I’m in a contemplative mood tonight. I just saw the movie ‘500 days of summer’.. I highly recommend it. It has a rare quality to its story. It doesn’t seem to be sugar coated. It picks you up… but doesn’t leave you up there… nor does it slam you down abruptly. It lets you float down again and grounds you. Wonderful movie.
Life. I must’ve said that word out loud tonight a dozen times. I think about it all the time. Expectations and reality. I was thinking… I like when my expectations are unrealistic from everyone else’s standpoint. and who knows maybe they’re not. But.. as I go through life.. I like the ambitions that require major action.. major investment. I noticed that the vast majority of these ambitions don’t necessarily come to fruition… but I’m always a lot farther ahead that where I would’ve been without them. So I shall keep these lofty goals… these dreams that seem just out of reach.
I walked around my neighborhood tonight. It was beautiful. Full, glowing moon. It penetrated the clouds as they silently drifted across the sky. There was a stillness to the air. I talked to my friend Brandon tonight. He was frustrated with himself… he got a B+ in a class. He said that the grade didn’t reflect his effort or his knowledge of the subject. It was the last thing I wanted to talk about really.. how upset with himself he is. My mood was so transparent and tranquil. My attitude was looking up. His grade, that class, is behind him. Every undertaking should be done with maximum effort to ensure that we perform even greater for the next. Looking backward while trying to move forward is difficult. He was, however, the only person that was open to catching up.. about nothing.
I walked around tonight.. on the sidewalks, the grass.. I walked, balancing my steps between the yellow lines in the road.
I feel very calm at the moment.
Here is an amazing poem that keeps my head up:
“I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon—if I can. I seek opportunity—not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me. I want to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole. I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia. I will not trade freedom for beneficence nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master nor bend to any threat. It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid; to think and act for myself, enjoy the benefit of my creations, and to face the world boldly and say, this I have done. All this is what it means to be an American.” Dean Alfange
That movie, 500 days of summer, made me think. It was cute. I like romantic movies. Movies about the dynamics of relationships.
I looked at myself in the mirror tonight.. with a long stare, trying to see myself as the person I am, not as I perceive myself to be. It was…
I was thinking tonight. Very much. I look forward to those times in life where you wake up, and life has a new light to it. Opportunities abound, possibilities stretch far and wide. The world at my fingertips. I love those times. Where everything has yet to cast a shadow. The world is a blank canvas… and slowly, line by line, choice by choice, it takes form. My decisions shape a lifestyle I grow to love, or hate. These opportunities, for most, seem rare. I work for them.
You know those times I speak of. Getting up in the morning is effortless. Showering and getting ready for the day is a breeze… your thoughts are elsewhere… in the realm of possibility. Its a joyous unspoken passion. You see things in their ideal state. Relationships, or making them, seems to be the easiest thing in the world. Its like finding companions for the journey. Maybe its a new job, starting at a new school, or your first day of school.. or getting involved with a new sport, or club, or organization. A new purpose. The purpose of ones life is pursuing ones purpose.
I have had these opportunities more times than I can count. These are the times where you can reinvent yourself. You can choose your friends based on your new direction, not fall back on them out of convenience. You are forced to expand yourself to new ideas. Moving 13 times… attending six elementary schools, two middle schools, three high schools, and now two colleges… has given me far more of these opportunities than many people ever have. Am I fortunate? Reinvention. If I wanted to be pessimistic I could say that I’ve felt like a chameleon all these years… all this reinvention was really adaptation.. but I really don’t see it like that. Every new direction, every opportunity you have to change course, you are given the freedom to change yourself, to build on your existing character. You remove more of the chaff. Thats the goal anyway. Right?
Acceptance is a large part of life. Actually, next to change, it seems to be everything. Change happens, continually… you never step into the same river twice. Accepting that change, and seeing things as they currently are, being willing to change your conceptions, is one of the greatest dilemmas I have. It causes me to lose a brief sense of security. But thats a risk we must learn to take I suppose. If we never went out on a limb, how would we ever eat the fruit?
I have many thoughts right now. Many many. Tomorrow… I will drive to Ft Myers to drop my cousins off… and meet my grandfathers new wife. I think it will be a surprise for him 🙂 He’s resentful that I don’t visit more often. I don’t blame him. Long complicated family drama really. As I get older I see the facets of relationships and see how their roots intertwine. Face value is never too revealing.
Love Love Love. And Happiness. Isn’t that what we all want? or maybe more happiness and then there’s love.
Why do I rob myself the joy of waking up every day like its my first day alive? I want to walk around my days like its the first day of my life… like there is something to learn behind every smile, around every turn, under every rock, twig or blade of grass.
I just read this: ‘Speak with substance to the life you know; not those which you admire.’ I speaks to me.
I’ll sleep.. think more tomorrow.