Never mind that for lunch today I ate Peruvian ceviche no more than a conch shell call from the Pacific Ocean. Never mind, either, that I’m writing this on a plane somewhere over Texas with a TV screen in front of me showing Blackburn versus West Brom (deep into extra time, it’s two-nil to Rovers). What I really want to write about is my new plan – formed in the hot crucible of a Mexican vacation – to become a different person.
Oh, ok, not so different you won’t recognize me anymore; that would be half-way obtuse, half-way dumb, and wholly impractical. But, yes, absolutely yes, different. All of which, of course, is to say better.
I mustn’t dredge up the details (for your sake, I promise), nor should I make something in the offing sound like a done-deal. Please don’t think I’m kidding, though. It wouldn’t affect me any if you did – but it would be a waste of sincerity, and, at least for a while, I like the sound of saying, ‘that’s all I got.’
Somewhere along the line, you see – hard to tell exactly when – I turned into someone I don’t care to be. No one, thankfully, ever injurious to others, but no one, either, fit for seeking out. How to put it succinctly? I guess I had become safe; more cautious and less curious. Worse, when we ought to grab at life, unembarrassed and eager, I allowed myself – for far too fucking long – to drift. But where even to?
As the Springsteen line has it, ‘I was tired and bored with myself.’ So what, right? Who hasn’t been… My thing, though (it’s now increasingly apparent) was staying so – was looking, catastrophically, the other way and fixing to believe that’s just how it goes.
What a heaping lorry-load of mistakes. I thought that earning a wage, any wage, was more important than what you earn it doing. I thought that dreams are for other people, and they don’t pay the bills. I thought I should think about life less because it’s easier not to; because wasting time is still passing it; because no matter what you do, there’s always something on television, something on Facebook, something in the sports section of ten different papers.
I’m being vague, I know, but the long and the short of it is that I stopped trying. Forget carpe diem, watching a movie at the weekend was just about enough. When once upon a time I thought maybe I could make ’em.
…So, then – you’ll hopefully be asking – where’s all this navel-gazing getting to? Or gotten to? Simply enough, this: I don’t want to piss my potential up a wall anymore. I don’t want to be bored and boring anymore. I don’t want to make life a tower of shit and then get mad at it for being so. Anymore. At least, at least, at least, I want to put some fucking effort in. (Again.)
The choice I think, for what it’s worth, is between being a mensch or a sorry waste of skin. And as Woody Allen once said, once you get to the end you don’t get to go round again.
Well, anyway. You’ve indulged me too long. I wanted, more or less, for the newjonnytransit blog to be about stuff, not about me. And now look what I’ve gone and done…
(* Yeah – it’s a book that really got me thinking: A Bit of a Blur, a memoir by the Blur bass guitarist Alex James. Not an obvious source of inspiration, I suppose, but on each and every page a rousing testament to the supernatural powers of confidence, optimism, showing up, giving it a go, getting the most out of now… Check it out and you’ll see exactly what I mean. James shares the outline of an extraordinary life, one straining at the sides with adventure, creative fulfillment and pleasure – And it seems as though he’s had it mostly through believing that he could. If that doesn’t give you any shivers, well I guess you may as well be dead.)