An Inside Look: Part 4 For You!

By: Roger Wright

Writing Prompt: No

Date: 26th Aug 2021

Roger lowered the bottle of water to the table then placed his arms on the chairs arms. He drew in a deep breath, closed his eyes, then exhaled before opening his eyes again.†


Whisper in the yard and turn the trees all into toys

Lay there on the ground, and turn the dirt into your joy

From what I see and what I know, it’s all been boring lately

So I suggest we trade a question mark in for a maybe


What if? It plagues each and every one of us, no matter how steadfast and adamant we are that there are no regrets. From the beginning of our lives, to the very end we ask ourselves that question repeatedly, through no fault of our own. Itís almost a secondary instinct to ask ourselves this question, in a way it pushes us to be better, or hinders us from achieving what we want in this life.††


The question begins early in our lives, mine was no different. People probably think my first What if question is about my parents passing away, but that wasnít the first. There was Nancy under the bleachers in Ninth grade, what if I had kissed her? Before that when I was 10 I rode off alone on my horse. What if I hadnít done that, would my dad have been more trusting of me when I got older? Or when I was eight I shot my brother with a BB gun. What if I hadnít, would my mom have let me keep it? Would my dad have taught me to hunt before he passed?


You can rack your brain with these questions all day long. Reality is we canít change the what ifís in our lives, only grow from them. Subconsciously you ask yourself questions like what if, and your answers to those questions define you as you grow. Maybe you tried a crazy stunt on a bicycle and crashed. Subconsciously you ask yourself what if I hadn’t done that? Maybe you tell yourself I wouldnít have been hurt. So when the opportunity arises to try the stunt again, you donít do it.† Or maybe the desire to know what happens if you succeed is what drives you so you try again, and again, and again until you succeed.


What does all of this mean and why am I talking like a psychologist? It simply means we are a sum of our experiences and the decisions we make based off of them. I have heard many people say that famous line, Ďno regretsí. Or maybe something along the lines of, Ďyou only live onceí. Either way it is an attempt to control your life, to influence the outcome of your experiences. Thatís the thing we all want in this life, control.


The amount of control we want varies by degrees depending on the person, some of us need total control, others just want to be able to control the little things in our lives. Yet still there are some of us who want to every so often relinquish the control we have, though we even control that loss of control. There is something that can be said about the feeling of not being in control, when you know the limitations on it.†


Think about it, when you are a kid and playing you utilize your imagination to control your fun. Even at that young age control is what you seek. Little kids donít pretend to be the person who is being told what to do and are utterly subservient, they pretend to be the super hero, the one who is powerful and dominant. Kids craft their story of playtime to give themselves the power to have full control of the situation.†


So why am I sitting here talking about control? Because total control isnít the answer, and total lack of control isnít either. Everything is about balance, you have to balance all of it. That lack of balance is why rich people who have everything can seem miserable, and why people who struggle can seem so happy. Life is about that balance, something I didnít understand for the longest time.†


Time your riddles right, and make a point that has no sense

Make sure that you’re smiling, and the money’s been well spent

Innocence and ignorance, it all goes hand in hand

I’m not sure that I’m right, but I hope you’ll understand


For the longest time I mistook being selfish for being in control. They are not the same and I now see that I had them very confused. Being selfish led to success in the ring, led to success in business, but crippled me in my personal life. As a selfish man I sought comfort in selfish women, foolishly thinking that because we were alike we would work perfectly together. With Blair I didnít want to relinquish control, that failed.


Anicka was a different story, I gave her control, but she wasnít able to handle being in control of anyone but herself. See there has to be a balance, I let Anicka drive the narrative, but that wasnít what she truly completely wanted. She wanted a man that would both let her control it and also take control when necessary.† Maybe I just wasnít in the right place for her at that time, who knows a different time, a different place maybe it is different. But there is that what if again.


Like I said we can just keep asking ourselves what if over and over, dream about turning back a clock, or we can look forward to what is in front of us. Take on the difficult decisions in life and learn from them. Which leads me to where I am now. Balance of life, that is what I want. When being in control is what I need, then I will, when I donít need to be, then I wonít.†


I have heard people talk about a concept known as decision fatigue. It is quite simply put the idea that the act of making too many decisions leads one to feel pain at the thought of making decisions, a pain that grows with each decision. Even something as simple as what to wear can cause extreme pain to those suffering from decision fatigue.†


Going one step further I would say that Control fatigue is a thing as well. The more we strive to control our lives, the more fatigued we become. This isnít an attempt by me to justify drunken stupors, but simply a legitimate reason for why it has happened so many times. My father once told me ĎIgnorance is negotiable, stupidity is foreverí. An attempt by him to no doubt impress upon me that we can learn from everything around us, everything that we experience.††


Maybe thatís why I have been sitting here this whole time, spilling all of this to you. Truth is I donít exactly know, what I do know is the last six months or so have been rather enjoyable for me. My stress levels are way down and my happiness is way up. A lot of that I attribute to being around Marie, her spirit lifts me, makes me want to be a better man. Throw in the fact that I have literally had zero stress in my life.†


Yes losing OPW caused me a bit of stress, but honestly it relieved more than it created. Giving up the managing side of my company was not easy, but it relieved me of a lot of that stress as well. Honestly the last six months have been rather freeing, so freeing that my mind was allowed to wander, and the what ifís crept in.†


At this point though I am much more well equipped to handle those what ifs. They donít plague and haunt me anymore, simply provide me with an opportunity to execute some control over my life, not too much control, but enough to satiate that appetite and keep me balanced. Making the move to New York, my mind raced with what ifs, but rather than burden myself wondering about things I canít control, I focused on the things I could, the things I wanted to.


In my heart, to the end of time I will always be a country boy, itís who I am, who I have always been, and so I asked myself what if I didnít live on a ranch. The answer I couldnít handle, so I did a thing, I bought a ranch here in New York, a few hours just outside of the city. Even began renovating the home, well so to say I tore it down and am building a new one. That wasnít enough either, I had the horses moved. Mine, Maries, all of them.†


Roger reached down into the side of the chair and removed a brown envelope, tossing it onto a coffee table. He took a sip of his water and placed it on the end table next to his chair and leaned back again.


I did all of this because of the feelings I was having. Over the last six months I have found that helping makes me happy, making others happy makes me happy. Now I donít mean I am going to go out of my way for everyone, but there are certain people whose happiness matters to me. Many of the feelings I wasnít sure how to proceed with, I wasn’t sure if they should be explored, but then something happened, something changed.†


I hope that you’re still searching for the start that has no end

And all the plastic people have now become your friends

Before you start to drift and your soul begins to scream

I just wanted to tell you that you’re listening to a dream


Roger leaned forward in his chair placing his elbows on his knees.


The hardest part of the last six months has been everytime I went home. It wasnít until the other day that I realized why that was. Maybe I was suppressing the feelings, trying to pretend that they were not actually there. But something forced me to accept those feelings, to accept the reality that what I was suppressing was in fact reality and that I couldnít hide it, that it wasnít fair to me and it wasnít fair to you or anyone else.†


There is a what if in my mind, one that I know would haunt me forever if I didnít at least say I tried. That ranch isnít just for me, it is for us, a place where we can start something together, something that is ours. I felt it the other day, your eyes told me you felt it too. I canít let myself just sit back and not take a chance on happiness.


Roger stood up and walked alongside the coffee table, the camera panning with him as he took a seat on a couch adjacent to a chair that VooDoo Sat in. In her hands she held the images and the documentation for the ranch Roger had purchased. Both of her hands had a slight tremor as she processed the information and looked up at Roger.†


I could be cheesy and tell you itís because you saved me, but the truth is you bring me balance and happiness. Something I undervalued for far too long, something that is worth striving to have, worth trying to hold onto.†


Roger placed his right hand on her shoulder as the scene faded to black.