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"Who else was I supposed to be?"

The older I get, the less secure I feel. I realize that this statement hardly qualifies as profound or even identifies me as in any way special, but if I followed the cultural tropes, my surprise might prove excusable. Some significant part of the media machine seems determined to enlist me in a few of the endless streams of self-improvement schemes: exercise, diet, investment, lifestyle, each promising to leave me better off than before, except the nagging insecurity seems to stand to one side, leaning against some darkened doorway, chuckling to himself, mouthing, "There's no such thing as security here."

Rather than live in endless pursuit of an unlikely security, perhaps my time's better spent learning how to better cope with insecurity.
One coping strategy might focus most of its energy on creating security, but that one seems the least likely to bear fruit. The list of those who earned a crappy ending includes members in former good standing of every exercise, diet, investment, and lifestyle demographic. Each was secure until they weren't, which might be all I can confidently say about security.

But how does one live in an insecure world? I could, if I were less scrupulous, settle for cynicism, because if nothing I can do will make me secure, I might just as well conclude that it all resolves to shit, anyway. But I seem too self-constrained to slide into cynicism, even if I could easily justify it. Insecurity seems to hallow life rather than discredit it. I suppose I should feel more grateful than I usually appear for the little blessings that appear. The unlikely openings where some insight slips in. The surprise phone call from a long, as good as lost friend. Each discredits the cynic's quiet rage. Each ennobles in its own small way. It might all be small ways, anyway.

Yes, I'm a big ninny, part of my unique gift to the world. I never enter new experiences filled with confidence. I carry my dreads with practiced humility as if I would not feel that surprised if any boogieman actually got me. None of them has gotten me yet, but that's no reason to get to feeling all secure. I say that my sense of insecurity helps keep me safe, but even I know that hardly qualifies as true. More accurately, I might say that my abiding sense of insecurity helps to keep me me. Who else was I supposed to be?

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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