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IMG_0371I’m not yet over the hill, but maybe I’m around the bend.

The lights are turned off and a cake is revealed as someone struggles to catch a flicker for the single candle extending from its center. “Happy Birthday” starts up and as social norms and courtesies dictate, I join in, right on cue. As I glance around the room surreptitiously, trying to figure out the recipient of the serenade so that I can say the correct name at the appropriate time, the realization finally dawns– they were singing to me. I had forgotten my own birthday.

Granted, it was still a few days out before the actual day, but it was then that I realized I no longer looked forward to my birthday the same way I did when I was younger. As a child, every time I received a new calendar, I would flip the pages to the eighth month and trace my finger along each week until I located the day of my birth. Then the silent countdown would begin. I could hardly contain my excitement when August finally arrived after seven long and torturous months. Sure, I daydreamed about the parties and presents, but most of all, I fantasized about turning a year older, the new responsibilities I would be gifted, the new privileges I would receive, and what it would all mean.

This year feels different – not in a good or bad way – just unlike any year prior. Maybe it’s the steady growing acknowledgement of the slow demise of childhood as I approached full-blown adulthood. Maybe all the big age milestones have been surpassed and everything seems kind of neutral from here on out.

Or maybe, life really isn’t quantified by number of years, but by experiences.

If that’s the case, then I am still a child, filled with wide-eyed wonder and excitement, just waiting to go on my next adventure. I no longer daydream about presents and parties, but about new people I will meet, new lands I will explore, new stories I will hear, and how that would bring meaning to my life.

And the countdown begins once again…  

9.30.14 Unfaithful

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It’s a pattern. An infliction of discontentment and a wandering eye for excitement.

It’s not a matter of fidelity or loyalty, but rather, a lack of interest in the ordinary and the comfort of stability. It is an affair with the mystery and the allure of the unknown. I seek the thrill it affords me, I thrive on it.

Drama is my mistress.

7.21.14 Constant

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Dear Friend,

It’s been a while since we’ve talked and it’s good to hear that not much has changed.

It’s nice to have a constant – a never-altering force that reminds us of stability and reliability. But as much as we can talk and pretend that we’re old friends, the truth is, we’re not. We never really knew each other from the start. The reason? There is no such thing as a constant. No being is capable of staying exactly the same from one moment to the next. We only know each other by memories and we assign attributes using the past. Having only the times of laughter and the times of hardship as reference, I try to piece together a picture of the person you are now, only for it to be distorted again the next time we meet. There is no better, there is no worse – just different. As it should be. We’ve grown. We’ve drifted. We’ve learned to define ourselves as individuals. And while I will never truly know your modus operandi, I do want to let you know that I am thankful to have met you and to have known you, even if it was only for an instant. You aren’t the same person I met so long ago, but I appreciate you nonetheless.

Tread on, my friend.

And as always… I hope you find what you’re looking for.

 

5.31.14 Redemption

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Forgiveness is not easily earned nor is it given without a price, but why is it that we like to hold on to our grudges? Why do we find comfort in the dark pleasure retribution affords us? We love the sin, we love missing the mark – like it gives us an excuse and we are entitled to anger, hate, revenge.

We often think about how we were wronged, but fewer times do we actually consider how we might have wronged them. It is not often black and white, not always a hero and a villain nor is it a battle between good and evil. They are victimized in their own thoughts, as are we, and just like us, they feel that they have the right to demand justice. It is more likely than not that both parties perceive that they had been the one slighted when it was really a scuffle risen from a simple misunderstanding. It is an impulse to defend our honor and our opinion as well as booster our wounded ego. Our flaws are in overlooking one another and then feeling belittled ourselves. The truth is, we are imperfect in ourselves and only when we are able to bridge the gap between our pride and our humanity can we be made whole again.

To be redeemed.

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It’s just sitting there. Unopened. Unsullied. Unread.
It could say anything- anything at all. It could contain words of encouragement or words of despair. It could be an attempt to reconnect or a means to sever. It could mark a beginning, or it could mean goodbye.
Whenever I get a highly anticipated message that arouses an emotional reaction, I just hold onto it and leave the seal unbroken. I explore the possibilities. What could it say? How should I react? What should I do? I’m already planning a response before I even know what it says.
That moment is filled with so much promise and unlocking its communiqué can destroy that innocence and result in heartbreak. At the same time, the longer I delay my urge to rip it open and devour its contents, the greater the disappointment is if the subject matter proves anti-climatic.
It’s a game that tries my patience against my idealistic nature. A staring contest with me boring my eyes into the envelope, trying to etch the best possible outcome onto the parchment.  The uncertainty is painful and often induces an unjustified reaction – blowing it completely out of proportion. How foolish I feel when I become fixated over the potential text and then realize that it was just your basic run-of-the-mill greeting card banality.

And yet, I still can’t seem to bring myself to open it. I want to savor the moment in which anything is possible and rejection is infeasible.  A point in time where my heart is simultaneously afloat and broken. A dilemma meant for Schrödinger and his cat.

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Sometimes I wish we never happened. That our stories were never intertwined. That I was never even slightly involved in your happily ever after, and you never in mine.
It just doesn’t seem to be as pure anymore, like it’s been tainted somehow – at least in my mind. I don’t think you feel the same way. I don’t think you even remember anymore. Remember us? We were good together- even great at times.  I had never felt that way about anybody before.
The novelty excited me.

There were moments, fleeting as they might have been, but there nonetheless, that were full of promise and hinted at something more – something special, something extraordinary! But the world had other plans and everything worked out as they should. But somehow, something still lingers.

But be that as it may, this is my goodbye to you. I have walked down memory lane for the last time and although I may never completely obliterate you from my mind, I have closed this chapter and made peace with the matter. This is my closure.
Even if I’m left with these poisoned memories.

12.21.13 Wanderer

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It’s not a stamp in my passport or a ferry to an exotic foreign land, but it should suffice as a temporary cure for the wanderlust that plagues my vagrant heart. It might be spontaneous, crazy, and maybe even a little stupid, but it just can’t be helped. When I hear that siren song or feel the tremors in my soul, my feet start to itch and I am called to fly. Nomads and Bohemians understand that to resist this summons is to die, if not in body, in spirit. Life without adventure or exploration is like stale bread – it might still contain nourishment to sustain, but the flavor and pleasure are depleted. Am I being dramatic? Maybe. But if I must, I must and this I certainly must do or risk death by living a dull existence.

And I have no desire to tame this wanderer’s heart.

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