They Said It Better Than I Ever Could...

These words that I write, they keep me from total insanity. -Charles Bukowski

Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived, or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? -Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Dec 28, 2009

If Only. Those are truly the saddest words in the world...

I know that I just asked for help with writer's block in my last post, but I think I may have come up with something.

Does anyone remember how I talked about all the volume on life being turned down by my experiences in Afghanistan?

Well that's a true statement. Probably just a bit too true.

I've been saying, "If Only" to myself a lot lately. And that truly sucks.

Regret has become a fairly common state of mind for me lately. And I'd have to say that in my experience thus far. Regret is probably the worst emotion that I've ever felt.

I've had a lot of time to reflect on my life. Which is thinking, and we all know that thinking is not a good thing for me. I've gone as far back as high school and second guessed myself.

If only...

I did this.
I didn't do that.
I asked her out.
I didn't ask her out.
I went here.
I went there.
I didn't go here.
I didn't go there.
I tried a little harder.
I tried a lot harder.
I worked a little more.

I wonder where my life would have led if I didn't have the personality traits that I've got.

If only...

I wasn't so bull headed.
I wasn't so easily angered.
I was more patient.
I was more dedicated.
I was more diligent.
I was more loving.
I was less demanding.

And on and on it goes...

Bad things, brain is doing bad things.

Now the volume on all of that has been turned down. Which I'm thinking might be a horrible thing for me.

You see, I've created quite a comfortable little life for myself. I've got a great job. Money wise, I make more than most people and I've got federal benefits which most people would give their left nut for. I've got a nice place, with nice furniture, a nice car, nice clothes, nice this and nice that. I have no problems paying my bills. I have no real issues at all. Everything is going wonderfully.

And I've gotten quite used to it. And quite comfortable. And its quietly and comfortably sucking the life out of me!

I read a story tonight that brought all this on, so I guess I should share it with you. But we'll give you the condensed version.

This guy Cortes went to Mexico a long time ago to conquer the land and loot all the gold.

He only took 500 guys with him.

His guys grew discontented with him because they were afraid of the Aztecs that were running Mexico at the time and numbered about half a million.

They mutinied and tried to kill him.

He talked them out of it.

He realized that his men were only thinking of riches and since they couldn't really easily get them in Mexico because of the Aztecs they started thinking of home and their wives and families.

They were distracted, and only thinking of everything but the task at hand. Which was subduing Mexico.

So he had to figure out a way to make them focused and get them on board with what he wanted to do.

So he burned, or ran aground all his ships.

There was no escape for any of them.

They had no choice but to fight ferociously and conquer Mexico, which they did. Two years later.

Okay, so what does that say to me? Cortes put his men at death's door. He offered them no escape, no way of backing down. They had only one choice, fight! Live your life, and live it right now. Live it here, and live it now. Because tomorrow you are going to run into an Aztec who may or may not turn your hide into a hat!

I have no ships to run aground.

I have no Aztecs to conquer.

Now I just have to figure out how to make them up in my head.

Now I'm thinking, If only I were born in Cortes' day.

Ah, maybe I'm nuts. But the principle is there. I don't like the way that life feels anymore. I don't like the lack of urgency. I despise the comfort of it all. I wish that I had a Hun to slay. I wish that I had a battle to fight. I wish that I knew how to deal with that. But so far I've got nothing.

If only...I had some good advice.



I love you Mom...


  1. The important thing is to recognize the mistakes (but not be weighed down by them) and make the future better. The biggest challenge you will ever face is changing your life to make it what you want rather than settling for what it is or what it has been. I find that I could go on and on, but this is your blog. My daughter ( who often gets words and phrases wrong, recently said, "Hindsight is fifty-fifty." Pretty funny, but kind of true.

  2. I think you should become a mentor. Your life is good, you worked/work hard for it, you deserve it. Life should not be a day to day struggle to survive nor do I think it should be about getting the 50 inch t.v. It seems the people who give of themselves/time/money are the happiest and good things come to them. I've always thought of life as a circle. Life is about taking care of your fellow human being in many small and large ways, shoveling sidewalks. Now teach someone else to do as you have done. Maybe thru Big Brothers/Big Sisters, YMCA, after school programs. You should not apologize for what you have achieved. You have morals, values, intelligence, skills that so many kids could use and there is no one to teach are so hard on yourself sometimes and don't give yourself credit for being a kind soul in this world of sometimes unkind people.
    take very good care
    - M -

  3. Hi there-

    Dropped by here via Mudville's Dawn Patrol, and read this post. Afterward I wanted to offer some encouragement, and commenter "-M-" made it really easy. All I have to say is, "Ditto". -M- got it just right, absolutely what I wanted to say.

    I haven't quite been where you are, but in a small way, I've felt the same, which is how I know -M- is spot on.

    Wishing you a most amazing 2010.

  4. can't change the past *as far as you know* you can only change how you look at it. No regrets... that's my motto... that and everybody wang chung tonight... (out cold)

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