I thought I would tell a little personal story about my life today, why not. As I lay in bed the other night, I couldn’t sleep.. my mind was wondering to places as if often does…. to the man or boy I was years ago, reflecting on my time under the warm wings of the dragon.
Let me explain.
Once upon a time I was 18, a small kid from a small town… part of a broken family experience that left me somewhat on my own at that age. Not homeless, but maybe somewhat homeless in my mind… feeling trapped… feeling like I had no options or help.. feeling like I knew I would have to fight for every inch of what I hoped someday to achieve. I was dating a girl in high school… I loved her I suppose, even though now I realize I had no idea what love was at that time. Who does.
(Stay with me… I promise there’s a message in all this.)
One day her father offered us a little house on a dead end street in the country, if we were to get married of course… at the time it seemed like a good idea, or maybe it was the best idea at the time. I knew that it didn’t really seem right or feel right, but without a real place to live and with a billion things stacked between me and any possible dream a bright eyed hopeless kid could achieve in that little mill town… well.. it couldn’t hurt, right? I started taking opera lessons around that time, playing in several bands in New England as well.. starting from square one… studying music and training my voice… I was late in life on the dream chaser side of things. The “Wings of the Dragon” might sound dramatic as a title for this post, but I use the words here as a metaphor… I was offered something that I knew in my heart wasn’t right to accept… something I didn’t really want or build with my own hands… but I took the offer anyway. I left 2 years later... running for my life.
Had I stayed I suppose by now that little home on that little New England countryside would have been mine.. a perfectly good dream for most… perhaps the numb would have set in and I would have long forgotten my own dreams and ambitions. And that grass I didn’t care to mow would have kept me somewhat busy enough to forget who I was or what I dreamt to be.. and that life I never really wanted in the first place would have been all mine. That’s an interesting thought… don’t you think.
I was an anomaly, maybe one out of two hundred or so, who left that small town for the bright lights and big city.. a young punk chasing dreams down at whatever the costs.
So what’s the point of this tale john?
What the dragon doesn’t tell you, is that there is a price for that safety and that warmth. And the price is you to the core my friend. Without going into boring details… I learned rather quickly that nothing is free in life. And that that offer to seek shelter from the storm of my life came at a cost. A cost for me that outweighed the warmth and safety of the choice and shelter it provided.
I suppose I could have been happy in time… nestled in that generous offer.. that little house on the prairie that someone else built.. on that dead end road.. It was seemingly warm under the wings of that dragon, an easy bet, complete with the picket fence… that pretty picture of life we are all fed relentlessly in commercial form…. A protection from what lies out there… the scary world of the unknown… of unpopular choices... just a left or a right off that dead end street.. without a hand to hold or shoulder to cry on or net to catch your fall.. wandering out there in the bitter cold alone. You see.. I knew that shelter wasn’t for me then and that venturing out into the storm, as scary as it seemed, was my only option. I didn’t know it at first... but then again my options were very limited very young. Fear is a powerful thing.. it stands in our way like a stop sign at the crossroads. But I’m happy to report, and take this from a man who went into the storm, who ran some red lights and several stop signs, literally... traveling the country and world at one time.. throwing caution to the wind when asked.. and who ultimately returned now and then.. that it isn’t all bitter cold out there for a dream catcher.. and that the storm has clearings that are quite beautiful along the way… with many other roads... it’s also not for everyone… and that’s ok too.
Anyway.. just thought I would share a real story from my life. Maybe you can relate and maybe it might resonate at some level with things you might face in life. There’s no right or wrong answer here folks.. there’s only what you can tolerate and compromise with.. when you look in that pretty mirror hanging in your room, and look deeply at the only real person that will matter in the end. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you don’t have a choice... or.... go buy a nice lawn mower. I do love the smell of fresh cut grass.
Thanks for reading.