As a teenager I had many dreams and fantasies that fame would somehow give me the ultimate achievement. I was very enamored of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and watched it many late nights observing and weighing how the interviewees talked and responded to Johnny Carson's schtick and his patter and comedic strategies. I had a deep crush on Johnny and many of my fantasies revolved around being interviewed on his show for my great talents as a writer or performer. Maybe I would be a rock star who was supremely talented in a band like Three Dog Night or Blood, Sweat, and Tears. This was how I built up my self esteem at a time when my ego was fragile and not well bolstered at all.
I guess I ought to feel embarrassment for those long ago fantasies and yearnings that would somehow make me valuable and worthy in the eyes of the world. I didn't feel valuable and worthy in the life I was living. I'll spare you the long litany of why I didn't feel valued. These feelings followed me into adulthood but eventually I've somehow managed to find some peace and acceptance of myself.
My faith has been helpful to me in realizing that I have worth. In the words of one mentor, "God don't make no junk." At the lowest depths of darkness, I've been able to hear God's lesson that I am a child of the Creator who exists in a light-filled,world Even though I was deep in some very dark places with the shadows surrounding me, I was able to hold on and know God was with me.
The peace and acceptance have gradually followed from those dark days of pain and panic. I have experienced much spiritual growth.
In many facets of my existence, I do experience peace. With gratitude, I welcome that peace that God has given me. I may never have been on The Tonight Show yucking it up with Johnny Carson, but I have something now that I value more than anything like that would have been. It is something much more valuable to me. I have peace and the gratitude that accompanies it.
And my dear Johnny Carson, hope you have found peace in the afterlife. You gave our culture much laughter and entertainment in your time, and me, as well. And I have the lesson I have learned from those long ago days of my teen years when what I thought I wanted was not to be and what I didn't know I wanted, came to be.