Before we go any further, let me warn you that I am insane. But that makes no never mind to me because I have learned in the course of my 41 years riding around on this big spinning dirt clod in space that we are all insane. Every one of us are completely and utterly insane.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing because we’ve all got to be a little crazy to make it through this thing called life, especially a life that we’re all told to escape by seeking nebulous fantasies like the American Dream or an eternity of gold-paved streets leading to mansions for everyone, but where you can’t get a freaking cheeseburger and a cold beer because you’re too busy playing harps and riding around on clouds. Nevertheless, we’re told to chase these dreams, and if we can’t forge our lives here into something that people can be envious of, at least we’ll get some kind of celestial consolation prize when we finally cast off this mortal coil and enter into the eternal splendor of whatever awaits us, and death flips its timeless hourglass so that eternity can begin.
Me? I’m a bit of a late bloomer. It took me awhile to cozy up to the coping mechanisms a lot of people use to deal with their insanity. It took me a quarter century to cast off a religion that told me to love, but taught me to hate. I didn’t start sucking tobacco until I was 20, and didn’t get drunk until after I was 21. By that time most of you were already hammered. I didn’t start smoking weed until I was 26 (ah weed…. bless you and your illegal revolution of grooviness), and it wasn’t until I was 29 that I was diagnosed with a child’s neurological disorder called ADD.
However, when I finally had a name for my insanity, it gave me a much clearer perspective on the insanity that grips us all, and it gave me great hope to realize that everybody else in the world was just as screwed up as me, and in many cases more so. But even though I dropped the whole religion thing, there was something I liked about this Jesus cat, and one of my greatest fears came from something he said about living in the moment and not worrying about what tomorrow would bring. That essential message, coupled with the inspiration I received from those who seemed to be living it, finally hit me, and I realized the best way to deal with my insanity was to just embrace it, work with what I had to deal with, and let it go so that I could be free to deal with whatever insanity the next day offered.
Steve McAllister is the author of The Rucksack Letters and How to Survive an Estralarian Mind Meld. He posts regularly at InkenSoul.com, is sometimes posts at Anything Arts, Sarasota Music Scene, and Elephant Journal, and is currently the Director of Operational Development for the Common Wealth Time Bank in Sarasota, Florida. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.