Monday, February 8, 2010

a horse, a cart, a chicken and an egg

I was thinking the other day about forward movement and how a car that doesn't use it's brakes every now and then will eventually crash into something.

Recently I've been watching people on their morning commutes into the city, driving their little vehicles at speeds that nature replicates in very few places. What really fascinates me are the magnetic messages that they use to showcase their stance on a wide variety of social issues.

Some are patriots, with faded American flags placed next to turn signals that they fail to use. Others protect the sanctity of life, human and animal, but have not checked to see if they have tail lights that actually work.

Just once I'd like to see a bumper sticker that reads:

"Speeding is against the law, just like theft, arson and murder."

When I first went back to school, my professor told me that I should get some business cards proclaiming myself to be an author. The problem? I hadn't written anything in almost twenty years. But he said I had to act like one to be one.

I guess that's how most things go in life. Like when you get a new job at something you've never done before. You have the title, but not the experience. Is it enough just to have some paint in the house to call yourself an artist? Do we believe something based on rhetoric alone and not the actions that should accompany it?

Years ago I found myself in an uncomfortable situation when, being so embarassed of where I was from, I fashioned a fantasy about my where's, who's and what's. I lied about myself. The funny thing is, using that false persona, I took some of the most radical steps away from what my path should have been, and went into an amazing world of experience that continues to help me grow to this day.

I left the small town I grew up in. Managed an art gallery and became an expert on interpreting Salvador Dali. I hitchiked through the state of Florida to stand on the pebbled beaches of the Atlantic and finally accept who I am. By the time I was finished, I didn't have to lie about myself anymore, because I had become someone else.

And to tell you the truth, I didn't like that person I tried out anyway. I'm happy to tell people that I grew up in a small house with chickens in the backyard, eating food grown by my father in his own garden. It's not so much about where you're from, but who do you want to be that matters.

On my mirror in the bathroom, I have a set of goals posted. Some I have achieved, others I keep reviewing. The most important one? Every now and then, take a break from who I am.

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