My thoughts are the crashing waves that pulled me out to sea. It’s as if the light of the full moon awakened Poseidon. Judging by the strength of the current, his awakening was not a pleasant one. The ocean had me in its grasp now. Stealing me from my tranquil shore, dragging me through the coral and broken shells. I bob in and out of the water. Every now and then, strands of seaweed caress my legs, begging me to stay. Each time, their offer becomes appealing. But that sort of stability would be deadly, so I kick and I thrash and I refuse to be enticed. It’s reached the point of sink or swim. I never learned how to carelessly float on my back. So if you see me merely floating along, it’s because life has left my body. That image fuels my adrenaline, but my bursting speed is short lived. I’ve always been poor at pacing myself. These harsh waters have once again become overly-threatening. It’s the space between each wave that pushes me under water, that I am able to quiet these thoughts of drowning. Breathe. Slow down. The water is no longer tossing me aimlessly, but pushing me in the right direction. Breathe. Stroke. There is nothing left but this now. As my energy becomes more reserved, my pace finally develops for the long run. Breathe. Stroke. The ocean has calmed. A man lost at sea, on the brink of destruction, is now headed back to shore.
What does it really mean to “go with the flow”? So many people seem to have adopted this phrase as a way of labeling their personality. “I’m a really laid back, go with the flow kind of person”. Well what does that mean to you? “I just don’t really care about the small stuff and uhh I’m spontaneous and uhhh I’m down for whatever” Okay, some of the right intentions are there, but let’s refine this. First off, let’s kill this “I don’t care” outlook on life. It’s cliche’ and untrue. If you feel that you have to exclaim that you don’t care, then you obviously do. And you should, for it’s a waste of time to deny how you feel. Now, to not let all the worries, whether they be miniscule or major, throw you off your game would be a better explanation. To go with the flow is not to be “down for whatever”, either. I’m going to dust off the rusted and worn relic when I say this but, if all of your friends jumped off a bridge, would you? Again, the right intentions are there, but let’s dig deeper. Going with the flow is about being open to new experiences and not being too nervous to take chances. Understand though, that one knows when those experiences and risks are outside of what they think is best. Being able to willfully decide for or against something plays a major role in all of this. I’ve realized that going with the flow is all about traveling, peacefully, through the current that the individual creates for themselves. No matter what outside force brings pressure on you, you simply roll with the punches and stay adaptable to change. Nothing about going with the flow is about following the crowd, or doing what the majority does. Others may enter your current for a period of time, but you know when and where they make their own route. After all, the fish who fights their current to stay with the school may end up in the belly of the same whale as the school.
Earlier today, I spontaneously arrived at the conclusion that I favor the phrase “my heart was stolen” over “I gave my heart to…”. These are two phrases that I believe most people would view to be the same but to me, are powerfully different, and equally as beautiful. To give your heart to someone means that you have kept a firm grip on it, whether it be because of someone abusing your love in the past, spitefully divorced parents who have tarnished your idea of what love is supposed to be like, fear that the bond you and another share will fade away while you lay there hoping, or maybe you’re just careful. But for whatever reason you may have, you have been keeping your heart close to you in much more than the obvious, physical manner. To give your heart to somebody means you believe that they’ve earned your trust and love. You’ve let all your walls, security measurements, and protocols down so that you may finally embrace another. By my last sentence, it should be apparent that giving your heart to someone is very risky , but to have it stolen, can be much more frightening. To have your heart stolen is hardly, if ever, under your control. It takes a little time, but when it happens, it’s sudden. You don’t even realize that a person is quietly picking the locks to your chest. Maybe you weren’t being careful. You never intended for your heart to be in the hands of another person, but turning back is no longer an option. To “have your heart stolen” and “to give your heart to another person” are both equally beautiful experiences with the possibility to be devastating. Picking a rose doesn’t come without the threat of thorns, after all. To talk on a more personal note: I would much rather have my heart stolen, than to give it up. My heart is well guarded and well hidden, and if you have the skill to take it from me, then for better or for worse, it is yours.
One of the many things I love is singing happy birthday, with a group of people. The “Birthday Song” is a song of celebration, therefore it should be sung accordingly. It isn’t about sounding perfect or being melodically beautiful, or even in key! It is a song that should be shouted into the atmosphere with a goal of the stars feeling one’s passion. Having a song that is pleasant to the ears is always nice, but there is something heartwarming about a group of people yelling “Happy birthday” out of the excitement of celebration for someone’s mark of another year on this earth. It is said that you should never let your emotions get the best of you, but sometimes excitement should not be contained.
Happy Birthday Savannah.
My foot could not have pressed the accelerator down anymore without stomping a hole through the car’s floor. I stopped looking in the rearview window, because the view was the same. Three pigs managing to operate vehicles were hot on my tail. My lover and partner in crime was in the passenger sear, flipping through the money in a duffel bag. “Stop playing with Benjamin and spear these pigs”, I said, opening the glove box and pointing to a loaded pistol. Her rebuttal was, “How about you just lose em already!?” “I can’t seem to shake them.” The car was pushing 130 through outer Los Angeles, I was praying to Hell’s Angels as a last resort of hope. A small cliff, overlooking the Pacific lay ahead. “There gaining on us”, Roxie said. She was one of the strongest females I knew, but her eyes gave away all of her fears. I took a deep breath, stared at her a few more seconds, then to the ocean. “We murdered people back there. I won’t do a lifetime in prison. I think we may need to take a dip.” She held my gaze, processing my statement. Understanding. She didn’t say anything besides, “I love you”, then she grabbed my hand as we headed straight for a turn that would head straight off the cliff. The police sirens were drowned out by my own breathing. I had reached an undeniable sense of clarity about what was about to occur. The car’s steering wheel began to shake with the increasing speed, but the rest of my body remained dead still. Going over the edge was one of the most peaceful things I’ve ever experienced. The drop was not nearly as high as I thought it was going to be. The impact into the water didn’t even shatter the glass, although there were cracks in it. As I regained focus, I watched the car being slowly filled with water. We sank gradually down. I looked over and noticed that I’m somehow still holding Roxie’s hand. I could see it in her hazel eyes that she had expected this fate. It was not a beaten look, but an accepted one. We would either drown or suffocate, or simply be crushed by the pressure of the water. We spent our last breaths kissing each other more deeply than the ocean floor that became our grave.
There have been many times where I have turned myself around and picked up my successful tendencies. There has also been just as many instances where I have found myself back on the beaten path of bad habit. I need to learn to walk more carefully. I become so overwhelmingly motivated that I don’t just turn myself around, I take off sprinting in my new found direction. Having intense motivation is never a bad thing, but this journey is, without a doubt, a long one. One is always more likely to follow through traveling if they walk instead of run. Too many times have I sprinted off in my new direction with the burning phoenix of motivation at my feet, only to find myself back on the beaten path, out of breath and fatigued. I need to learn to take my time, one step at a time. Breathe in. Breathe out. Turn myself around. Breathe in. Breathe out. I have now started my new journey at a steady pace.
Do you really think going back in time would change or fix the problems you’re currently facing? You say you would’ve studied harder? Remember all those times you would brush aside studying to go out with friends to laugh and adventure and forget your stress for a while? Would trading away half of those moments for one higher letter grade on some quizzes be worth those memories? “I would’ve committed to dating so or so if I could go back”. Would you have really? You may feel guilty about cutting them off in the “talking” stage, but be honest now. You don’t know exactly how you feel about getting romantically involved with someone now, and we both know damn well that you were loving the single life back then. “I wouldn’t have smoked for that first time.” You’ve been around that stuff for years. Do you really think you would’ve even stayed away from it for long? “I would’ve done this or that different if I could just got back.” No! You wouldn’t have! If time just rewound itself, then you’d simply live through your decisions and consequences a second time. “Well…yeah, but if I would have known back then, what I know now..” Well isn’t that the whole point!? To live and learn? Life does not stop, and it most certainly does not go backwards. To properly move forward, you have to make mistakes. More importantly than that, you have to learn from your mistakes! Pure knowledge alone is not enough for the child to know that the fire will burn them. Only experience can teach them that.