Although most of you probably figure I’m just a quiet, well-adjusted old hermit living out in the boondocks with all the ups and downs of life fairly settled quietly into my guts, I’ve revealed parts of my life here to suggest otherwise. I’ve lived through enough emotional storms and shed enough skins to force me out of a lot of the usual hideyholes, to hold things up into the light and examine them.
But some things still come out in the dark of night. Some things are still damned difficult to accept. Pride, ego, and self-worth are powerful forces.
Around this time in 1992, I left a 25 year marriage and a 20 year career behind, along with dozens of long-time friends, pals, hunting partners, acquaintances, and both sides of a joint-family. I began a new career in Santa Fe, a new life. All secure in the knowledge the extended family and friends remaining behind were part of my life in which I’d been and remained, important.
All of which I eventually discovered was an illusion. For 2.5 decades I’d believed I was a vital part of those interactions and relationships. Kids, young adult nephews and neices I’d coddled and bounced on my knee peeled out of my life like layers of an onion. Most I never heard from again.
I was a long time realizing I’d merely been tolerated, been a piece of furniture in their lives. Tolerated because of my proximity to my ex-wife.
Even for a confident human being such as myself, it was a tough pill to swallow. I gradually rebuilt my life with a far deeper skepticism than I’d previously enjoyed concerning my own worth and my place in the lives of others.
Which resulted in my becoming a hermit. Or at least, contributed to my becoming a hermit. I no longer assume I’m important in the lives of other human beings and get my satisfaction in knowing I’m at least important to the cats. Because cats, though sometimes dishonest, aren’t capable of the depth and duration of dishonesty humans indulge constantly.
For me, all of this distilled emerges as a statement I spent at least 25 years of a 70 year live being insignificant in the lives of others. And a painful awareness that life is entirely too important and too short to be wasted in insignificance. A determination in the direction of significance measured in teaspoons of reality, as opposed to 55-gallon drums of dishonesty and self-delusion.
Teaspoons measured in contracts with cats not equipped to lie. Teaspoons, I find, don’t spill away as much life in the discovery when they’re found to be just another ego-wart of pride and self-importance.