Memories From the Balcony – An Item at Rest

I never had much of a college experience. Then again, my head was never much for schoolwork, which was fine at the time. 
It was never a thing for me. School, that is.
I never felt comfortable in the social caste systems. I never felt comfortable with the different variations of the crowd. I didn’t know where to fit in. I didn’t know where to sit in the cafeterias or who to sit next to because, in fairness, who you sit with and who you hung around had the ability to alter your social destinations.
To be clear, I defected from the social sandboxes and the cool-kid scenarios a long, long time ago.
I had to do this – if I wanted to be free.

I had my share of bullies.
I returned the serves too, just like a volley or back and forth.
So, yeah . . . I fit in, alright.
I fit where I could but in fairness to the question; was I happy? Was I comfortable?
Is anyone happy or comfortable in situations like this?

I suppose I wanted more.
Who doesn’t?

I suppose I wanted something else for myself, which is not to say that education wouldn’t be necessary.
Not at all.
I knew that you have to know things in order to do things.
I knew the basics. I knew how to add or subtract and multiply when necessary.
I certainly knew enough about gravity and how what goes up must come down.
This happens in life all the time. I knew this.
I definitely knew about Newton’s first law of motion which is that an object at rest, stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion, at the same speed and in the same direction, unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

I knew about this because I was an unbalanced force.
I was both at rest and in motion.
I was heading in a direction that I couldn’t quite understand nor was I able to stop myself. 

But at the same time . . .
I wanted more.
I wanted to see more and feel more.
But more than anything, what I saw was uninspiring.
What I saw was unfulfilling and otherwise uneventful. 

I wanted more. 
I wanted to see more and feel more yet I had no idea how to make this happen.
I was stuck in this quasi-existence, as if to be stuck in a holding pattern or purgatory. 
For example, did you ever fall in what seems like a slow-motion process?
What I mean is you’re falling at a real time speed but at the same time, you are cognizant of the fall. You know it’s happening and all you can do is suffer the experience because you know this is going to hurt.
You’re just waiting for the “ouch” to begin.

Then again, maybe I was too young or too misled by inaccurate teachers.
Maybe this was my angst or maybe this was my rebellion against what I saw. Maybe this was me, refusing to walk the typical lines or to become the common features of what I saw around me. 
I wanted to be a lot of things but the last thing I wanted to be was common.

I didn’t want to be typical or standard. No, I wanted more. 
I did as I was told (at least for the most part); however, whatever I did was clearly done under protest.
I walked the line though.
Under protest . . .
I never saw much enthusiasm in schools or in the classrooms.
I never felt inspired in a classroom setting nor did I ever meet anyone who made me think or desire the need to acquire more in an academic setting. 

I swore that I never wanted to be a boring robot who wakes up, goes to work, goes home and then repeats the process.
I wanted more.
I never had more.
But either way, I knew that I wanted it. 

Maybe this was a factor of my upbringing. Or, maybe this was a case of my environmental challenges.
Perhaps, I didn’t have the benefit of better learning services.
That could be it too.
In fairness, there was only one teacher who made me think that perhaps I was going about this the wrong way.
I’ll call him Mr. Nastri – and I say his name both honestly and respectfully since he was a good man and deserving of this attention.

I have seen what happens when people are unexcited to do their jobs.
In fact, we see this all the time.
We hear about this all the time as well.
We can see this while waiting in line at a cash register at a store – and you know there’s an attitude.
You can see this as clear as day.
You might even hear somebody complain or say “It’s not my fault that you don’t like your job!”
I get that by the way.
I have news though. A lot of people hate their jobs (and themselves) and some of them are responsible for the most valuable things in this world – namely us and our life.

In one form or another, I have been a person in the service business for a very long time.
I have been forced to interact with the impatient, inconsiderate and the unkind.
I have had the benefit of both good coworkers and bad ones.
I’ve met some incredible people with incredible backgrounds who somehow get up each morning, without complaint, and they live their life, they do their job and somehow – they manage to keep a fair temper.
They never lose their shit. And I mean never!
They don’t yell or argue.
They don’t take off to the slander columns that move the machines in the gossip mills or the rumor factories.
I admire them.

I have seen the mighty ones. And I mean the bosses.
I’ve seen them sit amongst their staff, as if to treat them like minions, like a king or queen to the crowd; as if their majesty and royalty is significant enough or so gracious that everyone beneath them looks up with admiration. 

I admit it.
I understand positional bias.
I understand social intimidation and challenges with authority – or better yet, I can say that I understand this when authority is misused or abused. Therefore; I revolt in a sense because the mighty are high on their throne and us below them are simple subjects who serve the royal highnesses. 

I have seen people like this.
I have met with them and heard them talk to others.
I have met people who forget where they come from.
Or worse, I have been introduced to people who never had to scrape or struggle.
They never understood what it meant to have to get up after falling down so hard that your knees aren’t sure if they can support your own body.
I have met with people who have never been tested. To them, life is simple because there’s always someone around to help them out – and to them I say, what a sad life this is
– to never know how capable you are
– to never see yourself as a person who overcame, adapted and improved
– to never see the true sides of life (outside of your own) is no way to live.
At least that’s what I say.
But in fairness, who the hell am I to say anything?

I only know what life looks like from my eyes. 

I used to sit in self-help or empowerment groups. I’ve sat in classrooms and listened to teachers or professors discuss their topics. I’ve watched seminars and listened to webinars about self-care and mental health and wondered to myself if this could be any more boring than it is.

I have decided that I want to live a better life.
I have decided that I need more rays of sunshine, which is fine, because I have decided that should it rain or should the sky turn unfavorable and dark; then so be it.
I have come to the understanding that it is me who has to create light – or life.
It is me who needs to create movement.
I have to find my catalyst.
I have to find my secrets because an item at rest stays at rest and an item in motion stays in motion, moving at the same speed and in the same direction, unless altered by an outside force.

And that’s me, altered by an outside force.
I have been altered by my surroundings.
I have changed due to my environment.
But more to the point, I want more.

I want a trip on a train across my country.
I want to bring my notes and write an entire journal while looking out the window of a fast-moving train.
I want to see the sights change from New York City to the middle of my country.
I want to make this trip to defy an old prediction of mine which was sad (but true).

I used to have a tragic ending in mind for this trip but not anymore.
No, I want this to be the first of many.
I want this to be the spring of information to act like the fountain of youth; in which case, I can be unafraid (again) and youthful (once more).

Do you know what it’s like to be bullied into submission?

  • To never say what you really want or what you really think
  • To never step outside of your comfort zone because fear keeps you a prisoner
  • To want and hope but never do or dare
  • To wish or dream, only to watch them float away like a balloon that lost it’s string

Someone asked me what I think mental illness is.
I say depression and anxiety and all the syndromes and disorders are the internal bullies which can punish a person throughout their entire life.
Always wishing but never doing.
Always hoping but never daring.
Always wanting to be ‘part of’ yet no matter how you try or how you reach, nothing seems to fit or feel natural and otherwise, life is somehow forced, coerced or contrived in some overdone or uncomfortable way.

My decision to step away from the norm are life saving to me.
The reasons why I never conformed or chose to fit is not because I did not (or do not) have the capacity.
I just want more.
I want to feel more.
I want to be more.
I want more than what the typical blueprint has to offer.
I want the sky.
I want to inspire because I know how it feels to be uninspired or unenthused. 

I want more; therefore, if I want more, then I have to make more.
Otherwise, I will only be an item at rest or an item in motion, moving at the same speed and in the same direction unless altered by an outside source.

You are my source.
You who’ve helped me see the light within me.
You are the reason why I am still here and still going.
I suppose this is why I’m here.
I want to be that outside source – to save a life
Just like you saved mine.


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