So. I’m sitting here at the computer, red-eyed and lost in thought.
I’ve been thinking about honesty and all the implications. I’ve been thinking about the fact that I began posting my thoughts and feelings in this venue called a “blog
” almost four years ago...315 entries ago.
I stated my earnest intentions in my very first entry. They haven’t changed. I had no desire to write for an audience (I only had an “audience” of one, initially, anyway). I was simply chronicling the thoughts that sprang from within. Striving to be honest, as best
It hasn’t been easy.
It is so very tempting (gratifying, even) to present a work of fiction.
A beautiful story about a beautiful man feeling beautiful emotions and thinking beautiful thoughts such that readers become enamored or enthralled, clapping and cheering and melting with desire (well, females, anyway). It’s tempting. Truly, truly tempting.
But what would be the point of that? My life’s no romance novel. Never was.
I wanted to create a memoir for myself, given that Alzheimer’s has haunted both sides of my family and every branch. As I stagger to the end of my sixth decade, I feel an ever greater urgency to capture all that resonates inside. There may come a time when I shall have to sit and read these words from start to finish in order to discover a person named Jonas.
But there’s more to it than that. I feel a need, a burning desire, to confront who I am and was. I don’t want to breathe my last as a fictional being hiding behind a mask. I’ve worn too many masks for far too long (out of necessity, mostly...sometimes from fear and shame...at times, simply to be loved and admired). There’s precious little time left for that. It serves no purpose to belie my realities.
If one aspires to be “authentic
” well, one had better do it before Death comes knocking. The hourglass keeps draining towards empty.
But honesty doesn’t come easily. No, it’s far easier to keep pretending I’m better than who I am. Nobler, braver, taller, thinner, more beautiful, more talented and virtuous than who I truly am. It’s hard work to tear away the veils, cull the dross, scrape away the patina or the crusted shell. I’ll readily admit that I do censor myself in many ways, but mostly out of respect for the privacy of others. I’ve hardly said a word about my friends, the people I love so dearly. They all have their own stories, but those stories remain theirs to tell.
I’ve expended little effort to document every facet of my life and being. Most are just not all that important in the grand scheme of things. The hunt for the “essential” me is challenging enough.
It isn’t easy to be honest. Particularly while floating in cyberspace. Readers come and go...and I miss each and every one (the ego simply cannot be denied). I’ve watched stalwarts turn their backs and walk away upon discovering my failings and my frailties. Some leave out of boredom, I suppose. I can’t say that I blame them. I understand.
My life has not been pretty. In fact, it’s been quite the mess in many ways over the course of many years. I burn with shame...it’s an eternal flame.
It isn’t easy to be honest because honesty demands that we stand naked before a flawless full-length mirror to confront our flaws, the wounds and scars and...well...c’mon...how many of us actually want
to do that? Not I, not this graying man who no longer exudes the beauty of youth. It’s hard enough to face myself in the mirror while brushing my teeth.
Honesty doesn’t come easily. I wonder if I am to die alone because my truths repel. It’s a sorrowful outcome to contemplate. And yet, I’d rather die alone than pretend to be someone I am not. I’m all
I got, and if that’s not enough, I’ve got nothing.
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