"Man's purpose is to live, not exist" -- Jack London
This year I broke up my family. I didn't make this decision lightly nor with the slightest caprice. In this process, I've broken the hearts of three of the people that I love most in the world. But, I had to think it was worth it. As I push 50, I realized that if I didn't start to live, I would continue to exist.
Last night I took a kayak trip up the Oakland Estuary toward the Bay. At sunset, I was treated to a moonrise, rippling waves made by the speeding SF Ferry, an inquisitive glance from a seal, gentle, surprisingly warm winds, and the glistening lights of both Bay Bridge spans and the Golden Gate.
This month, I have felt more alive than at any time in my life that I can recall. I've quit 19 years of anti-depressants. I've fallen in love with an old friend. I can't tell you what's next, because I scarcely know myself. But, the amazing thing is I really do KNOW myself.
To my wife of nearly 21 years, I am grateful for our lives together, our glorious, gorgeous children, and our enduring friendship. To my children, I hope that you will see that a life seized is far better than a life endured. Forgive me the pain I've caused all of you.
I plan to share my reflections in this space of a wondrous place called Oakland. And, like the namesake of my neighborhood (for living, working, and playing) Jack London, I plan to embrace the natural as firmly as the man-made. For, while urban, Oakland harbors a wildness, a state of nature, that deserves embracing.
I hope you will forgive me (you readers) my selfishness, but accept my desire to live a life that's rich and full of meaning. If this is my mid-life crisis, so be it. It's not the first! L'Chaim.