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8 Days Of Happy: Day 8, The Last Day; It's All About The Journey 
21st-Dec-2008 02:02 am
This is a bit of a complicated post to write, because I want each of you to read it carefully and scrutinize what I am telling here. I have long believed that your life is not about the destinations you visit and sometimes spend most of your time in, it's about who you meet along the way - how you get where you're going - and what happens during these processes. More to the point, it's about what you learn and how profoundly it affects you.

I have no regrets in this life. I don't know many people who can truly say that about themselves but in my case it happens to be true. My life has not turned out at all how I imagined it would, and there are many things I have done that I am decidedly not proud of, but I would not change any part of it. To be where I am in life at the age of 38, having this deep breadth of experience beneath me, I can say with complete assurance that I am perfectly content to me myself. Once again I don't think that is something many people can say about themselves. This is a precious moment to become aware of that, to understand the power you generate and to know yourself this well, and it is something I have learned and have immense respect and gratitide for.

I've lived desperately, recklessly, and self-destructively; and found myself at different points along the way of all that giving myself pause to know that if I can just stick it out, if I can just hold out for one more day - just ONE MORE FUCKING DAY - there will always be a better time than the one I am in. I have taught myself to be patient, kind, and understanding with others when what I really want to do sometimes is scream at them until my voice leaves me in exhaustion. I have learned who to be and how to live without apology, justification, reservation, or restraint in the face of those who hate me for it as though their opinions of me do not matter, because they don't. Dr. Maya Angelou says that people will try to peck you to death like ducks, taking tiny, insignificant pieces of you away - the skin off your knee; the flange of your nostril; the bottom of your earlobe - hoping you won't notice, because they're not brave enough to just get it over with and kill you all at once. She says that the ugliness in the things that others are capable of saying about us isn't about us at all, it's about them. We're not part of that unless we choose to be and the choice is only ours to make. I believe this has been one of the greatest truths of my life.

I am not my past behaviors. I am not my childhood abuse. I am not my frustrations. I am not my old addiction. I'm all of those things, as well as a great friend and a good parent. I am also an author, an artist, a poet, and a damned good cook if I do say so myself. I work hard to be who I am, I have all my life, and it has paid off in the love I've received a thousand times over from the friends I have made and the family I have helped build.

I started this meme with my beloved Damien, and so I shall end it with him as well. I've been in various stages of agony about CJ leaving for over a week now. It's been a pattern all of my life to have issues with experiencing loss and the feelings of grief associated with it. It sends me into an emotional tailspin and I eventually wear down from it and begin doubting myself. I have a special realtionship with CJ that I've worked hard for and poured as much of my love as is possible into him so he would know what it was like and how much he deserved to be revered in that way. It worked because he gets it. To not have him around every day as is so normal for me, even as an idea, felt unbearable. I knew it was coming though and for some reason it made me turn inward to doubt myself. I try to take the best care of Damien I can, and never feel I do enough to show him I love him, because talk is cheap. It makes me feel unworthy of him and of the love he gives me. Then he goes and says something to me while holding me in his arms or holding my hand in the car while we're driving that takes all of that doubt and negativity away and makes me feel foolish for ever having it in the first place. Like this morning, as we were on our way to finish holiday shopping and getting groceries, in the car, holding hands. I was thinking about how sad I was that this was the last day I was going to have with my boy and how I wished I could be all things for Damien - even though I know it is not possible to be all things for anyone - because I want that for him. He turned off the radio and said to me "You know, sometimes I'll be sitting at work and out of the blue you'll cross my mind and I get so happy because we love each other and are going to grow old together."

He pours so much love into me, filling me up with it anytime I need it and without having to be asked - just instinctively knowing. I can handle CJ's absence. I can handle anything because I have the love of a great man that I adore like no other. As sad as I can be right now, I still have never been this happy.
21st-Dec-2008 08:48 am (UTC)
I think today was a day for epiphany - mine was realizing that I am forever bound to someone and he is forever bound to me, not by a choice that either of us made but by how our lives forever affected the life of the other. I am forever changed by knowing him and he is forever changed by knowing me.
21st-Dec-2008 12:04 pm (UTC)
Love it is. And I think I can also repeat your sentence "I have no regrets in this life". I am a happy man with what I've got.
21st-Dec-2008 12:08 pm (UTC)
Who is this Damien character you keep referring to? /giggle
22nd-Dec-2008 07:08 pm (UTC)
heh heh, whoever he is, he kicks ass for keeping Brad so loved, so happy (wink wink)!

Edited at 2008-12-22 07:08 pm (UTC)
21st-Dec-2008 12:12 pm (UTC)
Gosh, you're swell!

(And annoyingly wise!)
21st-Dec-2008 12:18 pm (UTC)
This is a bit of a complicated post to READ, but it's absolutely clear what you want to say.:)

I do appreciate it. Thank you for writing it! Thinking of you helps me gather the strength to fight my own battles.
21st-Dec-2008 01:18 pm (UTC)
I don't comment that often but I always read what you have to say. I've been thinking along these lines as well lately. I'm extraordinarily fortunate to have the partner I have and sometimes that knowledge gets lost in the trivia and minutiae of daily life. Those times are not the highlights of life nor the valleys of shadow... it's easy to remember how much I love him during those times. No, the ordinary days full of bullshit and boredom are when it's easiest to completely miss the extraordinary moments that are occurring all the time.

And Dr. Angelou's words are right on, as always. The more I refuse to be a doormat offline, the more I realize who my friends really are.
21st-Dec-2008 02:41 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for sharing this -- it's nourishing food for thought for me right when regrets are starting to boil up...
21st-Dec-2008 04:23 pm (UTC)
No, we are not a summation of all our past abuses. But, the imprint those abuses left on us will try over and over to flavor our everyday existence. We expect negative outcomes. We expect to be deceived and abused once again. It doesn't have to be that way.

For me... easier said than done, much of the time.
21st-Dec-2008 05:35 pm (UTC)
As I grow older as well, 39 (soon to be 40), I'm learning more and more that while my successes define who I am, my mistakes define me even more. That process will never end until the day I die. I've made some HUGE mistakes that I still regret, but they have forever made a better person. I try to pass this on to the fraternity I still advise and all of the youth (cadets) in Civil air Patrol. They get so bummed out when they fuck up and I keep telling them to fix the problem and then learn from it. Now they know what not to do and they can pass that on to the inexperienced.

I actually find myself taking more risks in dating in order to find someone. I always fear I'm going to do the wrong thing or at the very worst (duh, duh, duuuuuuhhh!) pick the wrong guy. Is there another way to figure that out. Uh, no. Start dating and move the fuck on, Joe.
22nd-Dec-2008 05:24 am (UTC)
I think Damien has the love of a great man too. :)
22nd-Dec-2008 07:06 pm (UTC)
This sheds light on the love and beauty I have in my own life. Thank you for sharing, Brad.
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