Yesterday was my birthday. This brings a close to another year of change. It seems whenever I get to a point in my life where I feel I have things figured out I am taught another lesson that shows me that I really don’t at all. For the most part my life is stable; home, job, cars, and enough cash to not go hungry and to have fun when it’s time. Nevertheless, those are just the surface material factors that make up only a small percentage of my whole life. The majority seems to be my mind. And that is where I find it counts.
I went back to the place that I usually find peace at last week; Yellowstone National Park. For some reason I always seem to find solitude there that I can’t ever fully obtain elsewhere. I don’t know what it is. Maybe the trees? The sky? The mountains? Just the air? Or maybe it’s just all of it. It’s just simple and my mind seems to slow from its usual feverish pace to one that is much more manageable for relaxation. I sat there one night and just looked up, and thought to myself the always intriguing question; “am I satisfied?” Honestly, I don’t know. What do I need to be happy? I know I was happy in that moment, in that silence, in that harmony. But why can’t I feel that all the time when I am home? No other factors were changed other than my geographic location. All the same stresses still existed in my life at that moment as they do when I am home any other day, just this time they were not on my mind.
A few months ago when I was dating a new girl I found myself being increasingly lethargic. I just didn’t feel the urges to go out and see new things or even do much of anything at all. It was a weird small depression for me. It was particularly interesting because I think back across some of my other romantic experiences and I always lived for going on those fun adventures. Not this time. As I look at the relationship, I know that was a partial factor, but I can’t help but focus on the bigger picture that was simply; I didn’t want to do a damn thing, ever. I know that I was frustrated in many areas of my life in those days that have since been changed and I have since witnessed myself, slowly, start to climb out of the slump and rejoin the world with a desire to see new things again. The trip I just returned from helped me reignite that passion for adventure and discovery. I remember now that I like to travel and look at things. I like to meet new people and see new places. I love to spend the hours in my car, just driving towards the horizon like a modern day explorer in my steel ship, charting a course for the unknown with no real plan or destination. I hadn’t done a trip like this in years and I never thought much about the importance of them, but now I think I see why they are important. I now know what works best for me to repair my broken mind, and it’s a journey.
I spoke with an old friend last week who I used to talk to pretty regularly but lately the literal distance between us has bled over into a distance in our communication. We might only talk a few times a year now, which is sad because I have always felt some sort of strange fondness for this person for whatever reason and enjoyed the pointless conversations we’d have through the years. As I sat there and a new conversation began and the usual small talk that then lead to the deeper conversation I was transported back to those days. It was great. After hearing about what she is up to in her own life and the great and happy person she has become and the adventures she is embarking on that will bring her some of the best, if not the absolute best, memories of her life. I felt envious of her, but not in a bad way, in a way that left ME feeling more inspired to make time in my own life for personal discovery and spontaneous decisions. Opportunities like hers aren’t something that most can make, and even fewer ever will. I am proud that she realized that and is taking the chance while she still can.
I will say that professionally last year was the year that I really came into my own. I found my niche and I am far better at it than I ever expected. The last 2 months have really shown that. The feeling you get when you are presented with the official document that shows you have accomplished your 10 year goal in less than 2 is surreal. Through the fog you realize that, you have taken the correct steps that lead to that exact moment of unreal comprehension. You have done it. And you’re proud of yourself. I had a conversation with the above mentioned friend that same evening about confidence, and as I write this right now, I understand that in the moment when I held that paper and my eyes fixed on the words, I felt warmth of accomplishment that I have never felt before. A feeling of achievement that was all encompassing. And I savored it. I have accomplished so much to be proud of in this life. And I have lost it all only to crawl myself from the pits of desperation and struggle back to where I am today; standing tall and proud of what I have forced myself to do all over again with nothing more than my mind and a focused dream of where I want to be some day. I sit here and look out these windows, 1000 miles from where I was born, in a city that captivated my dreams in my youth. I’ve done it, three different times actually. This last time though, I did it completely on my own. With next to nothing to my name and look what I have built with my bare hands. I see people I know struggling and I have to admit that I don’t pity them. The circumstances that surround their own situations have usually landed them there by choice. They expect things to be given to them and complain about how hard life is. They’re right, it is fucking hard. That just means you have to put in extra work to beat its ass. But, when you let that confidence enter your mind that you CAN beat it, you are limitless. I am living proof of this. I have been knocked down hard, but I got back up, dusted off, and pushed harder.
I feel pretty clear on exactly what I want in my life next. I know I don’t currently have everything that I want, but I know I do possess the confidence to get it. I look forward into the future and I am actually happy after working through these thoughts with these words. It’s exciting and scary. The fear pushes me towards the ultimate goal. I walk towards ultimate happiness, a fulfillment that I don’t have now, but I know I can have. I just have to choose the right path and the right people to walk it with me…