A friend of mine ran over someone, then drove away from the crime. He was drunk.
Later he was arrested. It was on the news, which is how I found out.
I asked him what happened and he said he would tell me sometime. I asked him what was going to happen to him. “I’m going to go to jail.”
A few months earlier we were in the same city and got together. He had a drink. We played a game or two of chess. He seemed happy. He had a girlfriend. He was going to ask her to marry him.
I didn’t ask him after the accident if he still had the same girlfriend or if he was going to get married. His life was on a different track now.
Sometimes I’m on my usual train ride and I see those stations that we pass at blinding speed and I sometimes think, what’s at this station?
What happens if I get out over here?
If I leave the station and walk onto the streets and rent an apartment and work in the hardware store and just never go back to where the train was going or where the train was coming from.
If I make new friends and we play dominos on the sidewalk and listen to music coming out of our open cars. What happens if I just disappear?
A new life. An alternate life I can get lost in and start over.
My friend and I agreed to meet again. I was going to his city in a few months.
But I didn’t show up and he called me a few times and I didn’t answer. I don’t know why. I felt bad about it. I got busy and I didn’t call him back and I didn’t meet him and he was getting angrier and angrier on the phone.
That was it.
About a year or so later I got a call from him. He apologized for getting angry. I apologized for not meeting him that time. I still don’t know why I didn’t meet him.
Sometimes I’m afraid of dealing with uncomfortable things. And I feel worse and I don’t respond and that makes me feel even worse. And then the situation usually goes away and I forget it.
I didn’t ask him if he had gone to jail or if he was going. That also seemed off-track.
He apologized and he thanked me for all I did for him and for standing by him when everyone who had been his friend started trashing him all over social media after his accident.
Good people sometimes do bad things. I shouldn’t say “sometimes”. I should say “often”. I should say I often do bad things. Since I can’t speak for others.
A few weeks ago I had a great guest on my podcast. He’s building rockets to go to the moon to find minerals that can solve all the energy problems on the planet Earth.
Someone wrote me. This someone said, “How could you even talk to him? He did this, this, and THIS, in 1998.”
That was 17 years ago, I said.
“I lost a lot of money because of him back then.”
He’s trying to save the entire world right now, I said.
Recently a friend of mine was a little upset at me. I’m not sure why.
She wrote a post, “Maybe instead of ‘choosing ourselves’ we should be out there helping more people and not being selfish.”
I didn’t argue with her.
But only someone who is happy and strong can help people who are unhappy and less strong. You ONLY get energy from your own inner well-being.
Inner well-being comes when you aren’t sick. When you are around people who love you. When you are creative. And when you are grateful. This is choosing yourself.
Judging others is the opposite of choosing yourself. It’s trying to force a world where they are chosen by you. That won’t work.
People do things and I have to surrender to what they did. Everyone around us deals the cards. But only I get to play the cards I was dealt. Nobody can play them for me.
I wrote to her a few months later when other people were saying bad things about her. Because that’s the way it goes – everything cycles if you wait.
I told her I really admired her last book and she was doing good things for people.
I guess deep down I wanted her to like me. And she did. She wrote back and said, “I really needed to hear that right now. Thanks.”
There’s a huge gap between where we are in life right now and all of the dreams and visions we have for ourselves.
That gap makes us human. The job of being human never ends because we are always looking for ways to close that gap.
And along the way we get scared. What if I never close that gap? What if I never become the person in my dreams?
And then we get angry because anger is the winter coat that keeps the fear warm in the coldest storm. It’s a blizzard and as we take one step at a time we can’t even see two feet in front of us.
I didn’t ask my friend if the guy he ran over was ok.
I didn’t ask my other friend if the accusations against her were true.
And I didn’t ask my other friend about 1998. In 1998 I did some bad things also. I’m glad nobody is emailing me about them. Except the woman I loved then who didn’t love me back.
We’re most human when we love each other and support each other and don’t provide judgments.
I’m just trying to survive this life from beginning to end. I only have this life. I can’t compare it with an alternative life where all my desires are met.
This is it. I can’t waste it on craving the dreams that are too far away.
That’s the fastest way to get burnt out and run out of energy. Which is the fastest way to die because it’s difficult to refuel.
Only then, when it’s too late, will I realize I won’t get another chance. Other than the magnificent choices I can make today.Share This Post