It Came Without Warning
The wreckage of my past is the war that’s never won. Often times I think about all the things that were said to me so many years ago; I would always listen to the negativity, silently as if I were laying down in the wake of someone else’s incompetence or insecurities, my elders and a handful of those my parents entrusted with my care having labeled me as difficult simply because I was intelligent, and quiet.
When I was a child, I was always passive, reserved, and yet completely incapable of truly standing up for myself. Telling people how I really felt at the time, expressing my emotions, and finding an outlet for my anxiety became the culmination of my daily fears. Teachers hated me and taking their constant criticism instead of speaking up feels like a punch I never got to land.
I was always a loner. I had one best friend in my childhood, and I foolishly believed that we would be friends
I regret wasting my younger years like a kid out in the rain, being reckless and wild, and never staying in one place very long. Drifting from one place to another, never knowing where my home was, or how my life and love would be. Making my plans for things that I wanted to come true, then feeling dissatisfied and dismayed by the reality that although my parents would tell me that I could do anything I set my mind to, life had other plans. Starting at age 12, I was sent away to summer camp. Boarding school would follow, then a few years of college halfway across the country. Specific time periods in my life can be theoretically measured out with suitcases and memories, always being tossed around from one place to another, living a life of travel and temporary habitation.
I foolheartedly placed my trust in some people I thought were my friends, and never could have imagined that I would see my 40th birthday, after taking so many enormous risks and leading a path of near self-destruction.
My father died one Saturday morning, leaving me with an enormous and completely unexpected amount of responsibilities. It came without warning, suddenly as if one day he was here and the next he was gone. Then came the untimely passing of my father in law, then a few years later, the loss of two people I considered to be my surrogate grandparents. I regret not having the opportunity to tell those who pass away what they truly meant to me, how they helped raise me, and how much I truly admired and respected them, and how after many decades of them playing a major part in my life, became my flawless heroes. I sometimes feel selfish in my secret desire for these people whom I had admired almost all my life to be a part of my life for all of time.
I am relentless, persistent, and determined. If there is something I truly want in my life, I will do whatever it takes to achieve my goal, yet my daily fears still remain and so often comes the bitter taste of losing hopes and dreams. I wear my own crown of sadness and sorrow in the realization that the vast majority of all of my successes and achievements came to be long after the passing of my father. In some
Plans are a curious thing; when we are young we make plans for how our life, love, and careers will be. Somewhere during the course of our lives, we are forced to reevaluate our plans and accept that in life, not all dreams come true. Then, as we approach the end of our lives and our health begins to fail, we make a series of plans, knowing our time is short.
Success is a strange thing in that it is the great equalizer. While a handful of my friends found success early on, I found it later in life, while others still haven’t found it. Despite my education, I cannot find the words to express how often I feel a need to have friends in my life; despite being an introvert who needs a lot of time on ones own, nobody wants to feel isolated or alone.
The photograph of me in this article came from my father’s childhood photo
The photograph of Bank Street in New York City was taken in March 2019.
6th Grade And Other Mishaps | Growing Up Introvert | A Typical Friday’s Child | I Used To Be A Habitual Trespasser | Camp Chateaugay, In Pictures (1991-2000) | Generation Gap
Thank you for sharing this with us. Such a wonderful and inspiring story. I hope you all well.
I feel the same kind of sadness as well as anxiety that has always hovered in the background of my life, never truly leaving. I agree that life doesn’t really always work out as planned, and our ability to succeed at it lies in how we would be able to cope with it with new plans that are always lie in waiting.
I agree with you that Success is a strange thing in that it is the great equalizer. That handful of our friends found success early on, and you found it later in life, while others still havenâ€™t found it is how life goes. I love your courage Tom. Its like photographer work has come to stay as your family profession. Thanks for this post.
You are not alone Tom, we always have that childhood that we sometimes regret having. But I thank God for my present. It is well now.
What an interesting post! I believe that the death of your dad came without warning leaving you with bulky responsibilities. Now, you’re a wonderful father!
I’m glad that you didn’t let the insecurities from others to have effect in your choices and they way you decided to live your life.
A bit too wordy for my taste but that is okay. At least you are telling your story. I have followed your post for some time now and thank you for showing us a glimpse of yourself.
I feel the struggle you’ve gone through is very relatable. Everyone wants to find meaning and purpose in life and it often takes awhile to feel comfortable in our own skin. After years of instability, I think I’ve finally found serenity in the work I do and the endeavors I plan to pursue. To achieve happiness, I think your goals should include the culmination of all your strengths so you feel satisfied and fulfilled at the end of the day. Obviously, nothing’s perfect, but I find our weaknesses to be very motivating for self-improvement. Thanks for this meaningful piece.
Life throws so much at us and sometimes, it get us really confused. But the good thing is always the fact that with time we can wriggle ourselves out of it and become that person we have always wanted to be. God you became one.
How each one of us define success is very subjective – other people find success in having a great marriage, others in good fortune, others simply with having peace of mind everyday. I do agree though that somehow it is a grand equalizer because one way or another we search for a certain version of success that we think will make us happier when we achieve them. Interesting how the human mind works, eh?