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Opinion | My Second Phase of Adulthood

I have started to manage my regrets and to reduce them, to forgive myself for foolish mistakes and reckless choices, to remember that we are all just human beings stumbling through this life, trying to figure it out, falling down and getting back up along the way. I have learned to cut myself some slack and get on with being a better person.

I must say that the pandemic may also be contributing to all this. I have fundamentally changed during it, been changed by it, like many others I suppose. After I got over the initial shock of it feeling like the world as I knew it was coming to an end, I became incredibly introspective, and I didn’t like some of what I saw. So, I changed it.

I decided to be healthier, physically, mentally and spiritually, and I decided that I needed to make my mark on the world, the biggest, boldest mark I was destined to make, while I still had time and energy, but also to be thankful for the road my life had already taken.

I always remember that I’m a poor kid from a tiny town in the American South. I remember the summer when I didn’t wear shoes, the Saturday afternoon trips to the junkyard to scavenge for toys other children had thrown away, the house with the leaky windows through which you could hear the wind howl.

As the performer Dorian Corey expounded in the documentary “Paris Is Burning”:

“I always had hopes of being a big star. But as you get older, you aim a little lower. Everybody wants to make an impression, some mark upon the world. Then you think, you’ve made a mark on the world if you just get through it, and a few people remember your name. Then you’ve left a mark. You don’t have to bend the whole world. I think it’s better to just enjoy it.”

I also decided to just enjoy it. I have decided to be more intentional about managing and maintaining personal relationships, to watering those flowers.

When I am gone, and people remember my name, I want some of them to smile.

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