You know, while it’s great to have dreams and goals to strive for, to help keep us on the path of life rather than the road to ruin, it occurs to me that sometimes we may reach a point where the best thing we can do… is simply stop trying.
No, I’m not switching tracks and taking the “Not” out of this series’ title, I’m going to ask you to ponder this:
What if this is it for you, pally? What if your existence has reached its maximum potential?
#18: Accepting Your Fate.
I am a (almost) fifty-year-old white male who, in spite of having a lifelong dream of being a professional writer, has been a Niagara Falls bellman for over twenty years. (My God, that number really lands with a thud in my consciousness when I ponder it.) I have fought to be recognized by innumerable publishing houses, agents, fellow bloggers, the CBC, and even the odd celebrity or ten. I write a blog and I even self-published a book once.
In every instance I have failed. I have failed like Nancy Pelosi trying to be gracious at the State of the Union.
And the worst part? As a (sometimes) taxpayer, I help fund the damn Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and they still took eight months to respond to my last pitch, so that really stung. To make matters worse, I’ve been watching dozens of my fellow bloggers gain ground in their fight to realize their dreams while The Hook stays behind.
And IBS has become a cinder block strapped to my neck, weighing me down and impacting areas of my life that I never could have dreamed would be disrupted. My worries range from failing to be an inspiring father to surviving the early morning walk to work. (Those horny skunks are deadly, man.)
But who gives a shit?
It’s no big deal, Jack. Trust me.
I am a (almost) fifty-year-old white male who, in spite of having a lifelong dream of being a professional writer, has been a Niagara Falls bellman for over twenty years. So I’ve had the same job for over twenty years. In Justin Trudeau’s Canada that makes me a winner!
I have fought to be recognized by innumerable publishing houses, agents, fellow bloggers, the CBC, and even the odd celebrity or ten. I write a blog and I even self-published a book once. So I’ve learned all about rejection and how to survive it. (Of course, I’ve been learning that lesson ever since Cindy Day started turning me down in elementary school. And junior high.)
And IBS isn’t that bad. Okay, so it is. But at least I have constipation IBS and not the other, ridiculously-messy variety.
So I’ve failed. I’ve lost. I’ve been rejected.
Big whoop. At least I’m alive, goddammit!
And I intend to stay that way. Until God decides otherwise, of course. And at least then I’ll see Ronnie again so it won’t be all bad. (Fair warning, Ronnie: I intend to kick your ass for leaving me so soon.)
Accepting one’s fate is freedom. I have friends, a hot wife, a cool kid, and a crazy-ass dog (Yes, I realize even homeless people have dogs. Don’t take this away from me.) Sure, I miss my hair and my IBS has given me a gut but I’m not completely bald (yet) and my bellman’s uniform is basically a tent that hides my gut, so it’s not completely hopeless. I’ve been told I’m quite amusing when there isn’t a camera aimed at me and (most) guests find me hilarious once they accept that that they’re not drunk/high/hallucinating and I’m really saying the things I’m saying to them.
I am battered, bruised and certainly broken. But so is America and it keeps going. My life is too small to change the world and that’s a good thing; who needs all that pressure?
A home. A family. A fully-stocked fridge. A reliable wi-fi signal. What else does a man really need these days?
Celebrities lead glamorous lives – on the surface. The rich are usually more tortured and screwed up than any of us “lower class” folk. Power corrupts. A big life brings big problems. A supposedly-small life is more manageable. So take stock of your blessings and hold ’em close to your heart, kiddos, they’ll give you a reason to keep living.
Dreams are for suckers. Reality sucks worse than a two-dollar prostitute but just like the prostitute, at least you know what to expect so you really can’t be too disappointed.
See you in the lobby, friends…
What’s Canada like? I’m thinking to immigrate. 😂
We’d be honored to have you, buddy.
I don’t know, man. I’m confused.
Have you any idea of Royal Roads university?
I’ve never heard of it, unfortunately.
But doing your research should help you decide.
Life huh?! All precious [good and bad]… What else can we do but take it as it comes and smile. Que Sera, Sera! …or something. 😉
Thanks for dropping by and classing up my blog.
Awwww…… somehow I remembered this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVGINIsLnqU [Freedom of Choice] And on that note: Enjoy the day, and I mean it! 🙂
…and your blog is classy already – don’t need any more classing up! 🙂
Aww, thanks, Marina.
Hey! The small life of yours is not insignificant. Think about the people who are reading your blog and how you make them laugh and think about life. (Me included) Your lens on the world is unique. That wry humor of yours is so insightful. I am sorry to hear of your frustrations with writing. I have been told a writer or artist needs a representative to convince people about the work. That’s true. someone to take on the task of selling your ideas.
On the health front, I share your gut issue. Just suggesting probiotics have helped me greatly. Kefir or probiotic yogurt is they way I keep things in balance. But then I write about food. (Ho hum) Not so thrilling to read about food. But with all the latest research on the Microbiome of the stomach having a direct influence on the brain and mood, I have to conclude that real nutrition makes an impact on gut health and brain health. Just suggesting …And have a good day! Peace.
And peace to you as well.
Thanks for the moral support and the health suggestions; you’re an incredibly-decent and generous soul.
That’s a kind complement. Thanks. Keep on keepin’ on, I like to say.
Since hitting 60 (yeah, I’m older than you Hook by about 14 years), health issues have gone down the toilet. But you know what? I’m still here. I have friends in high places (they live in apartment blocks or houses compared to a single storey unit like ours), I have a guy who loves me, a dog that’s a pain sometimes and loves me as I do her, no debt, a social life, I can drive, I have my music, I have my blog, and I have friends in Blogland. Life’s good, and I love it.
As you should; your life rocks!
I like it
You reach folks, hook. Not a small feat.
As always, you honor me, good sir.
20 years at the same job is nothing to sneeze at. I rode three businesses into the dirt as they closed down after I had worked there for 5+ years each, and I had my stroke at the end of a three month long string of 10 to 13 hour long shifts (that started at midnight) after my last employer was bought by a different company (a Canadian business called SPUD who are still going last I checked) and relaunched under the new name and I was NOT gonna let another job die under me after finding out that employers weren’t big on hiring laborers over 40.
Your expectations are the keys to your disappointments, and there are many, many things to recommend a life that would have seemed boring to a teenager, as it turns out.
Keep going Mr. Hook, you’re down below 20 now.
It’s getting tougher but I’ll get there.
It’s not about small or big. I think everyone has a role and purpose to play in this life/world. You have truly made yours a fine place, Hook. The lobby ain’t the same without you. And we would not be quite the same without you either. We never really know how much we have impacted people…until the end. I have already turned fifty. So, will see you at the finish line, dear friend. Big hugs x
I like virtual hugs, Shirley.
Thank you for being so inspiring and reassuring.
Love your attitude, Hook. I too get envious of others’ success (how the flaming fuck did “Short walks from Bogotà” get published by Penguin and I don’t even get a “piss off” response?) but then… what’s the point. Focus on what you have and what you can change, sod the rest. Thanks for the inspiration!
Thanks for being so open to it!
Love your attitude, Hook. I too get envious of others’ success
Don’t be too hard on yourself; it’s called being human.
Small victories. How much success do you really need to be considered successful? Personally, I wouldn’t want to be famous.
I hear you, Dave.
Who needs all that pressure?
As you already know, you have a wonderful life already. The best I can make out of it all is to do what you love, be grateful for what you have, and be loyal to those who love you. Everything else is what it is. You allow for the worst case scenario with the big dream projects. I’m not saying to abandon them. No, not at all. You just keep doing them, whatever they might be, a novel, a screenplay, a comedy show, an art installation, whatever. You develop a plan and you remain persistent. Labor of love, my friend. It’s all a labor of love until perhaps it becomes something else. Neve hurts to keep networking, keep researching. Each day, you learn something new, something unexpected that could take you in a whole direction. Rinse. And repeat. Have fun with it. Contact this person and then try another, etc. Whatever project you decide to give a go, first and foremost, enjoy it for its own sake. Hmm, what else. Well, I think learning in general works wonders. Take up a new hobby. Lean a new language. It’s all interconnected. Life is truly too short. Carpe diem!
You’re a wise man, Henry.
Thank you for your kindness and insights.
Of course, from one wise man to another.
Thank you, and preach on.
To me family is the most important, everything else is just a bonus, a nice bonus, but not something that is at the top of my list. Family is at the top.
I hear you, Catherine.
Ronnie was my family and he inspired this series, so…
Accepting life is a sound thing to do and avoid going crazy. Okay, so I change poopy diapers every day…there’s a punch line in there somewhere. 😀
Yes, there is.
And it’s a messy one.
Oh, Robert, I have missed you! For awhile my excuse was no internet, and I mean literally NO INTERNET. Now I have internet and all the time in the world, so I am going back to old emails and reading only the interesting ones. You, bingo! I look forward to reading the last installments of this series, and just want to remind you that you matter, to a whole bunch of us! ❤
And don't even go look, I haven't written a blog in more than a year. Oh well.