I am walking through a smoky room. Time does not exist here, I easily accept that. My arms are outstretched but not because the smoke limits my sight. I enjoy watching the smoke bend around and run along my body. Breathing here is so easy. This, whatever this is, is simple. This existence is simple.
As I was working on a free-write, and stopped to let my thoughts flow out for a bit, I noticed the shadow of my arm. I then noticed the hair on my arm cast a shadow as well. Tiny, individual, black lines and curves appeared on my paper now! And I thought, “My god! What an insignificantly small thing to still create a shadow!” It is from that, that I got this:
No matter how small, insignificant, unnoticed, or invisible you may feel, you still have a place here in this world. Your shadow is proof that you exist. It is proof that you have an affect on the world around you. No matter how much of an outcast you may think you are. No matter how isolated you may feel. Wait for that sunny day, and then notice all the shadows that you can. Every person, animal, tree, cloud, structure, etc. creates a shadow. After you have noticed all the shadows, step out into the sun and find yours. You are alike and a part of everything and everyone around you. Even thought you feel small, you still matter. Your shadow is proof of your existence. Your heartbeat is proof of your life. Your consciousness is proof of your ability to create the life you want. There are some dark days out there, and they can last awhile. It’s important to wait for the brighter days. And don’t be like the ground hog, my friend. Embrace your shadow.
Figure it out. Whatever it is, figure it out. If you want to do something, you can. “Where there is a will, there is a way”, is an old and cliche’ saying, but a saying can only become such if it wields truth. You just need to be willing and be patient. We live in an age where information on any subject is available at our finger tips. Let your curiosity lead you. Let the possibility excite you. No matter what it is that you want to do/be/know/etc., you can do it. Who? What? When? Where? How? And Why?
But the first question is: Are You Willing?
Figure it out.
My process of thought, prior to putting my pencil to paper is humorous. It’s like my thoughts zip around in my mind; left, right, up, down, and in-between. A frenzy of words that only becomes ordered when I decide to start writing. After that, everything falls into place, for the most part. It’s as if the words that come to me are predetermined, but the opposite is where the truth lies. These words merely drip from mind to hand in a natural succession. It is said that starting can often be the hardest part. I believe this to be true. I would ramble on to myself, silently, for an eternity if I didn’t force myself to write out a word or two. Because once you start, even though you haven’t reached your destination, you’re on your way there. Your potential has transferred into kinetic, and your momentum is now a force to be reckoned with. So go out and FORCE yourself to take that initiative. Whether that first wall will stop you, or give way like a house of cards to a hurricane. Only effort will tell. Take the initiative. Drag yourself into the gym and let the judgement you may feel from others, keep you from leaving. Spout out a couple of words to that cute girl/boy who’s a regular at the coffee shop that you always go to. Crack open that book you started a month ago, that’s been collecting dust for the past 3 and a half weeks. Just start with a few reps, a few words, a few of the necessary steps that it takes to get the ball rolling. Because taking those few steps forward is like sticking your toes into the water of life, and realizing that the water is a lot more comfortable than you thought. This day, this moment is far too precious for you to convince yourself that you’re better off doing it another time.
Be grateful. Who would’ve thought that the secret to happiness would be so simple, right? Too good to be true? Far from it. Now you’re probably thinking, “But I am grateful”. When was the last time you gave thanks before your meal, and I’m not talking about thanking the server who brought you your food. When is the last time you took a few seconds out of your existence, cleared your mind of all thought, and simply said to no one, “thank you for this meal”? When was the last time you hauled ass through a yellow light, right before it turned red? When was the last time that you you took a few seconds out of your existence to express gratitude for missing the penalty of a traffic ticket, by just a few seconds? Have you ever just been joking around with a couple friends and started to think, “I’m really happy these people are in my life. I’m really grateful they’re here”? Take those few seconds, and tell me that you can’t help but appreciate the company of the people you get to call “friends”. Wiggle your toes. When’s the last time you were thankful for the able-body that you have? This body that allows us to move and dance and be awkward as possible whenever we get nervous. This foot that may tap off-beat, but still feels the music regardless. To still be breathing is a gift. To have the freedoms that we do, is a gift. To be able to experience the good and the bad and feel different ways about both, on a limitless spectrum, is a gift. What we have to do, is what we GET to do. What we’re ABLE to do. Start recognizing the things that make your life the way it is, and simply express gratitude for those things. If we choose to over look being thankful, we tend to forget about the little things that make our life so great. Turns out, it really is the little things that matter most. Thank you so much for reading.
If you were to leave tomorrow, and you could only say goodbye to one person, who would you say goodbye to? It doesn’t matter where you are going or why you are going. All you know is that you may never see this person again. When you decide on who this person is, I suggest that you do your best to get in touch with them. Have a conversation, take a drive, go on a date, tell them how much they mean to you. Do anything to let this person know that their presence, in your life, has effected you. And I suggest you do it now, because none of us know when our last day Here will be.
To live a life of adventure, or at least have adventures, one must BE adventurous. It is unlikely that adventure will fall out of the sky, onto you. You have to create your own adventure(s). Adventure may not fall out of the sky, but if you’re clever enough, you can use the occurrence of rain to run under a tree, or into a coffee shop, or share a taxi with someone. Go someplace that you’ve never been before, even if it’s somewhere you pass on your regular, everyday route. Meet a stranger. Open a book. Adventure is like opportunity’s more frequently visiting brother. They both knock, but will not enter unless you answer their call. Every opportunity is an adventure, and every adventure usually leads to opportunity. Where opportunity may only come around once, every so often, adventure is around every corner. In every store. In every path less traveled. In every person you come across. Adventure is in the most simple of things. Every opportunity leads to adventure. Take the next opportunity to explore just a little farther out of your boundaries. OPEN THE DOOR.
If you’re a poor man, playing a rich man’s game, do you expect to win? The common answer is, “no”. How would I know how to play? Do I have to dress and act a certain way? Could I even afford the ante to enter their game? Why would I have any confidence, sitting at their table, as a challenger?
If you’re a poor man, playing a rich man’s game, how do you possibly expect to win? I am going to win because I have spent hours studying the game. I’ve spent days practicing the game. I’ve observed the players and I’ve taken books worth of notes, in silence. I’ve spent what little I had to compete against them, and inarguably lost, but not without seeing the game from a seat at their table. Now I have knowledge. Now I have power. I take my seat at their table once again, a poor man. They will scoff. They may ridicule. But when I leave my seat, I will push in my chair, a richer man.
Do not be afraid when the rug is swept out from under your feet. Do not be afraid when your walls go up in flames, and your support beams give out, and the roof you’ve limited yourself under comes crashing down. For you are now back on the raw ground of the earth. Here, you will heal. Here, you will grow. And when it comes time to build again, your progress will be steady and true. For you have now established firm roots.
You can not make the stars shine brighter. You can not ask the ocean to be still. You can not get the wind to blow this way or that. Nor can you decide that it is time to stop raining. Acts of nature are not something that can be broken or bent at whim. They wield a mystical dominance over all else. We can beg and plead, kick and scream, cry and shout, and curse the heavens to hell, but the natural course will not falter. But we are adaptable. We’ve learned that there’s a more vivid picture in the sky, out away from the city. We’ve made water sports out of waves. We’ve accepted the invitation of adventure by taking the wind in our sails. To stay dry, we grab an umbrella or remain inside. Some of us even refine our dancing skills under the pouring sky. When we can’t change what’s in front of us, we change how we look at it. Nature is not “set in its ways”. It is exactly how it is. How we handle it is up to us. Whether we dance in the rain, grab an umbrella, or simply stay inside, how we react is our choice. It could be wise to remember this when dealing with people as well.