When I was a teenager I used to fantasise about the kind of man I wanted to be when I would be about the age I am now. I was an unhappy teenagers. I was bullied. I felt weak and unworthy, but I had a pretty good idea what I wished I were. Back then, though, I had limited myself to wishing.
Today I am thirty-six years old. I am not the man I dreamt I would be, but I am roughly on the road that leads to him, and frankly, I’m not that far off. I can see him looking back at me, beckoning to me, urging me on. Back when I was that sad, scared teenager, I remember reading in a book about Buddhism that perfection ought to be every man’s goal, and that it wasn’t at all unattainable (according to the author, that was exactly what Buddha had achieved). I’m starting to see what that means.
Perfection is not about mastering every skill or coming first in every race. Perfection is balance, awareness of the self. It’s being who I want to be. It’s filling my own shoes, growing to the limits of my skin and of my intellect, of my consciousness—to use a shorthand: of my soul. Perfection is reaching a point of serene contentment. It’s that quiet, strong, confident guy I pictured in my mind decades before I could even start to hope I could make him happen—I could make me happen.
I’m not gonna need resolutions this years. I will write, I will learn, I will train for life on this here hostile planet—just as I have been doing in 2013—and I will grow to fill that beautiful, strong man’s shoes—or leather boots, to be accurate. I’m not there yet, but it is now my life’s mission to wake up every morning closer to him than I was the morning before. My life is no longer about waiting to go to bed. My life is about waking up and one glorious morning realising I’m him, I’m perfect—or more accurately, I’m done, I’m complete.
Time is in short supply, obstacles are many, and frankly having to double back at some point is not out of the question, so I’m not sure that morning will ever come. That said, whether I’m sure or not is irrelevant. It’s an act of faith, the only faith that matters: not in some imaginary outside power, but faith in the actual power within me. Faith that I can make Him happen.
For a long time I thought I was supposed to meet that guy, that he was someone else, someone out there I could meet and date and fall in love with. Well, I was wrong on all accounts except one: it is a question of love—self-love. I owe it to myself to keep the faith and give it my best shot. Time is not on my side, but this is Planet Earth—nothing here is on my side.
Makes no difference, though. One day at a time, and today is good day. Make a happy new year, fellas. Love thy fine selves.