The “Special” Drug

Trouble I called the idea that started to take root in my mind without me realizing. A small thought, that took root in my brain and as it began to sprout I was at its mercy. It controlled my thought but at the time, I nourished it, this budding thought weed had grown out of control, cutting off parts of my mind which had learned a bit of wisdom about people of the world and myself. It cut off the pure belief and intentions, throwing me into an infinite cycle of madness disguised as correct ideology. The weed’s actual name was “special” and here is my journey to save my brain.

Now to preface this isn’t some existential crisis, in fact just the opposite.

As I had said before I didn’t know when it took root, this idea that I am special, that I am different and that I have something that other people don’t so I should have that reflect in my day to day life. When it came time to realize what had sprouted, it was a small sapling.  It looked as though it was harmless but it always felt good to feel as if that the world has some grander purpose for me. Things were going well, that was for sure, so it was easy to feed this idea that once everything is said and done, I will rise to the top.

It was like a pill, taking it on the regular, to make myself feel like I could do anything because I am me, and only because I am me. The problem with these types of thoughts is when times start to get hard, my mind races to take the drug, to feel special, to feel more than what I am doing. It’s a way to be beyond my means even in meager situations. My lofty dreams became so tied up in this pill, that I believed that only I am the one who can accomplish it.

When something happens to go against this particular feeling, it crushed me. A sense that I deserve more, that I can and should do more.  Life has a funny way of not giving you want but giving you what you need. What I needed was a wake-up call, being put in a situation where I can’t help but feel like I am wasting away, wasting my potential, and feeling like I would not amount to anyone. I had lost the drug and withdrawal set in.Looking to feel special right and left, I had to make excuses to get me through the day. Trying to build a pedestal to sit on but left with nothing to stand.

It brings about a question of my limits, where was I was going, what was I doing. If I lost the thing that made me special, then by what right did, I have to dream. Where did I belong, and what can I aspire to, if I am not special am I doomed to live this normal life that I disdain the very thought.  I kept fighting it, this less grandiose lifestyle that I had found myself. Why was it that I couldn’t make what I wanted to happen?

Wallowing in this empty field that the weed decimated finally gave way to a different kind of understanding. I am normal, like everyone else.  I have the same thoughts and feelings, the same inclination, worries, and needs.  The idea I was magical from the get-go was merely a way to make myself feel better. I am human, just like the seven billion other people on this earth.  I may live a very differently life than those around me, but it is these experiences that make me who I am.  It was something I learned long ago, something that I needed to relearn through this experience.  It’s a freeing and very humbling thought.

Truthfully when I look around now I see great things now, the greatness within other people, the idea that we anything we put our mind to.  I see the past in which people pushed beyond themselves to create great things. Artists who create masterpieces, engineers who create bridges and buildings, scientists who create cures for ailments. Pushing past the limits, one step at a time, to bring our world into a new age. It’s these parameters in which I define myself has changed.

Accepting that I am ordinary makes me feel limitless. I  look around at my peers and see all the great things they are doing, know that with hard work and perseverance I could follow that path as well.  Utilizing the very humanity within me and everything we are capable of I can push past the limits of the past and look to the future to conquer the next mountain in the sake of being average. At the end of the day, I am normal, and I believe that anyone is capable of anything they put their mind to, for better or for worse. Everyone is capable of this greatness. With that thought in tow, I am free to be all that I can be.

Truly limitless.

Ode To A Summer Long Past

I remember the heat as it seared my skin, feeling like all my exposed areas were to get instantly vaporized by the intense sun beating down on me.  Summer in Southern California had come and with it a sense of sense of adventure.

I remember the wait on the grayed curb, as the anticipation of the day started to take hold. I began to try to keep myself busy with the various humdrum activities I could think of before the car came by to pick me up.  It didn’t take long before it did.

I remember the slightly off white car pull up, frosted with dust and dirt from all around the city. Slowing down and stopping right in the middle of this uncrowded street. The windows down with letting out all the hot air out, and unlike all the other vehicles nearby there wasn’t heat wafting off the chassis.

I remember rising and walking over towards to my friend and the car throwing some informal pleasantries back and forth before crossing over to the other side, where I could lift the handle on the slightly warm door.  Swinging the door open fully not worried about hitting anything and seeing the tan seats greet me as my friend cleared the place for me.

I remember throwing my leg into the car avoiding the various things piled onto the floor that day.  Sitting back into the fabric seats that felt like warmed towels after a shower. My body absorbing the heat into myself, starting to produce the first signs of sweet watery relief from my forehead.

I remember as the car began to move, the music changed to some upbeat alternative rock song the felt like embodied the summer driving season.  As the air outside flooded in and the artificial wind it produced mixed with the air freshener the sweet smell exploded from it.  Smell that permeated the car was a one that I couldn’t place but will forever be my favorite scent for the inside of a car because of the memories.

I remember the whimsical nature of drive, never knowing what we would do even after we pushed off onto the road.  I remember the sun out our back as we did whatever we wanted, throwing caution to the wind and driving down the streets to a destination we couldn’t fathom until we were almost there.

I remember those days because those days were what summer are to me, a car, a friend, some music, and a sense of adventure that even the heat couldn’t stop me.

Am I Connected Now?

One of the things I have come to an understanding of is that I want to connect.  The problem is I don’t know which way to do it. I don’t understand how I want to reach out and interact with people.  How do I fill my heart with the connections that come from other people and what exactly do I need? How will I know if it’s enough to sustain me?

I have been building in the last couple months connections that I hope to keep. Trying put myself out there, trying to gain what I had lost from before. As with everything recently it doesn’t feel like enough.  There is always more I can do, more connections I can create and foster. My heart feels better through the links I have made, but not full.

There is a yearning that I have, deep within me to fill my life with people that I just can’t help but talk into the night.  Fill them with the people who, when I look down at my phone and realize it’s already well past midnight, and it looks like there is no end in sight.

My memory floods with these experiences, most of them coming from the various girlfriends I have had. I have thought about that, is that I want? Another romantic relationship to fill that space, to have that person who has that sense of intimacy. I have thought about this for some time. It would be the easiest way to fill my heart, but it’s not actually what I want.

I realize this because there is so much in my life that I need to change, that I still need to grow and climb towards my goals. I know that if that were to happen if someone would come along and see this person of who I am, and take in my situation without a secondary thought, would probably be the worst thing for me. I will grow complacent, quickly become unmotivated to keep marching forward. No, what I want is that connection, where I feel, inspires me to keep moving forward.

How do I find these links? How do I foster them? I am thankful for all the relationships I have and want to continue fertilizing those connections, so they grow bigger and stronger. How do I get out there to connect, find more places to be able to meet these new people with similar interests so that I can grow deep, meaningful relationships?

I’m still learning, and maybe at the end of the day I can be satisfied with what I have, which by some accounts is a lot. My heart knows it can stretch out further, and ultimately I have to follow my heart.

 

The Good Son

Before I begin, I want to clarify; I am not perfect nor do I claim to be. My history is fraught with lots of mistakes from which I try to learn.  I try my best to be the person I can to be and follow the best path.  This post is about the trouble with the high road that I try to take.

The prodigal son is a parable I know well, not for the traditional reason such as my Catholic upbringing. I have a different connection with the story.  When I was growing up, my sister in all of her gloriousness started to refer to me as the prodigal son.  To her, I could do no wrong in the eyes of my parents.  I avoided their punishment and seemingly was always treated better by them.  Of course, this was untrue, just as I don’t pick a favorite parent, my parents didn’t pick favorite children.  This didn’t deter her, making me feel like I was separate from the rest of my siblings like I didn’t belong with the rest of them like my struggle was somehow void and lesser in the face of everything.  Now I can not speak to how it was, all I can say is how I feel, and I saw it as equal treatment.  The story evolved for me when I grew older.  First, my dad started referring to the story as the forgiving father rather than the prodigal son because that was the take away from the parable and I think he was hinting at something. Second, even though in colloquial language the prodigal son refers to the child who can do no wrong, what prodigal means is wasteful or spends money unwisely. A description that fits me even less than I less than the previous meaning.  Even through it all, I tried to live up to being that shining spectacle of this good son.

When I had gotten into high school and went through the customary process of receiving the Rite of Confirmation. Right before we are to receive it,  we are told to reflect on which of the seven gifts of the holy spirit. One of the gifts was wisdom, being that I was already pretty good with knowledge, and had known that King Solomon had asked God for wisdom before he became king, I thought it would be a good idea to choose wisdom. From then I wanted to be one of those old sages on a hill that everyone came to for advice.

What does this have to do with anything? What’s the point in me writing this?

Well, truth be told, it’s because it helped send me down a strange path in life, this is not about faith or religion, it’s about morality.

I have always been one to follow my conscience, or try to.  Be it the fun path or not, the voice in my head directing me towards what I should do rather than what I feel like doing has been loud and clear. I always wanted to live up to being noble, polite, and a good person.  A man of virtue so to speak.  Let me tell you; it is frustrating. When something comes up, and I know it’s probably ill-advised but sounds fun, I am compelled to say no.  I know how I should approach a situation and how to act around people. How to keep out of trouble, and how to perform correctly.  It keeps me out of bad situations, but the other problem is that it keeps me out of life.

When people tell stories, they talk about how something went awry. It usually beings with something out of the ordinary, and a lot of the time not well thought out plan by at least one person.  Knowing and taking the path where I have listened to others and about their mistakes and missteps and how they solved the problem has given me a wealth of knowledge but a lack of experiences.  That voice in my head that keeps me from trouble also makes me away from living.  It’s like when one kid burns and knowing not to touch, it makes me want to know what it feels like to get burned even though I am aware it’s a bad thing.  I know how to live correctly, but the path that I end up walking on is lonely.  I know to take the high road, but sometimes I just want to take the same route as everyone.

Though this right way doesn’t guarantee success, what it does give me is the ability to look at myself in the mirror for the choices I have made.  The problem is, I just want to be young and make silly decisions.  My conscience bears down on me, though, making sure that I stay tried and true.  I feel like sometimes it would be easier to be freed of this constant badgering, allowed to make these decisions based on feelings at the time.  The problem with knowing where to go makes taking the wrong path becomes a purposeful decision to hinder me, which is illogical. It’s like a slow insanity because when I know something is wrong, it immediately becomes undoable.

This doesn’t seem like a huge issue and even as I am writing this I feel a bit silly, but it’s frustrating as hell.  Trying to be this virtuous person all the time is tiring, and all I want to do is take a break from it.  Take a break from caring, from doing the right thing. Go off the deep end.  One of the things I had imagined when I was younger was escaping into the night without anyone’s notice to walk the empty streets. The thing that kept me from doing it other than the fact I would have been in trouble if caught that it would be cold and lonely so not as much fun my romanticizing of it would be. Now I could be very wrong, and I am missing this hot new trend of midnight walking, but it’s those kinds of thoughts that drive me crazy. I just want to do these things that people my age could get away with because we are young instead of never doing it and missing my chance.

I have been trying to free myself of these binds I have kept myself, allowing me to live more. Exploring these decisions and allowing myself to move out of the proverbial good choices. I am trying to live differently and to make decisions that I would both enjoy and be proud of. Gain these experience that I crave.  Live the life that I want; I will always act according to my conscience but I can least widen what is consider as a good result.  I will keep moving forward and learning more from others but I can at least try to live some of these things for myself, because sometimes kids have to get burned by the stove to really understand the reason to not touch it.

The Last Wild Ride

My last ride with her,

It took us a while to get going,

To get moving along the road.

She had always been bad at waking up,

She always stalled and made excuses

Today I’m not having it,

Today, I came prepared

By the time she started up

I was ready

The day was already too bright

We went by the gas station,

But she didn’t need much, she never did

I was tempted just to go home with her from there,

That was our usual routine,

But today was different,

The road called us,

I knew, these might be our last moments together

I think she did too.

We roar down the alley,

Yell at the top of our lungs

This time we’re on the same page when the yelling begins

Tearing off down the street

My body moves on its own

After being with her for so long

I knew the twists and turns, the way she moved too

We find a quiet place

And slow

Feel the wind surrounding us

Just like that first time

When we were both so excited

saw nothing but adventure

It felt like I could fly

Not anymore, not with her

Her wings couldn’t carry me to where I wanted to go

And she just wanted to run free again.

I knew that was best for her

The wind surrounded us now

It wasn’t my wind anymore

It felt like we were both ready

Going down the curved road,

Reminded me of all the miles we traveled together

Those nights that were so cold we felt the chill into the next day

She carried me,

through college,

through trials and tribulations,

through my relationships

We just lost what we had in common,

Around that last bend

I wanted to know that love I had,

She did too

It was just me, her, and the ride

But it was just silence

I knew it was time

Goodbye, my ruby red bike

It was fun, and I love you

I want you to ride with someone who will appreciate you like I did

Someone who will be happy to see you every day

Goodbye, my ruby red bike

You’ll fly again someday.

To Give

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/sacrifice/

Sacrifice. It’s a word I know well. A theme that permeated my upbringing and is very much second nature.

To me though it means to love.

It’s easy to see the innate struggle behind sacrifice. It is to take something, something of value from yourself for some greater purpose. Some sacrifices are bigger than others, and when it’s purpose is to gain in some way from it. It’s exchanging, a highly personal one.

For me, my greatest sacrifices have been for happiness, not my own, but for the happiness of others.  It’s almost unfair, though, because, it is second nature to me, that sacrifice doesn’t have had the bite it usually does.

It’s so obvious for me to do it that it can become a problem. Sacrifice has to have meaning and purpose to everyone involved.  It runs into trouble when I sacrifice for no reason so that things can be a little bit easier. It becomes too frequent, almost expected, the sacrifice becomes what I am rather than what I chose to do.  I had fallen victim to this many times over, sacrificing myself for the sake of others when not required.

It’s because for me, it’s is a giving of myself, giving my time and things.  It is making the decision to do something that isn’t the best for me because I could do more for other people.  I sacrifice because it means part of me becomes part of someone else life.  It’s like giving something away to end up with more.  I will always sacrifice because it’s good for me and makes the world around me a better place.

Time Crime

Tick…

As a person, I am greedy. I want everything to happen and nothing to happen without me.  Honestly, this problem would be solved if there wasn’t a finite amount of time I had during the day.  Of course, I am constrained by the reality in which I live. I think about this often, how long do I have to do what I want with my life? I feel the ticking of the clock.

Tick…

24 hours in a day, which seems like a lot but I immediately have to sleep so subtract 6 to 8 hours every day where I can’t be productive on anything other than sleeping.  Well, I have to get ready and if I want to exercise that’s another hour out. So I’m now at 15 to 17 hours left in the day. Not doing so bad.  I’ll probably devote at least another for all my meals, and about 8-9 hours for work.  So about 5 to 7 hours left, averaging about 360 minutes.

Tick…

That’s not enough time for everything, though,  reading, writing, hanging with friends, learning something new.  How can I fill it all up, to the point where I don’t feel like I am behind.  The stack of promises my mind makes me make increases as the time I have to do it all stays the same. How am I suppose to keep enough energy to make sure I don’t waste that time allotted?

Tick…

It becomes a race for minutes for what is worthwhile, and again, I am greedy. I want to do everything, and yet I don’t have enough time.  I am not even allowed to choose what times work is going to happen; I don’t have that luxury.  My minutes might be split, taking me home, getting oriented, all I see are these things taking away time, having it slip through my hands.  I can’t help it, what am I to do, what does it take to become determined when I need to.  What determines if an activity is worthwhile or not. Should I read or go out with my friends, should I write or go running. These choices plague me; I don’t want to have to make those decisions, I don’t want to have to weigh those costs and benefits.

Tick…

When I finally find enough events to fill up that time, I finally feel full, complete, there is always more, though, more that I will want.  I can’t steal time, I wish I could, make minutes last for hours, hours last for days.  Pack it all in so I can experience everything I want, everything that I crave.

Tick…

I realize how fragile these schedules are, how much I rely on work and sleep to drive the day.  A simple shift in one direction or another closes doors I had spent so much time opening up for myself. Takes away these activities that I have enjoyed so much.  I have no control over time, and a little bit of control over what time I have.

Tick…

I’ve woken up to this, staring at the ceiling pondering how much time I can stay laying under the warm blanket before I have to get up to make the most of the day.  How many minutes are these times of peace worth, how much the dreams I have at night worth? Each moment more priceless than the last, the time I have to do things feels like it’s slowly ticking down on me. How long will this period of my life last, when will move onto the next thing, how much time will I get to enjoy the subtle nuances of life before I have to leave them behind, without so much as a goodbye?

Tick…

This is another thing I have no answer. I try to steal away the seconds from the clock, hoard them like a pile of gold, but I can’t keep hold of them. I try to find little forgotten moments of the day to pack in all the extra things. Multitasking lets me complete a bit more, but the product is hardly up to snuff.   All I have is now but is that enough to sustain me, when will it become my time, when will I have my moments, part of me is scared that they might already be gone.

Tick…

Times up.