People that are close to me have brought to my attention, throughout the last month or so, that I’m excessively negative. That my complaining, whining and otherwise “bitchy” posts are not taken as humor, as intended, but rather as negative insight that garners more pity than some “glad that’s not me” appreciation for their situation. All of you that have built lives for yourselves give me an example of how to live a personally fulfilling life when given the methods and the means. Pardon the heinous grammar, but you give me something to shoot for. You do what you can with what you have. I am significantly younger than many of the people I am friends with and at most a decade under those of who I follow. You have been through what I go through and give me a glimpse into what I can accomplish. There are also those of you who are my age or less, and in some cases you have accomplished more or achieved a higher calling with a greater importance. You are an example as well. An example that can invoke a little jealousy and envy, but also awe. You are all awesome. So awesome, in fact, that I realize I don’t put enough good into this world. Maybe I should give you all the things that I find joyous and appreciate in hopes of understanding.
First off, my status as recovering Catholic leads me to wanting to thank a higher power. Not just one but all. To whomever you pray, somebody or nobody, thank them for me. I wake up alive and breathing with a heartbeat in my chest and control of my immediate bodily vessel. For that I am grateful.
I have a loving and ever-present family in my life. We could always use some more time together. I’ve been a disappointment in some cases. Nevertheless, my blood line carries with it several positive memories and a healthy support system of learning, healing and growing. It is the people I love and love me, my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who are responsible for molding me into the man I am today. For them I am grateful.
There is another ring in my sphere of influence where many of you reside closely as friends. People I’ve known since I was a child and others that came into the picture later on, you’re on my team. While the things you have said or done may not have been executed with the best foresight, I’ve seen and felt your compassion and empathy as well as your desire for rectification and atonement. You have also taught me and helped me understand the world around me. You saw my flaws and horrible darkness as shadows in need of sun. While some of you forced light upon them more brutally than others, your intent was the same. To help. To teach. To inspire change and growth. Some of you have served me as emotional heavy bags and comfortable support couches without asking anything in return. Some of my anxiety comes from having no f$%&ing idea how on this green earth I’m going to get you all back for the happiness you’ve given me. Some of you are close by, hours away, multiple states away and even on the opposite side of our planet. No matter our collective situations or the lives we lead, you’re getting a hug and a smile. If you’re sad or in trouble, you have my shoulder and my sword. It is because of you that I will forever do what I can to serve the order of things. You recognize that I am only a human, incapable of neither magic nor psychic ability in an increasingly capitalist society. We work together, play together, consume together, mourn together and celebrate together. It’s all together. For you I am grateful.
I was granted beautiful talents that I do my best to improve and grow, in search of a final finished product. For them I am grateful.
I was given all these passions in hopes of an opportunity to share with others and make them happy. Sometimes I hate the things I’m good at. They made me no money and gave me no power. I had to learn to love them. For it was Robin Williams who once said “We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.” This is more important now than ever. My job is necessary to sustain my life, and it is for what I give to the world that makes my life worth living. For them, I am grateful.
To expound on this, if you worry that in my rhetoric I may harbor some foreshadowing of violent action, do not do this to yourself. I do not have it in me to intentionally harm another with physical violence. Trust me. Have faith. I was taught very early that inflicting swift, intense violence on another human being is only acceptable in times of immediate and offensive personal danger. This thinking has kept me safe and out of heaps of trouble. For this I am grateful.
I have made decisions both good and bad, that led to happiness and sorrow, health and sickness, safety and danger, sheer boredom and intense adventure, review and discovery, yet still here I am to tell the tale. For this I am grateful.
I can only assume I am a happily content human, capable of building and destroying, that wants the same as everybody else. Life. Should I die, be it tomorrow at 28 or ripely at 108, I have still lived. I have climbed large mountains to incredible summits with limited equipment, raced cars and motorcycles that had no business being on a road let alone a racetrack, jumped out of perfectly good fine, creaky airplanes with 30 year old rigs, survived near death experiences by inches and centimeters, witnessed incredible performances by world-renowned musicians far outside of my comfort zone, helped keep people safe with no experience, helped people in medical emergencies with limited training, met heroes, superstars and villains in moments and glances, attempted to help racists and sexists while reverting my own personal prejudices, and witnessed death as well as fresh new life. Do not cry for me when I am gone, for I am happy in this life and the next. Not every day, no, but more frequently than you’d think. I think it’s because I try not to take life so seriously. You should do the same.
Besides, none of us are getting out of life alive, right?
Trust me and have some faith; I am happy and I am grateful.