It’s been a lousy 72 hours.
Some of it was great. Yesterday, I finished the confined-water portion of my open-water scuba class — three full hours in the pools at East Kentwood High School, in 4-to-15 feet of water. The open-water dives, at Baptist Lake in Newaygo County, will happen next weekend. That’s cool. And I did get the chance to spend some quality time with T-Bone on Saturday in Lansing.
But it’s been a frustrating few weeks, financially and emotionally. It feels like lately, I’ve been making one shuffle-step forward and two giant leaps back, and it’s left me a bit off-kilter.
After the pool session yesterday, I went across the street to watch Prince Caspian. It was a nice, if somewhat hollow, film, but the last five minutes really had an impact. It occurred to me, as I drove around afterward, that part of what has motivated a good amount of my attitude and behavior over the last few years has been a sense of grief — grief over the loss of youth.
I don’t mean for this to sound like a bunch of whiny existential crap. Nevertheless, I really did waste most of my 20s living a sedentary, solitary, obese existence. Once I moved on from that, I just couldn’t set aside the rage I felt at my own bad choices. I think about the experiences that most people take for granted that I’ve never shared, or about the lingering physical reminders of significant obesity, and I realize that I’ve put myself at a serious disadvantage as I try to rebuild a life from the ashes.
We tend to think of grief in terms of death, but we grieve any loss. And that process of grieving has a series of steps. I’m not at the end of this process. Perhaps I won’t be for a while.
Maybe I have a different paradigm for understanding myself. Maybe.