The winds in my life are shifting direction; there's promise of the storm on the edge of this breeze. Growing up.
When I was a kid, the phrase 'growing up' was chock-full of promises and dreams - it was a cup full to the brim of hope. Mainly a hope for escape. A hope for freedom, of fulfilled dreams and love and happiness and of a future overflowing with possibilities.
Now I am a few years older, and the contents of that cup seem to be evaporating exponentially faster. 21, and no plans. No plans for plans. I’m young now! I should be having an adventure somewhere, not keeping track of bank accounts, school, rent to pay, work schedules to adjust, team duties to fulfill, advertisements to sell, errands to run, figure-out-what-classes-to-take-so-I-can-g
I want adventure, I long for adventure...but where do I go to find it?
I'm sick of bullcrap answers like, "look around".
Yeah,yeah, they tell you "you're young and it's all going to come together" - well they told me that I'd lose the “baby fat” when I was 7. Didn't happen. They told me that I'd figure out what career path I wanted in high school- I still don’t know. They told me a lot of things. I don't want to be 50 years old stuck in a job I hate wondering what happened to me.
I feel sometimes, like I am about to jump out of my skin.
This is nothing new. It's a dull, insistent, terror that is always lurking in the back of my mind and manifesting itself in obscure Freudian nightmares, but here I am, freaking out, clacking away at my keyboard in horror and hoping some solution will come about this way.
For a time, I went through this rebellious little phase where everything the government told me was a total lie. I refused to believe in the moon landings. Nothing would convince me, until three undisputable pieces of evidence came about:
- Radar images taken by a satellite reveal matching landscape to the photos taken during the original moon landing.
- When the space shuttle lifted off from the moon, the force of the expulsion disturbed the dust on the surface of the moon- since it has less of an atmosphere, not all of the dust settled, leaving a visible pockmark on the moon’s surface.
- There are footprints left by astronauts there; since the moon has virtually no weather, and there’s no life out there to mess with it, the footprints will remain for hundreds of years.
I am deeply terrified that my life will amount to nothing, and I will leave no mark on this world. I am no Mother Teresa or Gandhi; it’s safe to say that people like them left craters. I just want to leave a footprint.
I've lived a pretty good life thus far: I've seen the vanishing glaciers in Alaska. I've been to New Orleans several times and experienced New Years on Bourbon Street, and the ghetto on the 4th of July. I've been touched by Katrina. I ride avidly and I've met some interesting people, lived in interesting places, and had interesting jobs because of it. Homeless people have shared with me their stories. I've prayed all night with a group of strangers. I've slept in the middle of the field with 1500 other people in protest of using children as soldiers, and I've given a speech about it and had the honor of opening minds and activating people. I've experienced a wonderful horse for six years who trained me as I trained him. I've spent hours playing with homeless kids. I’ve broken the law. I’ve kept secrets for friends. I've stage-managed plays. I've been broken down by God and built back up. I've walked away and come running back (again and again). People have taught me. I've taught people. I've trained horses. I harassed John Linder enough to get a response. I've let go of things. Past and present relationships have turned me inside out. I've lived in the city, in the country, on a farm, and in the 'burbs with friends I've traveled state to state to compete in horseshows for free that I would not have been able to have paid for, ever. I've spent time with friends who will never, ever, ever leave my heart. I played hackey-sack with strangers. I get to experience communion with the creator of the frickin universe. I've been blessed.
I have not: swam in the English channel, ridden an elephant, fallen in love, backpacked - anywhere, worked as a trail guide in Colorado, seen the grand canyon, hiked the Appalachian trail, seen Europe, eaten spaghetti in Italy, eaten pizza in New York, been to the opera, worked in a shelter for trafficked people in South America, Africa, or East Asia, danced at a ball, ridden a bike around the French countryside, been to the leper colonies in India, seen Australia, seen the aurora borealis, seen a whale up close in the wild, touched a tiger, learned Ballet, learned to play an instrument (well), hung out in China, performed grand prix dressage, shown over fences, written a book, been on a safari, been in a real rainforest, worked in the zoo, worshipped in Israel, visited and stayed with friends/family for a long period of time, spent the night on the beach, lived with abandon, loved recklessly, and et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
I could go on and on about what I want to do. But my painkillers are kicking in.
I am deeply terrified of life passing me by. I am deeply terrified of not trusting in God and using the gifts I have been given. I am deeply terrified of blowing yet another worthy man away out of fear and never falling in love.
I want to look back on my life and smile... if I don't make it to old age, that's fine. I won't let myself settle down until I've lived it up a little. God, don't let me settle down until I've made this life worthwhile.