I left off with saying I’ll try not to make the next post so long, so here goes, but remember, you’ve already experienced one digression. Anyway, I left off saying I’d lived the first half of my life pretty much for myself, but that I wanted to spend the second half trying to do something good with it. Sharing my experiences on a blog may be a small thing to a lot of people, but when I said it’s a beginning, it is. A new beginning, one in which I do have a direction, a purpose, and a strong and sincere desire to make my life mean something to somebody besides myself.
How does that translate to writing a blog? It does so in the hope that what I write here might make a difference in somebody’s life. A poem by the poet Emily Dickinson entitled Not In Vain may seem a little hokey, but I like it’s sentiment. I know what it is to live for oneself, to think only of oneself, to want only what brings me enjoyment, and makes me feel good. What I don’t have as much experience with is putting myself last instead of first. That’s not to say I don’t have any, but I certainly feel like the balance scale in my life is weighed down more by the weight of me instead of others. I’d like at the conclusion of my life for it to be more balanced.
So now you know what the motivation is. The desire to maybe help someone. I’m sure for a lot of people the desire to help people is nothing new, and even expected, but for a majority of the years I’ve lived, I’ve known a greater number of people who looked out for themselves rather than others. Over the last 12 years I’ve changed a great deal; consequently, that’s the same amout of time I’ve been married to my wife. It’s possible there’s some revelance in that, and I’ll let you determine for yourself just how much you think there is. I can tell you that marriage and children, and growing older does tend to change one’s perspective, and one’s priorities.
I’ll tell you something else, too. My beliefs have changed over the years. It’s funny, and sometimes not so funny, how much life can change not only how one thinks, but in what one thinks about. Something else that has affected my view is the world around me, and I don’t like what I see. I can’t deny that I was part of what I see now as a problem, but those days are over. Mahatma Gandhi said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” I can see some truth in that, but I think there’s more to it. I know I don’t have the power to change other people, and to be honest, I don’t really think that people are truly capable of changing everything in their lives by themselves.
For years I tried to change the way I lived; notice the word years. To go into all that I did and was into is just more than I want to go into right now. Remember, I said I’d make this blog shorter than the first one. Just suffice it to say I knew more about vice than virtue, and so did a lot of my friends. Most of those people are long gone, and yet I’m still here. I tried to change, tried to quit, and I did, over and over again. It was like putting on a different set of clothes everyday, my appearance changed, but what was on the inside didn’t. My life was like a kid trying to set a record for the most times riding the same roller-coaster; I’d be on top every once in awhile, but never for very long.
I guess you could say I was trying to save myself. When that didn’t work I looked for someone else to save me. Twice I married people that I thought could save me. I’m twice divorced. You don’t have to work for NASA to figure it out. Simply put, even the best people, get tired of lies, manipulation, and being used. Don’t expect to stay in a relationship long if you do this to people because you won’t. In short, I did everything I could, and the people around me did everything they could, and it wasn’t enough. I knew I wanted to change, had to change, if I wanted to live.
Ever been in a place that’s totally dark, pitch black, and you’re alone? You don’t know where to go, or which way is out, and screaming doesn’t help? That’s as close as I can come to what it feels like to live without hope. You think there’s anything worse than death? Try living without hope. You’ve seen the title for my blog. You’ll have to keep reading to find out how I got from there to here, and I believe that’s what fiction writer’s call a tease.