Looking Back, Then Looking Forward

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Yesterday I spoke about blogging and how it has evolved. Today, I decided to do a bit of rewinding. Have you ever taken a moment to look back on the tapestry of your life? Just looking through old photos and journals?

Most people say it’s better to just look ahead to the future and let the past lie because you know, what’s done is done. But I think its fun to pull out all those pictures and yearbooks from high school, all those journals we kept as a moody teenager, and (if you are as old as I am) all those notes and love letters from the boys you once knew.

I am moving in a few months, so I decided to start going through all my things. What I found was amazing! I found a matchbook from The Tunnel, (a hip NYC club from the 90s). my old bartending license, My Woody Harrelson autograph, (which he signed on a cover advertising the new-found Viagra which had a bunch of naked people, it was funny as hell and he was so cool about it), and countless other knickknacks. I even found a pack of Newport’s in a purse that I got in Vegas in 2003, talk about stale! I mean I am not a hoarder, but I love keeping little things that have a memory attached to them.

Another thing that I found, were all my old diaries. What a lovesick teenager I was! In almost every entry, I was pining away for “the One” or “The Love of my Life.” It’s amazing how nothing changed over the next 20 years. My 17-year-old self was still crying the same sob story that my 37-year-old self was crying years later on my blog. It seems I was always on the hunt for “the perfect man.”

As I was going through everything and thinking about my life, I started to wonder, why is it that we find ourselves always searching for “the perfect mate?” I mean we go through so many relationships, countless dates, we even get married, and that void is still there. I mean we could fill it up with hobbies, friends, work and whatever else, but what is it that we yearn so much? What is this longing we feel? Could it be a spiritual thing? I don’t know, but I am determined to find out someday. A lot of that quest led to me becoming completely nuts and being diagnosed bipolar, which to this day I don’t know whether or not that is a blessing or a curse.

I never knew what bipolar was growing up. Mental Health Awareness wasn’t really a thing 20 years ago. And let me tell you, having bipolar and never being treated through your teen years is no joke. The funny thing about me is, I never really was depressed, just always really manic and high. I was never “bored” as this generation seems to be stuck on like a broken record, and I had such a vivid imagination. I “acted” until I was in my 20’s. What that means is, I played out scenarios in my head and lived in a fantasy world. I had made up characters, storylines, and I acted them all out. This kept me busy for hours on end. Yes, I know there is such thing as reality, but you know what? I was never bored, never depressed, and always happy.

Being medicated stopped all of that though. My imagination and my “acting” days were over once I was introduced to psychiatric drugs. Yes, I still flew around with the mania sometimes, but it was nothing like the imagination I used to have pre-bipolar diagnosis.

So much has happened to me in my life. All the people I have met, how they changed me, all the places I have gone and all the things I have done. Looking back on my life I have no regrets. Up until a few months ago, I was still living in Hell. I mean this past month hasn’t been easy on me, but that’s because I have family issues and outside influences messing me up. All my life, I never had anyone to worry about. It was always me. Just me and my drama. Isn’t it amazing how much bullshit we put ourselves through?

I have to say looking back tonight, at my old blogs, journals, diaries, letters, memories and everything else I have from my past, I am amazed at how one-dimensional I was thinking. I made my entire existence about finding the right man. It was never about my friendships, my family, my career, or even myself. I never got to find out about myself, connect with people, (non-romantically), and enjoy what it means to be alive. I have just been pouring my heart out to God for such a big portion of my life, craving something that never could be satisfied.

Looking to the future, I think I have finally found what I was looking for. With the Captain and my best friend, I have made it to the point where I think I can be at peace. I feel sorry for a lot of the younger people these days. I mean growing up, I played outside, had a landline, (so no breaking plans via text with people), and wrote long love letters via mail. I also experienced a world without insane amount of hours at a computer or playing video games. I mean I love how technology evolved and we have all these cool things, but I think we lost part of what it is to be human. I was looking at my photographs, (not digital jpegs from a file), but holding in my hands moments in time that were captured in an age where people felt more organic.

As the end of 2017 approaches, I will be moving into my 38th year on this planet. I think I have really evolved this past month. I have taken the time to really look at myself, understand who I have become, where I came from, and who I want to be. Yesterday I wrote about this being my third blog and about the other two blogs I had. I gotta tell you, in looking back at those other two blogs, I was astonished at how much of a whiny drama queen I was. And then going back and looking at my journals, it was all the same shit. Fact of the matter is, I don’t like the person I have been for the past 20 years.

It’s time to start fresh.

It’s time to start anew.

In looking back tonight, I learned lessons on how I don’t want the next 20 years to be.

Finally, I feel like I am headed in a new direction.

Hopefully you are here, joining me on my journey.

Stay tuned.

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