Saturday, April 16, 2011

if only i had a timemachine

dear high school stephen,
there is so much i want to say, but a lot i don’t because in life sometimes you have to learn the lessons the hard way. people can try to teach you, and beg you to change, and hope for the best but at the end of the day you have to learn the lesson.
you are absorbed with the opposite sex, but honestly you are not going to end up with any of them, actually you will lose track of everyone you have known from this era of your life except for a few people… and those were your guy friends. instead of trying to hang out with the opposite sex all the time why don’t you concentrate on developing meaningful long term friendships. trust me there is no point to attempt anything else.
popularity is the most pointless pursuit you could ever honestly strive for in your whole life. you are going to look back at these days with near disgust thinking of the clothes you wore, the clubs you joined, or didn’t join, the people you hung out with, or left behind, all in attempts to do what? popularity dissipates as soon as you throw your hat in the air at graduation. it vanishes within mere seconds. like aforementioned you will NEVER see these people again, a year after you graduate you will be off to college and perhaps see one person from your old school walking the opposite direction on campus. you won’t even say a word, just nod. do me a favor and wear a pink boa and sunglasses to school. rid yourself of caring what other people think. you are not your status.
do you remember all those nights where you spent with your family and you wished you were out doing anything but? guess what, now you wish you could go back in time and spend one more weekend night eating pizza and watching a movie with them. popularity is extinct, the friends you knew then have moved on, the ‘cool’ places you hung out at closed down, and all you have now is your family. never ever take them for granted. actually… spend more time getting to know them individually. they all turn out to be amazing people. and don’t take for granted your grandparents, your really really going to miss them after they are gone.
confidence. you have none. and i don’t know how to teach it to you through a letter. why not is all i am saying. why not try things you have never tried. why not go places you have never gone. why not just say yes. why not stay up all night. why not just walk up to them and introduce yourself. why not learn to play the guitar better (hint hint), just try it.
this world is small, trust me, it is so very small. new york city rests in the palm of your hand, los angeles, the ends of the earth, all of it is obtainable. don’t be intimidated by what you can’t see because honestly, the opportunities are endless. just go. just do. if you want to move anywhere you can make it. get rid of your small town mindset as soon as possible. you are not trapped, you are not bound to any one town.
you are not bound by your grades. don’t think you’re a failure because your report card indicates it so, who can test creativity? who can put a grade on ambition? your smart enough, and with enough perseverance you can make it to grad school if you wanted. all in due time.
your future self, stephen

Thursday, April 14, 2011

our ever crumbling little empire.

you have no idea, then again i can't say i have much of an idea as well. we believe because we can look at it from the outside and watch your glass world crumble and know exactly what we would do in that situation because, well, were not in it. we are all so quick to judge on other peoples little empires.

i once saw an article on a politicians wife who decided to stay with him even though he had cheated on her and the scandal became public. she stayed with him out of love and with the willingness to forgive this atrocious behavior deep into a vow. and yet the comments that followed the article were perhaps worse than the acts committed. the people ripped her up, calling her weak, and not a real woman. how many of these people have walked in her shoes, had the years of committed relationship, or knew all the details. but because we sit perched high above it is so easy to summarize her life and feel we know best as for what she should do next for her and her children.

i do it to. when i see a homeless person i always want to know how they got there, what decisions did they make to end up there, if any. i assume that it had to do with a drinking or drug problem, and i look down at them and say 'well just quit!'. but i have never done heroin, and have no idea the death grip that it has on its subjects. i don't know there background, i don't know what mental capabilities they may or may not possess. it is so much easier to say 'get a job' then 'let me help you find one'.

next time you silently stare and assume, judge, and pass a verdict on another human take a second to create a backstory in your head. were they abused? perhaps that is one of the many reasons they ended up selling themselves on the side of the road. are they drunk out of their mind again tonight? perhaps there was a massive family tragedy in their lives and that is their only coping mechanism. instead of declaring them all helpless see if you can help.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

how very fragile.

whether we understand it or not this life that we have is so fragile. i look around at the world today and see so many natural catastrophes and wonder how they came to be, and why now, and how is it that with so much technology they could not foreshadow this coming. it could happen any minute to any one of us, and yet there are days that we wish would hurry up and end.

sometimes i let my mind wander to the events of the day of a person who loses their life. they wake up, like every other day and brush their teeth, put on their favorite t-shirt, have a bowl of cereal, and on their way to work they stop at the gas station to fill up. then it happens. out of nowhere, and when they woke up just hours before they had no idea.

i heard that if our planet was one degree closer to the sun we would burn and if we were one degree away we would all freeze, how fragile this world really is. who can account for mother nature the beautiful sunrises and the storms that brew in the evening.
this is not a depressing post, at least it was not meant to be. it was meant so be a breath of fresh air, to sit back and take a look at everything you have, everyone you have, and appreciate it all. the good and the bad.