I stumbled upon an old song today, This is the Life, and it reminded me of myself, who I had once been, what I had once thought. I was a good boy, but I am a man now.
I listened often to Living Colour the year I dropped out of college. In dropping out, I decided to aggressively pursue my education on my own terms. I also set my life goals that year. I pursued those goals doggedly until, years later, I foolishly disgarded them one by one for someone else without demanding a negotiated compromise. I married her, and because I did not demand compromise our marriage was unhealthy.
This week, decades later, I came through the other side of all that. I am finally divorced. I lost everything, and I am old. My health is diminished. My career is gone. I will never achieve anything that I once could have, and my future with my two boys is less certain than it has ever been.
This is the life I have. Rather than agonize over what has happened, rather than avoid acknowledging my share of responsibility for my own predicament, I accept that this is my life. Every aspect of this mess laid before me is not an obstruction to get through on the way to my life, but rather this mess is my life. And not only mine. I cultivate it for everyone connected to me as well as myself. I have much work to do.