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Becoming The Man I Want To Be: A Lifestyle Choices Series

Updated on July 30, 2012
The author hoping to find answers in Alaska!
The author hoping to find answers in Alaska! | Source
At the time of this picture the answer to the question was close at hand.
At the time of this picture the answer to the question was close at hand. | Source
After decades of searching the author finally found the right path.
After decades of searching the author finally found the right path.

Are you the person you want to be? How’s that for an opening question? Seriously, have you reached that point in life where you can say with no hesitation at all that you are content with the person in the mirror? Okay, I’ll start off this game: I am not yet satisfied with who I am but I am getting closer each and every day.

Do you remember who you wanted to be when you were a child? I’m not asking what you wanted to be, as in a teacher of fireman, but rather what kind of person you wanted to be? I remember a conversation with my mother when I was about ten or so; we had been out shopping and some customer near us said a cuss word and as she and I were driving home the topic of cussing was discussed. I made it very clear that I would never cuss because it showed low character to do so and my mother was quite pleased by my declaration.

Boy, did I ever mess up on that promise!

I’m not sure when we are children that we even have that conversation with ourselves. I’m pretty certain that I never had an in-depth soul-searching session detailing the type of human being I planned on being. I don’t know when I began to question my own personal ethics and morality. Maybe there were fleeting moments when I was in my late teens and early twenties when I would briefly think “I’m a pretty good person,” but I can promise that by the time I was forty I was convinced that I was a piece of human excrement and would never be a good person.

There finally came a time, however, when this question had great importance to me and I can narrow that time down to a year: 1992. My son had just come to live with me and I had just completed in-patient treatment for alcoholism; it was time for me to take a long look at myself and I decided my son was not going to live with a sick, twisted alcoholic.

1992-2002

So I began my journey towards sobriety and my efforts began to be the best father I could be. Please note that my intentions were to be the best father and not person. I did not see the distinction between the two at that point of my journey.

I set about being the father my son deserved. I was supportive of his efforts, good to his friends and tried to teach valuable lessons to him about right and wrong and making your own way in life. I concentrated on my sobriety, worked hard at a teaching job I loved and made a life for him and me. Still there was something missing and although I could not put a name to it I knew that I was not whole, that a key ingredient to happiness had escaped me despite my efforts.

2002-2006… CRASH!

Married in 2000, a disaster from the beginning and when divorce was imminent I began drinking again in November, 2002. I lost my job, worked odd jobs for a time, started a business and lost my mother and for the next four years I would relapse for a week or so then quit for six months, over and over, struggling with the demons that I could not seem to conquer. It was tiring and demoralizing because I knew what I had to do to open the door of freedom and yet could not slip the key in the keyhole.

During this time my son was still with me on and off; by then he had graduated from high school and was starting a life on his own. We stayed in close contact for we both loved each other, but it was time for him to be out in the world and it was time for me to finally answer that question….what kind of man did I want to be?

2006 THE BEGINNING OF A NEW LIFE

By 2006 I had attained a little over a year of sobriety and was feeling confident enough to take a teaching job in a remote village in Alaska. It was, to say the least, a disaster and yet it turned out to be the most important step in my journey. I relapsed badly, almost died and finally came back home with the resolve and willingness I needed to finally sort it all out.

Back into treatment for a month, out of treatment once again but something was different and I knew it immediately. There was a calmness and peace within me that was palpable and it was every bit as intoxicating as liquor had once been. I knew what I had to do and it was so clear to me. I realized coming out of treatment what kind of man I wanted to be!

The funny thing is that the blueprint for this new character had always been right in front of me and I didn’t see it. I had always wanted to be a combination of my father and my mother and it was those very traits that I had instilled in my son.

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/Saying-Goodbye-To-A-Life-That-Wasnt-Working

A ROAD SUDDENLY PAVED AND ILLUMINATED

I vowed to become a compassionate human being, not in just words but in action.

I vowed to be an empathetic human being, not in just words but in action.

I vowed to be a loving human being, not in just words but in action.

I learned from some good men that I needed to do away with my ego and concentrate on humility. No longer could I view myself as the key player in this thing called life. The world had functioned quite nicely before I was born and it would carry on quite nicely once I was gone. The selfishness that had manifested itself in alcoholism (and there is not a more selfish disease in this world) needed to be discarded and replaced with a new feeling of cooperation with others.

I could no longer look at a situation and scheme what I was going to get out of it; instead I had to look at what was important for the common good and how could I be a facilitator in that process. I could no longer judge the merits of another person by what they could do for me; instead I had to ask what I could do for them. In short I had to become a team player in life rather than the one on the sidelines screaming to get into the game but not knowing how to do so.

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/Lifestyle-Choices-Its-All-About-Perspective

A WORK IN PROGRESS

So yes, I am a work in progress. For the past five-and-a-half years I have been moving steadily in the right direction. I am proud of who I am today and yet the pride is not self-defeating but rather a pat on the back for a job well done to this point. Today, rather than wishing I could be compassionate I am in fact compassionate. Today, rather than acting like I have empathy I truly do feel empathy for others. Today, rather than attempting to love, without a clue how to do so, I can love myself and others with equal measure.

Will I ever reach the end of this self-journey? I hope not! The day I feel I am all that I can be is the day I am ready to take the deep fall again. The biggest difference today is that I am smiling each step of the way and I absolutely love life.

And so I ask you again: are you the person you want to be?

2012 Bill Holland (aka billybuc)

To order my Lifestyle Choices on Kindle go to:

http://www.amazon.com/Lifestyle-Choices-ebook/dp/B007ZV9G2U/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1336064586&sr=1-3

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      malonge, I try to stay away from pride but I am satisfied at this point in my life. Thank you very much and thank you for the follow.

    • malonge profile image

      malonge 5 years ago from Western New York On Hubpages

      I really enjoy reading your hubs. You are a man who should be proud of all you have been through and accomplished.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      jazzi, thank you very much! I appreciate the visit.

    • profile image

      jazzi 5 years ago

      inspiring...friend. thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Skarlet, thank you! I'm withering on the vine so you might catch up. It's getting harder and harder to write a hub every day. Best of luck to you and I appreciate your comment.

    • Skarlet profile image

      Skarlet 5 years ago from California

      What a great hub billybuc.

      I am sorry for your disaster 2002-2006. I am glad you are here writing wonderful hubs. Keep it up. You are now ahead of me.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Shining, thank you, for some incredibly nice words and a very good comment about yourself. Welcome to HubPages! Judging from your profile and the amount of hubs you have written so far I would say you will be doing quite well on this site. I look forward to following you!

      bill

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 5 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Thank you for taking me by the hand and walking down your path of life. I consider you a brave and heroic person for not only having come out on the other side but to be so candid and self reflecting. I think that might just be one of the hardest things to do as human being. And you certainly got me thinking and self reflecting. You started this with asking if I am now the person I want to be. I have to say, no. But my reason is because of my beliefs. I believe that to really "be" you have to accept that you will always be changing by learning, failing, listening, appreciating and accepting. So, am I the person I want to be - I would have to say "no".

      Great great hub and I thank you.

      Voting up

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dancing, that was one of the kindest comments I have read in a very long time. Thank you my friend and I love the description of ego that you left...feed me...how very true.

      May you encounter peace and happiness each and every day of your journey.

      bill

    • Dancing Water profile image

      Dancing Water 5 years ago

      Thank you for a candid, cool-headed but warmhearted window into your journey, billybuc. I so relate to the denying of the ego. (The ego has a two-word vocabulary: Feed Me.) Also, it is so heartening to find a fellow life traveler who wants to be a loving, compassionate, empathetic person, because for me, those are the three keys to peace, fulfillment, growth, true joy. Your generous spirit and humility shine through in your writing. Long may you wave, billybuc! God bless your sweet spirit.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Spy! I am so appreciative of you for following my hubs.

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      A very ue message to all of us. this is our choise. our choice to become who we want to be. that's the power no one can take from us.

      Voted up and all! great hub!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rebecca, it always is! I love to write and the added bonus is that sometimes my writing is therapeutic for others as well. Thank you my friend!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      This is a very moving story, billybuc. Thanks or letting us lend an ear. I'll bet your writing was therapeutic for you as well!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Christy, I'll gladly accept that hug and send one back at you. Thank you my friend; it is my hope that my writing helps others so I certainly hope you are correct.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      You offer wisdom to help so many others. By opening up yourself and your own stories, you encourage others to do the same. Hugs.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Robie, I kept crashing in the fast lane; I think I'll stay to the right now where the old codgers live. :) Chocolate ice cream! Oh yes! One of life's little pleasures! Thank you my dear; I'm glad we both finally figured it out and are heading in the right direction.

      bill

    • robie2 profile image

      Roberta Kyle 5 years ago from Central New Jersey

      Another amazing, self revelatory Hub, Billybuc. You write straight from the heart and I hear what you are saying with my soul. They say that addiction is all about filling the hole in the soul and I believe it is true-- Like they say, alcoholism is a threefold disease--physical, mental and spiritual. Thank you for sharing your own personal " dark night of the soul" so powerfully and beautifully. Just the sharing of it is a powerful force for good.

      As for me, I too am a work in progress and now now a peace and serenity I never thought possible and certainly did not possess in my youth or childhood. I was always looking for the magic outside of myself and never knew that it was inside all along. Today I am very grateful for things like beautiful sunsets, good people and chocolate ice cream. I'm done with the fast lane. Voting this one up across the board.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Aurelio, welcome! Haven't seen you around in awhile. Thank you for your words and I wish you a wonderful weekend my friend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dabble, the choice is mine now isn't it? I like that I control that part of my future.

      Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I wanted to be a dinosaur when I grew up but mom wouldn't let me ;)

      But seriously, I'm glad you were able to carry through the choice to avoid alcoholism. This hub is inspirational to those struggling with the same problem. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • DabbleYou profile image

      DabbleYou 5 years ago

      lol! I'm still not the person I wanted to be but I'm glad you've found that character in you. Hope you don't get back to your old bad habits. Best of luck. Cheers.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Teaches, I am honored that you keep showing up on my site. I hope I'll always give you what you come for. You are greatly appreciated and I consider you a friend. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tams, that is beautiful..."a work of lifetime art." Wonderfully said and I hope that mirror shows you what I see in your words...a kind, caring, loving human being. Thank you!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Once again you have given us another challenge to consider in life. Most of us, as we look back, have not lived up to our ideal of what we consider "success". However, it is the process and the learning that makes us who we are, hopefully we will have gained some great wisdom. Keep up giving us these inspirational messages!

    • Tams R profile image

      Tams R 5 years ago from Missouri

      Bill,

      Another awesome hub my friend.

      In the depths of silence I have learnt in life it is the reward of knowing when you put your head on the pillow at night, that regardless of what you have to show for it, you have shown and given and if tomorrow the day doesn't come - you will be known for having given all you could.

      I realized at a very young age, I am the only one who must look me in the mirror and I know what is inside.

      Am I the woman I want to be? Not yet!

      I'm a work of lifetime art...til the day I die I will not be finished.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Neeles, I honestly don't know if I'm a brave man or not but I do know I am tired of hiding. By hiding I feed a belief that there is something wrong with having the disease of alcoholism and I refuse to do that again. If my words help someone then fantastic! I will keep growing, as will you, and we will enjoy each other's company along the journey.

    • neeleshkulkarni profile image

      neeleshkulkarni 5 years ago from new delhi

      you are a brave man Bill.here is hoping you never become the man you want to be today but that when you reach there you start on another exciting journey to be something more and higher. may you always be a work in progress.

      I am not the man i want to be but yes if i look back i am closer to getting there than i ever was and like i said when i reach there will look forward to being something more till such time as the time comes to answer the call from the sky and we rush into another brand new adventure.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hello Paula my friend! The perfect way to bring my week to a close...a visit by you! I could not agree more...your last sentence about our lessons meaning little if we keep them to ourselves. That's the whole ballgame right there my friend.

      Thank you as always and have a fabulous weekend!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      bill....I was happy to get down to the very end where you said what I've always believed. Let's hope we never reach that point where we think we're as good as we can be. Every moment of every day is another opportunity to learn, grow,and change (if need be)and more than this, there are the huge strides we make when we share all the wonderful things we've learned with others. All of our lessons mean little if we keep them to ourselves!!

      An honest and uplifting message. Thanks, bill UP +++

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wesman, I had no idea you were bipolar. That's a whole different kettle of fish and indeed a monster! I'll tell you plain and true that I would much rather discuss things with someone like you who speaks clearly and shoots from the hip rather than a meely-mouth who will talk behind my back.

      I can handle the truth and I can handle someone's honest opinion; what I can't handle is bullshit whispered so I won't hear it.

      Hang in there my friend; if you want humility it will come; like you said, small increments is better than none at all.

      Thank you my friend!

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Not a lot of folks are so straight up about their failures and their failings. I don't think anyone every really conquers their ego in its entirety, but you're doing the right things!

      I feel like an idiot talking to an older and wiser man as if I know something - but I can at least identify with the "full disclosure" style of writing. I've a massive ego - and the only way I know how to combat it is by telling as many people as possible about my massive shortcomings and EFF ups.

      People will say to me, "dude, you shouldn't talk about yourself like that!"

      ...but they don't understand. I don't have low self esteem - I'm bipolar with a monster in the back of my head, and the only way I know how to keep it all in check is to tell everyone what a screw up I really am.

      I dunno where I'm going, but I know where I've been.

      Glad to see someone who is so obviously NOT trying to inflate the monster always. It can be a truly traumatic thing for folks to have to learn humility all at once.

      I'll take mine in small increments if possible!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Earthy, I have no doubt you are a good and true person now. Guilt and regret, the twins who rule so many people. It once did me until I was taught that things we did in the past were natural actions for who we were at that time; we are different people now and we act differently....thus we needed to make those mistakes so that we could arrive where we are today.

      I wish you peace of mind today and all days.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael, there was a time when pain was my greatest motivator and teacher. Luckily I no longer have to learn from that mistress. Clarity is a good description as you wisely stated. Thank you for your kindness and willingness to help. Peace to you my friend!

    • Earthy Mother profile image

      Earthy Mother 5 years ago from South East England

      This is very interesting to read and thank you for sharing this deeply personal information...there is hope for us all! I was thinking today will there ever be a time where I don't feel guilty for something or other in my life...your story gives me hope I can be a good and true person...one day and with time. Voted up xx

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, shoot, Kelly, thank you! I happen to respect you greatly so your words carry some significant weight with them. My best to you and your family and have a wonderful weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey, PP, don't cry or I'll start! :) Thank you so much; you are a very kind person and I'm proud to be your friend here on HubPages. May you find peace and happiness along this journey.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dominique...:)

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Very thought provoking and beautifully written. Yes, I think I am exactly who I want to be knowing life is a work in progress - we are nothing more than human even on our best days:). You're a real good guy!

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 5 years ago from Canada

      Billy, this almost has me in tears. Thank you so, so much for writing this. As a fellow teacher who has taught in the North, I can relate to your story in so many ways. I know what you mean about realizing it's not about us. It's about the common good. I LOVE this. Blessings to you and yours, Billy.

    • Dominiquebrock23 profile image

      Dominiquebrock23 5 years ago from Los fresnos tx.

      Thnk you I was named after my grandma :)

    • CloudExplorer profile image

      Mike Pugh 5 years ago from New York City

      The hub is up and ready for ya, hope you like it Billy, it was my original comment here, plus it almost completes my hub about hubs 10 part series, I've come close to completing on here, just 1 more and its done.

      Thanks for being such a kindhearted person and for sharing such a helpful hub here, this truly emanates self help like no other hub I've read before, because it originates from deep within your inner essence.

      I can tell mostly because I been through similar life experiences as well, struggles twist and turns, to arrive at a wise point of clarity, and clairvoyance. Voted up up up........

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Michael, I look forward to that hub! I am honored that you feel that way about my story and I am humbled by your words. Thank you sir and my best to you and yours!

    • CloudExplorer profile image

      Mike Pugh 5 years ago from New York City

      Hey Billybuc, I'm in the process of creating a hub response to your awesomely true life story you shared here, give it some time.

      I'll definitely be sharing this one with others for sure on all of my networks. What a compelling true life story this is.

      You have a great deal of courage to have shared it with us all, thanks for being honest with us and with yourself, because the toughest part of life to me is honesty. Nice one! The hub is on its way as I type here with you, talk to you soon. Oh and thanks for sharing with me in my hub as well.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dominique...what a beautiful name! Thank you so much and my best to you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cyndi, I have no doubt you can do it and I'll be alongside you every step of the way. Love having you as a traveling companion on this journey. Thank you my dear!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mark, I agree with an earlier statement of yours...I think we are in someway kin and I couldn't be happier about that. My best to you my friend and thank you!

    • Dominiquebrock23 profile image

      Dominiquebrock23 5 years ago from Los fresnos tx.

      Very useful message :)

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Greatness written in word! :) I feel like you've become a mentor to me. I read your words, and though I have different struggles, the one struggle remains clear for me: going from Good to Great. Will I have the courage to go from Good to Great? I dunno. But I'll keep stopping back to see what you have to say, for it always inspires me. :)

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 5 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      Another awesome message of spirit and strength Bill. I agree that the "Journey is the destination."

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My best to Ellie and Dai and of course to you my dear friend! What a simply marvelous friendship! It fills me with happiness each and every day.

      I will go now before I become emotional. :)

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      IMyself and granddaughter Ellie are away to meet Dai from work in a little while so we can all go to do the weekly shopping but I managed to read this before going.

      Obviously !!!! That's me waffling again Ha ha ha!!!

      I am glad that you have found 'You'as I have found 'Me'.

      I know that my self journey will never end ;I love the quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson;'Life is a journey and not a destination.'

      Great work here again Billy and another 'Up up and away 'due ;take care and enjoy your day.

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sandra, I find that today I enjoy being a work in progress and that I hold the key to positive progress or negative progress. It's a responsibility I take very seriously as I'm sure you do as well.

      Blessings and peace my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Denise, we are all truly just spiritual beings having a human experience. The sooner we come to realize that the better.

      Have a wonderful day my friend and thank you so much!

      I do believe there is some good I can be doing today. The opportunities are endless!

    • sandrabusby profile image

      Sandra Busby 5 years ago from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA

      How true. Aren't we all works in progress -- and some days are better than others -- and that makes the journey both exhilirating and, sometimes, devastating. Many kudos.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Humility once again, Bill. I enjoy your writing style-candid, informative, always a lesson to gain, and with clear gratitude of where you are at this time of your life.

      Spirituality, (not to be confused with religion or going to church) is the key to this grace of recovery. It is the missing link for all human ailments, because without the spiritual connection we are just lost human beings trying to figure it out via our egos, sick as that is, and without True guidance.

      Many blessings. Voted up and etc.