I wrote this back on May 17 as part of my "I am" thread. The thread was intended to be a journey of self-exploration and self-analysis for me. I intended to lay out some really deep, very personal "stuff". Because, you see, what I have been "doing" in my life for the past 30 years has really not been working. I'm in a strange place in my life right now. I find myself on a strange and unfamiliar path. A path that I chose with open eyes, open arms, open mind and open heart, but a path that I did not want. How's that for irony? A path that I looked down, and out of curiosity or some masochistic emotional need, or some lesson to be learned, I chose to walk this path.
But here I am. Now. No regrets. Really, no regrets. I was all by my doing and conscious choice. I am who I am today because of that path. I just want to understand. I need to understand.
For whatever reason, I hid this post as a 'draft'. I'm not sure when exactly I hid it, or why. I have a tendency to do that. I write stuff and never publish it. I also write 'em and post 'em and then pull 'em - sometimes. Perhaps that is as it should be.
Anyway, here it is...
I don't remember if I read this somewhere, or if I came up with these words myself. "What I do is not who I am." It was an epiphany of the highest order for me. So simple, yet so remote was the understanding. Distant. Shrouded by fog. Clear and muted at the same time.
I remember writing the words on a yellow legal pad. I can't remember now exactly when it was. Six years ago in Aspen? Was it ten years ago? Quite possibly it was as long as thirteen years ago - in Dallas. Thirteen long years. Gone in a blink.
I very distinctly remember coming to the realization that I had become my job. My job was me. My entire identity - "who" I was, was "what" I did. What I did for a living. What I did for dollars. I was a workaholic of the worst variety. I would go into the office at 5:30 in the morning and not leave until 6:30 or 7:30. My logic at the time was that I wanted to miss the horrible rush hour traffic of Dallas. Go in early before it started, leave the office late, after it had subsided.
I remember drinking cold, stale coffee at 4:00 or 5:00 pm. The dregs of the pot.
I was a sick fuck.
There were times, under the heavy burden of single-handedly running a new division of the company, that I would stay even later - until 11pm or 1am. Sometimes, I would just get a room at the hotel next to the office and not even go home.
It was also, unfortunately, my escape from an unhappy marriage. One that was doomed from the very beginning to fail. But that is another story. For another time.
The saddest part of all, is that my daughter remembers me never being home. Now that, I regret.