I wrote this a little over 10 years ago. I was in my junior year of high school. Reading it now makes me smile, cringe, laugh, and wonder – simultaneously. I know it was only ever shared with one other person, who was also from “this little town in this little state,” so now, in the spirit of baring my roots and tracking progression, I post it here. The words of a 17-year-old trying to figure something out about life.
Yesterday was heaven because I think I figured something out. I figured out life. It wasn’t that I was looking hard for an answer, but it somehow came upon me. It was the day that I figured out that I am a lucky guy, that I should embrace everything that I have and know in this world…everything. I was outside and it was night. I had my back to the cool air and wind, chilling my legs and face. I turned my body into the wind on that icy night and I never before experienced something so extraordinary. Of course, I had felt cold before, but it had always made me long for warmth. Last night, I experienced my life like I never have before. It was the most amazing feeling, like taking in everything that you’ve been missing out on in life. This morning, I woke up and was so happy for being in my bed and to be able to get up and drive to school. I think I found it out. I did.
Laughing is my most favorite thing to do in this life, and if there was only one thing I could ever do, it would be to laugh. Uncontrollable, ravenous laughter, where you stomach starts to become sore because of how much you’ve been exercising it. I am happy that everything makes sense. It’s all a state of mind, and sure, I’ve heard that before, but I never found such redemption in it. It was something and I hope it keeps going. I was about to curse the wind, curse the world and make myself it was not worthy of me. Then I just turned and faced it, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I cannot believe that that’s all it took. Now when I breathe, every time, I feel a tingling because I know that it is so good. Life is so damn good and I don’t see it ever getting bad. I still question things, sure, but it’s so much different with this new way of thinking. I just tell myself that life is such a gift and that everything I experience in a day should be enough for an eternity. And then once you break everything down and truly experience it, even sitting in traffic becomes good. The freezing cold becomes a new experience, something you are glad you can feel, deep down, until you tremble. If there’s enough stuff in one day for a whole lifetime, this new mindset is working. I can feel excitement in it.
Do you know how many days I have got to go? I have so many things to experience and explore. And yesterday it was in my backyard. I was doing a chore that I used to hate, and I turned and faced the icy breeze. Doing something I used to dread and bitch about, I found a new way to live. I found out that if this is me alone and figuring this out, I can’t wait until I see another person. Alone is a breathtaking experience, and just think if you’re with a friend, another human. The other thing is that it was in my own backyard, in this little town that I’ve only left for weeks at a time. This little town in this little state in this little country in this little hemisphere in this world. In this massive planet.
I cannot wait to experience it all. I want to fill my cup up with as much as I can. I want to seize the day. I am finally healed from the wounds of my mundane life. I have been set free from the cage that held me back from capturing the essence of life and that has been keeping me from experiencing it all. I’m glad that I got set free this early in life, I have the rest to live as a free man. I am a free man…with a free soul. Next time you feel it at your back…face the wind.