Falling not failing… Failing not falling…
I’m not destined to be anything I cannot fake. If I can fake it, I can be it, and the fantasy might just turn out to be real. My destination is beyond what results I get from trying, and hidden from the recesses of my imagination. We are after all, just star stuff as Carl Sagan once said, born of that to which we will one day again return. Destiny it seems is only what we can imagine, create, design and dictate. We find it through who we are, what we do, and how we pretend, in order to fool ourselves that we are indeed, anything more than star dust.
But this is not a reason to despair. I reminisce about the boy I once was and sometimes I even miss him. That doesn’t mean I want to be him again. There is no me now, that could have come about without reinvention, reimagination and a determination to find joy despite the dark sometimes. For some, their star stuff is a creation, compliments of a God above, others see it swirl through multiple lives as reincarnation, and some see a finite existence where nothing exists but the day. Whatever your truth, we forge our own path whether consciously or not, and our footprints touch the world around us leaving something behind, a trail of our very own twinkle dust as we go.
We believe the lie that we are the better version of ourselves and then try to convince the world of that particular interpretation of who we are. Me? I am the lie I have created, that has become the truth made man. I was never meant to be the creature I have become. Left to my own devices, unencumbered by social morasses, I would have turned out much the same or entirely different, who knows. I suspect the latter.
Give a monkey a gun and sooner or later he’ll shoot something. Give a man enough choice and he’s bound to get confused along the way. There is no point in trying to fool ourselves, we are all indeed just star stuff. We are never shadows of our former selves. We are giants to our early incarnations, casting shadows on that which we once were. There is no doubt that we are what we have become by stepping over the bodies of our former selves. Nothing is real, nothing is permanent. We are sprites in the wind, hoping to catch a lucky break.
I am not the man I once was and I am glad of it. He was never who I wanted to be. I have lied to myself all these years to get over the next hill, only to discover that it was sometimes only the lie that got me there. I am the little engine puffing upwards with “I think I can” on repeat in my head as I go. In truth I have always doubted way too much, but the lie always got me there and I became someone new each time. Someone who could, when I didn’t even believe it myself.
Determination got me only some of the way. Deceit has been my friend. But before you get too excited, the lies I told were to myself and sometimes they helped me fail dramatically. If I have learned anything, it is that the world will not implode if we stop teaching our kids not to fail. Failing is not falling, falling is not failing. We see things as we choose. Sometimes things look better in the morning and raindrops look better by the light of the moon
There is an inherent sadness deep in my soul. A melancholy man like me has no right to be happy, yet I am. Whether it is by fate, chance, desperation or inspiration, it doesn’t matter, I will never reach my destination and I will never fully be me at any given point in time. I am all that I was and all that I might be, caught up in just that moment when you cross my path. That’s all.
When the darkness arrives and overshadows everything else, how do we find the light? When the noise that can’t be silenced, doesn’t just fill our heads but starts to overwhelm, how do we listen to ourselves and find a moment of calm? Our star stuff should be the thing that lets us fly and the thing that keeps us grounded.
Never one to assume, I can only talk of my own shimmering dust. The boy I was became the man I had to be and what I had to be, changed many times in order for me to become the man I needed to be. Those versions of me were never easy in transition, but ultimately, I am now the man I want to be – for now at least. Who knows what tomorrow brings and how many lies I will internalise to be whoever I become on my journey though myself? I am star stuff on a journey of infinite possibility, always fearful, but never afraid, always casting shadows on my darkness.
I am an imperfect journeyman who has found his smile, knowing there are others in search of the same, telling you that it’s OK for now. It’s OK to be someone else tomorrow, for we are all just star stuff, changing form infinitely. Joy is in the moment and each day is filled with moments to find the joy. I am grateful each morning when I wake. Grateful to be given another day to be whoever I want to be today, the past beyond me, the future to be forged.
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