Thanksgiving has come and gone. We cooked and feasted than napped in front of the TV, dozing to the excited narration of football announcers and commercials hawking stuff we don’t need. The next day the Christmas tree went up and the decorations came out. Lights were unwound, ornaments hung, and hearts lifted. Now they say it might snow. Perhaps it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. I certainly hope so. This world could use a little peace on earth and goodwill towards men. After the violence of black Friday it seems it could also stand to learn a few lessons on priorities and what really matter.
There is just over a month left in this year. Looking back at the roller coaster ride of my life these past eleven months I cannot help but look forward to a new year and an opportunity to start over. Strangely enough I moved here to the Nashville area at the beginning of the year to start over and recover from a bad relationship, only to find myself mired in a family drama of lies, manipulation, and outright stupidity. The lesson learned; never work for family. I weathered that storm and jumped ship before it crashed on the rocks and kept moving forward though. I learned a lot this year, made some friends, lost others, and had my share of fun along the way. It was a summer to never forget and a fall filled with trials, tests, and obstacles but the future looks bright at last and for once; I look into the future with hope and promise.
I often frame these posts as if I were speaking to a crowd. Right about now I would ask, “What will you do with the next year?” Then I would proceed to hammer out a moving motivational speech to hopefully fire you up and get you moving. I’m not going to do that though, not anymore. The simple fact is that we are all adults now. With few exceptions we are the people we will always be. Rarely in life do we Americans find ourselves in situations forcing us to change or reevaluate our life direction? So we plod on down the same old path doing things the same way we always have, bitching, and moaning along the way about the unfairness of it all. I refuse to take part in that any longer. I won’t associate myself with those who do and I will not enable procrastination and stagnation anymore.
I cannot make you get off the couch. There is a month left in this year what you do with it is up to you; so to the year to come. I have decided that my life, and myself as well need modification. If I am ever to achieve the things I want and secure the life I want than changes must be made. For me it’s a matter of survival. I have spent so many years unhappy and rambling about directionless, that I have wasted a great portion of my life. I have sacrificed happiness for comfort and routine. All it got me were sleepless nights filled with regrets of the past and shame over mistakes made in selfishness. You can’t live your life that way. Likewise you can’t live your life wishing for something better.
The lives we lead are the ones we make for ourselves everyday through our choices or lack thereof. I choose something better. There is more waiting for me out there and I choose to go get it. You can choose whatever you like. This life you have now is probably safe and familiar. Given the circumstances of this shaky economy and dismal job market staying where you are may be the practical choice. I’ve spent the last four years trying in vain to be practical. I paid my dues and struggled up the ladder only to find the view to the top gets further away with each passing moment. Playing this game by the rules guarantees only one thing that you will lose in the end. This is a game and the stakes are your life and happiness. You can’t sit this out or refuse to play, thinking that you can is foolish in the extreme and at the least naïve.
The world belongs to those who go after it. The future belongs to those with vision and ambition. This is the way it works. You can complain and protest all you want but it changes nothing. Besides in a world this screwed up and filled with misery, no one cares. They don’t want to hear about your problems when they can barely handle their own. You need to be your own shoulder to cry on, you need to be your own safety net. You are the answer to your life’s problems. You are the only one who can save you and steer your life in a new direction. You control the outcome and the future. Maybe you should start doing something with that power you wield.