Wednesday, April 24, 2013

And So We Fight On

I struggle every day with the same thoughts, and the same burning questions.  I'd like to tell you about one of them.  Every day, I have the very distinct and overwhelmingly powerful thought that I'm not a good enough person to have been given extra time on this earth.  I was supposed to die, and I didn't.  And every day, I get upset with myself and obsess over the idea that I haven't done enough to deserve the time I have.

When I was diagnosed, at 25, I had already lived an incredibly full life.  I had several adventures, and had many amazing people in my life, many of whom I couldn't imagine living without.  My life was already its own reward, and each day, a wonderland.  I had already run after my dreams, traveling down various highways and dirt roads on the journey through my own soul, and through the tangled, unpredictable wilderness of my ambitions.  I accomplished a great deal by that point, in spite of my own propensity to commit the cardinal sin of wasting time.  But there were several things I could have done better.  Including a few I could have done much, much better.  I haven't always done the right thing, though I tried very hard.  Sometimes I did the wrong thing, and I did it on purpose.  I did it because it benefit me, or out of a hedonistic sense of momentary pleasure.  For a long time I adhered to misguided philosophies of morality, and justified behavior that had no justification.  I admit it's possible that I'm being too hard on myself, in hindsight.  I think that when you have a reason to pause and evaluate your decisions, more often than not you'll find yourself guilty of several things, whether it's fair, or logical, or not.  But these motives, whether deserved or not, help me to become the man I want to be.  And there isn't anything contrived or misguided about that.

Very generally, I feel that I don't deserve the good things that come my way now.  And that makes me work harder for them.  But harder in a very genuine way, because I'm no longer moving toward goals for the sake of achieving them, I'm only moving on things I actually want.  When you know what you want, and you aren't sure you deserve it, you become a better person, by default.  There are several reasons why I might have cause to be happy about moving forward these days, and all of them are quickly diminishing the thought that I no longer deserve to be happy.  It's possible that I have a clean slate.  And I have clear priorities.  Those two things make me formidable, and stronger than I've felt in a very long time.  It remains to be seen what I do with that strength -- whether I find the courage to follow through, or lose my willpower altogether down the road.  It seems very likely to me that I will meet my goals, one way or the other.  The fear that I'll sabotage myself is very minimal for now.  Of course, that goes in phases, like everything else.

My point?  Hopeful optimism.  Start feeling excited about being happy.  I am.  I feel a lot of pressure building up, whispering in my ear that it's time to be content, after a long winter of discontent.  If you allow such urges to course through you, even in times when you know you don't deserve it, you may just allow yourself to act on those urges, and end up suddenly, surprisingly, happy.