Sunday, May 31, 2009


Note: This was originally written on December 21, 2008 at 6:13 p.m. Like the four posts below this one, I wrote it on Facebook. I recently found them again on my profile. I'm reprinting them here because I'm deleting them off the 'book. Some things are just too personal to let everyone know. It's not fair to the people involved to keep them up there anymore. But I'll keep them here as a record and memory of what I was going through what now feels like an eternity ago.

Nothing in life is guaranteed. Nothing lasts forever.

This is a scary thought. So scary that most people don't want to recognize its truth. Rather than grapple with it's consequences, they live their life in the dark, unwilling to change.

But fate will not let you avoid this truth. One day life will slap you in the face. It's like a wake-up call: the second you realize that the world doesn't owe you anything, including what you've already got.

Nothing in life is guaranteed. Nothing lasts forever. Nothing.

Everything is subject to change. I used to live my life thinking that it was like a photo in a frame, but life is more like a movie. But a movie before TiVo and DVRs. Movies that cannot be stopped, or fast-forwarded. Movies that play in real time.

And you may not like what's going on in the movie, but there's nothing you can do about it. You might like the scene a few minutes ago, but right now you're watching this one. So you just have to sit back and enjoy, or at least do your best to enjoy, the scene you're in right now.

Nothing in life is guaranteed. Nothing.

This doesn't have to be scary, though. It is just as empowering as anything else. Why? Because the inverse of nothing being guaranteed is that nothing is NOT guaranteed. In other words, nothing is off limits. Every day you wake up can bring new opportunities and chances that you never saw coming. Every day can be the day you are reborn or that changes the lense through which you view life.

This is another way of saying that anything's possible, but that's one of those cliche sayings I hate.

Every day you wake up will bring you something you didn't expect. You can either hide from this, fearing the unknown, or you can embrace it and look it in the eyes - ready to take on whatever life throws your way, both good and bad.

So much of life is learning to love the process, the journey, because the destination is never guaranteed. You may dream of a family and kids, but you can't count on it. You may dream of falling in love and living your life with that person, but that doesn't mean it's going to happen. Life cares little about your plans and aspirations, so you have to learn to love the present, more than you do the future.

Today is the day to seize life. Carpe Diem, or whatever you want to call it. Don't wait until tomorrow. Don't wait until it's too late to see all the beauty, passion and joy around you every day. One day life will call everyone's number, and what will matter isn't the grades you got, the number of parties you went to, or the money you made. One day we will all die, and we will realize how precious every second is. The question whether you will be satisfied with how you lived whenever that day comes.

Nothing in life is guaranteed. Nothing lasts forever. Nothing is off limits.

We can either ignore this fact and live in ignorance, or we can let it be the freedom that removes us from the monotony of everyday life.

Ignorance is bliss, but freedom is truth.

It's the little things, stupid

This was originally written on December 10, 2008 at 2:51 a.m. on Facebook.

A smart man once wrote that "sometimes you reach the end and you can’t just go back and start loving the little things."

It's the little things, stupid, that make life so meaningful. A nice pure snow. A cold chill running down your spine. Christmas lights at night. Long walks with no destination in mind. Eating 3-hour lunches just to hang with your friends.

And it's the little details, the quirks, the idiosyncrasies that make you fall in love. The way that one person looked at you. Held your hand. Made you laugh.

The way she could tell what you were thinking before even you could. The way everything just seemed so perfect. How she managed to say whatever you needed to hear.

You can't count on anything forever. It's a sad thought, but it's true. So you've got to learn to love the journey as much as the destination, because sometimes you can never go back and relive the journey and some times you won't make it to your destination.

It's the little things, stupid, that make life worth living. The sunrise. Singing in the rain. Leaves changing color. Making a stranger laugh.

That's all life is really: a collection of little split-second memories and opportunities that all add up to an hour.

A day. A week. A year. A life.

Every one of those boil down to a second. And in every second there is a chance to love the little things all around you.

It's like a wise man once said: Sometimes you reach the end and you can't just go back and start loving the little things.

So don't wait until it's too late to enjoy the little things. Because before you're ready, it may all be gone. It's a sad thought, but it's true.

It's the little things, stupid.

Happiness is a Warm Gun

This was originally written on December 1, 2008 at 12:43 a.m. on Facebook.

I was talking to a friend earlier and we began talking about life and happiness.

We're both going through hard times right now, and sometimes it makes you wonder if you'll ever know true happiness again.

Not I just found 5 dollars in my jeans happy, but the kind of joy where everything feels right all the time. It's like the world is in perfect harmony.

And then the next second, you can't tell which way is up. It's like you have to stop and tell yourself to breathe, or else you might suffocate.

The thought of never being able to attain that perfect happiness is the scariest thought in the world. It fills your mind until it's the only thing you can think about. You can't do anything without thinking about what you're missing.

And all the while you just want that one person who made you happy. The one person who could put a smile on your face no matter what.

And all you want is that feeling of perfect happiness. It's a high no drugs can recreate. It's like you're flying over the world. Complete invincibility and vulnerability.

That's love, happiness, or whatever you want to call it.

And when it's taken away from you, it's like you're living life in slow motion. And it makes you wonder if you can ever be truly happy again, or if you'll just have to settle for finding 5 dollars in your pocket.


This was originally written on November 26, 2008 at 4:12 a.m. on Facebook.

When you base your life - your existence - on one thing it becomes the pillar of everything you do. That one thing defines you and what you stand for.

The only way I know how to describe it involves a house...

...and like any house, it's built on a foundation. This foundation holds everything up. The walls, the furniture, the floors, the roof. Everything is built on that foundation - that belief - whatever it may be.

And you can handle rebuilding a wall, or retiling the floors because it's just one small feature of the house, which is otherwise strong and sturdy. So repainting the bathroom is alright, so long as the foundation is strong.

But when the foundation breaks down, what happens to the rest of the house?

When the one thing you hold more sincerely and concretely than anything else in your life fails, you have to re-evaluate everything else. When the one thing you've been depending on while you've been putting in a new stove cracks, the solidity of everything built on it must be questioned as well. No matter how nice the house may look on the outside, if the foundation is ruined that house will eventually crumble.

So everything that was ever based on this Truth has to be questioned. You are standing in the house and now it seems like it could fall over at any moment, maybe from the smallest push in any direction. It's a scary thought: that the one thing you held as a Truth in your life is gone, everything else based on it seems less legitimate.

You look down and you see nothing to hold up the rest of the house and the rest of what you've built, and so you know that at any given moment everything else around you can fall apart too. And it shatters your world to know that foundation has ruined everything, but there's nothing you can do.

Everything around you seems like a lie too.

So whether or not you like it, you have to re-examine and question every detail of the house to find out what else is true and what else is just going to break.

It's not until you break down the house piece by piece that you can start to rebuild it once again, except this time on a new, stronger foundation.

Starting to rebuild is a scary process, and it can seem intimidating. But it's also a fresh start. A new beginning. A new house.


This was originally written on November 22, 2008 at 7:24pm on Facebook.

It’s funny how fast things can change.

Last week I bought her gifts for her 20th Birthday. She grew up a huge IU basketball fan, so I took her to the opening game of the regular season. I’ll never forget it. I spent the next week thinking of what I should get her for X-Mas and our 2-year anniversary, which is just like 6 weeks away on January 1st. We always said we were going to get married on a beach somewhere on Jan. 1.

I think the best 100 memories of my life all involve her. I remember when we first met at Seth’s house. How we tried to keep it a secret. We would sneak out to our cars and pretend like nothing was happening. At school we acted like the other didn’t exist.

I remember getting up early and watching the sun come up at G-town park our senior year of high school. We would sit there in one of our crappy Toyotas, just talking before we drove to school. We’d do this at night too and would always get kicked out by the cops.

One night we went to the park by her house and sat there listening to music. We found a half-empty wine bottle in the back seat and just sat there talking, listening and drinking. She understood me like no one I’ve ever met. From the first time we started talking, she just got me. We just seemed to click. We were perfect then.

The first valentine’s day we ever spent together we skipped school so I could take her ice skating. On the way there I was driving on I-64 when I ran over a pipe in the middle of the road that took out two of my tires. We never made it to the rink. We spent our first Valentine’s Day in my mom’s PT Cruiser waiting for AAA to come and tow the car away. But she didn’t care. She never cared about that kind of stuff. She always made me feel like everything was perfect. This is the same year she made me a heart-shaped cake.

I remember the day I told her I was going to IU. She was so excited. I told her I would be going there regardless of whether she was or not. I never told her this, but that was a lie. I probably would have ended up at Missouri or Texas instead. I chose to go to IU because of her. At the time I couldn’t imagine not being with her. I knew that I would hate any place that wasn’t where she is.

She is my best friend. I can tell her everything and she gets me like no one else. I will never love someone else like I love her. No one. And I don’t want to be with anyone but her.
That’s why this hurts so much. I can handle losing my girlfriend, but I can’t handle losing my best friend.

I never thought I could love like this. I never thought something like this was possible. Now it feels like my heart is gone. I can’t do anything without thinking of her and what we had.
I know her better than I know myself sometimes. Last summer she bought me Dylan tickets as a surprise for my birthday. But I called what she got me weeks before the concert. I can tell when she’s mad, sad or upset. I can tell when what she wants and what she says are two completely different things.

I remember playing the SIMS at my house, sitting in my basement until 4 a.m. We made a future family of us. We had a house and three kids: Dylan, Isabelle, and Izekuel. We would sit there for hours playing that stupid game, making sure we got promotions and taught the dumb dog skills.

I remember the good and the bad. The happy times and the fights. But no matter what she was there for me. She’s been the strongest thing in my life for almost two years, and now I feel like I’m in a freefall.

I remember going to her house every day after school senior year. We’d cherish the time until her mom came home from work. We’d sit in her small room, listening to music or playing guitar.

I remember the 4 a.m. grilled cheese sandwiches. And when we bought stuff for our apartment. We were so excited to live together.

I’ve loved her more than I thought was ever possible. I know a lot of people say that, but I really thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with her. Now I feel incomplete, and it seems like I may never be able to be happy again.

We always said that no one was perfect, but two people can be perfect for each other. I thought that was us, but now I don’t know.

Things may never be the same again, and that’s what scares me the most.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hard to do

Thank God I'm finally out of southern Indiana. Just in time, I say. Just in time.

I'm excited to start this summer - a new chapter in my life.

When I find myself getting depressed, lonely or bored the best thing I can do is something I've never done before. New place. New people. New everything.

This week is a new chapter in my life. One that takes me to Columbia, Missouri and then to Indianapolis and finally back to Bloomington.

It's been a long time since I truly dedicated myself to school. I'm looking forward to putting all of my energy into becoming the best copy editor and intern I can. I've been afforded a great opportunity and many doors for my career have been opened.

Time doesn't heal all wounds. Time just makes them easier to live with. Time makes you accept them as part of you life. But it doesn't heal them.

Sometimes, when you least expect it they come back, fresh as ever. And this time they hurt in different ways. The pain is different.

It's less raw, more realization. Less anger, more perspective. Less visceral, more emotional.

Save some face. You know you've only got one.

I want my best friend back. I don't think that's too much to ask.

I want to feel whole again. I want to feel like myself. I want to wake up and not feel something missing from my life.

Zen Buddhists train themselves to only live in the moment. To release the past and put aside the future. Easy to say; Hard to do.

"Only love can break your heart." -Neil Young

For now I guess I will try to do as the Buddhists. Try to live and let go. Try and be in the present. Easy to say; Hard to do.

The words aren't coming easy tonight. They say that when you're having trouble saying what you mean it's because you don't know what you mean. That sounds about right.

I've got so much to say that I can't say anything. That's it for now, I guess. I'll try to have something more coherent tomorrow.

"Let me die on this Earth before I die underground." -RAZ

Friday, May 8, 2009

Still stuck in Nothingtown

This is my last night in Bloomington until August.

For some reason this goodbye seems different than last year. I can't really explain why.

Maybe it's because this time I'm comprehending how short my years at IU will be.

Maybe it's because I actually had to say goodbye to some really good people I know, some of whom I may never see again.

Maybe it's because this time I'm returning to a home I don't like. To a town I just want to get out of. To memories I don't want to relive.

Maybe it's because last year I only say adios to a city rather than to people.

Maybe it's because the last time I went home I hid from my problems with alcohol and I'm afraid I'll do that again.

More than anything, it's probably because this is the first summer I will have by myself in three years.

Tomorrow morning my dad will be here to pack up and leave. Fortunately, there are just enough people I want to see and enough work to do to fill up two weeks before I head to Missouri and finally Indianapolis.

Still, I don't want to go back. So much of home reminds me of her. Everything. My house. My room. My bed. My shower. The park by my house. Every restaurant in town. My car. My CDs. My kitchen. My yard. Every friend is mutual. I hate having to split time with people I used to be able to see whenever I wanted.

The last time I went home I would randomly find a shirt or book of hers in my room. I can't even count all the hours we wasted in that basement, just the two of us. I could tell you stories for hours.

And now we barely speak. I've seen her in person twice since December. Going home is like a different universe I used to occupy with someone else. And now she's gone, but I'm still stuck in that world.

The worst part is feeling that she no longer cares. That what we had is replaceable. That in the end what we had will go down in a laundry list of relationships.

I can deal with a break-up. They happen. Not every relationship is meant to last forever. But it seems like us not being in each others' lives doesn't even bother her. She's OK with our relationship deteriorating into nothing. With forgetting everything we ever had.

I wish the her two years ago could meet the her now and be as surprised as I am at how much she's changed. She's not the person I fell in love with as far as I can tell.

It would be nice to know that I didn't waste two years of my life on something that meant nothing. The person I once loved is a stranger to me now. Sometimes I wonder if it all meant as much to her as I always thought it did.

Maybe that's why I hate goodbyes so much. It's the acknowledgment that two people's paths may never cross again. That, at least for the short term, they are no longer in your life.

Do you know what it's like when every step you take reminds you of the one thing you don't want to think about? That there's no place in this town you can go where you didn't go with her? When every second is a constant reminder of better, happier times?

I do, and it's scary.

So no — this isn't goodbye. That's too final.

I'll see you later, friend.

Friday, May 1, 2009

I hope you dance

Living might mean taking chances, but they're worth taking.

Loving might be a mistake, but it's worth making.

If there's one thing I've learned recently, it's that life doesn't care about your plans. It doesn't care about your hopes or dreams.

This world has a path for you, and it won't always be the path you want to go down. But rest assured it's a path you've never been before.

This is a crazy world we live in. Sometimes I feel like I'm being tugged in two different directions. Not externally, but internally. Different forces inside me compete for control. There's a civil war in my heart, and it's unclear which side will win.

On the outside, different forces pull me in every direction. With all these pressing winds, sometimes it's just easiest to stand still.

There's a certain serenity in standing firm in a sea of crashing waves. It's comforting to know where you'll be and not give yourself in to the forces you can't control.

But soon enough the feeling fades and all you're left with the same thing day after day.

And the feeling that once was comforting is now dull and boring. You're no longer satisfied with just knowing you'll be safe. What was once your form of protection no longer fulfills you.

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to just let go. While these two little words are so simple, they can often be the ones that consume us.

It's easier to stand firm and dig your toes into the sand than to give yourself up to nature's will. It's easier to hold onto what you feel than to have the courage to let things go. Forgiveness and acceptance are what most of us struggle with every day, especially during those times that try our spirit the most.

But sometimes you just have to let go.

Sometimes what you thought was the best solution is only delaying what you must inevitably do to truly live. You realize you're going nowhere while the sun continuously gets closer to the horizon. Every second you dig your does in deeper is a second lost at sea.

And while it's never the easiest choice, there comes a time when we all must let go.

Of our past. Of our present. Of our future.

Of our pain. Of our anger. Of our sadness.

Sometimes you just have to let yourself go, too, just to find out where the world will take you next.

Living might mean taking chances, but they're worth taking.

Loving might be a mistake, but it's worth making.

I hope you dance.