I am the eldest of four boys, and had two sons first. Princessfisher might as well be a giraffe; that's how much I understand my 16 year old daughter. In her eyes, I am a rigid and irrelevant anachronism. She doesn't need me, either.
Princefisher I, although not totally self sufficient, is far away and more independent every passing month. He is fine without me as well.
The past 12 months or so have been the most stressful I've ever experienced. I have been accosted on personal, professional, family, belief, financial, emotional, and geographic levels. I am exhausted. My depression, dormant for years now, has threatened to overwhelm me on many more than one occasion, sometimes in very, very dark places with ugly thoughts best left unspoken. Only my stubborness and fuck-you attitude have kept it at bay so far, the toughest internal battle I've yet experienced.
My life is not . . . I don't know. It's far from undesirable. As a matter of fact, parts of it are down right delicious, most notably my angelic wife. But it isn't what I want. Why, I don't know.
My family history is rife with miserable and unhappy individuals who did not, or do not, or refuse(d) to, understand themselves. I will not be one of them. Why this still plagues me, I don't know. But the simple act of questioning all this makes me better. Yes, I said BETTER.
What I do know is that you cannot change what life throws at you, but you can change how you react to it. Sometimes that reaction is immediate, sometimes it is a "sleep on it," sometimes it is an excruciating period of doubt and ennui. I am done with enduring the latter. Life has happened to me. It's time I happened.
Therefore, I am resolved to reinvent myself. There are many anecdotes of people changing and thriving after their youth, a late blossoming of worth, contribution, and contentment. Grandma Moses is an example to emulate.
But how does one do it? Meditation? Volunteering? Career change? Move? Sell everything you own? New hobby? Communing with a pine cone on top of the mountain? Getting off yer ass and writing that novel you've threatened yourself with for years? I don't know. I really don't.
It's easy to give up, which I am ashamed to admit I thought about doing many times during this period, closer than I have ever come to that purgatory of doubt and despair and disillusionment. But I never have done that in my entire life. When the chips were down, I always gave the finger to fate and refused to play with a deck handed to me, made my own rules, and trampled the grass before me, damn courtesy, convention, or anything else in the way. My hands are capable of gentleness, creation, battle, murder. At least I have discovered that again. That is a hopeful sign.
Reinvention. It may be throwing opinion, philosophy, psychology, and security to the crows. It may also be investing in forgotten confidence, plus equal parts intuition, creativity, arrogance, incaution, exploration, and remembering who you were in the first place.
I don't know. But I think I might.