2024: The Year That I Face Off Against Myself, Again.

Have you seen the movie Groundhog Day? You know, that movie where the main character wakes up to relive the same day over and over again. Do you ever feel that way? I know I do, over and over again. It’s the black cat– the glitch in the Matrix. If there is anything I can learn about myself by re-reading old journals and archived blogs, it’s that I keep reliving the same personal challenges over and over, each time thinking that this time, I’m actually going to do it, or conquer it, or change it. I’m pretty sure you know where I am going with this. Maybe it’s because it is happening to you to.

No matter where you go, there you are!

Murphy’s Law Book Two: More Reasons Why Things Go Wrong

It’s very likely that I have been asking myself the same question for a half a century, “what do I want to be when I grow up.” At this point in my life I should be clear that I am a grownup, right? 35 years ago I graduated high school, joined the Army and went to war; certainly I was a grown up at that point. Maybe it wasn’t until I left the military, went to collage, and left for a new state to start a career that I became a grownup. Maybe it was when I bought my first house or got my first dog that I became a grownup.

Was it when I became involved in youth leadership with a church and began to mentor young people that I finally became a grownup. If not, perhaps it is when my dad became ill with early onset dementia and I became discontent with my career and my faith and rebooted my life, moving to a new place and tried forging a new path and exploring a more creative path and going broke in the process that I became a grownup. Certainly, I was a grownup when I got married at 40, buried my dog and later my dad.

Well, I didn’t feel grown up. I didn’t feel like I had walked down the grownup path and arrived at being a grownup, even though I was doing grownup things and had grownup responsibilities. Now, I am in my 50’s, my physical body is weak and tired, my marriage has failed, I am charting new courses and I am asking myself again, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” This year I will do again what I have done many times before, but something that is getting more and more difficult with age; I will try to set my eyes on a new horizon and form new goals and attempt to summon new ambitions… or maybe not.

As I look back and review the past, I find commonalities in previous intentions. Down beneath the skin of all of my previous goals and intentions for the future are some things that might be more primitive and essential; things that I may have experienced without recognizing what they were, being blinded by my own expectations. Perhaps, in all of my intentions to become something or someone, I have lost sight of the fact that I am already someone.

As 2024 unfolds, I will probably revisit many of the issues, desires, thoughts and intentions that I have visited over and over again in the past, only this time I will not do so hoping to become someone different than I already am to engage those things. In 2024 I will face the world and all of its sufferings, challenges and opportunities as the same person I was born as nearly 54 years ago and who is here now, not some future version of myself that I hope to be someday. This year, I will wrestle with myself to accept who I am, own up to my assets and deficits, and avoid the tendency to pass the buck to some imaginary future version of myself.