There’s a song by Bon Iver called “Skinny Love.” If you haven’t listened to it, you should. It’s beautiful. There’s something beautifully tragic about love. When love is lost, the ties cut, and the blood spilled, love is just as overwhelming as when it was alive and well. That’s the danger of love. It’s the most powerful thing known to man but it can be the greatest feeling you’ve experienced or the worst. It can foster life or bring death. It can and will bring you to your knees at some point in your life. Love is an absolute. It doesn’t fade or die off. Love is like a magnet. It requires two poles to pull separates together, otherwise it’s empty and grasping at nothing. Love is a dangerous and blinding force. It can make us do things we never expected and even then look back in disbelief. Love is the most wonderful and terrifying thing in the world. Having experienced it myself, I can’t say it’s always worth the risk, but that’s the thing about love, it doesn’t always give us a that choice.
We are all born sick. We all suffer. We all struggle. What so few people fail to realize is that it’s not what we’ve been through, or even what we are currently going through that defines us. Some people have gone through hell and back just to survive and yet most of the time you’d never know it because they don’t let it define them. Some people have had most of their life extremely easy with minor problems here and there and yet they try and use every single hardship, no matter how small, as a crutch. They lean on them and say “But you don’t know what I’ve been through,” when confronted about their actions. This difference, this decision, it is what makes us who we are. Do we sit back and try to get pity for the things that have happened to us or do we stand up and say “I’ve been hurt, betrayed, abused, lied to, and dragged through most of my life kicking and screaming but that doesn’t mean I can’t control where I step next.” We are not our problems or even our past. We are who we are, good and bad. We alone decide what is next for us. Every step, another conscious effort to move forward, stand still, or fall back. Those who have been through the most, those that are broken, yet still decide to love and keep moving forward, this are the rare gems. Those are the strongest people around. They usually never even know it, but that’s one of the things that makes them great. They just need someone around to hold their hand and remind them that their future is so much brighter than their past. Life simply isn’t about what has happened. It’s about what will happen. History only repeat itself when no one remembers it.
After years and years of being treated terrible by certain family members, betrayed by friends, cheated on by girlfriends, and being exposed to the depravity that is society, I’ve become cynical, bitter, hateful, closed off, and untrusting. I developed these traits as a direct reaction to the negativity I’ve experienced and witnessed. In some ways I’m more obvious about how I feel but in others I’ve kept it hidden. Only those closest to me have been enlightened as to my daily struggle with how I view most people. Having the ability to read people to a deep extent is a very draining thing. I see their core, I see their intent, and I see who they are. I see who they really are. Up until this point in my life I had been so aware of the negative in people that I’ve started to hate them. Truly hate them. I’ve become disgusted at who they are, the way they treat others, and the intent of their actions and pursuits. Tonight (02/15/2015) however, all this changed. I witnessed an individual who contained the most pure sincerity, humbleness, zeal, love, and heart that I’ve ever seen in my life. It was all I had not to be brought to tears immediately. Our interactions were brief, less than 5 minutes. In that time I saw more sincerity and kind-heartedness than the previous 26 years of my life. It gave me a glimpse of what is out there. Of what I could be. Of what we all could be. It showed me that there are still people worth helping out there. It made me want to find a way to change, to alter my views. I implore you to do the same. This was the most eye-opening, life changing experience I’ve ever had. I’m still somewhat in shock and trying to process everything. I don’t expect this will be a quick realization or change but it will be dramatic. I’m not saying I’m just going to magically start seeing the world through rose colored lenses, but I am saying if someone as cynical, bitter, and hateful as myself can take a step back and re-evaluate their entire set of views, so can you. Do whatever it takes to be happy. Don’t care what anyone else says or thinks. Search out happiness through career, education, social interactions, and simply in anything you can. Cherish the good people in your life. Don’t be afraid to cut off the negative influences or inputs to your life. Talk to someone about your goals, realize them. Make plans, set goals, take chances, and live.