Friday, January 06, 2006

All Growed Up?

As I re-read my previous entries, I always feel a little strange when it says “POSTED BY MR. ALTHOUSE.” I never really considered myself a “Mr.” anything. I never really felt like an adult. True, I’ve done all the adult things (married, divorced, kids, etc.), been to the adult places, traveled (even obtained and used a passport), and abused all the privileges that come at (or before) certain ages. And I have paid adult consequences. Although I have been a legal adult for a little over half my life, I just didn’t ever feel like one. At some level, I always felt like I was missing something.

With this feeling came a host of other “feelings” that were so persistent that they became predictable, comfortable and normal to the point that I felt it had to be just me. Somehow, perhaps, my expectations of what life was supposed to deliver or be were too high or maybe skewed. Maybe the familiar discomfort that was present since I was a child was some kind of karmic curse. At any rate, it was easier to ignore (through a wide variety of means) than to address. I mean, who would I tell…how could I explain. Even I thought it was just plain crazy.

I’d see people go to work, be parents, interact with friends and do all the other daily “life” stuff. I did those things too, but it always seemed to me like it wasn’t me, that all I was doing was imitating what was modeled for me. There were times when it was like I was in some kind of control room. I’d be operating this mind, this body, but remotely. There was no soul, no spirit, no... life. There would be no direct feedback; I was disconnected. One result is that I never really, really cared much about much. It was like a defense mechanism that kept me insulated but was in reality suffocating me. Besides, it didn’t work. Even though I didn’t feel it, at some level I was connected, I did care and whenever I experienced a loss, I felt it. I just never saw it coming.

It’s a miracle I got this far. I am still alive. Let me rephrase that: I AM ALIVE! What’s changed? Nothing – and everything. Life has a funny way of giving up clues. These are kinda like signs or indicators as to a direction one could (should?) take. I was extremely good at ignoring these indicators. I don’t want to go into a discussion on spirituality, religion, God(s), higher power, cosmic forces – you get the idea, but if that makes it easier to understand, then use it. My belief in this area is, well – hmmm. Mine and has nothing to do with other beliefs, what has been written or even the truth. It is just my belief.

The key is that I now enjoy life all the time, no matter what. My attitude has changed, I have a sense of purpose, I am present and connected. No longer going through the motions, I am operating in real time. Was this within me all the time? Is it some time generated unlocking of genetic code? Is it a spiritual connection to the universe? I don’t know, it could be all or none of the above. I do have a belief, however. What actually is working for me is irrelevant, a belief that something is, is everything. So I chose this moniker to signify my coming of age. It only took 40+ years, but that’s life. It’s getting less weird…


Dawner said...

It sounds like you are in that part of your life where soul searching and finding yourself seem to be going hand in hand. It is great to hear that you are the type of person that accepts these changing aspects of you. I know the older I get the more I am finding out about myself. I think that when I was younger I was so busy running around my life that I never really knew what or who I was, and for that matter am. Keep searching yourself it is so healthy and needed in this world of so many societal norms, beliefs and stereo types. Find yourself and live within you. Great entry!

Keith said...

Mike - made my first visit to your blog after you visited mine.

You are very easy to read, my friend. A good writer!

As to the post - whatever you've found, bottle it ... quick! (ha)

Seriously, I turned 40 this year and I think something clicks. Maybe it's middle-age? Dunno.

I'll be checking back here often ...

The Zombieslayer said...

I can't really put my finger on when I grew up. Several times, i thought I was fully grown up, and I did extremely stupid things that kids would know better than to do.