The first thing is, there are no mistakes. Anything I do results from all the forces acting on me at the time. I can look back and say something like, “I’ll bet she would have let me” or “I should have bought that motorcycle when I had the chance,” but why? No way could I have acted differently. In the telling of a story, maybe. If an entirely different person than who I was then switched places with me in a made-up world that can’t exist because no time repeats itself, the outcome might be different. But all of this is steenking little movies in our brains that fall to pieces in the light.
The second things is, what about bad habits? All those things I learned along the way when I was young and stupid? What came to me was “shine more brightly.”(I know, I know…) There’s no way I could teach that, either. If you’re like me, God help you and you have to bleed a lot. I don’t know how it happens, but then you get this shot of grace. There’s just a crack and something happens. You know you’re loved and you can do it and soon you’re happy with a project. You’re being who you are, who you were always meant to be, the reason that you got pushed out when and where you did with those poor fools who raised you without thinking. When that happens, the ties to those bad habits weaken and eventually dissolve. The brighter you burn, the more freedom you earn.
All this goes away from coloring outside the lines and getting scared, but sometimes I remember. Maybe the music works, or I look at where I am and see I’ve dreamed a perfectly good life and I’m the only one whose judgment matters. Good times on the frontier, folks. Exactly where I want to be.