Several years ago, a good friend went through a devastating divorce. We’d meet up all the time to talk about it.
Despite the deep pain and bitterness he felt, my friend decided to refocus his life on the positive. He took advantage of every opportunity to better himself. He called it “changing the game.”
That became our tagline whenever we saw each other: “Change the game!”
As years passed, my friend’s heartache began to dim; but he stayed just as passionate and consistent with all the good activities he’d added to his life. He blogged every day. He went back to school. He was working out constantly.
Our conversations would sometimes shift from his divorce to my burgeoning weed addiction. He was always so encouraging. Being around him made me feel like it might actually be possible to . . . well, to change the game.
But I didn’t change the game. Instead, addiction seemed to weave its hooks ever deeper into my life and psyche. I became increasingly isolated, spending time with most friends less and less.
In 2013, I ran into that same friend again for the first time in over a year. I honestly felt like I was looking at the polar opposite of myself. I can only describe his vibe as hungry. There was a firm look of resolution in his eyes, and he had this peaceful calm about him. It was like seeing a powerful storm being held carefully in check. He looked light on his feet, enthusiastic, managerial…
So I went home, got high, and wrote:
“That’s it. I’m done. I know I need to go public now. I see how messed up things are, and it’s probably so obvious.
“I’m paranoid, out of control, and distant from all the people I care about.
“That’s why going public…”
I kept writing, only to pencil out yet another foolish, fool-proof plan—another perfect how-to-change to throw on the pile with the rest.
When I’m concerned about myself, my natural response seems to be to make plans.
Though quite comforting to make, my plans have never actually worked to change me.
Here’s more of what I wrote that day (while high) after seeing my friend and realizing I’d failed to change the game:
“What happened to me? It’s time to go back. Is it after tomorrow I go back?”
My plans always seem to start tomorrow (or soon after).
Tomorrow: a closer look at why those tomorrows never come.
When will you do what you most want to?