Act II. Chapter I: In Her Eyes

It’s 10:30 pm, and I’m flying high above the mountains of British Columbia. I’ve spent the last few days far away from my hometown of Toronto, in sleepy Vancouver.

Sleepy might be the wrong word to use – apathetic? If the city seemed to care enough to be tranquil, I might even chase the fleeting thoughts I have to move there and leave my past behind.

As the clouds clear off and I stare down at the lights dotting sparingly across the abyss below, I wax philosophical about my actions back at the airport. Anything that will stop me from torturing myself at the hands of the blank page, I suppose.

*******

It started off as one of those nearly missed connections. I’ve got headphones in, aviators on. I’m delirious. It’s been one of those few business trips where everything goes perfectly and you manage to avoid every possible manifestation of Murphy’s Law despite being overdue for karmic justice of the most severe degree.

As I step off the escalator, one of those new country generic songs runs headfirst into the chorus – you know the ones, about young love, alcohol, and fucking in trucks – and I nearly stumble headlong into this girl.

I freeze and halfway adjust, just barely glancing into her shoulder and sending us both turning and facing each other, both apologizing before we can even pull the headphones out. For one long second, our worlds are just loud cacophonies of background music while we dramatically mouth apologies and pull our bags back on our shoulders. Then suddenly, with a loud *pop*, we both jolt back into the present.

“I’m s-so sorry”, I say, because apparently stumbling over just my feet isn’t enough.

“No, no! My fault,” she says, laughing.

She’s got a nice laugh, I can see it now. She’s actually really pretty, and she’s wearing a U of T hoodie. Score.

“You go to U of T?” The first question that I throw is supposed to sound innocent, but the smirk on my face gives me away and for a long second, it floats in the open space between us like a strand of smoke that might just disappear in the breeze.

Her eyes open a little wider, and she puts out a hand, nearly but not quite reaching across the distance. “Life Sci!” She says, and a shred of doubt tears through the BC sunshine. Life Sci at U of T is a program that I’m fairly sure they only offer because suicide rates aren’t high enough at campus to keep the Ivy League of the North status.

Good pitch number two – fastball down the middle.

I lay on my best smirk and say, “I don’t believe you. You seem way too happy to be in Life Sci at U of T. Which campus?”

There it is. Her eyes open wide, and her mouth changes from a half open smile to a real laugh. Strike two. “UTSG! You’re U of T?”

“Sort of. I’m from the high school version, UTSC? You know, same soul crushing academic pressure, same amount of power outlets as World War 2?” I laugh a little, but I see her smile fade off a little and her eyes shift down.

Alright, rein it in cowboy. Little too much sarcasm can be caustic.

But instead, she points out my shoes and looks up at me inquisitively. “Dress shoes and sweatpants?” This time it’s her turn to float the question.

I wind up. Pitch three – let’s go with the fastball again.

“Yeah, I’m a [REDACTED]. Just here on business – I flew in wearing a suit, didn’t want to make the same mistake again.” I shrug at the bag on my shoulder for added effect, but she’s not paying attention.

“A [REDACTED]? But aren’t you in UTS-“

“Yeah, recently graduated. I got lucky in the post grad job sweepstakes.”

The conversation lulls. She takes a step back and her head cocks to the side, half smiling, and I feel self conscious. Four years is a long time to be off the market, have I lost my touch? I’m starting to feel the same jitters that I do right before a big contract comes in. It’s nauseating to me that it’s the closest comparison I have.

Strike that. Let’s go with, it’s the same thrilling fear as that pulse between heartbeats when you’re staring down the sights of a rifle, lining up a perfect shot. Timing your breath so that you’ll pull the trigger right when you finish exhaling and your heartbeat slows just long enough to contemplate all the right and wrong in the world.

There, less nauseating. I think.

Suddenly, a warbling voice blares through the airport PA system, droning unintelligibly about a last departure. I can almost feel it cut through our conversation, and the moment is gone. She was about to say something, but instead looks briefly over her shoulder, biting her lip.

“Hey, I gotta run, but you’re from Toronto right?” She says, pulling out her phone. Her headphones fall off her ears, and I find myself much more curious about what she’s listening to. “What’s your name?”

This is that moment, where she’s asking your name – not because you’re meeting for the first time and she wants to avoid an awkward interaction later on, but because she wants to know what name to put in her phone.

“It’s – wait, you have blue eyes. They’re really nice eyes,” I can hear myself say.

She says something back, but I don’t hear it. The socially anxious part of my brain wonders if I’ve rudely re-inserted my headphones because she’s talking but all I can hear is the sizzle and pop of a new record. Her eyes are really blue. Like a light, almost baby blue. That’s my favourite colour. All at once, I can see myself in her eyes.

I’m just some stranger in the airport. Some stranger who said the right things at the right time and knew when to shut up and when to smile. But this girl knows nothing about me. In her eyes, I’m a nicely packaged item, to be pursued and perused. In her eyes, I’m a faint reminder of academic comfort, shown up on the doorstep of her home town. A welcome interloper in the apathy of carefree Vancouver.

She doesn’t know what came before this. She has no idea of what led to all this, and what the context of it all is. She thinks I’m wearing dress shoes and sweatpants because I got a little lazy and I’ve got the style sense of a gnome. She doesn’t know the scheduling, the grueling exhaustion. Later, she’ll find out that I’m writing something and she might even want to read it, not understanding that I’ll trash it seven times over before I let anyone read it before it’s ready. She can’t possibly understand what it is that I’m after now because she never saw what I was aiming for before it all went wrong.

I don’t like her eyes.

“Sorry,” I say, interjecting in her sentence. I notice her hand is outstretched again, and I can almost feel the fingertips brushing my chest just a hair away. “Don’t live in Toronto anymore. Alberta now. Have a good one!” I quickly turn and plug the headphones back in, just in time to hear the starting raspy lines from Kenny Chesney’s Somewhere With You. 

If my face is calm, it’s only because I’ve gotten good at hiding facial cues for when I’ve just committed social harikari.

As I check the gate again, I hum along to the words that I’ve memorized over the course of a hundred nights. I’ve heard this song enough to carve the words into a tattoo, but this is the first time I’ve heard it and been able to actually relate to it. And here I am, somewhere without her.

Irony.

Apt.

*******

It’s 2:00 am. We’re touching down in Toronto soon, so I’m tapping away on this keyboard trying to finalize this before I use our arrival as a good reason to procrastinate further. Did I mention I had a few Long Islands at the airport bar before we left?

Ostensibly to help with writing. Now I’m thinking that all it did was contribute to my loud snoring around the 12:00 am mark.

I try to find some philosophical reason for why I didn’t give that girl my number. Why the idea of who I was in her eyes was so revolting to me. I guess there’s a lot of reasons. When I was unhappy, the idea of someone wanting to be a part of that was novel to me and a little alluring. It was someone seeing a hurricane and deciding that they weren’t scared and that they wanted to see what it felt like in the center of that storm.

Maybe that’s what the difference was. Her eyes were always like that. Curious in the face of pure insanity and bad decisions. A ferociousness that could match the tempest of a life gone awry and the strength to bring it back on course.

Too many writers always get it wrong – they focus on the colour. Her eyes swam in a sea of blue and dolphins jumped from pool to pool, deeper than the ice caps melting away into the ocean. A vivid, nearly effervescent green that mirrored Central Park at the first Spring bloom. All nonsense – it’s never the colour that gets you.

Typically hypocritical, I almost want to pull out my phone to make sure I describe hers correctly, as if I hadn’t just fallen asleep staring at them, swimming in the impossible thousands of pictures we shared over the years.

As if I wouldn’t know her eyes better than I know my own. Maybe that’s the anxiety in me firing off a final volley – I’ve accepted that perfection should never be a pre-requisite to love, especially not when it comes to loving yourself and being happy.

But when it comes to her, I stutter step and hesitate, crossing myself in strings of discord and anxiety. I want things to be perfect again. I want to reverse and correct the things that we did wrong, and tell her the story of how we fell apart as some kind of funny anecdote,”Honey you wouldn’t believe what happened to us in some horrific alternate timeline.”

What made her different wasn’t the colour. They were dark brown. Just like mine. What made them different was how wide her pupils always were. It didn’t matter – bright light or pitch dark, they were always dilated. Black pools of curiosity, almost as if she was trying to see all the happiness in the day before it slipped behind the veil of another night. The dark brown of her iris just hovering on the corners of her eyes, a dark eclipse.

They kept me alive, those eyes. Silver linings on the edge of a life that was nearly completely gone, that kept me swinging and ducking long after I was dead on my feet.

The choice to write here is intentional. The audience is long gone now, and there’s no more curious onlookers to see what comes next. I’m not sure what comes next either.

I’m here, with my eyes closed, finally playing the song I’ve been working on my entire life. This is happy. For the first time in my life, I’m happy with who I am. I’m happy with me.

When I open my eyes, I don’t know what I’ll see. Maybe an empty room, maybe more people than I’ve ever seen before.

All I know is that I hope that I’ll see those brown eyes, peering back from the darkness.

We’re touching down in Toronto now.

I’m home.

I can go out every night of the week, and go home with anybody I meet.
But it’s just a temporary high, ’cause every time I close my eyes,
I’m somewhere with you. 

Kenny Chesney, Somewhere With You

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Satisfaction.

“Life loses its dynamism from the moment we lose the passion with which to live it. “

Image

What does one need to live and to be happy?

Money? Family? Luxury? Friends? I’m not talking about the basic necessities that one needs in order to live and lead a healthy life. I think ultimately what we need in order to lead a happy life is satisfaction with one’s life. At the end of the day if you can justify your actions and being to yourself in a way that it satisfies you then that’s all you really need…everything else just ties in with that.

You can have the money, family and friends that love and support you and that you love and support too, tangible goods and other luxuries…but what good is any of that if at the end of the day you’re sad anyways. I know I have all this, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t need it. I’m not materialistic, but I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t need money…much of everything we do and need revolves around it – it buys me things I need AND make me happy. I have a few good friends, and a family that loves me too.

What’s missing?

I’m happy; I am…most of the time, at least.

Okay…I’m lying. I’m not, I’m happy sometimes…and the rest of the time I’m just really not. I’m not happy with the quality of my life, and I’m beginning to think my existence is a waste of space and oxygen really. I’m having a very hard time justifying my life these days. That’s why I say what we really need is satisfaction with one’s life…because I know there are so many girls that would die to be in my place, and would be ecstatic leading the life that I am because they’ve been raised that way.

You get married, you dedicated the rest of your life and existence to making your husband happy and being a typical housewife and eventually a super-mom….and that’s it.

See there’s nothing wrong with that if doing all of that makes you happy…it’s just that I’ve always wanted more from life, this part of my life was supposed to come after and I feel like I skipped a whole lot in the middle. I don’t mind doing all that, I really don’t its why I got married in the first place…I’d love to make him happy and be super-mom some day, heck I love kids, I want four one day. The problem is that I’m not happy doing JUST this, there needs to be more.

I don’t want to define myself as someone’s wife, or mom, or so and so…that’s it right there.  There was a purpose, and there was a plan, and a morning drill and my day revolved around ME and what I wanted to do.

(Seeing as this rant could go on forever…let me try to sum it up)

BASICALLY…where I was going with this is that I need to come back, go back to school and do something with my life. NOT because we need all that to make US happy, but because I need to do all that to make myself happy – happiness varies from person to person, and how we’ve been conditioned and our outlook.

Self-actualization and inner satisfaction: much needed at any stage in your life!

InFamous. (Tragedy of the Irony.)

She puts on her headphones and pulls her hood up over her head, and starts walking. Nobody notices her – she’s not a loner, and she’s not popular. She simply exists, but unlike the other girls in her school who are terrified of never being noticed, she doesn’t even notice not being noticed, she just likes being who she is, for her. There’s a cute guy looking at her, but she doesn’t notice him because she’s lost in the music.

But soon, people start noticing her. They start believing that she can succeed, and she starts to take notice, and she doesn’t trust it one bit. She still doesn’t rely on anything except herself, she still does it all for her. She’s afraid, deep down. She’s afraid because this is all new to her and she’s not accustomed to having someone in her corner.

But that’s the way that things go, and that’s the way that the world works. It’s not too long before her guard gets dropped, and the people who want her to succeed starts to grow. Before long, she puts on her gloves and walks out to applause. Where before, there only lay empty chairs and broken memories, now stand a force a hundred million strong, waiting to see her win. Wanting to see her win.

She becomes something special, something adored. She is the girl that they all want to be, the woman that they all need to be. But here is where the ironies begin. She begins to lose all her inhibitions, all her fears, in the spotlight of adoration. She begins to forget what it is to be human, and she begins to think that she can become something more than what she has always been.

The irony is, that she has never realized how lonely she has always been until her footsteps are accompanied by the sound of thunderous applause and pats on her back. She has never realized how quiet her life has been without the chaos of cheers. She has never understood how much it means to win until she was told by all these people how much it meant to them.

You made me who I am, from the words you said. 

She walks in fame now. She fears nothing. She loves everything.

And then we come to the next irony.

They look at her, and they can no longer recognize themselves. They loved her at first, because she could have been them, and they could have been her. She was a general creature of fame, a role model that anybody and everybody could one day be. They wanted her to leave behind her fears because her fears were not the same as their own. They wanted her to leave behind everything that made her who she was, so that they could be more like her, and now, they look at her and she has become a shadow of herself.

She is no longer a human, she is a legend. A creature. A monster. She is not a person anymore, with fears, beliefs and pain. She is something that they can never be.

And they hate her.

Nobody understands exactly how it happens. Some say it’s when there’s too many people your corner, some will shift just to be different from the crowd. Some say that it’s because they realize they can never be her, and thus they want her to fail. Some say that it’s merely because they’ve had enough of her, enough of who she is and what she stands for.

But soon, fame will turn to infamy. Brilliance turns to darkness. Whereas once, they loved who she was, now they are afraid and full of hate. They do not want her anymore, she reminds them of nothing except what they will never be able to become, and what they do not want to become.

The irony is, that she has become someone that she has never wanted to become, for them, and they do not want any of her. They want to see her fail now. The jeering crowds, they call for her blood. She can smell it in the air. Where once lighters waved, and tears fell, now hold torches and sneers. Where once hands waved, fingers point. Where once autographs were given, they brush past her and she stands, alone, far more alone than she has ever been before.

But they have changed her, permanently. She no longer fears anything. Now the loneliness returns, but it returns with a basis in vengeance, with a Ph.D in hatred. It comes back as a response, as an ego saver. So what if they don’t like her? Forget them, they mean nothing. They’re just stupid people, right?

She is who she is now because of them, but she hates them and they hate her, and all you see now are the sparks that fly from the bottom of her shoes as she tries to outrun the past where they used to raise her up on high, where they used to say her name with a smile and not a frown. She does not need them anymore than they need her, she says to herself. And she comes to a reckoning, where she believes that they are all just haters. That she is on top, and she is hated because she is on the top, and that there is nothing that anyone can do to stop her from being on the top. She doesn’t even realize, not then, perhaps not ever, that she is already on her way down, that she will never be at the top again. That there was no top to begin with.

That it was all an illusion in her own mind.

And so, she does not win. She begins to taste the bitter taste of defeat in her mouth, and she begins to realize that no matter what, she will never be the person that she wants to be, that person that everyone seemed to love so damn much. And she will die, with that knowledge, that there was a day that she used to do it just for her, when nobody knew her name and she had not the slightest interest in fame. When the money meant nothing and her self esteem was all she had. When the fears used to eat her alive, every single day, and she used to hate it. And maybe, maybe if she’s lucky, she’ll come back a ghost, to haunt the places where she had once lived in fame, and then in infamy.

Maybe, maybe, maybe, if she’s lucky, she’ll come back a ghost, walking silently among the grass alongside the asphalt where she once trotted casually in the afternoon sun, her hands trailing alongside, brushing the tips of the weeds. She will pause and look at the world, look at all she left behind. She will stand and cry over the bonds that she broke and the ties that she severed.

And then, she will realize that there is nobody around. And she will walk from the land of the dead, back to reality. Her shoes, her headphones and her life will be waiting there for her, as long as she goes back to the place where it all began. It will begin again, this time, in a different place, in a different time, in a different world. In the light of the burning aftermath, she may yet find her way to peace again. Sometimes, she will look back on what her life gave her. And she will realize that it is pointless to run into the inferno. She will realize that there is nothing to take but light and warmth, and to move on, onwards.

They look, but they do not see. They hear her, but they do not remember. As the beat pounds on, as the world moves fast and time moves slow, as their eyes glaze over, they do not even recognize her as she trots along, quietly living for her and only herself. She finds them where she left them – back before she became the person that she never wanted to be. She has seen her future in her past, and she will not let her past become her future anymore. She picks up the sweater and pulls it over her head, and then loops the headphones underneath. She doesn’t know where she’s going. Maybe back to being famous. Back to being infamous. It doesn’t matter. All that matters, is that this time, she remembers who she was, who she always wanted to be.

She puts on her headphones, and pulls her hood up over her head, pushing her hair to the side. And she starts walking.

Hidden Horizon.

We all have our places that we go when we’re hurting or we need to be alone. Sometimes, it’s the middle of a football field, sometimes it’s laying at halfcourt. For some, it’s the edge of humanity, where the road meets dirt and the grass meets fields. For others, it’s the center of humanity, where the world never sleeps and the streets are alive and run with every colour in the wind.

I sit behind the wheel of my truck, and i’m waiting. I’m in a place where I know that nobody will find me, where I will run into no one that I know and see nobody that I care about. I am nervous, nervous. Nervous so bad.

I’m a wreck, again. Something about exam time, and how most of the bad events in my life seem to correlate with exam times, that just reminds me of the past, the present and the future. I’m tired of thinking, I’m tired of being stressed out. I want someone to understand me, I want someone to understand what i’m thinking, I want someone to feel how I feel, to see how I see, just for one second.

The sun is setting. I can see the light shining through the trees as I wait for the stoplight, and the song on the radio isn’t pleasing anymore. I’m starting to hate this bullshit that they’re always playing, I just want to relax, please God, I just want to get back to my center. Come on, come on. Fuck it, let’s see if I can’t find something on my phone.

How about a little test drive, down by the lake? There’s a place I know about, where the dirt road runs out, and we can try out the four wheel drive…

Whooo. Okay.

I used to come back here to run away from the devil. These back streets and one lane roads of the country that we seemed to forget that existed right behind us, they’ve seen the worst of me. I get across the bridge, the water flowing right under my truck, the steady clanking of the metal under my tires letting me know that i’m safe in the arms of the road. I get out of my car, and I stand on the bridge, and I know that no one will come along and make me move. All I can hear is the water and the faint music from my truck, and a bird chirping in the tree above me.

I used to get back here to get away from her eyes. I never told anyone this before, but I suppose that this is as safe a place as any. It was her eyes that bothered me the most, I think. It’s fucked up, there’s a scene in that movie, 50/50, where the guy thinks he’s going to die because of his cancer, and he’s sitting in the car, and he just starts screaming. And the guys in the theater start laughing, because it’s one of those uncomfortable moments where you wait for the music in the background to tell you whether it’s okay to laugh or not, and the music never comes, so you just kind of chuckle to yourself at how quasi emotional it all is, and I mean really, who just screams in their car? It’s funny, when I saw that scene, I knew as soon as he was about to do it, what he was going to do, and that one scene threw me off for the rest of the night. Maybe it’s because I’ve been there, I’ve walked that road, to understand. I’ve been that guy, screaming in his car at the top of his lungs so bad that he went hoarse for a few days.

I used to get away back here because I secretly hoped that someone would hit me as I came around a corner and i’d be done and over with.

Now i’m here for an entirely different reason. I get back into the truck and keep driving, the gravel crunching beneath the weight of the tires, and I open it up a bit, rolling along at half the speed limit, the street widening every minute.

I’m an asphalt cowboy, born to run underneath the stars, pay no mind to my lonely heart, I just ride…

There’s no one on this road but me. But that’s okay, because I know that civilization is just back the way I came, and I’ll never let it worry me that there’s no one around. The road looks so wide and open, and I can’t help but slow down to a crawl. I want to enjoy this, I want to keep this slow, because i don’t know the next time that i’m going to get to do this. I don’t know where I’m going. I found this place not too long ago, and it’s the best place in the world because it’s right behind my house and i’ve never really explored it beyond my occasional drives. I just pick a direction, and I drive. I never really know where i’m going. I just love the drive.

The road rises to meet me even as I hit the gas, and speed off, the tires moaning under the weight of the car, a soft touch left and the road tilts, and oh, it’s no one but me out here. The sun is setting now, and i’m driving into the sunset, and I can feel the sun hot on my arms and it feels like a dose of happy, a long needed one.

This road doesn’t look like all the other ones. There’s something about this road, that tells me that it’s different. But that’s okay. I already know how – it’s because for the first time, I don’t know how it’s going to end. And that’s fine really, because I have no intention to find out.

I drive fast now, the fields flying by. And for the first time, i’m not trying to outrun my past, I’m trying to keep up with my future. I can see the road now, and this road is familiar, i’ve been here before. I remember what seems like a generation ago, just a few months ago, just a few weeks ago, in reality, I was here, walking on this road, my truck a long way behind me, and I could feel my eyes watering as I thought of all I had been through to get there once again, since that day. I can see the road now, I can feel the wind now. It’s colder, they’re both colder, but they’re still the same roads, the same wind that have seen my tears. I have been to countless places, I have seen countless things. I have done countless things, but this, this here is something special. It is so far, yet so near.

These streets, this dirt, this road, this asphalt, they have my tears, my sweat, my blood. The ground here, is sacred ground. This is my ground. This is where I’ve grown up, all at once. This is my stomping grounds, this is my football field, this is my court. This is my field of gold, this is my center of humanity. There is no one here but me and the asphalt, and all the things that it’s seen. All the memories i’ve shared with it, when I didn’t want to talk to anyone, i’ve shared it with the asphalt. Whether it was my cheek pressed up against it, laying on the floor after another beat down, or roasting it, flying along at four times the speed limit without a soul in sight for miles.

I have loved many women, but not nearly as much as I’ve loved this. I stop the truck, and I get out, and sit on the ground, my back pressed up against the front, the heat from the engine bathing me as the sun finally gets beaten by the night. It’s getting late, and I should be getting home, but I love this place too much. I don’t know where I am anymore. It’s all the same to me, the same road, stretching for miles in whatever direction I want it to.

It’s funny, I’ve told women about my past. Only seems to make them act stranger around me. They like me before, then they suddenly don’t, and i’m in the friendzone. Or they don’t like me before, and then suddenly, they want to know everything that’s going on in my head. You’re the only one who has never judged me, and that’s why i’m only the real me when I see the real you.

It’s funny, but I don’t think i’ve ever meant I love you so much, but I do. I really do. It sounds stupid, but I don’t think I really want a girlfriend right now. I don’t feel certain about it anymore. I don’t think I want a girlfriend at all. It’s all so fucking messy. So many emotions, so many things that I’ve got to say, so many things that they want to hear or don’t want to hear or want to be a part of or don’t want to be a part of, and that’s if you actually manage to find a sane one that likes you, and that you know will work out, and don’t even get me started on that.

No, you’re the only person in my life who has never asked me for anything but honesty. It’s fucking strange, but every single relationship i’ve had since I fell in love with the road has been based on that relationship. Honesty over all. That’s all I ever really cared about. And that’s all the road ever really cared about either.

The sun is about to dip below the trees, so I should probably finish this up.

I go out here when the wind blows cold or too hot, and my brain gets all fuzzy and I can’t remember the man that i’m supposed to be, the man that I love. It’s not easy, being me. I’m not trying to bitch and moan, just trying to say that it’s not easy. And this is how I get away, this is my spot. You can’t find me on a rooftop, waiting for you to show up like a romantic comedy. You won’t be able to locate me on the beach, waiting for the waves to come up and lick my feet, and you won’t be able to see me in a park, reading and bathing in life.

I’ve done those things, and they’re all really fun. Hell, I love them all. But the one thing that i’ll never lose, is this road. I have wept on this road. I have said things that I know that it understands. There is no one that will ever be able to fully understand me as much as this asphalt, under my fingers, warm and cold all at the same time. There is no one who will be able to sympathize as much as the dirt on the side of the road, the fields of gold as I drive by them, the lanes in the road as they fly by, one by one in a constant blur. And i’m okay with that.

People have always thought that writing is my best ability, that how I love writing. Yes, I love writing. Yes, i’m fairly decent at it.

But driving…now that’s my first, last, and only true love.

I guess, in the end, i’m just a Ghost Rider, huh? 

On my highway, I missed some signs, and left a damn good love behind,
I see her in my rearview like a Ghost.

On my highway, I’ve broken down, and cried when no one else was around,
And prayed that God would save my soul.

Yeah, I’ve paid a lot of heavy tolls…

But what a feeling, chasin’ the sun,
Livin’ my life like it’s shot from a gun,
Yeah, what a feelin’, out on the run, drinkin’ up the rain, soakin’ up the sun…
Laughin’ a little bit more with every mile.

Oh what a freedom, racin’ the wind,
Not lookin’ back, not forgettin’ where I’ve been…
Dyin’ to know what’s around the next bend,
Smilin’ as I watch the years roll by.

I’m movin’ on from my mistakes…

I’m learning how to take it day by day…on my highway.  

Life – As We Know It.

Life – As We Know It.

I feel that at times life can be absolutely unexplainable and random…and yet, here we are living each moment one day at a time. I’d even go as far as to say that, that in itself is the hardest conceivable task that we do – to live, survive, to exist.

As Anton Chekov put it and brilliantly I have to add, “Any idiot can face a crisis – it’s day to day living that wears you out.”

So why are we even here? Perhaps for some of us religion does half the explaining, and for others dwelling upon the matter. Maybe all of us as superior species do in fact have a purpose in life, I’d be willing to bet we do. I couldn’t imagine one without purpose. I don’t know about everyone else and I can only speak for myself. I know that sometimes when I’m down and the world makes no sense, and I wonder why we’re burdened with the discovery. I wish I just knew how my life was going to turn out, what I have to do, how I have to do it, how my actions will play out and at the end just see it all working out perfectly. It just seems as though the key to life is so visible and yet so out of our reach. Sometimes I wish I just knew, I mean what’s the harm right. Why can’t we just know? Of course we wish the answers to these, and perhaps many more, were conveniently served to us on a silver platter – it would eliminate several obstacles and save us from the emotional trauma.

I mean you’re here one moment and for all you know the next you’re gone. There is no life security what so ever. You can walk out of your house and get hit by a car, stabbed to death, shot or die a natural death. I don’t meant to sound sadistic pessimist, but it’s true right? No one really knows when they’ll take their last breath.

I don’t know what I want from my life, and I haven’t gotten it all figured out yet…and that scares me, because I’m only getting older and I just think by now I should be well on my way to wherever it is I should be going – I just don’t know where that is yet, you do see the dilemma here right?

There are things that I don’t know, that I want to know and that I know I will only find out with the passage of time. But what I do know with certainty is that I don’t want to die an unlived life. I don’t want to die with regrets, I don’t want to die a meaningless death, and I do not want to die as someone that I am not proud of and as the kind of person that I don’t want to be.

All my life I’ve been conditioned to believe how important education is, among other things…and I’m not a rebelling against the belief of how imperative higher education is in today’s world. That is definitely not what I’m doing, I’m all for education. What I’m saying is that all these years everyone focussed too much on education, graduating, grad school, getting accepted, finding a job, networking, and being someone and ignored all the little things. And let me just say this: little things add up. It’s the little things that mean the most.

In school we were taught to count by twos, and conjugate verbs. We were taught the mistakes of the past and the achievements of those who have come before us. We were taught to revolve our lives and futures around the massive realm of education.

How come we weren’t taught to be happy, lead a happy life, be better people, build healthy relationships? Why weren’t we taught emotions, love, the path to self-fulfillment and values?

Essentially what we’re taught in school is that education means work, and work means money and money means luxury and happiness. Of course none of them will ever admit it, but that’s the core idea isn’t it? Obviously this a controversial topic that could be debated, but that’s beside the point. I don’t want to revolve my life around grad school, getting a job, building a career and chase money all my life. I want to be a better person, have a family, enjoy the little moments in life…essentially be happy.

Be happy.

It actually is harder than it seems.

We spend so much time working towards a future, a career, and a life of luxuries, but for what? It can all be taken away from us in a snap of a finger. Why invest and secure our future when life itself has no security, no insurance, absolutely no guarantee that you’ll wake up the next morning. If there’s anything that I have realized it’s that half the time we’re chasing after things that don’t even matter and tend to ignore and overlook the things that do. Perhaps the greatest irony in life is that the more we achieve the more we lose. The more we have, the less we’ve got to lose. With every step forward we take two back. There’s more abhorrence then there is love. Nice gear and improved quarters but less homes and atrocious values. Things that should matter sadly don’t and things that shouldn’t are constantly emphasized… Paradoxical contrast, no? Life’s a gamble…the least we could to for ourselves at dusk is promise ourselves a life of no regrets for if and when we awaken at dawn.

– R