I should apologize. I spend a lot of time here in the digital pages of my blog whining. Waaaah I’m older, waaaah I’m achey, waaaah my life has traumas, waaaah I have to walk across the room to get the opener before I can drink my bottle of beer… wwwwaaaa waaaah waaaaah. When did happy-go-lucky Dan get body snatched by Sir Whines A Lot?
The answer… never.
I’ve always been as whiny as a Woody Allen character crashing a Kentucky Klu Klux Klan rally (“the last time I saw this many sheets was at a Macys 5th Ave white sale. We Jews protest differently, instead of burning crosses we keep the anger inside until we have burning ulcers. The only time I saw the Jews in my Brooklyn neighborhood this angry was when Shlomo’s Deli put too much schmaltz in the chopped liver…”)
Any impression of me being a Devil-May-Care Dan has always been an illusion or myth I very poorly tried to propagate. I’m mentally wound tighter than Itzhak Perlman’s sheep gut D string. Laid-Back Lewbel is a dream that I have never attained as my brain constantly hyper obsesses on every little idiotic nuance of my existence. It is a ton of useless extra stress I burden myself with and I get nothing out of it.
That time-wasting tenseness mixed with my cluelessness of how to balance my ‘life’s too short’ self-indulgent side, my baby boomer drive to be visibly financially secure and good-old traditional Jewish guilt, has puréed my brain cells into the sloppy slurry sloshing around in my skull controlling my every move like the current political comedy show’s impressions of Steve Bannon manipulating a mini President Trump ventriloquist’s dummy. I dream of a mythical ‘carefreedom’ but I am, in fact, a beaten-down slave to my brain’s twisted unnecessary motivations.
In my twenties, I was constantly asked what my life plans were. I always flippantly answered “master the guitar, learn to fluently speak Spanish and the rest I’ll play by ear.” I can recall saying that to my parent’s already retired friends and seeing their ‘looks like your son will be eating dented-can discounted generic cat food three meals a day when he’s our age’ expression. I was projecting a Millennial spirit before the word even existed but as much as I always dreamed of just bumming around Europe or being a mostly jobless faux-artist bohemian beach bum with a hippie-chick girlfriend and a half dozen commune spirited roommates, my fierce independence and fear of not knowing where my next meal was coming from would never let it happen.
Balancing the Dan I wanted to be and actual Dan, has been a constant life struggle. I know people that have taken buckets of heavy meds or spent decades in intense psycho-sicko-therapy trying to connect those two but I keep waiting to just wake up one day and suddenly be comfortable in my skin.
But recent occurrences have been loud reminders that life is too short to make things even more unnecessarily difficult on myself. Sometimes you do run out of tomorrows if you keep putting things off and worrying about what the world thinks will never advance your dreams.I am jealous of those occasional characters that come into my world who just are who they are with no pretense, filters or cares about what other’s think. Oh, those folks will always end up driving you crazy but I respect the hell out of them.
So can my lifetime of pesty whining and worrying really just be written off as a cry out for the ultimate chill pill? Because if I look backwards things really do not look so bad. It is easy for me to get caught in the trap of focusing on what I don’t have or have not accomplished instead of enjoying all that I have experienced and all that I do have. It’s far easier to complain than to solve.
I might still not know WHAT I want to be when I grow up but I think I am finally learning WHO I want to be. So, it looks like I still have a lot of work to do. Hell, all these years later, I still have not come close to mastering the guitar or fluently speaking Spanish. But I’m working on it. (Pero estoy trabajando en ello blah blah blah)