I lost an acquaintance the other day, someone who wafted into my life for a brief period, didn’t like what he saw and wafted back out. But not before admonishing me for “being stuck in one gear…first-person singular” and challenging me to “set aside the superficial…and start ranking the real priorities in your life.”
The following was my response to him, and to all others who would see me curb my enthusiasms for what they see as a more appropriate direction for my life:
[Name], I’m sorry to hear that you struggle with my humours, but appreciate that it is not to all tastes.
I have been very fortunate in recent years (the latest of my 50) to have surrounded myself with wonderful friends who appreciate the unique package I present in life–the ability to write deeply insightful poetry, starkly analytical science, ribald comedy, biting sociopolitical ripostes, and prosaic tutelage–and while I appreciate their love and support, and hope that I return it in spades, I am ultimately happy with the person that I am and require no outside validation nor light.
As I have only come to realize in the past couple of years, I have wasted too many years of my life, trying to live the life that others would wish me to follow, and was slowly driven to self-destructive distraction in my failures to live up to everyone’s expectations, well intentioned or otherwise. I now live for me above and beyond all others.
I wish you the best in your journey and hope you find the truth you seek, as each of us must find our own.
One troll on my blog (spouse of a friend) commented about how my blog is “obsessively all about” me. Well, duh. My stated purpose for the blog was to keep my friends posted on this journey of self discovery that I have been on. I replied that if he wasn’t enjoying my blog, there were plenty of others. He then told me I wanted too much for everybody to like me. In a few short lines, he went from telling me that I wasn’t doing enough to please others (i.e., him) to saying I was doing too much to please others. Basically, he was just in the mood to gripe.
Obviously, your creative endeavors ARE a priority in your life, and you are devoting much effort to honoring and developing that side of yourself. I respect that much more than putting your nose to the grindstone and suffering through someone else’s idea of a “useful” life. Other people have that base covered already. No need for either one of us to join that crowd.
Not surprisingly (I hope), I count you among the friends who provide support and love.
I truly wish the gentleman well in his journey.
My personal hope is that I make the capacity to love everyone without judgement, even those with whom I disagree or do not understand.