Shaking the Invisible, Guiding Hand

Posted: August 25, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Many say that our lives are an endless journey, unfolding before us as we go until we reach that fateful day until we, well, stop. As I continue on my own journey toward that day, I’m discovering an increasing number of things about myself that have been there all along. Most recently, it’s what I’ve always thought of as my “uniqueness.”
For better or worse, it has certainly kept life interesting. Moreover, though I never knew it was there, I’ve always known something was up, though I never could put my finger on it. A recent revelation, though, has finally begun to shed light on it. Despite the fact I’m unable to explain it fully, I’ve given it a name: My Silent, Silent Partner. It has always been there, an alter ego asserting its influence wholly without me even being aware of it.
Though it has taken many forms, my silent, silent partner has had one powerful, primary driving force behind it. Its inauspicious beginnings began like so many other things in life – when I was just a kid. At first, it was relatively quiet, and masked by so many things associated with childhood that it went completely undiscovered. From childhood to adolescence to college graduate it followed me, as influential as it was invisible and, therefore, hidden.
In retrospect, though, I could have seen it if only I’d known where to look. But it’s something that’s easy for me to say now, given everything I’ve had the chance to learn about myself over the years. But, of course, it hasn’t always seemed that way.
How I viewed myself relative to my world has always been in question. Like many kids, I wanted to fit in. But where? It was a question for which I never had an answer, though it wasn’t for lack of looking. Nor was it a coincidence, for no amount of searching would help me find something that wasn’t there. But though I was a resilient kid, I gradually realized I’d probably never find a place to fit in and eventually gave up. And, though I felt confused and hurt by this, I set out to find something new to take its place.
While my confusion was understandable, my only real injury was a bruised ego. In sizing things up, I decided to take the position that I was someone who thought differently than everyone else. I said it with all confidence, fully believing that my newly declared uniqueness was something for which I should be proud. It provided a handy – and lifelong – reason why I never I fit in to anything, even if it was only me that needed convincing.
A secondary benefit of this was that it could never be questioned. After all, who could doubt such a claim? What’s more, I imagined – à la Walter Mitty – that I might be viewed as a martyr of sorts, whose quest for uniqueness might even be worthy of unconditional support from the nameless multitudes who shared my cause, but were too afraid to set out on a quest of their own. In my mind, I would be their hero, allowing them to triumphantly albeit vicariously wave the banner of individualistic action and thought on their behalf.
“I’ve always acted and thought differently from everyone else, and I love that about myself,” became my mantra, one I’ve repeated for decades now. In reality however, I now see that those brave words for what they were; an excuse to explain how I did not fit in to a given situation. However, my attitude behind those words may have been the very reason I didn’t fit in, for if I found something not to my liking, it was all I had to say to explain myself. Since nobody could doubt me on this, it became the perfect copout, one that was so convincing that even I bought it.
Eventually, however, I could no longer deny or ignore it; my thinking had been grossly misguided, though it has taken me a lifetime to realize it. Interestingly, unlike my lifelong search to fit in somewhere, the true nature of my statement about being “unique” was the one thing I actually did find. It doesn’t mean, however, that my life has been wholly meaningless. Rather, it has given it a new purpose, this time from a completely different perspective.
My efforts now will be directed towards learning more about this once mysterious aspect of myself that even I had overlooked. I’ll make it a priority to articulate my findings as they arise and begin to make sense. I believe this may be helpful, to say the least, to anyone who may find himself in a similar position. For now, however, I cannot help but marvel at the thought of having an alter ego operating beside me all my life, with no awareness of its existence at all. It makes me wonder what else time might shed light upon that I am unable to see as yet.


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