So I’m sitting on a park bench whining to some random nerd, when suddenly, he cuts me off mid-sentence and barfs something common, stinky, and cliche all over my new shirt:
Nerd: “Well, you know what they say: when life hands ya lemons, ya make Lemonade!”
Adam: (internal monologue) “Alright dude, atomic wedgie or wet-willy with mayonnaise…Take your pick.”
But before I could baste his eardrums with burger condiments I had a grand epiphany. Something came out of me that I didn’t think I was intellectually capable of producing:
Adam: “That’s a complete waste of an opportunity.”
Nerd: “(dumbfounded) Opportunity?”
Adam: “When life hands you “lemons,” you don’t just lard around getting porch-drunk on lemonade?”
Nerd: “What do you propose instead?”
Adam: “I propose that you start stockpiling your “lemons”and break into the lemon-packing industry after you’ve raised enough startup capital.”
Adam: ”Start by aggressively negotiating your warehouse facility and packing equipment, and purchase a large farming plot close to the equator. Build, train, and squeeze every last nickel out of an efficient labor crew. Continue reading
I’ve had this one particular scenario in my head for awhile now. It’s a fantasy that involves me packing up my car with nothing but the essentials, getting on the road, and driving as far away as I can from the place I live.
I don’t know where it is that I’m going, I don’t know how long it will take before I get there, and I don’t know what will happen after I arrive. I do know one thing: it’s a better and happier place. Actually, it’s the perfect place for me, and one far away from the monotony and melancholy that keep my feet fastened to the ground.
The people in this dream of mine are friendly; they smile with meaning and purpose, and have good intentions. They love life – not the busybody, pretend kind of living – they truly cherish it. They bask in it. Nothing like here. Here is dead. Hopeless. Gray.
Every time I see the movie playing in my mind’s eye, another small bit of color appears in the composition – one that wasn’t there before. It’s becoming less black and white. Maybe it’s a sign that the dream is moving closer to becoming a reality. The energy inside is massive. It’s bubbling and ready to boil over. It’s waiting to explode, and jettison me from this place and onto the highway to happiness.
And then I snap back. I’m forced to shelf it for the time being. What time is it? Oh, good. Only three more hours left. The day’s almost over. Focus on your work, Adam. Stop daydreaming. Forget about it for now. Dream on your own time…
Most mornings I don’t even want to open my eyes. The first thoughts that enter the stream are to just close them again, and somehow be magically whisked away from the bad dream. Hit the snooze button. Alarm. Snooze. Alarm. Still there. Same thing as yesterday. Same people. Same routine.
Another grueling day passes, and I find myself standing under the warm water pouring from the shower head. Numbness. The comforting blanket quickly dissipates, sending a subtle shiver through the core. The warmth never lasts long enough…
As I stand in front of the mirror wiping the steam from the glass, there appears a face from beyond the fog. I recognize it only faintly. The expressionless mug staring back appears tired, drained, lonely. Who is this person? What happened to his dream? His excitement? His energy?
The monologue ends with one final plea; God, or whatever rules this construct, just let me have one glimpse of that happy place before I close my eyes again and dream of nothing.
See, I loath this blog as much as I love it. In some ways it’s completely me. In other ways it’s the byproduct of me trying to thrive in a toxic environment. I’ve become this. The title alone is one of the fasteners that keep me pinned to misery. Sometimes it makes me cringe, and I find myself whispering quietly under my breath- beneath all the image and ego – what have I done?
The mask I hide behind obscures all of the features that identify the real me. It pollutes the compassion and empathy, and the deep longing for a world of forgiveness and understanding inside. It forces me to be something that I don’t want to be anymore – something that is destroying me inside and out, and keeping me from turning into the butterfly that I so desperately want to become.
But how do I take off the mask and break the cycle of fear? How do I expose, once again, all of the most vulnerable aspects of myself to a world that has been so ruthless and unforgiving in the past and present? How do I separate perception from reality? How do I forgive and let go? Is the world really out to destroy me? Or is it just another insecurity or deep-seated fear?
What if, upon exposing my vulnerable throat and belly, I’m slashed a stuck instead of hugged and loved? What if it’s an utter failure, one that leads to my demise, and I find myself face down, consciousness fading, watching the blood flow into the drain? This could be the end of me…
…or it could be the beginning. It could be the start of something bigger. Something better. Something grand and meaningful. And best of all, the evolution might not only bring the daydream to me on demand, but could potentially uproot that dream from the mindscape, and project it onto the dull, uninspiring canvas that I’ve painted myself so rigidly onto – replacing the grays and shadows with brilliant, colorful hues and beaming light.
For now, it’s just an idea, and an idea without an action is just a thought. Thoughts are fleeting. They form and pass like clouds. But without thoughts we’d have no ideas, and without ideas we’d have no dreams, and without dreams we’d have no happiness.
I guess it all comes down to how badly you want to experience life and happiness. How desperate are you to immerse yourself in a dream, rather than settle for watching it on TV? How willing are you to get on the highway, leaving behind the old definition of yourself and reality, and for the first time ever create your own definition? How far are you willing to drive?
I guess that’s what they mean when they say, potential. The will is there.
The action awaits.
-Happy Blogging \m/