If there's one thing I have said
Is that the dreams I once had, now lay in bed
As the four winds blow, my wits through the door
It's been the worst day since yesterday. — Flogging Molly, "Worst Day"
No matter how great you are, no matter how strong, there will come a day — a day when nothing seems to be firing. And that day will turn into a week, and that week into an unknown spell. You will question yourself, you will ask yourself why you’re doing all that you’re doing — are you on the right path, did you make the right decisions?
I’m having one of those spells.
Of course not everything is off kilter; there are some decisions I’ve unequivocally made right — my wife, my son — yeah, that’s getting close to it as far as it goes with the foundation stuff.
If you’re a thinking person, odds are you’ll go through these sorts of spells a few times in your life. I recognize it as something that all of us need to go through, like the butterfly who started out as a caterpillar — change can be good but it can be extremely difficult and trying.
When you’ve set yourself on a path, there are always going to be those who relish the notion of knocking you down. Sometimes their reason may be valid, sometimes their reasons may be no more than they’re just mean-spirited and sometimes it’s because their own life is pretty rotten and the sight of you makes them seethe.
Imagine, if you will, someone who had high hopes and big dreams when they graduated high school and then somewhere along the way, life threw them a curve ball, low and in. Seeing someone else who successfully handled that curve and came out the other side has got to just drive them nuts. I’ve known them all, some are here, some were there, but they’re all everywhere.
If life is a roller coaster on the days you blink when you’re looking at yourself in the mirror, convincing yourself that you can do this are the downward driving plummets. There are plenty of highs along the way — stop for a minute, think of all your highs, they can be comforting — but everything that goes up must come down, it’s the law of gravity and life. But there comes a time when not everything that's down can come up, to borrow from George Burns. That’s kind of twisted to think on, isn’t it? If you go up, you’ve got to come down, but if you’re down, there’s an even chance you’ll stay down; just ask any boxer who’s ever lost a fight.
Boxing is perhaps the best analogy here, really; you’re going to get your butt kicked on occasion and on occasion you’re going to kick some butt. Most of us will probably fight to a draw, and I think that’s probably the best we can hope for. There can only be one champion and today feels like the fifth round of a butt-kicking. Oh well, the trainer’s washed the blood off my face and the bell just rang. Time for the next round, see you in three.