I’ve always been a slow joiner. Which means I get the last picks – the leftovers. Which I can make do with; even glorifying the purity of not pushing and shoving, not grabbing and clawing, like my fellow humans. We, as a people, have been operating under false assumptions. It’s like we’ve all silently agreed to try to achieve something I’m not sure most people are achieving, and even less are enjoying. I mean, isn’t our very economy based on envy and fear? So how does one win, exactly?
Step One: we admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
I quit playing long ago, and work really hard at justifying my decision not to jump into the pool, to stand off on the sidelines, rebuffing those who would come over and encourage me to join in.
The reason? I’m afraid I won’t be the best. It all comes back to my fear again. If I can’t dominate, if I’m not showered in accolades, then I’d rather not engage, thank you all the same. So I give my beat-up cars names and personalities to compete with the mammoth SUVs that drive themselves while playing 3-D movies in the back. I live far below my means to prove a point: that my happiness isn’t connected to the American Dream. It’s a lie we’ve been fed from cradle to grave that consumption is the highest form of arrival, and surely God will set us up in some spectacular cloud condos overlooking the commoners once we go to heaven. We won’t even have to wait in line. Kiss my ass, Saint Peter.
That all being said, guess who comes off looking resentful and jealous at all social functions and family gatherings? Bingo. I hate talking about myself in terms of accomplishments. Describing what I do for a living always seems like my job isn’t real; not one that actually counts. If what I did for a living mattered, where’s the tangible proof?
Of course, I’m an alcoholic that tends to warp his mind in ways that are cunning, baffling and powerful.
The lesson? Don’t be so sure I’ve figured it out. Live my life the way I wish to live it: right-sized.
Oh, and don’t get all caught up in rationalizing and justifying my economic choices. No one’s asking.