>Traveling Time

7 Dec

>

I reconnected with an old friend yesterday. A boy I was head over heels for. The first boy I ever really fell in love with. I thought the world of him and would have done anything I could for him.  I’ve not seen him – or spoken to him – in 20 years now. It opened a wellspring of memory and emotion. This was originally to be a post about him, but (his post will come later) it has really got my little hamster up and running on so many levels. Much of it, I don’t even know how to process… I don’t know where to put it all.
Baby steps?
I wonder how much we are all truly a product of our circumstance. How much of it is choice, and how much of it – in our early lives – is more the hand we are dealt? My childhood sucked. Hard. I don’t want this to be a Michael Alig “Oh I was molested….” diatribe. It’s not about that. But I have to wonder that had I a different path to follow then, if I would be where I am now? If someone had given some vague modicum of a shit about me, how would I have ended up? It can’t all be the choices I made. Sure I chose to drink. Sure I chose to do the unending, copious amounts of drugs. But what causes a 15 year old to become an alcoholic drug user at so young an age? How does that even become an option?  And could I have done it differently? Did I even know how then?  Did I really have a choice at the time???  Was I capable?
By the time I think I knew better – or was aware of the idea of other alternatives, I was so far gone into that world that I don’t know that I knew then how to get out of it. I was doing coke before I was even old enough to buy cigarettes. Was drinking to the blackout stage more times than I would like to admit before I was old enough to buy to the booze I was guzzling down like water.
Is this just my hand? Or is this my fault? Would I be now a recovering drug addict, alcoholic, and living with HIV? They all led to one another. I know I am responsible for my own actions. I am not trying to disown that fact by any means. I did what I did and thusly am paying the consequences – but had my foundations been what they should have been I can’t help but to wonder what I might have become.
Instead, I am what I am. Which, all this considered, is pretty fucking awesome. I love who I am and what I have accomplished – what I have survived – what I have achieved – what I have created and put back into the universe. I look forward to all that I still have to do. And I have many great plans before I leave this plane. 
But sometimes those What Ifs shout so loudly you just have to give them mind every once in a while…
What if…? What if…? What if…?

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25 Responses to “>Traveling Time”

  1. Kate December 7, 2010 at 9:22 am #

    >I believe that every single event in your life contributes to the person you are today. I have no doubt that, given different circumstances, we'd each be very different people. That's why I try not to have any regrets. If I'd done anything differently, if anyone had done anything differently to me or my environment, I would not be the person I am today. And, although, I am not always happy, I wouldn't want to be anyone else.Kate x

  2. mel December 7, 2010 at 9:26 am #

    >*sigh* so much i could say here.first, i'll agree with your ultimate conclusion – you ARE freakin' awesome..and if all that you went through and survived has led to your State of Awesomeness…then none of it was for nothing. you are one of those rare and precious souls who has cultivated their acre of shit into a beautiful rose garden. ;)i'm a mother….so my heart aches for the child-you-were. i'm painfully, consciously aware of everything i do/say/model for my children…because i don't want them to inherit my crap. but, it's somewhat inevitable. you just do the best you can with what you currently know. when you know better, you do better (misquoting Maya Angelou there..lol)i've made peace with the past….i still wonder about the 'what ifs' but i know i wouldn't change much…if anything.big love…xo

  3. Midwestern Mama Holly December 7, 2010 at 9:28 am #

    >Sometimes when I am here alone during the day and in one of my funks.. yeah I get them in a bad way. I do the what if thing too. I wonder and run all kinds of scenarios in my head. Are we here in this life working off some sort of karmatic debt from another life? IF. The biggest 2 letter word ever.

  4. Rabbit December 7, 2010 at 9:29 am #

    >Honestly, I am at peace with it to. But one still wonders…The only thing I would change if I could would be being sick. But then again, who knows where this will lead to. Great things could lie in wait with this too.Who's to say?

  5. Mary December 7, 2010 at 9:32 am #

    >Wow Michael. I applaud you for sharing so much about yourself in this post. I have those moments all the time.. what if things had been different? What if, what if, what if… you make me want to write about it too, but I'm not yet to the stage of wanting to bare my soul in my blog in that respect. I'm not sure I ever will be. But, I can comment and say thank you for sharing and being open to the world in a beautiful, wonderful and inspiring way. LOVE that you love yourself and applaud yourself. That's really what we should all strive for (and I still do strive for feeling that way…) at a bare minimum. And I think the other poster said it best, and it's something I try to keep in mind, without the pitfalls and issues of our past, we wouldn't be the awesome person we are today… sooooo there is something to be said for the hardships.. and hopefully they make us a tougher person dealing with all the bs life throws at us…

  6. Kenn Chaplin December 7, 2010 at 9:44 am #

    >I know. I know! However, when I express all these regrets to those people who DO really give a shit about the adult I've become, they say they admire my strength. (That's good for a while but then the old woulda, coulda, shouldas come back and I'm left with wondering why I didn't off myself long ago.) How's that for a response to a compliment? My best days are when I can stay in the moment. "Don't let the bastards get you down…" (whoever or whatever they are or were.)

  7. Magaly Guerrero December 7, 2010 at 9:46 am #

    >I love the fact you love who you are, there are so many people who don't and that makes me very sad. I believe we are a product of the things we go through and how we deal with them, that's kind of vague, huh? Anyhoo… I think we are a product of our past and of how we live our present (at least me) because I grew up very poor (dirt floors, no plumbing, no electricity, washing clothes in the river…). I've done, not in spite of my tough childhood, but because of it. I value things and I live everyday as if it was my last. But my brothers are not like me. They don't like thinking about where we came from, and I respect that. Also, they didn't use the tools we were offered when we came to the US, and as much as it hurts to say it, I don't think they are as happy as I am. And they blame a lot of the struggle to the way we grew up, which it is strange because we had the same things.

  8. Jane December 7, 2010 at 10:01 am #

    >damn, this is a good post today! I grew up in a very "nornal" household by most standards. My parents were loving and kind and decent. My parents had decent jobs and we lived in a nice neighborhood. Yet, my whole childhood I struggled with low self-esteem. I always felt different and alone even though I had a nice crowd of friends. I continue at age 46 to wonder why I still can't find my way. At some point over the years I became aware of my spirituality. I used to beat the shit out of myself because I couldn't understand why God wired me this way. Now I believe that we are all here in these bodies and in this lifetime to work things out and that was probably agreed upon before we even got here. The challenges we have are all part of the master plan. It all feels so complex to me and yet it also makes perfect sense.

  9. Oilfield Trash December 7, 2010 at 10:49 am #

    >Great post. I must say that I often find myself saying what if a lot, but for me it just causes to much pain to think about the what ifs.

  10. Jumble Mash December 7, 2010 at 10:57 am #

    >I think this way a lot. Even if its something as simple as my car breaking down when I really really wanted to go somewhere. I always wonder what was going to happen there that I wasn't supposed to see or hear? I believe that every choice you make effects some other aspect in your life entirely. Even something simple as choosing what you'll have for lunch today.

  11. David Waters December 7, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    >this post is powerful friend, it brings up so many question I have tried to put to rest…if only someone had given a shit would I be who I am now? great question….great post. hugs

  12. Rabbit December 7, 2010 at 11:32 am #

    >I guess what matters is we survived it. And we have people that give a shit now. Can't do a lot about the yesterdays, but there are a thousand todays to make the best of.

  13. Cinderita December 7, 2010 at 11:50 am #

    >You know what the best part about all the stuff that happened to us in the past? Is that it's not happening to us now. As Mary said, thank you for sharing so much of yourself in this post. It doesn't even say that much, but it says so much about who you are now. And who you are now is clearly committed to so much more than who you were then. And what's awesome about that is that who you were then was someone who was committed to something too. We all make choices, and some of them are unconscious…especially the ones we make growing up. Often times those choices are thrust upon us. I had a lot of "choices" thrust upon me right up into my grown up life, by my parents, and to be quite honest…I wouldn't tradea ny of them for the world. For I get to be who I am because of all the sh*t I have experienced. So thanks for the reminder.xx

  14. Nubian December 7, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

    >My attitude is that everything I have done in my life is a success as I learned from it. There were no failures. (except for the MFSOB ex husband)

  15. Mrs. Hyde December 7, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    >I did a post yesterday about how my life turned out completely different than I had planned. The more I think about it, the angrier I get. So I guess what I need to do is start from here and work forward. What ifs are counterproductive and only serve to piss you off.

  16. Anonymous December 7, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    >i am touched by an angel…..you are always gonna be my besty…..and i am glad to have found you after all these years….luv you unconditionally…..always and forever….

  17. Mynx December 7, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

    >I held my breath for a moment while i read this and then exhaled with a smile. You truly are awesome and dont ever forget that. I beleive we are given the path we walk and that makes us who we are. Special people are given extra challenges. Guess that makes you pretty special.Can't wit to hear about your friendHugs xx

  18. AmberLaShell December 7, 2010 at 3:56 pm #

    >This post reminds me of Freud, Nature vs Nurture… I think that we can only make choices from the ones that we are given, and it is not until the right choices are presented to us do we have to option of changing the way we do things. Luckilly you were given the choice and did come out better than before. Good luck in everything.

  19. Pat Tillett December 7, 2010 at 4:41 pm #

    >Micael, you are indeed "awesome!" In many ways! You should be proud of yourself. You've been through hell and have come out the far side. I think as kids and young people we do self destructive things to cope. We do drugs to cope. We drink to cope. It's all about self medicating and feeling anything but how we really feel. I don't usually do this, but here's a link to an old post of mine on the same subject. If you have the time or interest, take a look see… http://patricktillett.blogspot.com/2010/04/deaths-headache.html

  20. bruce December 7, 2010 at 8:35 pm #

    >excellent post…we all get to where we are going by the choices we make, but when we are young we rely so heavily on the adults in our life that when they fail us it can be disasterous.you have overcome many challenges, but many more await. dealing with what you are dealing with will not be easy, but in that respect mebbe the past is there to help you with this.everyday is an adventure and a new choice, some choices mundane and some life changing…the people that i have *met* in the BloggeringWorld are just as real and tangible as the ones that i see in my job et al…the difference is: i feel a kindred spirit, and a belonging like i have only felt in other artistic endeavors…my point is this…we are all connected, and as much as the world would want us to feel other wise, our bond is feelings, thoughts, hopes, dreams and nightmares, reflected in our art..you are not alone!brucestupid stuff i see and hearandbruce johnson jadip

  21. Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com December 7, 2010 at 9:27 pm #

    >Your writing is so human and powerful Michael. I agree with Pat. Kids in abusive/deprived situations really don't have choices, not good ones, anyway. If their needs are met in healthy ways, they wouldn't be so likely to turn to drugs and self defeating patterns. On the flip side, your writing wouldn't be so powerful, and you wouldn't be so awesome, had you lived a more privileged life. xo

  22. becca December 7, 2010 at 9:36 pm #

    >that is a good question and makes you think. i mean we have lived two very different lifes you a very hard one and me a very shelter one by all accounts and yet here we both are given the same sentence eventual death. you from HIv and me renal failure. makes what you are asking a very interesting thought. how much is choice and how much is fate.

  23. The Empress December 8, 2010 at 7:23 am #

    >It makes me sad to think of you hurting as a child and yet it also makes me incredibly proud of you that despite everything you have been through, you are one of the most amazing, giving and talented human beings gracing our world. Thanks for sharing this post. Much love!

  24. Jhon Baker December 9, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

    >reacting to insanity with insanity is a very sane thing to do.

  25. Didactic Pirate December 15, 2010 at 9:51 am #

    >It's really, really, really, really important that I don't think about the What If's in my history too much. I drink enough right now as it is.

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