Tonight, I talked to an old friend. And like we always do, after talking about the present for a few, we retreated blissfully back to the past, laughing about the things that happened in those days, talking about the people we knew, and most of all, about how the things we thought were so complicated back then and the things we stressed over so much in those days seem so trivial now.
It’s fun to look back on those times, to remember them, to think about how simple things were then compared to how they are now. In those days, there was little to worry about beyond what I was going to wear in the morning and whether or not I’d failed my math test (knowing me, I probably had). We made mountains out of molehills because we didn’t know what real mountains looked like. Everything was dramatic, we all lived a soap opera, and it’s funny to think about how we thought we were so grown up then. I remember looking toward thirty and thinking I’d be ancient when I got to be this old.
And now I am this old. And I don’t feel ancient. I don’t feel much different than I did then – though admittedly, times have changed. I dreamed for a lot of things in those days, things I now have. Having gotten those things, I started reaching for more. Those things I do not have. At least not yet. But there is time, I think.
I have visions a lot. Visions of the way I want things to be – like when I write, for example. There are times when I will dream entire chapters. And my dreams are different – I can read in those dreams. I read those chapters there and I wake up and I write them here. I know exactly what I want them to say, I know how they are supposed to look, and I can execute them with near perfection. It doesn’t happen all the time, but sometimes it is so close to me that I can feel it.
The same thing happens with the art projects that I do. I see it in my head. I know how I want it to look. And then I start to create – slowly at first and then a little faster as things become clearer. Things get drawn this way, painted this way. Plans get made, they are brought to life.
In those two instances, I know what I want. I reach for what I want, I grab what I want, I get what I want. In those instances, what gets produced, what is there to be had, is entirely up to me. The only thing that influences it is how hard I want to work on it, how fast I want to finish it, and how effortlessly it gets completed.
Life has never been that way. I have often marveled at the way that a single event, a single decision, made at one time or another, can change the course of everything else. I can look back and think of a few that, for better or worse, have gotten me to where I am today. It’s the ripple effect, and the funny thing is, I don’t know whether the ripple effect is caused by the one event or if it’s caused by the way I react to those events. Maybe a little of both, I’m not sure.
I know what I want. I have never had an issue with determining what I want. Sometimes the way I go about getting what I want can be a little unorthodox. Sometimes I think I find what I want only to realize that I tried to fit a square peg into a circular hole. There is always an end-goal. There’s always the vision. The funny thing is, now that I’m older, I am less sure about how to get it. In the days I was reminiscing about earlier, I knew what I wanted, I knew how to get it, I went for it, and I got it. And what came after was amazing. I had the best year of my life to date.
Now I have an end goal, I have no idea how I’m going to get it. The path is less clear-cut. Maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be. I marvel at the uncomplicatedness of those days… maybe the reason I so easily got what I was looking for was because the things I was trying to get weren’t that difficult to obtain. Maybe the things I want now are more elusive. I do not, and never did, expect life to be easy. Whatever delusions of that I ever had I lost when I was a teenager. I have a vision and I sit here, helpless, because I don’t know how to obtain it. It’s not like the writing and it’s not like the art, it’s not even like the stuff I obtained back in the days that came together to give me such a good year. This time it depends on so many factors that I cannot control. And I am so very jaded now.
I realize this is not like what I usually post. There’s no conclusion, there is no happy ending. But when it came down to choosing whether to ramble here or to drink a lot of vodka, I chose the rambling. No hangover or nasty side effects this way. At any rate, though, no matter what I’d chosen, the end result is still the same.
I’m stuck with a vision I have no idea how to realize.