Mar 162015
As I write this, it’s early Monday I’m just returning from my second night of an exhausting but rewarding South by Southwest event here in Austin.  Not drunk, but certainly feeling the reduced inhibition brought on by alcohol and in the mood to continue where I left off with ramblings on dating and rebooting.

Well, not exactly where I left off.  My wrap-up on Match is cringe-worthy.  After encouraging discussions and events the past two days, I don’t recognize the whining writer I’ve been.  I was my parents’ first-born, the stubbornly independent one.  The five-year-old who fiercely insisted on walking home from kindergarten.  The indestructible 9-year-old who got back on his mini bike after taking a football-sized patch of skin off his leg in a wipeout.  The young adult who survived a potentially fatal head-on automobile collision by keeping his wits about him.

I’m not saying those things to brag, because I’m disgusted with what comes across in recent posts as a goofy pity party.  I’ve been beating myself up over past regrets while simultaneously swearing I was pointed strictly forward.  Sure I’m fine with divorce, but that’s not the issue.

I’d forgotten that I matter.

I’m blessed to have had the indulgence of three friends, one very new, who took the time the past two days to listen to the experiences that have troubled me, without judgment.  And conversely, to open up on their own similar experiences to let me know I’m not alone.  And oh, what a relief!

At 53 I’ve many miles and trials behind me, and what hasn’t killed me has definitely made me stronger.  I had just come to accept a certain degree of despair, and I’ve been assured by some really great people that I don’t have to.  And I’m not going to anymore.

I’ve been giving into anxiety over things I can’t control, and that’s done.  I realized that everyone who chided me for it has been right.  What was the secret?  It’s a couple of little things actually.  One was an amazing woman who accepted an out-of-the-blue request to meet and talk.  The other was getting second glances from some very attractive women as I walked down Austin’s 6th Street.  Neither of those small things has happened in so long I came to believe I didn’t deserve either.

But that’s bullshit.  I matter.

So I find myself at a crossroads with more opportunity than burden.  I’ve always been a bit rebellious, and it used to get me in trouble, but I know how to channel it productively now.  I have talents and there’s no excuse not to use them.  My best years may actually be before me.  I just have to figure out what to do with them.

I was asked tonight what I really want at this point, and it comes down to: I want to be happy, and share that with someone special.  I have a lot to give and damn it, I intend to.  And while I’ve never been materialistic, I did manage to accumulate too many pieces and properties that came to own me.  It’s definitely time to streamline, to focus on the things and especially people who also matter.

That said, my boys are adults and they don’t really need Dad anymore.  I’m so proud to say that.  And I know they’re good with me finally focusing on me… and hopefully, at some point, someone new.  I finally believe that’s possible now.  Nothing concrete, but the mere acceptance that I deserve it is a good step forward.

I’ve shared this before but I want to truly nail it down: I’m ready to undertake the next adventure.  I don’t know where or when.  All I know is I’m going to get myself to the point of possibility ASAP.  I’m ready to pull up anchor and tack into the wind.  I’m looking at remote jobs, and of course as most readers know I’ve got some business ideas that got put on hold last year.  I can reopen those soon.

So I don’t know what’s going to happen as I disentangle myself from old, local obligations, and it’s a bit scary.  But that’s okay!

Come at me, Life.  I can take it.

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