Last weekend, we spent a leisurely Sunday afternoon at a friend’s house. They had invited a group of us over so the kids could play. It was a nice diversion on a cold and rainy day to be able to sit, relax and catch up with one another.
At one point in the afternoon, I was having a conversation with one of my friends and as I was trying to make a point, Stephanie loudly proclaimed to everybody in the room, “Come on, you know Doug; he has to make a big deal about it so he can turn it into a great big story!”
And with her declaration; the room burst into laughter. I tried to make a case for the fact that I was standing firm on the grounds of principle but no one accepted my explanation. They acknowledged Stephanie’s proclamation as a statement of fact and that was the end of the conversation. The stone had been cast; “Doug has to make a big deal about things so he can turn it into a great big story!” Stephanie had to know where this was going when she made that statement and if she didn’t, shame on her!
Do I tell a great story? I won’t judge my own work. I will leave that up to those who have read or heard my stories to determine whether or not I tell a “great story” because how one’s work is reviewed is purely subjective. If I make an emotional connection with my reader, then I have told a great story. If I fail to connect on a personal basis, then I have failed to artistically grasp the nuances and the intricacies of an intellectual masterpiece.
Although I may not delve into the quality of my work, I will engage in the reasons behind my personal stories. Socrates simply stated that “The unexamined life is not worth living.” It is a fact that I examine my life. Irishman for Hire is proof of that evaluation. A collection of life lessons that stem from the simple fact that I am an enigma. We all are. It is what makes each of us unique.
My life is idiosyncratic; filled with a world of secrets and stories. Some I hide, some I cherish and still some of these tales I wish never existed. But all of my stories make up who I am and how I ended up exactly where I am today. If I fail to examine the past then I fail to grasp the complexity of my life and the world I live in.
Do I take myself too seriously (“make a big deal about things”)? Guilty as charged. I do. I also laugh at myself, especially at the mistakes I have made. My gaffes have probably defined me more than my successes have, because I have spent more time trying to account for why the mishaps occurred in the first place. I want to learn from them, so that I won’t make the same mistakes twice; besides, the errors make for hysterically humorous stories as time passes.
I share the stories of my life as an opportunity to gain insight into the world because understanding is the most prominent need for mankind. I strive for knowledge. I thirst for life experience and how the outcome of each new endeavor impacts my immediate surroundings. And at the core center of my being, my role in this world is to teach. Each story I have shared has a nugget of wisdom for the reader to ponder in relation to their own personal experiences.
I have always been inquisitive. I question everything; I examine everything and every little detail. I do not live autonomously among my friends and family; my impact on this world will affect their lives as well. Therefore, I constantly question the conflict and the inconsistencies in the world around me so that I have a better understanding of my ever changing role in the universe and the people in my life.
I am a student of life who is able to appreciate, understand and truly admire aspects of the world through my own introspective journey. I find beauty in the most indistinct places; places people don’t even bother to look for the exquisiteness that God has left for us. And through the examination of the celestial artistry that I find to exist in the world, I also notice the little blemishes that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that life isn’t perfect. And because of these little imperfections, I have found a sense of awareness by which to respect and cherish the complexity of the world around me.
With each new story that is woven into the fabric of my life, I am adapting to the situations, people and circumstances around me in order to better understand the world as a whole. Whether it is the aspect of being aware of the fees that are springing up all around us, a broken chair, a bond amongst friends, a lottery prize through the eyes of a child, my first love, cold feet on a warm leg in the middle of the night, the spirit of the season, a girlfriend who doesn’t like the beach, raking leaves, a thank you or an amazing experience; I am constantly looking beyond the mere reality and looking for the underlying beauty that exists in all of it and in every one of us. I live in the moment and sometimes I live in the nanosecond but the fact remains, I am living to find the uncovered truths about myself in an obsessive inquiry that mirrors Neo’s quest to know what the Matrix was.
So Stephanie was correct last weekend. I do “make a big deal about the little things in my life so I can turn them into a great big story” because it is the story of me; the Tao of Doug. And in my quest to understand the daily tales that have sculpted the person I have become, I have found the one sole truth that should exist in all of our lives; that the examination of one’s life will inevitably inspire us and truly make us happy. I am living proof of that belief.