Mister’s Mama told me about an obituary that swept the nation last month. As I’m often unswept, I missed it. If you, too, missed it, you can read it here. I highly recommend it.
As I am a sucker for a good obit, Mister’s Mama also sent me an article about another unique individual’s passing. I devoured that one as happily as I had the other. And I wondered why I was such a voracious consumer of death. Turns out, I’m not.
I’m actually hooked on life. I’m hooked on stories of folks who go for life with such gusto as to leave the rest of us in their dust and green with envy. I absolutely love reading about someone who took no guff and wasted no time. I love stories of pink hair and tomato sandwiches. I love hearing tales of travel adventures and adventurous souls. I love learning about people who somehow discover their true selves – who they’re meant to be – and go on to actually be their true selves. What a concept.
We have inklings, friends. We have ideas and indications of the people we’re meant to be. The people we desperately want to be. So why do we fight it? Why do we resist every cellular impulse, every deep, soulful yearning, when it comes to being true to ourselves? I don’t know the answer to that one.
I do know we have to pay the piper. There’s rent, groceries, gas bills. And those vendors simply do not accept checks from the Bank of Dreams. So a J-O-B is often necessary. And that’s okay. What isn’t okay is jettisoning our dreams in our spare time, even if there’s precious little of it. Not doing what we can to fulfill our inner longings is just plain pitiful. I wish I didn’t know what I was talking about here, but sadly, I do. And you know what? We have to pay the piper on this one, too. Regret only accepts checks from the Bank of Dreams. Unfortunately, when that bill comes due, there’s no checkbook to be found.
I wish with all my heart that writing this would be enough to make me practice what I preach. (I wish it would move you, too.) But I didn’t just meet me. I know I’ll putter along, maybe trying to reach a brass ring once in a while. Mostly not. Why do I fight it? Why do I resist every cellular impulse, every deep, soulful yearning, when it comes to being true to myself? I still don’t have an answer.
When I die, Lord, please don’t let me lie there and regret never having tried. Please – please let me smile and rest easy in knowing I was the best me I could have been.