Saturday, January 9, 2010


Hesitation. The word startled me from my sleep.

Hesitation. It's only a pause-- a moment of unknowing. But I d did not dream of a momentary hesitation, the indecision born out of a lack of knowledge. but I dreamed about the terrible chronic kind of hesitation, a lifelong non-decision spawned of cowardice.

Most describe me as a nice person. Yet some find me unnerving. They will notice the politeness and the general helpfulness yet come away with a sense of coldness and hostility. You probably don't believe me. The impression you probably hold is that I'm large, articulate and gregarious. I can talk at length (and far too often, I actually do talk at length) on an assortment of topics with informed and thought-out opinions. But others will find nothing but one-word answers and curt replies. I like to sit and stand large and comfortable with an air of openness in the space I occupy. They'll find that I am stiff, rigid and closed to them -- standing as if I have nothing to offer them.

But my dream caused me to realize that the commonality in all the people who find me prickly and cold is that they are deeply entrenched in a lifetime posture of hesitation and indecision, a stuttering life, a fence-sitting life. They often bother myself and others with meaningless matters, no doubt caused by a life so deprived of real and imminent threats that they need others to hear the great tragedy of how they ordered a regular coke instead of diet for lunch. They envy the world above them, the people who do, the men and women of action who are always too busy for them, thinking that it is some great divine edict that has caused their life to be this quagmire of reality T.V. and work. Oh, it's occasionally punctuated by a friend who's actually living their life and the ensuing celebration, but for the most part, their own feelings towards life is that 80 years is not too short of a life, but too long of a time to slowly die.

I speak of only what I know. Do I seem to especially hate this category of people. Yes, I certainly do. They remind me too much of where I was a few years ago. The hate I feel for them, and do not try to reinterpret that word, it is an actual hatred, is nothing more than the left-over self-hatred I used to reconstruct my life.

The longer you've known me, the more you've read me, the more you would realize that this thought more than any other, occupies my mind. I often talk about the physical dimension of the transformation -- from a 320 lb. walrus to a 205 lb. athlete, from weakness to strength. But as I've ruminated on the issue, grinding it with stony words, I've realized that my discussion of the physical masked the true heart of the issue -- the internal struggle of the soul.

I'm for the most part satisfied with my progress in transforming my body. I'm nowhere near satisfied with   the state of my soul. I'd like to say I have a noble, theologically verified reason why. I don't. I'm dissatisfied because if my soul were to be improved, my life would be to. And happiness is the one reason that can't be pushed back. The reason I wish to be happy? Because of an absolute value system. Happiness is always better than misery.

I don't want to change for anyone's glory or anyone's salvation. My desire for change stems from my hate of cowardice, of the coward I used to be. Men who've recently left prison usually have no desire to return. I'm much the same way. I hate those four walls of indecision and excuse-making, of risk-adverse living. I promised myself that there would be no going back once I started down that road. I would change my life or end my life. There was no other option.

To achieve life is success, to fail to achieve life would mean death.

Is that obvious? It's not. Most people would phrase it as Life = Success, Death = Failure. That's not how I phrased. I would succeed and find life as a result or I would not find it and terminate my own existence.  Achieving life is not avoiding death, but what a great squirming mass of bloated humanity find themselves in the quest to postpone death! What a seething, pathetic horde of naughts begin to seek end-of-life care at a young age, to seek relief from this terrible plague known as life, to distract them from the overwhelming burden of being alive!

I never want to go back to that prison, that chiasmic life of always waiting for myself.

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