Looking Back on My Life
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Perhaps it is silly or self-serving.
Looking back over the years at my romantic failures: proof of failures of empathy and seemingly innocent desires bent to self-destruction Brutal for someone with the sickness of romantic need.
The failed love affair that short-circuited my sexuality for longer than I ever confess except to a few very close to me.
The timid moments that kept me from fulfillment. And the ignorance about myself.
Many errors and blunders - often nothing more than failures of the will. How many of us are unable to translate reason into behavior? I’d call it the great curse of humankind. But I’m not sure how rational the majority ever has been. Example: how many people were shocked when the conservative Christians became politically active. In their moderate and liberal ignorance they didn’t know those people existed. I always have and always wondered when they’d act.
I’ve been so stupid in ways large and small. Error has piled upon error.
People talk of being able to live their lives over again. Would you?
To live a different life - we are our experience - is suicide. Would you die that a happier person might have lived? Would I? Maybe if the universe would grant me directorial omnipotence. Otherwise I’d probably live through a different sequence of mishaps.
Regrets and wishes aside: I’ve spent my life being who I am. My compromises have been few and trivial. That is considerable good luck.
Luck. Perhaps that seems an evasion of responsibility. I accept just responsibility for my failings. I don’t know how much virtue I can claim for my successes. Anyway, it has hardly been an exemplary life.
I may die with an annoyed awareness of my missteps. More like tumbling down the steps into a dark and wet basement. But I also hope to die with a feeling of interior fidelity: that if only in my mind and heart I’ve done my best to be faithful to myself.
I don’t mean that cloying, precious sense of feeling special. On a planet of billions just how unusual can one person be?
But that maybe I can at least entertain the notion that on some small level I’ve lived a life of honor. The universe could care less about my sense of honor. But - born of a time and place - I do.