Back on the farm were early mornings and early risings and out of bed at the count of 20. The beds themselves were nowhere near comfortable nor was it comfortable to sleep in a bunkhouse and accept the habits of other young men.
I suppose the biggest insult was not the squeaking from the bunks when someone rolled or moved around in the night. No, the worst was when the alarm went off. This is when a young man known as the dorm manager would run over to the light switch. He would count out loud in the darkness of the bunkhouse until reaching the number 20. Meanwhile, the lights came on, flickering brightly before the fluorescent bulbs reached full strength.
Here’s to a moment of honest introspection. Here’s to an honest inventory because at some point, and I’m not sure when or if this happens the same way for everyone else, but at one point, there comes a time when a decision is made. There comes a point where the realization of how things are and how we want them to be are incredibly different.
There is one thing I know that I’ve always known, which is the one thing we want is happiness. The one goal we have in this world is to be happy. We spend hours and days, weeks and months, and even years to find happiness. And even if we don’t, either way, we work on this behalf in one way or another. Either we work to be happy or we worry that we won’t ever be.
Over the years, I can say that I have watched good people give themselves away to bad things. I’ve watched people move like moths to a flame and witnessed as they lost to life the same way water loses to a drain. I have seen people with good intentions end up on the street and become something opposite of who they truly are.
On the other hand, I’ve watched as others point and judge and act like a jury to a life they have no understanding for. Then again, I suppose we are all guilty of this, —playing judge and jury, that is.
Somewhere, deep inside of us is this voice
which may sound like a whisper sometimes.
But still, there is a voice within us all.
There is something deep down
and it is as pure as youth itself.
In fact this is so real and so raw
that its presence is sharp like a razor
And it cuts deeply sometimes.
It works this way
because this is the voice that knows better.
Master Sun Tzu once wrote, “Victory is reserved for those willing to pay the price.”
This means victory comes with a price. More importantly, victory does not come without loss or without pain. It takes everything to walk across that finish line in whichever form the finish line may be.
You were small once. You were so small in fact that you used to fit in my arm between my wrist and the inside of my elbow. I can remember this. I can remember the fear and the excitement and the intimidation of being a new Dad.
We often hold ourselves to unrealistic standards. And I’m not sure why.. The truth is no one is perfect and mistakes are common, but still, so many of us become our own worst critic. We can be our own worst enemy.
I suppose this is why there is comfort in the simple idea which says “it’s okay not to be okay.”
At least for the moment, the idea “It’s okay to not be okay” alleviates the pressure we put upon ourselves. This allows us the permission to stall the irrational ideas we have and unplug from the thoughts that punish us the most.
And there’s the labels we put on each other. There are labels in our society and labels we give someone to wear like a generic description that says, “This is me.”
I used to buy into this. I think we all do. I think we all have our own biases and beliefs.
Nothing is really the same anymore. The old town is still the old town and the exit off the parkway still takes me down the same road. A lot of the neighborhood has changed though. Different landmarks have had a facelift and some are just gone. Some of the stores have closed. New ones have opened. The streets are the same but most of everyone I knew has either grown older or moved away. Some of us lost touch and some have grown so distant that we would be unrecognizable to each other now.