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True to Myself

November 13, 2011

Day in, day out I’ve asked many questions, I say
Only to find the truth, it never changes, I say
If you don’t deal with it, it keeps killing you a little by little, I say
Call me selfish if you will, my life I alone can live, I say, I say, I

Got to be true to myself, got to be true to myself 

– “True to Myself”, Ziggy Marley.

Three months. Actually, it’s more like 3 and a half; nearly 15 weeks.

This has been the longest the Pheebs and I have been apart in 25 years of marriage.

Frankly, it stinks.  I’m not doing it again, unless it’s a matter of life and death.

I’ve lived a life not unlike that of a monk for the past 15 weeks.  A spartan apartment, no television, largely cut off from friends and family save for a few minutes of contact at the beginning and end of the day.  Not much food (personal choice and it’s gone well, thank you) and little more than water to drink.

It’s given me time to think.



1) I’ve not taken as good care of myself as I should have.  It’s been something put off for another day; an assumption it’s something “old” people have to do.  As I approach my 51st birthday, it may no longer be ignored.  Like a relationship, it’s something one must work at every day.  Vertebrae in my lower back shall be a reminder of this to the end of my days.

2) I’m not living on the mainland.  Ever. Again.  Island life suits me just fine.  No, not the come-into-town-over-a-weekend-and-drink-one’s-brains-out island life, but island life where everyone knows everybody, and people take care of their own.  It’s what life was like in Small Town America before the advent of McChainStores/restaurants/services/TV.

I had a vivid dream as a teenager about a place, a place with wood frame houses close together and white picket fences.  A place where people spent time on their front porches, a place where colors are bright and personalities vibrant.  Thankfully it’s on an island, an island called home.

That – and I don’t have to wear socks.  I hate socks.

3) I like being the captain of my own ship.  I was an owner in a mid size corporation once, and I liked it.  I liked being able to chart the course.  I liked being responsible for a staff of people whose livelihood depended on my navigation skills.  I had the helm during some of the toughest times in the industry we served, and I’m very proud of the fact we made money without laying anyone off.  

4) Conversely, I’m not a large corporation guy.   Too many rules and regulations, with an emphasis on what cannot be done as opposed to exploring the art of the possible.  If it’s not something we’ve done before, the pat answer is always no.  The folks who get ahead?  Aside from the few at the top charting the course, middle managers excel by attending as many conference calls as is humanly possible.  Not my style.  Nothing much gets done on a conference call.

5) I enjoy helping people – making a difference, so to speak.  The best part of the work day were the mornings, as they were spent walking around the office just seeing how everyone was doing.  Some days this took 15 minutes, other times took half a day.  While I’m making a difference now (I believe) the linkage between action and reward is so tenuous as to be rendered insignificant.

I need to true to myself.  I’m out of balance.

I think sometimes we opt to immerse ourselves in some aspect of our lives in an effort to drown out the voice which says, “Hey! This ain’t right!”  Some people immerse themselves in work, others opt for affairs and some simply self medicate.  Each one a dead end.

So – that’s my task for the remainder of the year.  Figure out how to be true to myself.

I’m fortunate to be able to do this at the Star of the Sea with the woman I love.


4 Comments leave one →
  1. jeff permalink
    November 13, 2011 11:56 am

    That was a good post Chuck. And youre right and youre right. 🙂

    Annnd, yes, socks suck.

    • dangerboyandpixie permalink*
      November 13, 2011 11:27 pm

      Thanks, Jeff!

      I do appreciate the words of encouragement.

      From Narita Airport,


  2. Joseph T permalink
    November 13, 2011 9:06 pm

    Same as Jeff – good post. The flight home will be long, but well worth it.
    My wife & I have spent several quality days together in the NC mountains. Maybe a photo essay coming soon . . . .

    Joseph T

    • dangerboyandpixie permalink*
      November 13, 2011 11:31 pm

      Thanks, Joseph!

      Photoessays are a nice way to “frame” the shots – more than a caption, they add depth to the picture.

      A bittersweet thing, this. I walked the beach at Tumon Bay for what may well be the last time this morning. It was spectacular, with low tide making the hike all too short.

      Well – I do get to pick up where I left off in Key West Tuesday morning!

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