Did it go out with a bang or like a damp sqib? With a rousing cheer, a sigh of regret or a hearty ‘good riddance’? whatever impression 2011 left on you, good, bad or indifferent, it’s all over now and it’s far too late to do anything about it.
Way back last year, over on Moonletters X, Shauna wrote about revamping… a term that sounds absolutely terrifying when she uses it! It is, of course something that many of us consider at the dawn of a new year – revamping our lives and making a clean sweep for the coming months… But i have no intention about talking about that… in fact, i suppose my theme is somewhat the opposite to that.
Yesterday i received a message from my good friend Shane:
[1:33] Shane Wildmist: this picture reminded me of you!
Shane has always struck me as incredibly hardworking, open, honest and perceptive – the sort of person who will one day achieve great things, but will do so in a quiet and unassuming way. He’s one of life’s good guys; and, on this occasion he’s hit the nail right on the head!
The longer i live, the more i realise just how short the time is between those two milestones, and the more i’m convinced of the need to make the remaining time mean something. i get the creeping horrors over the thought of an imaginary headstone that mocks me from some time in the inevitable future, bearing the legend: ‘Here lies a boring old fart who achieved little, completely failed to make their mark upon the world and never managed to do anything worthwhile of note.’
Now before you shower me with platitudes and show me the error in my thinking, i’d just like to point out that i’m talking rl here, (for a change… don’t worry, i’ll slip back into sl mode later in this piece!), and i’m also speaking from the perspective of someone who knows me far better than you do, (i.e. Me!). Yes, i have managed some reasonable achievements in rl, in some cases they are pretty exceptional and worthy of recognition, but if i were to take a couple of buckets and fill the one with successes, positive achievements and all the good stuff and then fill the other bucket with all the failures, bad things and downright appalling, irresponsible and rotten behaviours and actions i’ve displayed over the course of my life, then you’d have to replace that second bucket with a fleet of skips. Whichever way you look at it, on balance, if you take all the good stuff and dilute it with so much bad stuff it no longer has any substance, then effectively all you’ve achieved is pretty rubbish.
So, where do i go from here? Do i revamp my life, make some resolutions and have a bash at changing? Of course, i should and, i promise you, i have been trying all my life, and will continue to do so – but even if i managed to become Mother Theresa, and devote the rest of my life to good works and making the world a better place the sad fact is that it wouldn’t make a blind bit of difference to what has gone before. You see, when you’re walking along the pathway of life, you can’t retrace your steps – each footfall leaves its mark and there’s no going back to clean up the dirty footprints of the past.
Which is why i live in constant regret for the past, for who i am and how i came to be where i am today.
Perhaps that’s why sl is such a big deal for me – it’s not only a second life, but a second chance – a chance to be the person i really should have been from the start… you know, the nice, normal, jolly person that you know inworld; the one who writes cool stuff, (sometimes), that people like to read? Believe me, that’s far better than the introverted socio/psychopath that it would be your misfortune to run into in the real world… that is, if i was to let you.
i’m pretty much resigned to my rl fate – i have no idea, and no interest to be honest, in how long i have to go before that next fateful gap between this paving slab and the next. i could have a heart attack tonight, be run over by a bus tomorrow or live to a ripe old age and still be here when the rest of you are all pushing up daisies – i have no way of knowing how long i have left before i shuffle off this mortal coil. So, yes, i will do my best to make something of it, but in all honestly, it’s all a bit pointless and a rather futile, if not irrelevant gesture.
Let’s not get all depressed about it though – because sl is very different. It may not be real and it may not be what i was intended to turn out like, but it does happen to be a life that i haven’t totally screwed up and therefore one which permits me the luxury of not having to try to put right the wrongs of the past, but instead put all my energies into making a positive mark in the present. Some would call it ‘running away’ or accuse me of abdicating my responsibilities or choosing not to deal with rl and real world issues. So be it – i guess that makes me a coward – i’ll live with it.
That’s possibly why this blog exists – what i write about here matters; if only in some weird, virtual, esoteric niche. There are real people out there who get a buzz from reading this stuff, for whom the topics that i cover are important and do mean something and for whom the stories i write touch a nerve. i don’t know why, and i’m constantly surprised by it – but i know it’s true. So, thanks to sl, maybe i can make a difference – not one that everyone will understand or even accept to be rational, helpful or reasonable: To those who don’t understand, i apologise and i make the excuse that it’s pretty much all i feel i can do… like it or not, sl in many ways has more meaning for me right now that many aspects of rl – i don’t like it either, but that’s where i’m at. Want to know something scary? i’ve advised people, who’ve said the self-same thing to me in the past to seek professional help – seems like a case of the pot calling the kettle black, huh?
What a dreadful and depressing post with which to start the new year – my apologies… normal service will be resumed in due course; don’t worry about me, i’m ok – sometimes the words just come out this way and, when they do, you’ve just got to write them!
In the meantime, i wish you all a happy and prosperous new year – may it be one that passes your expectations and one in which your dreams come true.
And if a double-decker bus
Crashes into us
To die by your side
Is such a heavenly way to die
The Smiths – There Is A Light That Never Goes Out