Now that I am not dying of cancer I guess I should be getting along with my life. The future is wide open and here I am with a third chance at life. I didn’t do very well with the first life, in fact I really fucked that up. I sucked at life so bad that I had to stay at hospitals and institutions to get myself back on track. Now I look back at the last two decades with awe and wonder, like how did I not do better? Here is my third chance at life, so I can’t mess this up.People have asked me now what and I just stare at them like they’re insane. I just got done dealing with cancer and the possibility of dying soon and you want me to have my fucking life planned out? I don’t even know how many days I’ve worn these boxers! I waited till I knew death was going to be a surprise again before getting a haircut.
I’m still dealing with the after effects of chemo. I see the world through foggy-ADD eyes. I can’t concentrate and I still can’t read a book. My dreams all include my brain being at full capacity, so still having to strain my brain to just talk to a person is defeating, but there is a small part of me that likes having something to blame when I sound stupid.
Graduate school has been entertained in the past, but the idea of entering the world of academia just about kills me. I’ve read countless articles and getting an MFA in creative writing will just get me a job as a teacher – and I do not like the idea of teaching, and a professional baseball career chance at selling enough books to live off of. I wasn’t witty enough with this blog to just publish it.
I could self-publish, but that does not guarantee any success and more than likely I end up spending more money than I’ll get from sales. I love the idea of DIY and all that, but I also like the idea of paying bills.
I look around at other possibilities of future endeavors and then I realize that in one year and one month I’ll be 40. Where did the time go? Yesterday I was being told I had cancer and that they would be removing my left testicle, and could I sign this waver saying I’m okay with OHSU studying my weird tumor? The day before that I was moving back from Lewiston, Idaho and then last week I was moving back from Eugene.
I’m 40 years old and still a goddamned kid. I still borrow money from my parents, I still care wear a baseball cap and a backpack, I still don’t own a car, I still don’t know if kids are in my future, I haven’t even had my first marriage and I don’t know what owning a house is like. I’m like all the other bozos in Portland that moved here to just be Peter Pan who never grows up who I fucking hate.
I want all the adult things and I see that saying you adulted on Facebook is funny or a creative way to say you did what you were supposed to do, but I also feel like I may have some screws still lose in the growing up engine. I look at my adult friends who are married and have kids and all the other things that WWII brought us, but sometimes I like the idea of being free to skateboard and eat ice cream before I eat a microwaved burrito. I look at my childish friends and I feel like I’ve made a huge mistake.
Where’s the balance? I see some of my friends walk that line and that is what is most attractive to me. I toy with the idea of going back to school and getting a degree in graphic design or illustration. I let fear get in the way of publishing my written and drawn works. I allow self-criticism get in the way of making that comic book. I beat myself up, but never start making comedy.
This is my third chance. I know people that never had the second chance. I have no excuses now. I got sober and worked my ass off on my mental health and learning to be a man. I worked my way out of being someone who wanted to die and hated himself to being someone who is worthy and has purpose. Then cancer gave me the perspective that tomorrow won’t always be there and what I need to do starts tonight.
I keep getting cranky at my girlfriend because she’s on fire with life and wants me to join her. She keeps asking me questions about what I’m going to do and I keep getting scared, so I put up walls and lash out. It’s because I know she’s right and I need to go forward, but I still don’t see the road I’m supposed to walk down.
I love her excitement and I’m completely inspired by her passions. She is so strong in the changes she is willing to make in her life – not what she says she is going to do, but what she does do. I am lucky to be creating a life with such an amazing woman. Hopefully I can show her how amazing I can be.
I hope this is the year I start living instead of testing my toe in the waters for 20 plus years.