years later. I can’t stand being around kids anymore. While on my bike ride across Canada at a host’s home, a young kid playfully jumped on my back. I didn’t let on, but internally I was freaking out.
I never searched for happiness in money. Admittedly I believe financial stability is a huge relief to the day-to-day human struggle and experience. Few things feel as hopeless in life as being stuck in poverty and only money can get you out of poverty. I know firsthand about poverty and fear I am heading back in that direction. After living most of my adult life well below the poverty line, I pushed my lifestyle even lower when as a truck driver I for the first time earned more money in my life than my whole life. I sacrificed and disciplined my spending to allow for my past bike ride.
Sustained by definition: continuing for an extended period or without interruption.
The consistency and percentage of people who have named me as a friend in my lifetime and with no thought or justifiable reason discard me with their daily garbage is another arrow piercing an already crushed soul. On August 21, 2022, I was compelled to write my thoughts on paper. “It is the thought of interreacting and meeting the hundreds of people that for one reason or another will cross my path in my remaining time on this planet that will ultimately reveal their true colors that make my life so exhausting. There is a point where it is no longer about pain or hurt. It is about fatigue; it is about the sustained exhaustion of living long enough to meet another human being.”
Alone by definition: isolated and having no one else present.
How do I reconcile the shame I feel for not overcoming when sick children have overcome worse? Is their spirit, soul, and heart not broken yet? Is that the difference? In first grade at the age of six, I was bullied. And from that day forward my entire public and high school life I was bullied every day. Adding the sustained assault on my soul as an adult adds to 43 years of sustained assault, loneliness, and isolation. Even the lame man at the Pool of Bethesda only had to wait 38 years to be made well. (John 5 vs 3 to 9).
Broken by definition: having been fractured or damaged and no longer in one piece or in working order.
I have nothing to complain about. I was raised lower middle class. I know the difference between right and wrong. My parents are not divorced. I knew life before technology. I have no medical illnesses or conditions other than allergies and recent insomnia. I have experienced many different lives that most people can only dream about. I bought my first house right before my 20th birthday. I turned a high school hobby into a successful business in my 20s. I have lived a life of adventure. I drove 1.2 million kilometers criss-crossing North America by truck. I have biked a total of 32,900 kilometers over two bike tours across North America and Mexico. I have a home in the jungles of Belize with the opportunity to live a life of adventure every day. No excuses, but broken is broken, and alone is alone.
Written October 17, 2022