It took time, and it took tears, but I took my life and I made it authentic. My life was my life. Every glorious moment and every mistake. Every moment of inspiration and every moment of stupidity. The freedom to own all of it and to be okay with all of it… that was pure happiness.
And that’s all this book is about. It is about the ability we egach have to finally own an authentic life.
I spent so much of mine running from most of the stories that I shared with you in these pages. I wasted so many years pretending that I was never bullied, and that the bullying had no long-term effects on me. I buried my more embarrassing moments for fear of being judged as faulty. I refused to admit my thoughts and beliefs that often conflicted with the subculture of which I am a part. I chronically pretended that the darkest moments of all never even happened.
It wasn’t just me I was protecting and running from, either. For some reason, I spent so much energy protecting those who often only hurt me. It was as if acknowledging that there were unhealthy people in my life, and admitting that their actions did actually affect me, would somehow reflect poorly on me and would make me even more transparently imperfect.
Finally living an authentic life freed me from all of that, and it let me be what every person in this world most certainly is, and it let me have what nearly every person in this world wants more than anything. It let me be flawed and it let me love and value myself anyway.
I have learned that the past doesn’t actually exist. Not really. It is all just memories of what once happened, nothing more. What exists is our present selves. Our present minds and our present thoughts. The past is our present because it created every thought that we now have. It is our pasts which create the lessons that will push every action of our futures.
This is why the stories of our lives are so important. Each story we carry is a fascinating slice of the past as we remember it, and with it will always come a greater lesson, big or small.
The ultimate question is, what lessons will we each learn? What will we take from it all? What emotions will we continue to let ourselves feel as we think back to those stories from our lives?
Will we feel resentment and anger at the people and events from our past? Will we look back with only fondness? Will we laugh whole-heartedly at the stupider things we did? Will we maybe even laugh at the hardest and most painful times?
How we remember the stories from our lives, and how we recount them, is what will make and break our entire existences. It is the stories of our past that will either keep us chained down into that repeating cycle of failure, or will free us to move forward and take our lives for ourselves.
Had I written this book five years earlier, the stories would have been very different. Many of them would have been pushed and driven by anger or resentment instead of by humor and introspection. They would have placed much more blame on others and much less of it on myself. It would not have been an enjoyable book for anyone to read, yet that book would have been filled with many of the same stories.
This is the biggest advantage we all have been given in this life. We all have the ability to see our stories and to tell those stories in new ways, and with renewed laughter, no matter how we have seen and told them before.
These are my stories. They are my life and my lessons learned. They are me, nothing more, nothing less. Take them or leave them, love me or don’t. I really don’t care. I’m going out for sushi.
Dan Pearce, from my book: The All-Important, Well-Fed, Giant White Man
Last Chapter: It’s About Time
If you would like to start from the beginning, or catch up on a missed chapter, you’ll find all the chapters I’ve published so far by clicking here.
Of course, this book is for sale on paperback, hard cover, or as an e-book. If you find yourself unable to live without a copy, I would *so* very much appreciate you ordering one. You can find it on Amazon here (paperback and Kindle). Or hardcover here. Or Nook here. Or iBooks here.