If that is where I am, where am I going? I have always said that I've never been much for the past. Believe me, I want nothing more than to take a step forward in the direction I have fought so long to discover. So, this must be that idea of looking to the past to understand my future? Is that that the expression? I've never been good at these. Hold on. Oh, okay. It goes like this: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." That is a modification George Santayana made to Edmund Burke's "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it." There, do you like that better? I added quotations and two names you probably never heard before. Ok, where was I? Oh yes, the past.
When I was seventeen years old, I had myself admitted to a psychiatric clinic because of what I could only assume were suicidal thoughts? You could say I had a breakdown caused by exhaustion. However, I can tell you that I never wanted to die. I just did not want to be here. That may have just caused you a headache but you would be surprised at how effective that headache is when it comes to saving a life, namely my own.
Currently, I am 35 years old or 18,653,852 minutes old. Thank to www.mathcats.com for giving me a chance to impress my lady friends who love cats, the ones who love math and the ones who love both. I just returned from seeing the movie Edge Of Tomorrow starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. It is based on a graphic novel entitled "All You Need Is Kill", which is a much better title. No need to cite that reference because it came from me. I have considerable geek cred. Where am I going with this? The movie just happened to be about discovering the ability to relive the same day and attempt to learn from it. That theme has already famously been explored in Groundhog Day, one of my favorite films of all time. The major difference is that Groundhog Day did not star Emily Blunt. So, one way or another, I was viewing this motion picture differently, with a certain scrutiny if you will. Tom Cruise, on the other hand, is an actor I feel has finally come into his own. That may sound cheeky but he has achieved a certain grit and gravitas since passing the big 5-0. Where was I? The past? How did I get here? Whoa.
I do not want to be here. I have been here many, many times in the last eighteen years. Around this time, back then, I was newly medicated and graduating high school with honors and accolades. You see, a psychiatric in-patient ward is kind of designed to be a pit stop in relation to, well, here. Few seem to get this but you learn that your life can come to an abrupt stop and yet you still live. You don't have to be committed to find this out. What can I say? I have a thick head. The only thing going on in that thick head at the time was a battle not unlike the ones Cruise's character, Bill Cage, wages a billion times against the aliens that wield the power to affect time. Every time Cage wakes up again, he faces the same challenge with a new level of experience. So, if I still don't want to be here but know full well that the world isn't going to end, what do I do? You may have something to say about movies just being movies. You'd be correct but your implication is not. I seem to remember questions asked of me by a doctor in that hospital about whether or not songs or movies speak to me. Their implication was not much different than yours but you're hypothetical and that doctor was very real. I was scared to say yes because it would make me "crazy". You know what? I may be but I don't give a shit. When I hear a song or watch a movie, the stories and messages don't just speak to me. In my way, I speak back. There is an exchange. I don't care what you call it but I call it my calling.
Now, I know what I have to do but first, one more visit to the past. When I was reinserted back into the world, I suddenly found myself a college student and soon after that, member of a band with my three best friends. We had an unspoken agreement. Our musical group would run its course and each of us would go our separate ways. To varying degrees, that was precisely what happened. For some reasons, the others may have seen me as ahead of them but I was only a front man. I was right where I needed to be, in a band. It wouldn't be long before I began to fall further and further behind the others. One is lost to me. Another loves me like a brother but has the strongest sense of duty I have ever seen aside from my father. Both don't talk to me a whole lot. That leaves the one who has always known I was right where I was supposed to be. It seems he and anyone else like him have suffered the most over the years, watching me figure it out for myself. He might tell you that he felt as directionless as me at one point but he never tried to be something he is not. He still doesn't. What separated me? What put me off course? This is the mystery I am working on as I write this.
Believe me, when I first arrived at the conclusion that I have been off course, I immediately wanted to simply get back on course. It has not been that simple. Hence, we have this digging back so I can crawl forward routine. Who knows how long or how many times I have been at this? Some who know me would be rolling their eyes in a major way right now....if they were reading this.
So how did things turn out for Bill Cage or Phil Connor at the end of their repetitive adventures? In both cases, all they ever wanted and what they end up with is that one person who remains a constant in a world that seems to reset itself. It occurs to me how wonderful it would be if more of these Hollywood lessons and fairy tales featured people of various lifestyles but you know what? I'm a straight dude so I would love me an Emily Blunt. Andi Macdowell is never hard to look at either but the point is that I have to be worthy of that constant. I am not entitled to it. No matter how old I may feel or how daunting the past may be, each day is still a new day. All I have to do is face it like someone who has truly lived all of the ones before it.