Don’t Need A Wish Today 

It’s been many, many years since I decided to include in my daily ritual: a question of reflection. A means of checks and balances that is commonly absent, without the extra effort. With so much going on around us, it can be difficult to… pause… and think about WHY it is you do the things you do.

My question for the day has always been: “What are you grateful for today?”

Some days, it’s easy to come up with an answer. Some days, it’s not. And often times, I have to inquire if, by repeating the same answers, I am dulling the top coat from its shine. Like the twenty thousandth time you’ve told your significant other “I love you” you realize the words, though true, have lost true sentiment behind it — how impressively quickly novel turns to casual.

Upon waking this morning, I stared at the post-it stuck on my bathroom wall and came to the same conclusion that I am frequently led to. But no matter how many times I respond with this same answer, it still find it –to put it eloquently– really freaking shiny.

Today, I am grateful that all things I want, I already have. It is unmistakably empowering to feel satisfied. I am so lucky for this unpredictable life and the ability to comprehend how and why I’m here.

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05/20/13 Driven

The trophies weren’t earned to be put up for display.

They always thought it was my competitive drive that led me to good fortune, but what they didn’t know is that my fear drove me there. I just happened to be strapped into the passenger seat.

I was only in grade school when I discovered time. By time, I don’t mean being able to understand how many notes I could pass in class before recess began, nor do I mean being able to read the hands of a clock. I’m referring toabsolute time, this continuous tumble down a one-way hill, accelerating me forward at a pace I can’t control. This oblique force that tends to twirl my life between her callous fingers and flirt with death on the side.

My sled had shifted off course on an icy hill, and I collided spine-first into the rusted bumper of a pickup truck. I laid there for several minutes –unable to move or regain a sense of feel– before a deep unfiltered anxiety crawled into my mind. It gradually occurred to me, that I didn’t have enough time. There was so much knowledge out there left unlearned, so many places gone unexplored… and I had already wasted ten years of my life.

I had been fiddling too long with the key to success, and the locks had been replaced.

So, I grew afraid of the silence.
A surge of instinct told me to keep going, to accomplish what I could before time could drag me to the bottom of that hill. And since then, I kept indulging in different flavors of music, sports, arts, academia, and even people. The growing list of skills and experiences –routinely interrupted by a stuttering lack of commitment– could never grow faster than the list of things left to do. I would not rest. I could not rest. The stillness was just too much to handle.

Over a decade has passed, and this fear has outgrown its old trousers. After all, you feed a compulsion and can’t expect it to stay the same size, right? I’m constantly moving, terrorized by the same tranquility that most people desire to have. It’s got a gun at my head, and my brain is frantically scheming for its next feat. All the time.

I’d like to go to Colorado.

Why? To do nothing for a while. I’d like to confront the angst that has built its home inside my head without my permission, and teach it some manners. I’d like nothing more than to lay at the bottom of a canyon,  allowing the silence to take the steering wheel with both hands.

Then maybe time will go fast and I will not care.
Maybe I will find refuge in my deepest fear.
Maybe I will cut the brakes, close my eyes, and go along for the ride.

12/30/12 WHAT DID YOU CALL ME?!

I get these urges.

Satisfaction moves swiftly, and the peace makes me feel uneasy. Today, I woke up from a nap thinking, I want to run for student council. Just like that, out of the blue. The last time I ran for office was in elementary school (Who remembers “Go with the Flow and Vote for Janeoh”? That shit was cash), and the thing is, I absolutely have no desire to sit through meetings and to vote on silly matters.

Yet I had this driving urge to carry through. Why? Because I can.

I know it might sound bizarre, but this is how all of my little hobbies and plans begin… I can’t bear to rest my brain. I feel uncomfortable being comfortable, so I create challenges for myself not for the consequence but solely for the accomplishment itself. Competition excites me, and obstacles propel me. It’s kinda fucked up, in a way.

I was speaking to one of the Biology advisors, and she asked me why I was applying to switch to the more difficult major if it wasn’t going to help me get into PT school. And I blurted, “Because I can” which effectively pissed her off to a noticeable degree.

Now I’m wondering, why was she really mad? Let’s set aside that I may have sounded like a pretentious dick and question why most people would show disapproval at my ethics. I presume she must have seen me as some kind of overachieving nerd, seeking not a single foot short of elitism. I would hate myself, too, if I were seeing myself through her eyes.

But the great thing is that I’m using my own two eyes, and we see at different wavelengths. When we see the words “Because I can,” she might ask why? But I ask why not? Why the fuck not take advantage of capability? If we have the slightest chance at success, why not put forth the effort? If an experience has not been experienced, if a talent has not been mastered, if intellect has not been utilized to its maximum aptitude, why not take the initiative and use what we have? It would be an utter shame to see potential wasted.

If you are afraid to do because you are afraid to fail, then you might want to consider an upgrade from your black and white television set. The mere idea of it can only exist in the supply of acceptance. What determines failure, but your lack of will to try again? Failure succumbs to you; you do not succumb to failure.

Besides… the best part is, even if you overachieve and accept that you have failed, you will still have achieved at the very least.

Which brings me back to my original question, why not?

Why not thrive to be the modern day Renaissance man?
Why not be the best person you can physically be?
Why not brighten up the future, yours and mine alike?

Go ahead and call me a nerd. Keep in mind that in a couple months, I might wake up one day and want to master kickboxing, so you might want to swallow your mean words. Just in case.

03/13/12 Shit Happens and I Couldn’t Be More Grateful

I hear this often, but I’m not as mature as everyone praises me for being, nor am I a better person than any one of you guys following this blog. If anything, I’m worse.

I’m fairly young, and in no position to write about life as if I have experienced all there is to live. But the past couple decades of my life indeed have been more than eventful, and these events have made me that much wiser, even if it’s just a little bit. So don’t judge when you hear me say: I’ve been to hell and back, and I fucking love my life. Thank God for my life.

I’ve looked death straight into his cold, soulless eyes so many times, I find it mind-boggling that I’m still alive. I’ve been hit by cars, I’ve hung off a cliff for dear life, I’ve had a person hold a knife at my throat, I’ve held a knife at my own throat, I’ve lost my heartbeat on the operating table, I’ve had multiple concussions, I’ve lost my breath and laid down in defeat to be buried during a snowstorm, I’ve had a truck bumper roll on top of my spine, I’ve overdosed, and more.

There have been times so difficult that I didn’t think I’d ever be happy again. When I was blamed for my dad’s heart attack, my mom’s tumor, my potential baby sister’s death, I took it to heart. When I grew up watching the only people I loved become hospitalized, worry about deportation, and fight each other with a burning hatred, I took it to heart. When best friends used me, an ex cheated on me, and my own fam lied to me, I took it to heart. When I was mentally and sexually abused, I kept my mouth shut… and took it to heart as well.

Yeah, all these things have pierced me in every possible direction. And I can’t say that it hasn’t had a great impact on me, because it has. But it’s affected me in a positive way, as cheesy as that seems. I’m still a fucked up person. I have lied, I have stolen, I have physically harmed others, I have done drugs, I have tried smoking a cigarette even though I swore to my dead grandfather that I would never, I have done my parents wrong, I have treated my brother in ways he doesn’t deserve, I have cheated on tests and allowed others to cheat off me, I have talked shit, I have broken hearts, I have wanted others to hurt as badly as I have. Yet despite all the sinful shit I’ve done, I’ve honestly become such a happier, more mature, and more motivated person. I love the fuck out of my family, I adore the shit out of my friends, and I think everything that’s happened in my life was well-deserved and absolutely for the best.

To anyone who’s ever reached that sad bottomless pit in their lives and managed to move on to laugh about it… high five, soldier. Life is a fucking battlefield; it may knock you down and tear you apart, but each surviving day there is hope for peace. And never feel bad for yourself, trust me, because it could always be worse. Just thank the Big Man that we’re alive to suit up another day.