[212] For the Better

The journey of life is not unlike driving down the road. Every decision we make is like taking a certain path. We see the road split in two directions. Whether we choose decision A or B determines which way we go. We can’t see what’s ahead—the road is shrouded in a fog. However, we make a choice and follow that path and accept the consequences and repercussions, good or bad.

The road of life also can be rather winding. An example of this locally to me is on Interstate 15. This highway goes through an incredibly small slice of Arizona. It’s 29 miles in length from Mesquite, at the Nevada border, to the Utah border and St. George two miles inward. There is a roughly 10-mile stretch that goes through the Virgin River Gorge. In the Gorge, the speed limit drops from 75 to 55, and there are many curves. You can also imagine the dramatically curved road that is Lombard St. in San Francisco. That’s kinda how life is. Sometimes, on one of those curves, something happens that can change our lives. Those changes, obviously, can be bad or good.

Without going into details, roughly three weeks ago, I experienced one of these changes in my life. Fortunately, it has turned out for the better for me. As a result, I have been given a much more positive outlook. Two years ago, I utterly hated myself and didn’t care if I were dead or not. Antidepressants helped out, and I didn’t hate myself as much, but I did not love myself in any way. Since three weeks ago, I’m actually on the path of learning to love myself. I have actually felt happy, in a way I haven’t in so fucking long. I’ve begun to see a light, where there had only existed darkness and misery.

At the moment, I really can’t put my finger on why I’ve been like this. I do know, however, that it happened about three weeks ago, toward the latter part of May. Whatever the reason, now that I’m experiencing this newly-found positivity, I don’t ever want to go back to that dark, desolate place I once inhabited. You know that I try to be somewhat entertaining, but right now, I’m going to be dead serious, and some of these things I haven’t really disclosed until now. I spent several years in a miserable, dark place. I was unhappy, depressed and damn-near suicidal. I thought numerous times about how I wished I could die and everyone forget me. I never could actually do it, but I often imagined myself driving into a power pole or lose control on the highway, or really hoping my car would get T-boned by another. I didn’t realize I had severe depression for the longest time; people thought I just had anger issues and was a huge asshole.

Did I think those things? Absolutely, I did. Do I think that way anymore? Hell no! Life for me now has more meaning. I can actually imagine myself being successful at something. What exactly, I don’t know yet. It’s not too late to be successful. After all, Vera Wang didn’t start her fashion empire until she was 40. Stan Lee was 39 when he created “Fantastic Four”; Samuel L Jackson only got his big break at age 43. Ray Kroc bought McDonald’s (yeah, that global giant) when he was 52. And let’s not forget the man behind Kentucky Fried Chicken. Harland Sanders, known as Colonel Sanders, began franchising KFC at age 62. I won’t be hitting my 49th birthday for about three more months, but this shows that no, I’m not too old to wind up being successful at something.

We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

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