Thursday, September 21, 2006

Sometimes the Machine Wins

When I was a child... I was told what to do, when to do it, how to look, how to act, what to wear, and all that stuff. It was all within a certain set of parameters that met with the family's approval. But there were things I wanted to express. I didn't like the clothes, the colors, the mannerisms, the hair, the "overall program." Of course, expressing distress at being forced into a mold that others had been forged in didn't really go over well. I was frightened with the concepts that that would be turning my back on all that is good and right, that Satan would devour me, that people would shun me, call me names and blah blah blah blah blah. Yeah... a lot of us got that. But some of us just had less patience and tolerance for it. I had an extreme amount, it seems, until I managed to get away and learn about myself. That didn't happen until I was about 22. I managed to get through HS and most of college before I said "Fuck this, I'm out."

When I learned about all that life could possibly offer and that there were ways to express myself... holy shit... did I ever swing the opposite direction. In fact, almost everything I had been taught as a child went right out the window. All that pent up frustration of being told what to do was unleashed and I began a wild ride to the other side... quite literally in some ways. It was my way of showing my rage against the machine. It was my way of saying "FUCK YOU!" to the world I had come from and to say, "I'll do it this way and then we'll see how you like it!"

Perhaps for some it's hard to know when you're imposing a belief structure on someone versus giving them good advice. My parents never looked at me and said, "Ya know... you're getting close to that age where you're gonna want to be experimenting with sex and all that. Go for it... but be smart about it until you find someone that you care about." No... instead it was "Sex was created by God for man and woman only when they commit to each other and marry in faith to each other." What a load of horse shit. Sex is a basic life thing. It's something every species on the planet figures out in one way or another. Why did they feel the need to tell me something that wasn't true? I mean shit, they had seven kids... they MUST have figured that out at some point, right?

The machine called life controls us until death releases us from it's grip. It has several agents, genetics being one of them, nature being another. These two tend to screw with our heads for a while and make us do dumb stuff or brilliant stuff depending upon where our head's at at the moment. We can't escape it. No matter what we do, how hard we try, these agents will continually plague us throughout our lives. I find it hard to believe that anyone can truly escape their grasps without being a little touched in the head. Once "touched" it's hard to get "untouched." It IS possible though. Of course, depending upon what you've done while living in a dreamworld, it may not be easy to gather up the pieces and live life peacefully with these agents... and that's sorta where I am at the moment.

I've been labelled a true rebel. I've been called the poster child for raging against the machine. That my actions prove that I will not do what someone tells me to do simply because they think it's right and that's they way it should be. It wasn't always that way. I needed approval. Actually... not that so much. Approval is great, it's awesome. But I CAN live without it (it's not much fun... but oh well). What I didn't need was disapproval. THAT was the key. I did a lot to avoid getting shit on. It was easier to just go along with what people were telling me was true and how to live rather than to tell them to kiss my ass and do what I wanted. The price? Just my happiness.

Now the rebellion is starting to smooth out as I am no longer so concerned about what others have to say about my life. Now the desire to have a family is becoming a driving force. It's genetics and nature finally catching up to me after piety and rebellion have had their way with me. Peace at last because the machine wins. The challenge now is that I hear the calling and I want to experience the life I was denied ... but the physicalities of my situation make heeding that calling a little different than it is for most others I know. I've never been afraid of a challenge, though. I've become frustrated, aggravated, said "fuck it" on many occassions but I eventually come back to it once my head has cleared and I've figured out what it was that causing me to stumble before. I've heard that it just gets harder from here. That, of course, just makes me deleriously giddy. "And why am I bothering with this again? Oh yeah... I can't die yet, that's right."

Why am I bothering to write all this? Therapy, plain and simple. A way to get my thoughts out in some sort of coherent stream to an unconfirmed audience and just vent it all via textual regurgitation. After all, you always feel better after you throw up.

All I'm saying here is that I'm glad my life is starting to become more focused and more centered. I'm fond of saying that in order to find your center, you have to seek out the edges. I've sought out and found those edges and am finally starting to locate my center. It's a good feeling... but at the same time an empty one at the moment given the time lost. It is the ying and the yang of it. I look now toward the day that the machine winds down and finally lets me loose from it's grasp. I'll enjoy the ride as much as I am able and grab the opportunities that life presents me without shame or fear. I'll not look back on the ride so far with remorse or regret because it is counterproductive and I will not concern myself with what others think about the life I choose to lead, who I choose to experience it with, or why. That's my concern, not theirs. I'll not tell them how their life should be if they'll leave me to process mine the way I see fit in peace too.


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