This past month I have been working with a local charity called Mustache's 4 Kids. We have gentlemen here in Charlotte grow mustaches throughout the month of October and raise donations for a lovely organization called Pat's Place. I haven't done a lot of work of this kind in my life and for the first time in a long time, I feel a sense of fulfillment and joy. While doing this work though, I have found an insight into myself that I never truly accepted and now and learning to do.
A long time ago, I used to chat with a dear friend about life and issues and dramas and unresolved problems and such. My friend and I became closer because we had past issues in common. I used to joke with her about us being "damaged goods." I meant it as a joke at first and then realized that it was something negative and stopped saying it for a while. She helped me through some personal shit and lead me to a great place where the ceiling is an off-white color. I spent many days looking at that ceiling. If you don't know what that means, it means I went and sat on a therapist couch and got some help. While I never really got to a lot of my own personal issues resolved, I was able to get to the root of many others. The work I'm doing with M4K has helped me to understand more of myself and being honest about who I am.
Yes, I spent a childhood that was decent. I got many of the privileges of chance and opportunity that many kids don't get. I had the honor of traveling overseas and touring parts of the nation and world that many never get to know about. At the same time, I had a childhood of trauma and self-doubt. My stepfather was and still is a world class asshole. He caused many of the seeds of issues within me to be planted. He taught me a lot, but he also ruined my life for many years after. I have since been able to stop hating him. It took a long, long time to get to that point. I've never gotten to the point where I can say "I forgive you," because I don't think about him much, if ever, at all. Plus, I've learned to own what is mine about me. My parents were divorced right after I was born, or at least that's what I think. My sister was born a year and 9 months after I was born. I don't know the whens and whats, but I've been able to do the math and lived with it. The one thing that I've never seen is a picture of me and my mother and father together in my infancy. There are many things from my past that I could care less to remember, but this is one thing I wish for more than anything else. I have pics of me and my parents from different parts of life but nothing from day 1. I have pictures of my as an infant with my mom and pictures of me with my dad, but none together. My whole life has been the personification of split. I have learned many things from traveling and cultural mixing to know how to act, behave, survive in unknown circumstances. I think this is what makes me truly me. The wonderment that my close friends and relatives love. To be the one full of stories about everything and anything. I have learned to be a chameleon to both myself and my surroundings. Sometimes I don't know who the liar is anymore, me or them.
Most people who don't know me probably would never understand that I deal with a lot of self doubt. They wouldn't know that I am happy in a melancholy place because those places never produce any drama or justification. Justification. I can't stand it. Why? Why? Why? - Why not. I don't like the fact that people need to have to know. My stepfather always wanted to know why. I never knew the reasons because I was too young to understand the subconscious mind I have. As an adult, I don't like justifying because I believe people to be nosy and gossipy. I don't justify because why should you need to know. This is the embodiment of the hardest thing I have to learn to do, let down my guard and let people in. It's really hard. It truly is, but I find I do it in the strangest ways.
Ever since working for the charity, I find myself explaining about Pat's Place and the wonderful things they do for kids. I wish I knew a place like this in my childhood or 10 years before I saw a doctor. I find myself helping to justify why people need help and I end up telling them about myself. Recently I met some random girl. We were talking about something that I don't recall and then we ended up chatting about personal drama. She is about 10 years younger than me and going through hell from her childhood. As I listened, I made sure that each time I spoke it was still about her and her issues and providing some insight that can help her. Usually I don't tell people about me, but the work for M4K is helping me become vocal about help. I told her things that will stay where they are, between us, but I told her that she would be okay. That it's okay to need help. It's okay to reflect. It's okay to hate. It's okay to cry. It's okay to be happy and walk away from somebody. It's okay. That's what I've learned to do. I've learned to be happy in my own accord.
This year a lot of different things have happened. I lost my grandmother. Though I was never really close, there is a since of a lost unification of the family with her passing to me. I finally dealt with my teaching issues and understand that I will more than likely never get to do the one thing I'm truly passionate about. I've accepted the last bit of responsibility for my actions from 10 years ago and am now free. I work for an amazing group that benefits people who don't have the voice to speak out, nor do they have the mass social backing that many kids groups receive. I finally got a tattoo. While that might seem trivial to many, to me it is a sign of family, of a starting point, of history, of where I belong, and where I want to see it continue. It's also been a year of finally living my life for me.
In the end you have to draw the line and just walk. Whether it's away from something or not, I've learned to finally do my life. I'm finally living my life.