I read this aphorism and started to laugh. My friends must think I am an omelette by now. The fissures in my shell were apparent in middle school, and parts of my shell must have been cracking and falling off by mid high school. By UCLA, I am sure there was still at least half a shell with a balancing act to hold the contents within.
I wanted to fit in. I am sure we all do. I wanted acceptance as did everyone. To be part of a crowd, to have the deep relationships that make life worth living. I made efforts to be that person, and my father was gracious to allow me to have my friends over every night to party, listen to our music and swap stories of valor, humor and challenges as to which guitar solo was best….
But it was clear to me from an early age that I was not what the others were. I say this with zero ego, nor elitism (quite to the contrary). I saw them on career tracks that were defined. Going to school, getting higher degrees, entering into the proper career, generating revenue, buying homes and nice cars and having kids.
My life did not evolve that way. I would withhold my feelings of doubt and insecurity about my choices and continue down the path I had created with a devout belief that was only rocky between the hours of 3AM and 5AM. In those hours, I saw myself as the cracked egg. And in truth, 43 years later, in those hours, I still see myself as the cracked egg. This has zero to do with self confidence. I have that in spades. Nor does it have to do with fear of inferiority, as I do not suffer from that. It is more to do with nonconformity.
Why was it so important to me to make choices that others would not make? Was I proving something to myself that needed proof? Was there a lingering doubt that determined choices that I wanted to make but would not step up and make? Even as I articulate this in my musing this morning, I feel I am missing the essence of what this feels like. Perhaps we all feel it, but to each of us, the others look more well-rounded, balanced, capable and on top of their game?
If we are sentient, we can truly look in the mirror and see truth. Not the delusion we wish to see, but core truth. And core truth is not always flattering. In many cases, it is a seven-headed hydra. Those heads represent our realizations of things we are not, clear faults that hold us back, personality traits that need fixing, attitudes that are inappropriate and inner desires that are never going to be fulfilled. When that hydra stares at you with its accusatory fixation on your flaws and faults, it makes most of us duck under the covers to make it just go away.
Your close friends see many of these things. Some they share with you. Others, they just politely accept and ignore. When we are in moments like this we are prone to think we are the only ones who feel like this, and how are others so capable of just being normal? The truth (I believe) is that everyone has these feelings.
I think that is why I have opted to share some of my deepest insecurities, concerns, passions, dreams, hopes and morals in my musings. To potentially validate for others that they are not alone in these thoughts and fears. To pave new pathways of bravery for them to dig within, explore, learn, forgive, grow, improve and continue.
We cannot raise our children in the world we grew up in. That world does not exist. We must prepare them to raise their children in a world that does not exist for us even now. I see that preparation as internal in most cases. Understanding the human condition, watching how that would apply to ourselves, transposing feelings, values and morals that we pick up along the way into personality traits, behaviors and perspectives that empower us to go bravely into the New.
I have made more mistakes than I can ever possibly remember. Many of them were avoidable. But I assume most of us do. And our dear friends watch us through their subjective perspective and see our foibles, laugh with us through our travails, and comfort us in our sorrows. They love us for our imperfections. They are kind to overlook the glaring ones and work with us to make a life really worth living.
If we do that for one another then we are living up to our higher self. We are growing in ways that are inexplicable. And we are helping another cracked egg from becoming an omelette…. And that is probably a very good thing, all things considered.
NOTE: The author of this musing would like to express his support for the chicken ranchers of America. None of the content of today’s musing was intended to insult eggs or omelettes and the author actually makes a pretty damn good omelette if he can find a frying pan that has a nonstick surface😊