Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Life Becomes Us








We don’t get to choose our lives…even though we might think we do.

We don’t get to decide what we become, or who we become, or how we become…even though we might think we do.

We—all of us—if we’re fortunate enough, smart enough, even strong enough, set out to become something, to make something, to live something…of a life.

Yet in time we come to see, what a fool’s errand we’ve been on.

What a naïve merry go round, we’ve been riding.

Because in time we all come to see that we evolve into what our lives want us to be…not the other way around.

“Say what”, you say.

“Say yes”, I say.

Everyday….

If only that were true.

Because on most days, I mostly say…“Oy vey…what now?”

But somehow, inside, I know, the things I’ve been chasing my whole life—the things constantly just outside my reach—are the things I was never meant to catch.

Just the things I wanted to catch…while all the time life had another idea in mind for me.

Great…!

Right?

Well, not so much…at least at the time.

Which was before its time.

“Say what”, you say.

“Say yes”, I say.

Of course this could be and probably is just some sort of justification for failing to meet the goals I set for myself in my earlier days…in between having my diaper changed.

I don’t know why, but Jungle Explorer always seemed to be my calling…despite my poison ivy problems. 

And I don’t think it was unreasonable to expect Ed McMahon to retire so I could slip into his job as Johnny’s sidekick and eventually assume the late night throne by the 90’s.

It’s not like I wasn’t willing to wait my turn.

And it all would have worked out if it weren’t for just one thing….

Leno!

Who would have expected such back stabbing?

That plus the fact that the guy from NBC never answered my letters…not one!

Almost as if someone was hiding them…

Leno!

But as time went on I realized, sometimes the path we seek, isn’t necessarily seeking us.

Sometimes the path that’s meant for us is the one that’s always been there, off to the sides, overgrown in a tangle of weeds and brambles.

The one with the spooky eyes, hidden in the bush, glowing off in the distance.

The one that others take one look at, and then quickly move along to one of the alternate paths; the ones serving margaritas and passing out snorkeling gear.

And who could blame them, especially if that’ll lead them to where they belong.

But there’s always been something about that tangled path over to the side; the one that’s both fascinated you and frightened you.

The one that always drags you back, until one day…maybe out of frustration…maybe out of hopelessness…or maybe just because you’re ready…you step into the dark….

And while you wonder if this is a huge mistake, and are reminded of the time you got on the wrong bus when you were 10 and instead of going home, ended up two towns over, sitting all alone with the driver as he ate his lunch and asked if you liked gladiator movies…it’s not at all like that.

There’s calm in this particular darkness, a warmth and a pull from an indiscernible beacon that locks on to you and makes you feel at home.

Soon, you come to realize—the further along the path you travel…the further this benevolent beacon guides you through unexpected twists and turns—the contentment you feel, is your life taking shape around you...bringing you to where you were always meant to be…and where you’ve always been.

Maybe, not the life you dreamed or the life you thought you’d become…but, instead, the life that became you.

And you can’t help but be happy with that…..

Especially when you realize, Fallon can’t host the Tonight Show forever….



15 comments:

  1. Yes! Much cogitation required here. I almost felt cheated that I couldn't have the life I wanted. I've cheered myself up with "If you know it then you weren't completely duped.

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    1. The life I wanted was "out of stock"...unless I wanted it in green, which, of course, would never do given my complexion....

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  2. those normal days of every day this and that should never be taken for granted.... our days are blessings....
    and sometimes those unexpected twists and turns just suck. SUCK.
    i want back to the humdrum.

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    1. Those normal days of everyday are not as normal as we think. That is the irony I suppose.

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    2. When you look back at al those twists and turns, especially the ones that seem to suck...those are the ones that give you pause, years later and lead you to say....ahhhhh....I get it now.....

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    3. i hope you're right, brian.....

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    4. i take that back. i KNOW you are right, brian.

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    5. hahahaha, i will keep the faith.

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  3. The road I didn't take was to sing with a band, like Ella or Peggy Lee. My husband and I were listening to a band playing Cole Porter. I said I was going to offer to sing with them. So my husband said: OK, I'll meet you in the parking lot."

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    1. So you ordered another martini...shot the bandleader a wink, weighted with possibilities...and life went on...happily.

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    2. Oh yes. I love martinis, but they are not the same without a cigarette. And I haven't smoked since 1996. Life goes on,..happily. I like the way you continued this story, especially where it is "weighted with possibilities."

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  4. Sometimes the best things in life come when you least expect them....that's when you realize if your life had taken another direction, those very things would never be....

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    1. Is this about Wendi and the meat grinder again?

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Retort to the Retort -

“Is there anybody alive out there…”