I'd never heard of this before, but it's apparantly real: Today is Good Riddance Day! This is something that we need! Although, if I were to set all my anxieties, grievances, fears and regrets on fire, I might inadvertantly end up torching half the neighborhood. If I had to narrow it down to one thing that I could put through the shredder and be done with forever after, it would be this: Grief.
Back in my younger days, my friend BC introduced us to an annual tradition he'd invented, called a "Year Burning." Everyone brought a calendar with them, and we threw it in the fireplace and theraputically watched the dates blacken, curl and disintegrate into ash. In effect, we said "Good Riddance" to that Damn Year, and told ourselves that the next one would be better.
I kept up the tradition for several years until I realized that the new year is NEVER any better and sometimes it's a good deal worse. The ones that you burned start to look good by comparison.
For some time I've considered coloring my hair snow white. I'm going grey anyhow, and I figured what the hell? Might as well go all the way, right? What I had was just mousy and undistinguished. So during the holiday weekend I gathered all the products I'd bought secretly and separately, disappeared into my bathroom and began my bold plan to remake myself for the next era.
I read all the instructions. I did everything right.
You can see it coming, can't you? If I can possibly find a way to humiate myself publically, I do. I came out of the process looking like a tall, plump munchkin. My hair is now orangey yellow, like a member of the Lollypop Guild. Honestly, I look like I drank a bottle of Grecian Formula.
Go ahead and laugh. I can be a sport about it now. Nothing I can do but wait for it to grow out and then never, ever do that again!
I need to get me one of those little angels to sit on my shoulder. Every time I got a Supposedly Great Idea, the angel could whisper into my ear, "Don't DO it, putz! PLEASE don't do it. You KNOW that you ruin everything you touch. There's nothing wrong with mousy."
Typing of re-making myself, Christmas was at least good for one thing this year: It proved to me conclusively that I still don't know who in the hell I am anymore.
Recently, I have made Advances and Retreats in the area of Being Social. I make a bold move; then I run for the hills, duck and cover, hide in cringing embarrassment.
After the four days off surrounding Christmas, I now understand why. Once upon a time, I knew who I was. I wrote two novels and enough short stories to fill a book. I was finally getting back in gear with a third novel, some one my best work to date. I had a website going and for at least two years I made deadline with significant installments of TWO online comic strips. I was a bustle of activity, I was. Life was good-ish. "Ish" because I wasn't a terrible success for all that work.
Then it all fell apart. And I know now that I haven't gained anything back. Over the four days of Christmas Holiday, I literally did not know what to do with myself. I don't know who I am anymore.
I can't inflict myself on a woman in this condition. A man seeking a partner needs to know what he is about, to be a Real Person with hopes, aspirations and goals.
This holiday weekend showed me that I am far away from that point. The job in front of me now is simply: Become a Real Boy.