Thursday, September 10, 2009

Winning Waivers 9/10/09

Sometimes you have to admit to failure, but never admit to defeat.

DB - The Vagabond
Sometimes, but not very often, I wonder if there will ever be a day when I will relax, be at peace, harmonious and serene. I suppose, in some strange way, I should be grateful I didn't grow up in a wealthy family. The struggle to survive from my earliest days has put me into the habit of doing things, forced me into finding ways to make a living and be inventive about how I live my life.

If I allowed myself to be envious, I would envy people who got a college education, who had the advantage of a family and a nice home and who could afford new clothes and vacations. I would envy those who were never in danger of running out of something important to them. I would envy those who could indulge themselves in whatever they were curious about. I would envy those who reach a comfortable retirement, healthy, debt free and surrounded by family.

But then again I think that if I had nothing to do but sit on my porch, sipping my gin and tonic and watch the seagulls flutter, I might just give up the ghost.

I was a successful entertainer, never rich and with only a slight sliver of fame, but in my corner, gathering dust, is a huge pile of failures. I sold books and magazine subscriptions, I owned an employment agency, a advertising agency, I was an instructor in public speaking, an acting teacher, an arts administrator and a jazz drummer. To one degree or another I failed at all of them. The problem was I couldn't afford to fail. There was no place to go to lick my wounds and start over. When I failed I was usually out in the cold. One January night, at 11 p. m. I was on a street corner in Los Angeles, carrying all my possessions in a suitcase, a dime in my pocket and no place to go. Don't ask.

A day came when I discovered that the only place I was at ease, relaxed and comfortable was on the stage. I was at home there, and home was where I wanted to be. People paid me to be on the stage. And when I played for them once, they hired me back. Being able to perform was the cure for all the failures I had accumulated during my troubled life.

Now I can't do that anymore, so I write and paint instead. I don't concern myself with whether or not I am successful at those things because I've come to believe there is no such thing as defeat. I wish for a decrease in troubles and an increase in peace, harmony and serenity. I would like to sit with my gin and tonic and watch the seagulls. But knowing myself, to the slender degree that I do, I would probably not sit there for very long.

Life is a vital thing or it isn't life.

DB - The Vagabond
May you prepare to frolic.


miss alaineus said...

i refuse to let where i came from define where i am going to be, today, tomorrow, in ten years from now.

if we never fail, we never learn humility and patience, essential life skills.

be well.


Beth said...

I suspect you wouldn't sit for long, either!

I agree with Alaina...failure can be a great teacher. What it taught me was that I don't like to fail! It makes me all the more determined to succeed. Hugs, Beth

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Envy is not a thing that I subscribe to. I like to figure out what I want, and then find a way to make it happen. As I get older, the wants are simpler, and the ability to achieve more reasonable.

Nina P. said...

How true. It's ok to sit for a day or two, but after that, I have to move, walk, write, read... do something. Rather than think of my past "history" as failures, I now choose to say they were stepping stones that brought me to where I am today. Without them, I wouldn't be the me I've become. When I was younger, things were catastrophic if I didn't do well or if things didn't go as I had planned. Now, I may not like it, but it is what it is. I can choose to change what I can and accept what I can't and go on with my life. It's an inside attitude that has come with a few years under my belt. People go through life one day at a time not enjoying what they're doing. How amazing is it that your life's circumstances brought you to a stage that you Loved! Although the stage lights may be dimmed, you can still shine in the spotlight with your writing and your paining. How sweet is that! I'm glad to have found your blog. Thanks for sharing a piece of yourself, your spirit of life with us. Love and light, Nina P