Column by Dan Newman
Last week’s piece ended with the statement that I was looking forward to the next thing I can’t do. That thought’s stuck with me ever since, because which of the myriad things I’ve long said I could never do should I tackle next? There are a few contenders, because I used to be very hard on myself.
Let me explain.
My life’s been a little rough, but I’m not here for pity. It’s just that I’m finally getting over a lifelong bought of self-hate fueled depression. After decades of torturing myself, I finally got over it. My story mimics an infection: Once the source is removed, the wound can heal. It’s dark and super grim, so if you really wanna know, I’ll tell you over a cup of coffee. You’re buying.
But it was like my eyes opened and the world switched from a film noir to a stupid comedy. I never saw certain opportunities, and everyone else believed in me more than I ever did. It’s taken more than a year to get used to the view. The old me is gone, in the trash. This new version isn’t afraid, so it’s time to re-examine some of the cants of Dan Newman past.
I can’t: quit vaping, be a better long distance parent, get a non-entry level job, live off of my creative projects, meet a girl who likes me, lose weight, read more, afford to see The Last Jedi on Friday (Seriously, Star Wars is a big deal to me. The first trilogy ruled my childhood with the toy line alone), clean my apartment, save money, groom myself more consistently, be empathetic, and do more.
So which of those shall it be? I’ve tried to quit vaping in the past, but whenever I do, my whole life turns to dookie. I wanna have a little money in the bank before I try that one again. Truth is I could knock out about five of those at the cost of fifteen minutes a day, but there is an obvious choice.
I can’t lose weight, that’s the answer. The question is why the old dead me couldn’t do it. Because I have no self-control around crappy food. I’m a comfort eater who’s never been comfortable. Healthy food tastes like monkey chow and costs a fortune. I’d be hungry all the time and think only of food. And plus, it’ll take too long to see results, probably die before I even notice anything.
(The old me wasn’t always the most fun to be around.)
All that’s garbage, straight crap, and it was all in my head. I was blind to it for years from mental blocks and several other neuroses. But I can see it like normal folks now, and realize that if I can list the issues I have with losing weight, I can beat them. Knowing the enemy is the first step to winning a war.
First thing’s first: I’m going to do research. My running videos inspired people to get moving, one viewer even ran the Turkey Trot with me, so I don’t want to spread any false knowledge in case I inspire some of you. Plus, I may look for a mentor to help with this process. If I’m gonna do this, it’s gotta be done right and forever. This should also end up saving me money, so maybe I could take out two of those cants in one shot. I’ll plug away at the smaller ones too …
As I overcome my old roadblocks, I feel more like a person who deserves a good life. I never tried for one because it always felt like I don’t belong there, so I’d be rejected. The hard fact here is the old me didn’t deserve that life, but the new me does. So I’m going to kill the “I can’t” myth and carve out my own little piece of normalcy.
Dan Newman is a freelance writer from Wausau with over 15 years in the game. His focus is on the underprivileged and those society tries to forget. In his free time, Dan enjoys writing, making YouTube videos, and singing to his cats.