Sometimes in the name of staying clear of the danger zone we tend to be too conservative with our goals; we draw a line that we don’t want to cross to ensure our survival and we forget that we are individual human beings that have accomplishments and passions to pursue.
I remember being 13 years old and being asked to write what we wanted to do in life. I and several of my friends wrote about what they didn’t want to do in life: never get arrested (or at least not arrested as an adult), to live past 24, to live past 16 without fathering/mothering a kid, and to not OD. The list was an example of pretty basic survival goals that never went beyond an actual desire to bring to fruition the individual dream that lives in each and every one of us.
For a long time this was enough; I just didn’t want to fall into the wrong steps. I wanted to live long enough to move out of my neighborhood; I wanted to live long enough to help people; I wanted to live period. But things change as you mature, as you become a parent, and as you get out of your environment that keeps a mental helmet strapped around your head. The restraints start breaking apart and you start to allow yourself to dream that there might be something out there for you to pursue- something or someone that you can contribute to and it scares the bullshit out of you.
I’m 26 and as another year rolls along I feel stronger, healthier, and more frightened than I have ever felt before. There is no match, in my opinion, than the real fear that has crept inside of me now that I have made it well past 24 and well past the basics of my survival list. I’m not 13 anymore; joking about living another 10 years if I’m lucky; I am an adult that has cleared the hurdle and is now expected to take the next leap. What do you do once you have fulfilled your own expectations? Many of us have entered the territory of our dreams – the land of “what if” – and we should not forget that we are capable to take that dream and run with it without looking back.
Reflections can be cathartic; they can remind you of where you were and how far you have moved forward, but we should never allow the past to shackle us and keep us prisoner to our own mind – break through and run with it. Run towards what lays before you, run towards the possibility of happiness and drop the guilt of shedding your old skin.
I write this at midnight on a Saturday night because the thought occurred to me that it’s not only me that feels that I owe something to the inner me, the old me, many of us might feel the guilt of being happy. Many of you might feel that you do not deserve to be happy but you do. It’s as simple as the sun rising every day and as long as it sets every evening I am going to keep walking and running towards my happiness and keeping it in my grasp even if I am well past accomplishing the items on my “To do or not To do” list.
You have to go out and do something with your life. Don’t allow time to pass you by as you idly hide in a corner and keep playing the same tune.
With that note – Happy New Year