It may sound absurd...but don't be naive
Even heroes have the right to bleed
I may be disturbed...but won't you concede
Even heroes have the right to dream
It's not easy to be me
Up, up and away...away from me
It's all right...you can all sleep sound tonight
I'm not crazy...or anything...
I can't stand to fly
I'm not that naive
Men weren't meant to ride
With clouds between their knees
I'm only a man in a silly red sheet
Digging for kryptonite on this one way street
Only a man in a funny red sheet
Looking for special things inside of me
- Five for Fighting, "Superman"
When I was a runner in high school, one of my inspirations was a Nike promotional poster. It featured a runner silhouetted against a long, winding road, and the caption read, "There Is No Finish Line". And so it is with all of us. The past few months have really driven this home for me, as I've gone from blowing up my previous life in Houston, moving to Portland, and working to somehow put the pieces back together. With months of counseling and years of medication behind me, I'm here to tell you that's it's still a winding, bumpy road...and there really isn't a finish line. All any of us has is the journey.
Thankfully life- that "journey"- looks a whole lot better these days, if only because I've put myself in a better place emotionally. Physically, I'm in a place I feel comfortable. After finally admitting to myself that I hated Houston, hated living there, and had felt that way for several years, being in Portland feels like being home. It's just too bad that I didn't have the balls to admit this to myself years ago...but I didn't, and so here I am. I suppose life is what happens when you're in denial....
Of course, feeling as if I'm "home" doesn't mean the clouds have parted, the rain has stopped, and the sun is kissing my thinning hair. The power of place has been only part of the equation for me. Getting used to being by myself has also presented some challenges. Yes, being single again does have certain advantages (and drawbacks), but more than anything it's been a change in orientation for me. Wrestling with what happens next has been a revelation, if only because I never thought I'd find myself here at this point in my life.
The question of if, when, and/or how to let someone in again is no mere academic exercise. Like most questions in my life these days, I find myself disturbingly short of answers. Of course, I'm doing my best to not get too caught up in searching for answers right about now, because when I begin searching, all I find are more questions. I'm just trying to take life as it comes while trying to be the best version of myself that I can be. Thus far, that has proven to be enough of a challenge to keep me occupied...and then some.
Life goes on, if only because it must- and it sure as Hell beats the alternative. I can't say that I'm on top of things yet, but I'm a damn sight better off than I was just a few short months ago. I still need to do a better job of taking care of myself and recognizing what it is that I want and need. I hope that I'll be able to learn these lessons before it costs me another relationship. There was a time when I assumed that when I reached middle age, I'd be settled and on top of my life. Instead, I'm discovering that answers are as difficult to come by now as they were when I was in my 20s...because things become a whole lot more complicated as I get older.
It's taken me a long time to recognize this, but I'm a good person who deserves good things...and I'm not talking about material things. I'm talking about a life, a career, and a relationship that help to make me a happier and healthier person. I've had those things, but I've done a damn poor job of nurturing and valuing them. I can only hope that I've learned from my mistakes, and that the people I've hurt along the way will find it within themselves to forgive me. I may not be able to return to what was, but I'd like to think that I have it within me to cherish what may be. If I can find it within myself to do that, there might just be hope for me yet.