"The heart will always stay one day too long." - Carl Newman
"He not busy being born is busy dying." - Bob Dylan
"Problem solving is hunting. It is savage pleasure and we are born to it." - Thomas Harris
"I used to be the antelope. But now I'm the lion." - Wise 5th Grader
Everything around me feels old. Not old in the comfortable and familiar sense. But old in the sense of dead. Maybe that's a better way to say it. Everything around me feels dead.
My home doesn't feel like home. It feels like dead skin that I've waited too long to shed. I'm living in dead skin. Have been for a while.
My job is something that I stumbled into at 23 years old. I'm 40 years old, and just now moving on. I feel a little bit more dead inside every time I walk through that door. I let that happen.
My cat is 19 years old. I thought she'd be dead by now. She moves slowly. She pukes up her dinner often. She's not dead. But she's a constant reminder of the death all around me. A fitting companion for this moment in my life.
I've stayed in relationships after they died too. Sometimes they die after only a couple of dates. Other times it takes months or years. Either way, I've always stayed too long.
But I'm getting better about that. In my most recent round of single life, I've done a better job of recognizing death and walking away from it. I've also seen women instantly recognize the death in me and choose to walk away. Fair enough.
I'll have a new job soon. One that will be genuinely new to me. One with work that I can feel good about. New challenges. Plenty of room for growth. Without that room for growth, it's too easy for death to find room to squeeze itself in.
I'll soon find a new home too. New skin. Skin that fits me as I am now.
No telling how the long the cat will hold out.
And the relationships... Well, I'll try to keep walking away from death. The slow death of compromise and guilt and shame and fear. I'll walk away from any relationship that doesn't allow all of me to live. But I'll try to do that with an open heart. An open mind. Without fear. I'll try not to assume rejection before it happens. That's all quite a bit more tricky than a new job or a new apartment. But the more I make conscious and confident decisions, the more simple it becomes. Maybe it's not as tricky as I've led myself to believe.
I feel good right now. I feel healthy and alive. Everything around me feels dead. And for the last couple of years, I was dead too. A dead man. In a dead home. Working a dead job. Living with a dead cat. In a dead relationship.
But I'm alive now. I'm itching to shed that skin. Eager to run. To dance. To celebrate. To hunt.