Once again I sit down and write a blog in response to a question posed to me by Kelli Owen. Now, if you don’t know who Kelli is then your life is just not as full as it should be. Here, let me do you a favor by posting a link to her blog right now, http://kelliowen.com/, now click the link and read. Then come back and read my blog. This response is written for her August 26th posting.
By Skip Novak
I am a liar. I am a hard worker. I am fat. I am loyal. I am untrustworthy. I am a cook. I am ugly. I am a solver. I am a thief. I am a hard case. I am lost. I am sick. I am happy. I am an enemy. I am a friend. I am a consultant. I am an opportunist. I am over worked, over tired, over drawn, over extended and over it.
I’ve been up, I’ve been down and I’ve been around. I’ve traveled from Wisconsin to the other side of the world. I’ve had my heart broken and been drunk for weeks. I’ve been in love and sober for years. I’ve seen the beauty of life in the petal of a flower. I’ve seen the horror of the world in a child’s eyes. I’ve witnessed desperate men and women commit despicable, frightening and appalling acts upon each other in the name of love, in the name of jealousy and in the name of hate.
I’ve been to the edge of the abyss and became mesmerized by its beauty so much so that I almost jumped in and lost myself completely. I’ve stood on even fields of bounty with daggers of pain tearing through my soul and no hope on the horizon. Only to become grounded by the simple fact that with the end of the day comes the end of pain and the dawning of a new day gives birth to new hope and the fresh soothing pain of healing wounds. I bear the scars of life’s misery and life’s loves.
I have memories I wish I could forget and I have moments I can’t remember. Reflective moments in my life I know cause me unblemished embarrassment and shame haunt me when I least suspect it. There are days when the yoke of my humiliation seems almost too much for me to carry. There are days when my heart is filled to the bursting point with adoration and hope for the people in my life.
I’ve been embarrassed by my successes and awards and I’ve been happy in my failures and losses. I’ve been frustrated by my ignorance and foolhardy in my knowledge. I’ve been blinded by a woman’s beauty and fascinated by a person’s intellect. I’ve cursed God and Satan. I’ve prayed for death and life. I found salvation in a baby’s eyes and despondency in a friend’s suicide. As I’ve grown older I cherish what I once had and beg for more of an innocent age where I’ve yet to be filled with pain.
I’ve blindly traveled the world in a mindless state of confusion and self pity only to realize I was truly looking for a way to make peace with myself and the unmerited sense of self worthlessness I felt was instilled in me by others.
I’ve confessed my sins to strangers and kept personal revelations from friends. I’ve aided in the promotion of enemies just to watch them fail. I’ve plotted, schemed and been through the wringer to attain vengeance on those who have intentionally harmed me and I’ve forgiven people who don’t deserve my grace. I’ve made ghastly first impressions and virtuous last impressions. I’ve fought for what I believed was right only to find out I was wrong and no matter what penance I pay I can never fix those wrongs.
I’ve won minor battles only to lose the war and I’ve won wars by not fighting any battles. I’ve been mean just to be mean and I’ve been good for the sake of being good. I’ve alienated people because I don’t like them and I’ve tried to build relationships with others out of a sense of loyalty. I’ve taught eager minds only to watch them fail and have beat myself up for their failure. I’ve poured everything in my being just to learn a simple fact of life that seems to be common sense to others around me.
I am a lover of art that celebrates life and I’m fascinated by horror of tragedy that seems to end life. I am a lover of books and knowledge and I relish in certain ignorance of my failures.
I’ve been an atheist, deist and a Christian.
I know I will never know what comes tomorrow and I’ve been scarred at the prospect of the knowledge of the coming day.
I’ve faced my fears and won and I’ve faced my loves and suffered.
I’ve been selfish and selfless.
I’ve brought out the best in myself and the worst in myself.
I’ve been homeless and free.
I’ve been unbound in my orphanhood.
I’ve been chained by the weights of family and responsibility.
I’m a man who for the past 44 years has lived on this mudball and with a purpose of trying to survive. And, now with the grace of God and love of my family and friends I hope to live at least another 44 years.
I am Skip Novak.
(Edited for space)