Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Squared Away

This is going to be another one of those weird, introspective posts where someone emails me and says, “Wow, nice observation that the rest of the world already knows, you stupid asshole.”

Someone is inexorably bound to write this to me, because whenever people email me to criticize something I say on this site, they invariably call me an asshole. While calling me an asshole wouldn’t be entirely off the mark these days, it’s usually something reserved for people who actually know me – too many of whom can attest to the fact that I’ve been a major asshole of late.

Anyway, I’m starting to think my life is a series of small interconnected events that happen for specific reasons. Like, I’ll take some kind of emotional hit, and I’ll feel like shit for a little while, and then, out of the blue, the right person will call me and make me realize how good I really have it. I don’t know if this happens to everyone, or just to me, but it’s a very consistent thing in my life, and it’s been that way for a long, long time.

I’m not talking about major things here. I’ve taken some major, major hits in my life. We all have, and we all will. I’ve lost several people over the years who’ve been very important to me, and that takes a damned long time to get over. Having been through the loss of three immediate family members in a thirteen year span – including a recent one I haven’t written anything about and likely never will – I always think I’m immune to dwelling on smaller shit until something nails me in just the right place to derail things for a little while.

I’ve taken a few pretty good shots recently. Some of these were admittedly self-inflicted. Others were not. In one case, I was treated rather unfairly by people in whom I’d misguidedly put a little too much faith. In retrospect, this was my fault because I put myself in a position to allow it to happen. I know that now. I didn’t know it a week ago, when I was letting it get to me – and letting everyone around me know I was letting it get to me.

Everything’s relative, though, which is something you realize when you have the right friends. The first friend is a guy who convinced me I’m “better than” the way I was reacting to the situation, and that I’m “better than” the way I’ve been living my life lately. He went on to explain to me how much “better than” me he is, but that had no bearing on the fact that his words sunk in. I’m taking his advice and running with it.

The second friend is a guy whose wife just died last week. She was in her late thirties. They have two young kids. We talked on the phone for an hour tonight, and by the end of the conversation, everything just settled back into place.

This may come as a shock to some people, but even I – with my grandiose delusions that everything that happens to me is exponentially more important than everything that happens to everyone else in the world – can have a sense of perspective once in a while. It occasionally take a few pairs of strong hands to move me back to center, but I’m capable of getting it.