I wanted to take this opportunity to write down a few things that I learned here in Asheville in, what I am calling, my “year amongst righteous misfits.” I tend to ruminate deeply on things, as I am sure you all are very well aware, but my quiet nature to those I have not gotten to know on a deeper level keeps those ruminations neatly tucked away until they may become useful at the right time; I feel like this is the right time, and I hope that they are useful.
In looking back at a decade of numbing pain and emotions, I realize now a common thread in the motivation behind many of my self-destructive actions; the ever present question of “why?” I know in my life there has always been, and probably always will be, the question of “why am I doing this?” or “why shouldn’t I do that?” The problem wasn’t that I had no ambition or desire to move forward in life, far from it. The problem was in my questioning, which essentially lead me to a question that usually always ends in defeat of an ambition or goal, “what is the point?” Although, the word “why” is not present in that rhetorical and practical question, it is the underlying concept that gives rise to the words ; it is like translating a foreign language, the words don’t always match but they point to the same idea as the translation.
Lastly, like they (whoever they are) say in the rooms, “give yourself a break.” I know when I first got here I was frustrated that I hadn’t built Rome in a day. I wanted results from this process, and I wanted them right now. Maybe it is something that comes with a little time under your belt, but I had to learn to put some space in between checking my overall progress. Now, that is not to say don’t reflect daily on your actions and reactions, deeds and things left undone, or words and choice to remain silent. It is important to do that daily inventory, but what I found is the only thing that is important is, was I better today than I was yesterday? Keep the reference scale small, so the small steps you do make are noticeable, and then from time to time take a composite and compare it with the person who came into the door.
This has been the most illuminating year of my life, and I am truly grateful for the part each of you has played in it. I look forward to a long friendship with all of you.