Today I Am A Man
Today is May 23, 2011. It just so happens to be the 29th anniversary of my Bar-Mitzvah but I’ll round up and say that it is 30 years. Thirty years ago I gave a speech to the congregants, guests and family members who were there in which I announced that I was ready to assume my responsibilities as a man. I was sincere about it and figured that it shouldn’t be that big a deal because I was old enough to deal with whatever that stuff was that adults dealt with. It is not hard to remember thinking that my parents and the rest of the grown ups I knew took life way too seriously. Really all they had to do was relax and good things would happen.
The plan was to grow up and become a professional baseball player who would make a lot of money doing something that I loved to do. At the time it didn’t seem far fetched or unreasonable to me. After all the year before I led the league in home runs and was known for my fielding. I had a rocket for an arm and threw out two players at the plate, mind you one throw came from left field and the other from center. The 13 year-old I was didn’t feel like the majors were out of reach, I just had to wait a few years to get there.
It is not hard to remember watching the Dodgers play and thinking that if I was lucky I would get to play for my home team. Truth was that as long as I didn’t get stuck playing for the Yankees or the Giants I thought that it would be pretty cool. I was so confident that I would make it one day that I didn’t think twice of making a bet with one of my classmates about it. BTW, it was $20k that I bet- fortunately the statute of limitations has run out on that one. If not I am going to have to beg one of the teams to put me on the roster for a day.
Thirty years later I sit here in my home office staring at the dog wondering what I am going to do. Thirty years ago I didn’t have a clue that I would find myself in the position that I am in now. Thirty years ago I couldn’t have imagined that I would be wrestling with words and wondering about how much I should disclose about the situation I find myself in. Thirty years ago I didn’t worry about my words living on long after I wrote them. Thirty years ago I didn’t wonder about how they might impact me and whether discretion made more sense than just saying what is going on.
It feels a bit foolish to come so close to spilling the beans but I am treading carefully because experience has taught me that sometimes it is smarter to do so. This is not a teaser, This is not a post where I try to stir things up and see if I can generate more traffic and engagement. The primary purpose of this post is to serve as a tool for me to sort through my thoughts. It is one part evaluation and two parts therapy.
You see I am in the land that lies beyond anger and frustration. I have tried to remove emotion so that I can evaluate things more precisely than anger allows. There is no doubt in my mind that I have been fucked. That is the technical term, ‘fucked.’ There is no doubt that I was done dirty but what is done is done. I can’t turn back the clock. I can’t fix what is broken here. All I can do is try to work on the future.
That is both exciting and scary. It is exciting because I see opportunity and potential to make something awful into something special. I am reminded me of an old story that I’ll share with you. Here is the brief version. A king has a beautiful diamond that he loves to look at and admire. Somehow the diamond is scratched and the king is irate so he places a call to the kingdom to fix it. Many people look but none are able to. And then when hope is almost lost a man steps out of the crowd and says that he can do it. So he takes the diamond and carves a beautiful rose into it and uses the scratch as the stem for the rose.
Suddenly it is not a scratch, it is part of something beautiful. Perspective is what that is. He changed the king’s perspective.
Perspective is what I am looking for and at. Because the rules of the blog dictate that I admit that part of my anger/frustration is directed inwards. I look in the mirror and wonder WTF is wrong with me and ask how I got to be in this place. Ultimately I’ll forgive myself because I am not a mind reader and much of this was outside of my control. Even so it doesn’t change the reality that I still feel like I should have figured it out…somehow.
But there is no time for second guessing and not much benefit or future in beating myself up over this. The one thing that I know is that I will get beyond this because that is what I do. And as I tell the children, attitude makes a difference so my bad attitude will be set aside until I can fix things. But I won’t lie and say that there won’t be a day of reckoning- it just won’t be today because today I am a man.