“Some need gold and some need diamond rings
Or a drug to take away the pain that living brings
A promise of a better world to come
When whatever here is done”
Happy– Bruce Springsteen
A dear friend and I had a long talk last night about life and how it doesn’t always work out the way you think that it will. Thoughts about our conversation carried over into this morning and I found myself thinking about some of the things that I thought would happen that didn’t.
The tweet below is a good example:
I remember thinking that I was going to fly home and pack up my stuff. Israel was where I wanted to be. I love L.A. I always have and I always will but there was something about Jerusalem that captured my heart. I fell in love with it and I couldn’t imagine not following up on that love.
I wanted to have more than a month at a time to learn about it and to see if it was a summer romance or a life long relationship. The flight home was long. I wasn’t coming home after my first visit. I had spent a lot of time there before, but this was different. I was in my twenties and had no obligation to anyone but myself.
The move back to Israel didn’t happen because life happened. Various things came about and now fifteen years later I look back at it and sometimes I wonder about the road not taken. It is a moment in time, a snapshot of my life that I can still see vividly in my mind.
Three years later I went back to Israel, but this time I was married. It was a short trip, barely three weeks. A chance to show her around and try to sell her on a place that already owned a piece of my heart. It was a good trip, but we came home with the understanding that we would go back sooner than later.
But things changed again. More than a decade later and I haven’t been back. My children have heard stories and want to go. One day we will.
When we spoke last night my friend and I talked about his wife. It is his second time on the merry-go-round called marriage. He is exceptionally happy, or as I told him disgustingly happy. The two of them get googly eyed over each other. It makes me happy to see him so happy.
The first wife was a problem. She didn’t look like a problem. Didn’t set off the radar and maybe she should have, but she didn’t. When she left he was blindsided. It was ugly and I felt badly for him. The experience changed his perspective and mine.
But now I am confident and more importantly so is he that he has a much better partner. She is a better match for him in every way. And he never could have predicted this. Had it not been for the ugly experience he wouldn’t have ever met her.
Can’t say that I am a fan of enduring great hardship so that you can experience something amazing, but I suppose that it has its benefits.
I have written many times about friends and contemporaries that have died. At almost 41 I really shouldn’t be able to list more than a few, if any. Yet I can run down at least ten people that I knew. Ten people who have died during the past 14 or so years.
Their deaths were all unexpected. When I look at them and I look at some of the other experiences I have had it makes me a bit crazy. Crazy in the sense that I am impatient to do the things that I love and to spend time with the people that I love.
Time is fleeting and we have little control over many things. No matter how hard we fight time and try to master it we cannot win. It will move, things will change and we will find ourselves in new situations. So I am doing my best to roll with the changes and to influence the transitions from one phase into another as best as I can.
My life is different from what I expected it to be 15 years ago. I can’t say that I am entirely certain what it will be like in five years. But I can guarantee that everyday I am working on doing the things that I need to do to get the most of out it.
The biggest tragedy in my life, the one thing that I can’t accept is not taking a chance on living. So, I am going for it…again.