On the Jewish calendar it’s 5776! It’s time for celebration, reflection and renewed hope for a sweet year. On the Rob calendar it’s year 2… It has been two years since I began this sober life. Sobriety has its benefits… I have so much to be thankful for this year. Here’s a few things on my list…
First, I don’t know anything about life. I can’t fix anyone’s problems because I don’t have any answers. I say the wrong things… act without thinking and blurt out opinions no one wants to hear. It’s difficult for me to figure out the easier, softer way to do things. All I’ve gotten is older… not wiser! I’m thankful I realize these shortcomings!
For the first time in my life… I’ve been introduced to God. I’ve heard about him my entire life but I’ve never known him. I’ve seen people walk around looking stoned and acting stupid claiming to have a “Jesus” moment. I never did. He scared me so I stayed away. Things changed this year because I’m learning to listen. I’ve found a temple in West Hollywood that accepts everyone. Regardless of any orientation the doors are open and the message is what I need to hear every time I go. The rabbi provides life lessons that apply to me and I’m thankful for her.
God has revealed I’ve wasted a lot of time consumed with guilt over other people’s issues … not his. God is not a scary judge ready to destroy me for some infractions found in a 3,000 year old book. Holy books are written by unholy men… they are translated into languages and like every school paper ever written… get edited before the finished product is read. Holy books are guidelines for living… nothing more. I don’t believe in Santa or that some guy lived in a fish or a woman turned into a pillar of salt. They’re great stories but they are parables used to teach and illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson. God is so much more than one person’s interpretation… he’s not interested in causing me eternal agony because I’ve lived differently from the blonde upstairs!
I’m learning to accept things I can’t change…. I’m not young… I’m not beautiful… and I will never be on anyone’s “A” list of people to emulate. There are things I wish were different but I’m not willing to make the sacrifices to get them… I’m not going to have a rocking body because I love food and exercise sucks! I love food more than sex and God knows I love sex! I’m also never going to use the three gym memberships I have to improve the situation. This is my reality and I am completely comfortable with it.
I’m accepting the fact Rob is good enough to be loved. Nothing I’ve done in the past needs to be brought into this moment. I did it… I may or may not have enjoyed it… I survived it.. I’m here… It isn’t. I don’t need to carry a massive bag of crap into every relationship. I’m releasing the past and accepting a love that is perfect for me now. I do not have to defend or explain what my heart feels or wonder why God sent my soulmate. I only have to accept the gift and be thankful for having someone who loves me unconditionally. I don’t want to be known for what I’ve done… I want to be loved for who I am.
My life has certainties that I cherish… I know every morning as the sunrises over the Capital Record building and shines across my balcony Shmuli and Kooli will have me racing to the elevator for a morning pee break. I know at 6:30 a.m., I will get a call from my mom in Florida telling me she had something to tell me but can’t remember what it was…. so, we’ll talk for 20 minutes about nothing. I know I’ll see the homeless guys and working girls on Hollywood Boulevard on the way to Starbucks and we’ll say hello. I know I’ll walk past a 24 hour tattoo shop and consider the tattoo I started a year ago on my butt and never finished because I’m broke. I’m always gonna be broke I might as well finish it! Most vividly, I know I’ll look at the Hollywood sign on my walk home and say thanks to God for letting me live to see it again.
I started my life at a point when most people are preparing for retirement. Addiction takes a lot of things from you… most notably time. I don’t have the luxury of the American dream… I didn’t chose it because I didn’t want it. I have less than I’ve ever owned and more of what makes me happy. That is what I’ve gained in my second year sober… I’ve found happiness. I’m still not young or good looking or rich…. but I’m so very happy.
Bob Dylan wrote the truest word I’ve ever read …
” once I was wadding in fortune and fame
Everything that I dreamed of to get a start in life’s game
But suddenly it happened I lost every dime
But I’m richer by far with a satisfied mind.”
So many things I held to and told myself were mine… were never mine. I know what addiction cost me. I also know I never have to return to anyone or anything that held me down… this is my new year… I plan to live every moment to the best of my ability… I can rest when I’m dead. God, thanks for letting me stick around for 5776… I’m gonna do my best not to waste it!