“I’m just out to find the better part of me.”
Superman (Five for Fighting)
I was never very good at Hide and Go Seek – you know, the childhood game where the person who’s “it” hides their eyes and counts to 10, while their friends scatter to the four corners of the Earth in search of the perfect hiding place. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t the “hiding” piece I struggled with. To the contrary, I could contort my body into nooks and crannies that would virtually guarantee I’d never be found. No, it was the “seeking” part that made me grow to detest the game. It seemed that no matter how narrowly I drew the geographic boundaries for hiding I could never find anyone. Maybe my friends were just that clever. Maybe 10 seconds is longer than it seems when it comes to disappearing from view.
None of this bodes well for what I’m about to do: Set out in search of the better part of me. After all, if 10 seconds is a long time, imagine giving “me” – the Hider Extraordinaire – a 40-year head start. But, I’ve decided I have to at least try to find “that guy” again, the one who dreamed big dreams, knew no limits, felt intensely (about everything), crammed each day full from sunrise until long after it had set, never felt the need to put on the mantle of having everything under control, was free to create, often lost himself in music and his writings and lived a simple, albeit somewhat predictable life. I want to figure out what happened to him, where he’s been hiding all these years, what forced him to feel like he needed to run and hide – and I want to set him free.
I appreciate the risks of looking back. In fact, I’ve counseled others against it, because too often it turns into a litany of “would’ves, could’ves and should’ves” – and the regrets that necessarily come with them. But, the journey I’m envisioning will be different. This will be more akin to an “unveiling” of what I’ve only recently come to realize was an already existent “masterpiece” of sorts, a unique work of art that somewhere along the way got corrupted, neglected and painted over such that much of its true character was lost or at least obscured from view. Why? Because along the way, its owner decided “the picture” needed changing – that it wasn’t quite good enough, desirable enough, loveable enough or _____ enough. In my mind’s eye, this will be a journey of rediscovering the good, accepting the not-so-good, understanding and, hopefully, forgiveness.
It’s time that guy came out of hiding. So, ready or not, here I come!