I have to tell you that this feels like one of the longest weeks of my life. It feels that way partially because of things at work, partially because of things I’ve done/screwed up, and partially because I get to start work on the next big ass personal project that will keep me busy for the next few months.
When I get weeks like this, I usually panic and shut down. I really get to the point where I resent myself, I hate myself, and get to a dark place (not as dark as I got last June, thank God for that). I typically have this thought that I should never be the one who screws up. I should never be the one that hurts anyone else. When I am that guy that screws up, I am reminded how less than perfect I am – and I hate that and I hate myself for being imperfect.
I went through therapy last year and at one point in my sessions I talked about how I get in this spiral of resentment. I was reminded that in the history of the Universe there was only one person who was ever 100% perfect. And that guy got Himself was hung on a tree. You’d think that would bring some balance to my screwed way of thinking. It does, somewhat. But it also makes me think if perfection gets you a tree, what the hell will happen to me.
On top of all of this, there are a number of friends who are going through their own weeks of hell. One is recovering from a miscarriage. Another friend finds herself taking care of her mother who is recovering from a heart attack. Things that truly make my troubles pale in comparison.
I found myself telling my friends “Don’t worry. Things always work out.” Funny that I’m quick to give that advice but don’t 100% believe that.
I have to remind myself of something that Jim Lovell is reported to have said. He was asked if there was an airplane emergency that he recalled fear. He said:
Uh, well, I tell ya, I remember this one time – I’m in a Banshee at night in combat conditions, so there’s no running lights on the carrier. It was the Shangri-La, and we were in the Sea of Japan, and my, my radar had jammed, and my homing signal was gone … because somebody in Japan was actually using the same frequency. And so it was – it was leading me away from where I was supposed to be. And I’m lookin’ down at a big, black ocean, so, I flip on my map light, and then suddenly: zap. Everything shorts out right there in my cockpit. All my instruments are gone. My lights are gone. And I can’t even tell now what my altitude is. I know I’m running out of fuel, so I’m thinking about ditching in the ocean. And I, i look down there, and then, in, in the darkness, there’s this, uh, there’s this green trail. It’s like a long carpet that’s just laid out right beneath me. And it was the algae, right? It was that phosphorescent stuff that get churned up in the wake of a big ship. And it was, it was, it was just leading me home. You know? If my cockpit lights hadn’t shorted out, there’s no way I’d have every been able to see that. So, uh, you, uh, you never know … what … what events are going to transpire to get you home.
Here’s to those of us who, from time to time, need gentle reminders that we must keep our faith in our friends, in our state, in ourselves that things are going to be alright. We never know what will get us home.