#NP I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For — U2

This is about to be a long ass post. Leave now… or stay till the end.

4 years ago I lost my way… like Frank Ocean on the journey from ‘Channel Orange’ to “Boys Don’t Cry”. I’ve never said that out loud. I’ve never admitted it to anyone, not even myself. Because I was ashamed. Scared. Because for the first time in my life, I failed. For the first time in over 20 years, things didn’t go my way… things over which I may or may not have had complete control, mind you.

Still. For the first time in my life, I wasn’t a victor, I wasn’t the bad ass hero of the little movie I’d been starring in for 2 decades. And it hurt. Damn did it hurt! I was lost, utterly and completely. For the first time in my life, I was just another “regular guy” (I may or may not have been slightly delusional for 20 years).

Anyway. That happened. And believe it or not (please do thank you very much) the next couple of years just got worse. In every way imaginable. In an incessant bid to make up for that one failure I racked up an impressive list of even more cringeworthy life choices and colossal screw ups 😂 (in case you hadn’t noticed this is self-deprecating humor… I excel at that). Trying to make up for the mistake I made I only made a lot more; I think I just made “make” pretty redundant…

Forgive my rambling. Where was I? Ah yes. Struggling with a situation I didn’t understand, at a time I felt really vulnerable, I lost a handle on a few other aspects of my life that had hitherto been particularly stellar… I guess my train of thought travelled the rather steep tracks of despair and desolation… in other words, everything went to shit 😪

I struggled (struggle) with Loneliness and Depression. Self-loathing. Jealousy and Envy. I’d be smiling on the outside but being a gringe on the inside. I saw the world through eyes wracked with inner pain and suffering, and I projected… for a whole year I pushed people away, looking for reasons not to be loved and appreciated; I didn’t feel like I deserved any of the attention I got. I didn’t feel like I deserved the Friends I had. I didn’t feel like I deserved the love I got… and don’t even get me started on family, could write for days about that…

So I struggled. With everything and everyone. My faith included. Lord knows I did. 😅

You see though, here’s the thing about friends and family and just generally anybody who really gives a damn about you… they don’t let up. Not by an inch, not in the least. They stick with you and you just can’t get rid of them, try as you may. So while I was busy committing social suicide and whatnot, there’s a bunch of people out there who made sure I was never really on my own… whatever it is I was going through, I somehow always had a shoulder to lean on (that’s so cliché right? 😂) yeah well that was (is) the case.

Before I knew it there was this whole support system around me… no matter how bad I tried to self-sabotage, there was always, ALWAYS someone around to put things into perspective. Gradually I was able to start healing from the hurt that had left me reeling for so long… it’s a work in progress, I’ll admit. But once I started, a lot changed. I made tough choices; exiting my comfort zone, allowing myself to hope once more. (Not trying to sound overly dramatic here 😂). I once again had something — a lot of things really — to live for.

Mind you, I’m not saying I suddenly saw the light and attained Nirvana or any such thing. Nah. Let me reiterate — WORK IN PROGRESS. Case in point. I still haven’t found what I’m looking for… but I’ve found a lot of what I didn’t have 4 years ago, and that has helped me. That is helping me. That’s the reason for this mopey, whiney, cheesy post.

4 years ago I didn’t have the heart to accept my failure… but ‘Carry On’ by Fun saved my life (story for another day)

2 years ago while I was too scared to make the choices I needed to get out of the rut I’d buried myself in, ‘Living on a Prayer’ by Bon Jovi gave me that much needed boost. (I kid you not).

So today, while listening to U2, and really, really listening to this song for the first time in forever, I felt like I should do this… or probably the fact that I haven’t slept more than 4 hours in the last 32 hours has screwed with my usual behavioral filters and self-censorship (maybe that’s not such a bad thing).

In any case, it’s done… and yes, most of my important life choices are inspired by music. Sue me. And really, if Frank Ocean can finally find his way to ‘Boys Don’t Cry’, I have no excuse not to finally accept what I was, and what I’ve become… a guy who failed once, and is trying his hardest to move past that.

Originally published at georgemichaeln.wordpress.com on August 5, 2016.