40 Circles

That’s it, really. It’s not a lot when you consider the time it took for the rest of everything else to get here.  That is a lot of momentum that I had nothing to do with pushing me forward.  I say push, but I mean shove.

That’s because I didn’t try to end up here. Like most things, it just sort of happened. I mean sure, I could have improved the package I arrived on the self in, but some things, like male pattern baldness, was inevitable.

It’s at times like these, even-numbered base 10 divisible age numbers, that we’re often especially navel-gazey; that is to say, when we look at the scales of life, does the side with grace, charity and love outweigh the side of awkwardness, selfishness, indifference and just plain dickishness? The answer as usual is: “Reply hazy. Ask again later.”

So here I am on 40.  My social media is racking up well wishes and likes of well wishes, because who doesn’t like a wished well? Jerks, that’s who. But I can’t help but see the absence of messages from those I’ve left in the 39 other circles that I’ve survived. They aren’t jerks, I was the jerk. Well not always the jerk, but often?  I am bad judge of these things.  Not just in the sphere of social media, but in life and I think again of the scales tipping back and forth from “nice guy” to “prick”. But let’s not go getting all dark. If I’ve hurt you, I am sorry.

In my garage lives the trappings of a guy searching for mastery or meaning of some sort: guitars, toys, hobbies, equipment of all kinds. And they sit there in tubs and boxes on shelves as milestones for moments of dutiful motivation. Between the milestones are the voids of doubt and depression.  Both a testament of a modern life.  I used to call this my “Man of Leisure”, but when this was thrown back at my face by someone who suffered from the “prick” side of the scale, (understandably), it graduated from a humorous attempt to try to identify my behaviors into what is actually was: a cynical excuse and a way to embrace depression in a “oh well, that is just how I am” sort of way.  I still deal with the “Man of Leisure” every day.  I have a friend who I believe calls this “The Hobo” – though I’ve never directly asked him if it’s the same guy, I get the feeling it probably is or they at least ride the same rails.

The problem with the “Man of Leisure” is that he’s way cool in a sort of way a teenager might look at a 40 circle guy with a bunch of hobbies in his garage: a bit close to home and to be honest, a little creepy. Of course, I just realized where this train of thought is going and I’m not a fan, but I’ll power through.

What I face now is the volume of choices I made that I can no longer categorize as “mistakes” but now get filed under, “should’a known better”, so when I look back at that shoving force behind me I see the wake of hurt feelings I’ve left behind all jumbled up with “party lines”, Sputnik and the dinosaurs.

I probably have another 40 circles left in me (unless they figure out how to get around that, which I am a fan of) to try to tip that scale a little more into the “atta boy” side. I have some opportunities in front of me, (more of many), in which to apply or ignore. Some of them are super exciting, others frighten me like, “what clothes are OK for me to wear now so I don’t look like “that guy”. I’ll continue to feel insecure about things, but I can temper that with my increasing stash of “I don’t care”.

So, thank you for your help and patience, your well wishes. I appreciate the ones I’ve had and the ones I have left. You’re on my mind while I try to be better. Love ya.




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