Saturday, January 18, 2014

Up All Night With The Howling Wolves

I put away childish things,
I put away childish things....
-James McMurtry

This past week - courtesy of two incidents that occurred separately and distinctly from one another - and involved people who do not know one another and likely never shall, I was reminded yet again of a simple truth.  Whoever we are, whatever we do, we possess within ourselves great power.  It is power that affords us the opportunity to be our own greatest asset.  And it is a power that also affords us the chance to be our own worst enemy. 

If you glance down at your driver's license or whatever form of identification it is you carry on your person to prove you are who you say you are and your birth year reveals you to be older than eighteen, then I have a newsflash for you Slick....You are no longer a child.  Stop f*cking acting like one.  Make decisions, not excuses.  Create opportunities, not alibis.  And most of all, when you have decided upon a course of action, whether it proves to be a good course or a bad one, take ownership of the decision you have made. 

There comes a time in the life of everyone who is fortunate to live to adulthood when your clothing is purchased in the "Big Boy" or "Big Girl" department.  Since you are going to dress the part of a grown-up, it might be a delightful surprise for those around you - especially those who have been historically tolerant of and historically patient with you and your approach to life - if you acted the part as well. 

Here is the thing - and there really is no subtle way to say this - being young at heart and being immature are not flip sides of the same coin.  They are not the same currency whatsoever.  Right about the point in your life where the hand that wipes your ass is your own, you are expected to be able to differentiate between the former and the latter.  Your inability to do so might explain why you walk around with your nose wrinkled up all day - unable to escape that unpleasant, omnipresent odor whose origin you simply cannot locate. 

Life is hard enough without any one adult expecting the adults in his/her life to take on the additional burden of playing the role of adult for him/her.  When those around you - especially those who love you most of all - implore you to carry your own weight those are not merely empty words.  They are a plea for help.  And they are making it to the person best equipped to help you:  You. 

In closing, allow me to offer one final nugget of unsolicited advice on the "self-help" process:  STEP ONE:  Unwedge your head from your ass.  You cannot find your way if you cannot see where you are going.  STEP TWO:  Stop being the host and guest of honor at your own self-pity party.  Second newsflash Slick - at the deli counter of Life we all receive an order of Problems even though none of us can remember asking for them.  We already have ours.  We neither need nor want yours. 

Growing older and growing up are not interchangeable concepts either.  It is the fool who mistakes the former for the latter.  And if that fool is you, then buck up.  The greatest thing about Life is that it offers each of us a shot at redemption every day.  If that fool is you, then make today that day.


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