Up until a few weeks ago, I thought nothing lasted forever. It was short-sighted to think this way.
In Josh Radnor’s excellent 2010 film, happythankyoumoreplease, his character sits with an old buddy at a bar in the middle of the day. Radnor says to his buddy that no matter how old you get or how many things that you see in your life, you will always reflect that you were basically an asshole five years ago. I was tickled when seeing this scene for first time, and am still amused by it because it rings so true.
This is not to say that everyone in human history is an asshole five years ago, but most of us can fit that bill, absent our heroes and parental units, for I’d never want to put them on the level that I used to be on. When you’re 28, you’re an adult figuring things out. I had a good job, plenty of friends…I was basically happy. But would I treat people the way I do now the way I did then? No. I’d be more kind. More patient. I’d listen more. Not make some of the completely dumb mistakes that I did. Think how you were five years ago. Doesn’t it give you pause and really make you want to be a better person?
This past Fall, I went away for six weeks, just up and left town. I met new people and saw things that I’d wanted to for years. I had those experiences. But I was lost. So I came back into town for another six weeks. This was the time to figure things out. And I did, I really did figure out a lot of things. Where I wanted to go. Whom I wanted to be exactly. I thought I had figured it out when I left my home of 33 years for good.
One person knew better than I did. But only two months later did we both realize what was exactly what. It took days worth of phone calls and Facebook Messenger conversations, and then an epic phone call that spanned two calendar days, lasting seven hours and 45 minutes and ten seconds. Ten seconds, yeah, because that kind of thing is important to me, and I don’t care who knows it. I love specifics. And I love her.
And while the weather here in Portland is overcast most of the time and rains almost every day, I have a clarity that I never have had before. The clarity that I had been looking for all along. The clarity that someone like me five years ago would be have so blind to see that it would have gone right by him, and may very well have at the time. Past is past.
She’s my future.