The end of one journey, and the Beginning of Another
I met her back in 6th grade. What started as an innocent little crush has now grown into a 6 year root I can’t remove from the back of mind. Even after all these years I still haven’t forgotten her. It’s not like I spend every waking moment thinking about her, like a stalker from those movies that wants a sample of your hair and skin and whatnot. It’s just that she always pops back up in my mind and in my dreams when I least expect it. It’s not a part of me I refuse to let go, but a part of me that won’t leave, and every time I’m reminded of her, an old promise I made to myself resurfaces and I’m once again helpless to abide by it. It’s my senior year in high school and I’ve yet to attend a single dance strictly because of a foolish promise made by a hopeless romantic that said he’d go to none until he had what he had set out for. So with senior ball soon coming upon us, a night that is apparently remembered and enshrined in the mind of every high school student that ever lived, what better way to put a seal on this frivolous journey I set out upon than to miss the apparent epitome of high school experiences? Senior ball might be a night of great meaning to the eyes of many, but it means nothing to a man somewhat willingly tied to his past, and a promise made to himself that hed remain loyal and really with values placed in more suitable areas. Some might say, you’ll be missing a huge cornerstone in your high school experience, but on the contrary, every time I go back to that blank memory I have of senior ball, I’m reminded of a will unlike any I’ve catered for in my life, and what I’m capable of, and through this promise I’ve kept to myself, I’ve grown exponentially in every other aspect of my life. The most grueling struggles in one’s life comes from the ones dealt with in the heart not on the outside. My mind state is what keeps me alive and if there's anything Buddhist ways have taught me, it’s that things only get better, and they have, in ways I’ve never expected. I’ve grown as an individual, and maybe in time ill slowly get over you and your beautiful image oh so deeply engrained into the core of my mind, but I’ll have no problem never having a love life at all. So as I tie the knot on this K-12 experience, I say but one thing, thank you for what you’ve unknowingly done to me as a person and I hope you live a happy life, full of life's bountiful pleasures, Melody Lee.
My needs now go beyond the small things most may say might feel the need to immerse themselves with: material possessions, plentiful friendships and the sort, and the essence of life itself has revealed itself to me, not as a result of an abusive and neglected childhood, the multiple encounters with what should be traumatic events, nor through the burdens of catering for and letting two little children know that regardless of how life is now, the world is never over and I’ll always be there to watch over you, but apparently through an unexpected encounter with a single female I happened to notice back at Sierra Enterprise. Love isn’t about getting what you wanted, its appreciating what gave you those feelings in the first place, and being mystified by what it was in the first place and that the sheer thought of what it was is enough to keep you going regardless of the circumstance. Love to me is really meant to be the stepping stone in the transition to happiness (in terms of love) and knowing that you want to spend the rest of your life with that person not because you love them, but because you are happy with them. This isn’t being made off my own personal situation and experience, it is something we should all take into account. With high school coming to a close end I say that, with those feelings in mind, and a patient, enduring, and Buddhist mind state, I feel that I’ve become a complete person. Don’t be discouraged by those who put you and your accomplishments down because of race, age, or anything for that matter because those words come only from the ramblings of an ignorant and close minded person who’s yet to deal with their own problems themselves. The only viable explanation for such a response could only come from sheer jealousy or an inferiority complex brought upon by the success or accomplishments of others. Those are the kind of people that tell people to do things they’ve yet to apply to themselves. The kind of people that talk about other people’s problems because they’ve to deal with their own. The kind of people that can’t be happy for other people because they aren’t happy with themselves. To truly be happy in life, you can’t seek happiness, as happiness is meant to only be a temporary state of emotion brought upon by a single event. That kind of happiness wasn’t meant to last forever. True happiness can only be brought upon by being content with your life situation regardless of how hard it may seem, because remember at least you aren’t dead or starving in a third world country. Be happy with what you’ve got and you’ll be happy with your life because, whether you like it or not, what you’ve got right now is your life. That kind of happiness is what remains everlasting. No one sets the line for when knowledge and wisdom comes to a person, it simply comes to those willing to seek it. I didn’t have many friends, high school experiences, or memories to go off of, or two parents to watch over me, but I did have knowledge, experience, an ability to see the world beyond myself and the struggles of people all around the world that go beyond my own, an insight to truths, and an undaunted clear mind state that will stay with me for hopefully the rest of my lifetime. So as I plan on traveling the world and living in many third world countries, I’ll keep my discoveries in mind, my will in check, knowledge at hand by my side, and the struggles of many and perhaps if it never leaves me, that one female that, even beyond my own knowledge, guided me on a path to understanding and going beyond frivolous needs and desires. It wasn’t the loyal promise of love that I took that brought me this knowledge, but the unexpected journey that branched off from it that I took that made me realize what in a larger sense people don’t actually need but want, and the things we can stand to live without. The things we feel we need the most such as material possessions, phones, video games, etc, people go their whole lives not having, so what does that tell you, you don’t really need it. You just need to be alive and enjoying it, it being living. The standard for living has been raised in this new era and it’s sad to see people lose sight of what really matters. There is no longer an emphasis placed on sentimentality but rather a focus on practicality, material things and possessions. Complaining about things you don’t have or the way things are will do nothing but make you miserable. The temporary relief given to us by material possessions and the constant time we put in to smothering ourselves in friends and the like and our dependency on them can only please the mind but not the soul. They aren’t the solution to your problem, but a pain killer and a place holder to fill the hole within. Every time you go to bed, and you’re all alone, with no friends and nothing to keep you occupied, you are reminded that you’ve yet to deal with the things you run from the most. There is a fine line between making friends solely for buddies to pass the time with, and making friends only so you can bury and immerse yourself in them so you don’t have to deal with your problems, and the one thing that dictates the boundary, is in the level of dependency. When you feel like you can’t be alone not because you’re bored, but because you’re afraid. Face the past you choose to run from or any lingering grudges or memories, so you can begin your journey to maturity and actually start living what life was meant to be. Not doing so will only prolong your suffering. Accept the fact that you can't change what’s already happened. Refusing to believe that whatever happened didn’t happen, is only a fool’s game and child’s play. It’s like a stubborn child who refuses to admit he was wrong. Take this from the words of a fool himself. I got over my problems because I chose to face them head on. It’s all about what you need to do, not what you want to do and what you need to do is what’s right. Quench the beast which is your past and tame it and make it your own. When dealing with your past, the only thing you can do is accept it. There is no other alternative. Truths are not limited to the minds of the elderly, but is available to anyone who seeks them, those willing to tear down the walls they set for themselves and shattering that little world or "comfort zone" people create for themselves. Knowledge and truth are always right in front of us in our every day lives, its just up to the person to see it and to see beyond their own tiny misconceptions and their own tiny little world. The inablility to see beyond one’s own situation is what makes a person ignorant. Ive gotten over my problems and have come to understand what the essence of life is and what it was meant to be, so now i can go on to live my life, no longer oblivious to the probems that go beyond me and my tiny little problems and no longer oblivious to the world around me. Rather than running from my problems, I conquered them and accepted them as a part of me. Your past isn’t something you should be ashamed of but rather, something you should be proud of, a struggle that you’ve overcome, a battle you’ve won. A badge of honor. Regardless of the near encounters with death and all the beatings I took for the safety of my siblings and my beloved god brother as I told them to hide in the closet while they watched in horror through the cracks in the door as I took the beating intended for many from a deranged aunt, or the isolated quick hits and beatings id take from a drug influenced step father, they’re nothing compared to the struggles of everyday children in third world countries and in fact they made me stronger as a person. I don’t focus on the events themselves but rather what I was supposed to gain from the experience. Fact of the matter is things happen and that’s life, so get over it. People come and go and bad things happen and lingering over and feeling sad for yourself over things that already happened won’t do anything. It might help you get by but it won’t please a troubled mind. After all if you think about it, it hasn’t worked now, and it still won’t work later. People tend to spend more time focusing on the event itself and what happened rather than what they were supposed to get out of it. Those are the kind of people that tell people “You don’t know me,” or “You don’t know what I’ve been through.” The kind of people who walk around feeling they like the world owes them something and constantly bringing up their past or the people that act like they don’t care about anything or the people that take their problems out on other people when really, they’re the ones that feel the most and want the most attention and care. When dealing with people like this its best to ask them,” Its not my job, or anyone else for that matter, to know your past or problems, but the question is, do you know, or are you too busy feeling sorry for yourself to grow up and get over it.” There’s an archetype for all of our problems, certain generic categories that sums up all variations of experiences, experiences that lead to certain behaviors that make it easy/possible to spot what a persons been through. Experiencing an event means nothing if you never pay attention to the message you were supposed to get out of it. The message we’re supposed to get out of life is that s**t happens and the ability to get over things is what separates the strong of heart from the weak minded. It’s not an easy thing to do but it’s something we must all do at some point. True strength comes from being able to accept things as they are and also being able to let things go, not holding grudges. That is strength in character. It’s not weak to let things go, in fact the opposite shows the inability to forgive and that in itself is weakness. Weakness in maturity and the inability to comprehend and understand. The essence of life, to me at least, (I still have to experience a little more in life I think but for now) is to be happy with your life and that you have one to live in the first place. Don’t focus on what you don’t have but what you do, and appreciate it. When focusing on what isn’t yours or what you don’t have or the way things aren’t, you fail to realize and appreciate what’s right in front of you. There’s a flip side to every coin and the night is always darkest before the dawn. Be happy with yourself. You can’t do better than yourself, but you can make yourself a better person. The potential for you as a person is limitless and you can constantly add to your mindset and experiences by staying open minded and learning from past experiences of all people. Try your best not to focus on pleasing others or making them happy. Other people’s thoughts and opinions are outside of your control, so don’t focus on that and rather than focusing on what’s out of your control, focus on what is, like your wellbeing and your own path in life. You can’t allow others to dictate that. The fact of the matter is people can’t be pleased if they can’t even please themselves and you can’t help people that don’t want to help themselves. You can’t please others, but you can please yourself and that’s where it all begins. Pleasing one’s self can only be done through a journey everyone must take personally. One might call it the road to enlightenment, one I think is the pathway to closure and acceptance of the way things are and who you are as a person and gaining the ability to deal with things as they come, and taking things with a grain of salt and being able to forgive and forget. The ability to accept that you can’t change what has already happened so it’s best to let it go and move forward and work on from there. Letting go of anger knowing that holding on to it will accomplish nothing and letting go of the foolish notion that by holding on to that anger, you are winning/ not losing a non-existent battle that only takes place in your mind for in that inner conflict within your mind, you’re the only person who hasn’t moved forward. Getting rid of foolish pride, in an unnecessary conflict caused by only the troubled mind. My father left me alone with my mother when I was around 1 years old, and even after finding out he fathered multiple kids with other families, I still chose to let that anger go because I knew,” Hey, that’s life and its out of my control. Best to let things go and move on. There are too many good things in life to let one event stop me from enjoying life to the fullest. Things might be bad now, but they can only get better from here.” Once again regardless of all my shortcomings, they are nothing compared to the struggles in the everyday live of third world children. Help other people in need throughout the day, not because you want to or because you want a reward, or you expect other people to help you in return and the idea of good karma, but simply because it’s the right thing to do. Good things will happen to people who live their lives virtuous and patiently await its eventual harvest, not expecting it. No one’s entitled to anything, they just happen. With 7 billion people on the planet, it really is foolish to think you’re entitled anything for that matter. It didn’t have to come to you, it could’ve easily happened to your next door neighbor or the animals living around your house, or even little Johnny down the street. Patience is a virtue that reaps many benefits so don’t be arrogant when dealing with life’s beautiful and plentiful harvest. With all these in mind we should all strive to someday be able to dedicate ourselves to a cause beyond simply just living your life. A cause that goes beyond yourself. Something that can make a difference in other people’s lives. From being a speaker of truth, a leader of a charity organization dedicated to their cause and not the profit, to being a counselor at a local high school trying to make a difference in the lives of troubled youth and letting them know that they aren’t alone and that despite their upbringings and misfortune, the world is not over and it’s up to them to make a difference in their lives. I didn’t have many friends, high school experiences, or memories to go off of, or two parents to watch over me, but I did have knowledge, experience, an ability to see the world beyond myself and the struggles of people all around the world that go beyond my own, an insight to truths, and an undaunted clear mind state that will stay with me for hopefully the rest of my lifetime. So as I plan on traveling the world and living in many third world countries, I’ll keep my discoveries in mind, my will in check, knowledge at hand by my side, and the struggles of many and perhaps if it never leaves me, that one female that, even beyond my own knowledge, guided me on a path to understanding and going beyond frivolous needs and desires. It wasn’t the loyal promise of love that I took that brought me this knowledge, but the unexpected journey I took that that made me understand and realize what in a larger sense people don’t actually need but want, and the things we can stand to live without. The appreciation of life itself and not what’s in it. The bare essence of life.