Sunday, August 19, 2007

Meant to Be

I couldn't sleep. I left Rosa snoring in the bed and rode my bike downtown. The cool night air belied the scorching hot day previously and the day ahead. I felt strange riding my bike so late as if the police were watching me upon those deserted streets. The prying eyes of this small town are always on the lookout and forever vigilant.

When we are missing, people look for us. There was a time in my life that I could have gone missing for weeks and no one would care or come looking. When someone is gone, we imagine the best for them and the worst for us. Oftentimes, our imagination is crueler than reality. We’ll whine to our friends, using words like “depressed” and “miss” interchanged with “so much!” That was the kind of greeting Rosa gave me when I walked in the door a moment ago and I encouraged her to go back to sleep. "I was so worried about you," she said. "You just disappeared." "I had to get out and clear my head," I replied sleepily.

It's funny how life works out sometimes -- the little support groups we build around us. Much like this blog and it's readers, I have a support group in real life. Rosa. My father. The little my mother can do. It is hard to think that three years ago they weren't in my life and I was sitting in some tent in the wild woods of Alabama. Homeless. Cold, shivering, and all alone. I still have so many questions about how I let life get that way. You have to live life with unanswered questions though; there isn't always a why. People paint rectangular sentences, rounding them off with, "there is a reason for everything." Doors shut and windows open suddenly, and "meant to be" sticks in your craw like thick marmalade. Counselors and life coaches speak of it flippantly, as if speaking of a divorce or an act of God. "It was meant to be," they say. They don't attempt these clich├ęs when faced with something as horrible as a child dying of cancer. It certainly wasn't "meant to be" then. Do you honestly believe that child died to teach you a lesson?

Such is how I feel about my homeless days and my alcoholism. It just was. There was no grand plan by some higher being to teach me a lesson. I made terrible choices and it took me down an errant path. I am still making choices every day. Some good. Some bad. You learn through this process which choices bring the best results. I call it growing up. Most people take becoming an adult for granted, but those of us stunted by our addictions and mental illnesses never do until very late in life. There are some that will never grow up -- forever caught in the mentality of a child and drifting through life like a lost puppy.

Growing up is no small task for me. It's is much easier to be stagnant, alone, drunk, homeless, and isolated. The fear and anxiety of tackling that undiscovered country of adulthood is almost overwhelming. So I'll continue facing that fear and anxiety, but I will try to face it without acting on impulse. You see what impulse got me last night. Instead, I'll know that this change -- this adulthood -- I'm trying to own is "meant to be." I’m open, full of hope, taking in a deep breath, and exhaling slowly, letting the worry melt off my back. It’s more than a beginning. It’s an answer.


shy_smiley said...

A thoughtful post, well-written and provocative. Growing up isn't easy for anyone, but some relish the challenge more than others.

I worried about you on Thurs (Fri?) when you embarked on your drunk. But I think it's part of growing up... not "meant to be," because as you are well aware you certainly had choice in the matter... but it's the choice itself that indicates growth. You chose to get drunk, you chose to sober up. You've proved to yourself that YOU have the control. Way to go, Drew!

abbagirl74 said...

I know exactly what it is like when someone is missing and you worry if they are coming back. It happened last year. I was pretty scared something happened to you after all of those people emailed me to ask me to do something. Time, that's all some of us need. Time and friends. Some friendships are strange all-together. There are many of us who have been around a long time. We all have different personalities, but we all still care about each other. Some of us reach out in the strangest ways. I believe someone is reaching out now. What shall you do?

Stacy said...

Andrew that was so well written. Absolutely beautiful. You have such a wonderful talent and I am so glad that you are using it.


this post reminds me of my brother, a lost wandering 28year old that makes the same mistakes over and over again..I plan on showing him this article..maybe you'll be the one that lights the fire under his fanny.
I enjoyed this post-you're good man!! :)

Mom's Blog said...

Ok, Andrew I just have to be the mom for a minute. If leaving the house in the middle of the night is part of who you are and it in the end brings you peace... then I would not want to encourage you to stop.. However, I would suggest you might want to decide whether it is your preference to not have Rosa worry if she wakes up and you are gone. So, maybe you could discuss this with Rosa and possibly come up with a behaviour that would leave you free to roam but let her know where you might be heading and if she hasn't heard from you by a certain time to be concerned. You know leave her a note in the same place all the time or something. Personally I do not wonder at night but I feel trapped and resentful when I spouse treats me like a child and tries to make curfews about my time. For you to try to stop wondering in the middle of the night to please someone else when it is so much a part of how you work through your "stuff" seems stifling and unhealthy to me. If you want to keep her as your lover... my advise would be to not let her become your communication and respect of healthy boundaries is the key>>>

Tell Rosa I am praying for her to find the beauty and peace of this part of who you are.

Ok... done being mom.. back to being of your faithful readers ;)

Jeff Sher said...

I see you're still banging heads with Kevin B after all this time. LOL. For Just $20 you can now talk to him via Skype LOL x 3

Tamika said...

I enjoy reading your blog. I read one of your favorites. You have overcome so much in your life and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors. I'll be back to read more. In the meanwhile visit my blog 'Portraits by Tamika'.