Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Comparative Figures

In the family room of my parents' house, on the glass table beside the couch, sits a small, framed picture. In the picture is the smiling face of an innocent and hopeful 7-year-old boy. To this day, my mother praises this picture, noting how it is the best Mother's Day present she ever received from me.

I have shown this picture to many people over the course of time. The most popular response tends to be, "what happened to him?" The question is asked in jest each time, but I sometimes think about it on a more serious note.

What happened to you, little one? Your imagination was inspiring, and your innocence was refreshing. You wanted to be an artist, a paleontologist, an astronaut, a movie star, and a robot (though not all at the same time). When you were born, you were adored by everyone near you. You were a miracle. You should have died, but you endured. As you grew, people expected amazing things from you.

Those were many winters ago. Am I still that? When did you stop being innocent? When did you stop being so imaginative? Did the burden of the world crush you under its heel, or are you still pushing back up for dear life? Have you smiled that same hopeful smile since?

I gaze upon this photo often as a form of self-reflection. I have come a long way, but has it been in the right direction? Most would agree that I've achieved all I have set my mind to in this world, and some still feel like I have only scratched the surface. I have my own place and car. I am an accountant, like my father before me.

In many ways I want more from myself. My family came from near nothingness - simple farmers and fishermen - to ascend to what they are. That little boy was sheltered and had a lot handed to him to make something out of himself. I am not sated. I want my own ascension. I want to surpass. I want to show others that I can forge greatness with these two hands, which were once so small and unblemished. Only then can I truly be proud of myself. Only then can I face my family with the fullest of confidence to show them that I am worth my weight in the most precious of substances.

While they may love me regardless of how far my reach extends, I will never forgive myself if I cannot demonstrate within me the same qualities that make my family great.

Do you have it in you, little one?

Monday, February 9, 2009


Up until now, the general mood of my posts have been pretty somber. I think it's best (especially considering my current mood), that I try to express something beyond the dark side of the moon, so to speak. The light does shine.

Despite the fact that I get frustrated with the feeling that I win at everything in life except the one most important thing, the statement is not entirely accurate. Yes, there have been moments where I have been humiliated, victimized, disappointed, and outright wrong when it came to love, but I am not going to define myself by who's draped on my arm and at my side. I have more sense and dignity to know that I am who I am not because of who I am with (or can be with) at any given time.

However, I do not discount the influence that others have in one's definition. I have a loving family (which an alarmingly high amount of people do not have) and I have wonderful friends who, despite their shortcomings, make life meaningful.

For some, you may sometimes note that I will say, as a goodbye - almost a benediction of sorts - with, "love you! good night!" unless I feel you'd be uncomfortable by it (trust me the feeling is still there - you know who you are). Know that if I say it to you, there is a twofold meaning behind it.

Firstly, I genuinely mean it as a sign of my eternal appreciation that you are a part of my life, and without you, I would have so much less to go on for in this world. Secondly, I use it as a form of expressing to you that you are important in your own right - not just important to me - important, period. Don't let yourself be fooled. Don't let anyone else tell you anything differently. You may have been abused in the past. You may have been let down. You may think you're worthless. Those things cannot be further from the truth. I have seen the value that you hold. I have seen your potential. My heart smiles upon the kind of person that you are - faults and all.

The second point, as you can tell, is the crux. If you know anything about me (or have the ability to scroll down and read), you'll know that I believe being important is such a significant thing (go figure), and is one of the best things for me - not just important to someone - important, period. I want you to see in yourself the quality that I hold in such high regard. I want you to see it like I see it in you.

Whatever you do, never impair your own value.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Materiality (I'm kind of a big deal)

I'm a proud person. Perhaps I am proud to a fault, but the people closest to me know that I am definitely a proud person. One of my greatest fears in this life is making a complete ass of myself, but I still manage to do that quite often. Yet, despite how frequently it occurs, I still cannot accept that it's an inevitable occurrence, and try to steer around scenarios that might make it happen.

Ironically, I end up in such circumstances because of the very pride itself that I hold so dearly that also causes me to fear being put in such humbling positions. I can be reserved and modest when I want to be - and in fact, it's a very natural side of me, but I feel like I'll be more of a somebody if I portray myself as confident as I can be - even if that means acting like an arrogant douche at times (more often than not in jest).

All this leads to the fact that I want to be seen as important. And I want even more to really be important to people. However true to my pride, sometimes it feels like it's just not enough. People feel like I'm heading off to lofty places, and I believe it to be true in some way. It's not necessarily the "ruler of the world" type of greatness (I'm still working on that), but definitely something that will surprise even me when I finally get there and reflect back to this point in my life in the present.

As I was growing up, I would look up at the sky at night and, with a smile, think to myself, 'I was created to do amazing things. I will show this world and the people of it the wonders of my words and actions. I'll revolutionize and inspire.' Then my mind would wander in silly tangents saying that the heavens, the earth, and everything in between were created for me in which to delight. I was such an imaginative dreamer.

Ultimately, I think I want to be the most important thing to at least one person in this world. It's kind of arrogant and selfish for me to say this, but isn't this something the majority of us seek? It would also be refreshing if I felt like someone was that important to me. I used to be like this to some, but those days and those individuals come and go like the seasons.

And as seasoned as I get, I wonder more and more if I really was like that to those who came and went. If I was really so important as I wanted to be for at least one of them, would they have lingered a bit more? Were they as important to me as I would hope they were? Would such a significance last forever, or would it be destined to burn out like the stars in the heavens and the earth beneath our feet?

I don't look towards the sky as much as I used to in the days of my youth.