Man I wish I knew. I’ve talked to people who think they’ve lived one and no one seems to have a suitable answers. My dad thinks it requires 1-3 million saved for retirement. My coach/trainer/captain (not really sure what to call Jaye the guy who runs the Knights Hall. He’s clearly a mentor but the specific type I lack a word for) appears to believe it’s good friends and epic experiences. If I had to guess what the guy I’m Man At Arms to in the SCA would say, I would guess it’s love based on our talks. My friends all have varying answers if they have thoughts at all. There is no consensus in my tribe and I’d be lying if I said I had faith that any of my myriad of conflicting ideas had any real merit over any other. That said, I’m pretty sure I’m living it.
I’m flat broke. I think I can lay my hands on $100 if I had too. I’m in debt up to my ears, to my parents, my brother, and some banks. I owe Jaye money, my landlord, my ex, and even a girl I haven’t seen in over ten years(Abby I know you forgot but I’ll hit you back eventually). I have practically no free time, every second is claimed by work, training, or some obligation I made at least two weeks prior. Gone are the days of deciding to take a 3 day trip to NYC or Canada on the spur of the moment, one of my favorite things about my pothead days. I don’t play soccer, ride my board, ski, or even toss a disc anymore, sports that used to consume all my free time.
I’ve lost touch with some of my best friends to the point I’m not even sure we can call each other friend. I’ve uglied up my face, chipped teeth and a broken nose. I’ve basically given up on love(again, should have stuck with that thought). I failed my team at the world championships singles and chances are I won’t get another shot(though I’ll do everything in my power to keep that spot). I hate my job and have pretty much zero career prospects as I approach 30(is that the start of middle age)? My car is about to shit the bed I have no idea how I’ll get another one.
And yet I wake up every day happier than I’ve been since I was 21 blowing all my money on weed and booze, not working and fucking about like the irresponsible asshole I was. I can’t wait to work out and train every night. I’m in the best shape of my life and not happy with it, and that fact in and of itself makes me happy. I have goals and I’m working towards them. I’ve never done that before. EVER. This is first time I’ve found something worth reaching for and I’m doing it. I’m not quitting cause I’me scared of failing like every other time in my life. I embrace every failure as a way to learn. I beat the shit out of myself for it, sure. If it ain’t perfect it ain’t good enough. But I don’t use that as an excuse not to try.
So I guess I know what makes a good life. Having a goal, a meaning, a purpose, an end point worth journeying too. And I have that. So until my body breaks I guess I’ll have a good life.