Wednesday, April 13, 2005

I'm Not a Bull-fighter, Yet

In the summer of 1986, my father, grandfather and I drove to the family lake in Ontario. I was 16 and as usual at that point, was hiding in the back of my dad's Camaro reading a book and trying to ignore everyone and everything. We were to be at the lake for a week. I took all Hemingway. An Ernie-palooza. Early in The Sun Also Rises, I came across this quote from one of the characters,
"Nobody ever lives their life all the way up except bull-fighters."
I compared the life of a bull-fighter to the two guys in the front seat and my own and resolved to be a bull-fighter (metaphorically speaking, of course).

Where am I now? I'm not a bull-fighter. I'm a guy whose stomach churns with worry. I worry about taxes and bills, getting the kids teeth fixed, where my next client is coming from. I hear a creak in the floor and figure the foundation must be crumbling. To often, I'm compelled by fear and motivated by anxiety.

I am not a bull-fighter.

Late one night last week I picked up The Sun Also Rises for the first time in a long time. I had forgotten about that quote. It hit me between the eyes. I'm not a bull-fighter. I'm not much of a risk-taker. I'm too much of a fretter.

How do I fix this?

Maybe it's time to step into the ring and face the bull?

God, that bull looks big.

Stay You.
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