I have been an imposter for most of my life. When it appeared that I had it all together, I didn’t. When I dressed as though I was worth a million dollars, I was probably broke. When I drove a wide variety of luxurious European cars, I was probably no less than ninety days behind on the payments. When I seemed to catch money, (God knows that it’s always running!), I seemed to throw it into the wind with hopes that it would give me direction. It never did. The truth of the matter is that I should have simply tread water. Because I wasn’t born rich, I always believed that money and nice things would make me happy. Because I didn’t have money and many “nice things,” if I had a check for forty dollars, I’d ask the teller to give me a twenty dollar bill and twenty ones. Bankroll Baby! In the end, no matter how it looked, I had forty dollars. I should have tread water. The truth of the matter is that I sometimes drowned trying to convince others that not only could I swim, I had a luxury liner that only had room for two. While she enjoyed the breeze and the warmth of the sun, I was trying to remove the bubbles from my lungs while gasping for air. Because our relationship was built on a lie, she couldn’t distinguish my gasps from my laughs. I was dying. Nothing real can ever be born from a lie. I know that now. I should have tread water. I should have been content with what I was born into. I should have been accepting of me. I should have understood that being born with less doesn’t mean that you can’t be more. I should have understood. However, I didn’t. My lack of understanding not only led to a broken heart being further broken, it also led to beautiful people experiencing ugly feelings. I should have tread water. Once upon a time, I met someone that set my heart on fire. This feeling was so unfamiliar; yet very welcome. She taught me love. She made me love the version of her that woke up to me each morning more than the person that emerged from the bathroom after the closed door was opened. She taught me intimacy. She ate Ramen noodles and canned chicken with me and never ceased to look at me like we were at Ruth Chris’. She taught me patience. Each time my dreams turned to plans and those plans turned into failures, she never stopped telling me that I was good, smart, and deserving. She taught me family. Outside of my mother, I’ve never had that. Outside of my mother, I’ve never known what it’s like to have someone look at you each time like it’s the first time because we’re family. She taught me friendship. For the first time in my life, my Friday nights, Saturday mornings, and Tuesday afternoons all included the same person. She became the only person I wanted to spend my time with. She taught me. I learned. However, until recently, I never learned that it’s okay to tread water. It’s okay to not have, and it’s okay to not be what you desire to be professionally. It’s okay. The fact of the matter is that all of us are treading water. We are all trying to figure this thing out, and we are all in need of answers. It’s okay. It’s okay. I never learned how to ride a bike until I fell. I never learned how to cook until I burned more than I perfected. I never learned how to dance until I botched the steps. I never learned how to love until the one that I loved the most said, “I’m done. I’ve had enough.” I learned. Family, I am treading water. I have more month than money, I don’t have all of the answers, I struggle with me everyday, and my life is no where near where I believed it would be as a child. I’m done. I’ve had enough. There will be no more drowning in the name of falsely swimming. My name is Patrick, and I am treading water.
This week, please do something for someone else other than yourself for no reason at all other than making their lives better. Also, as always, if you make it to where you’re going, please don’t forget to leave a map for the rest of us. Oh yeah, I have Facebook now! Can you believe that??!! If you can, please friend me at Patrick Garland, The Hueman Movement. The changes that are happening to me are refreshing, terrifying, and welcome simultaneously. I am happy.