Thursday, December 14, 2017

No Set Expectations

Strap in, kiddos, this one's gonna get heavy.

You may have heard me mention that I'm back in the world again. It's not by choice; every day for the past few months, I have gotten up at a much earlier time than I'm comfortable with and driven to a place that is not my home and performed for several hours before walking out the door, starting up the engine, and feeling my facial muscles go slack as I put distance between that place and myself, all the artifice of the day draining away.

There's this kid there, maybe 20 or so. Some small-ish percentage Hispanic, enough that you'd have to squint to see it, much like my native blood. Today, he asked me what my goals were. I looked at him funny for a moment, then he clarified by asking what path I wanted to take at this new job. I gave a small laugh, and said for a moment I thought he meant in life, and had wondered if he'd missed the grey on my face. 

Life, I have found, is about having your expectations stripped from you, if you are not fortunate enough to belong to a class that has the resources to buy the fulfillment of those expectations.

  • I lost the expectation being able-bodied when I was in a magnificently acrobatic car accident at 17 which gave me a concussion, injured my back, and destroyed my right ankle. 
  • I lost the expectation of a formal education when a sleep disorder robbed me of the ability to wake up early in the morning and be cognizant before noon or so.
  • I lost the expectation a family when my ex-wife turned abusive and threatened, subtly, to use the child I raised as a weapon against me. 
  • I lost the expectation of good health when, slowly, my digestive system began to tolerate fewer and fewer foods, to the point where I now sometimes eat something knowing I'll hate myself later just because I'm sick of bland breads and light meats. 
  • I lost the expectation of comfort when the nerves in my spine began to compress due to the accident, causing pain anywhere from my thighs to my arms to my chest.
I may sound like a complete miseryguts right now, but I have a consolation. Several years ago, I began to say that I may not be okay, but I can see okay from where I'm standing. I think I'm only now starting to be okay with that.

I promise I'll be a bit more light-hearted next week. Maybe Erin will have caught up with The Orville and I can do a mid-season check-in on it. 

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