Monday, March 8, 2010

Stepping Back from the Brink

Regardless of any advancement mankind makes in raising the standard of living, one thing always present in day to day lives is stress, whether it’s emotional or situational. It’s a constant dance to ensure it doesn’t overtake us and influence our decisions, but even the best dancers slip up now and then, and that’s when the true test of a person’s grit begins. Do they rise up and push on, or let their issues drag them deeper into the dark spiral, eventually taking them down to the absolute end of everything they knew, more commonly known as throwing your life away as if it was line paper smudged with grease stains. I faced this decision more than a few times in my life, one involving a knife and another involving a bridge, and each time I couldn’t muster the mindset that ending my life would benefit those close to me somehow, and couldn’t do it. Because of that, I was able to contemplate just what kind of meaning my life had, and where I drew that worth from.

In my compulsory school days, I achieved much academically as well as underwent life changing incidents, yet even when I told them in plain English, nobody I knew seemed to notice, chipping away at where I saw myself within society. As time passed I looked to wherever I could to find some emotional validation, particularly the internet, and it was only when I was cut off from those sources did I face my reality and see the side of me I longed tried to escape. It took much inner soul searching and much deeper wounds inflicted by those close to me, but in time I came to see if no one else could or would make me feel I had meaning in this world, I had to give it to myself and make it myself. At times I still wonder what worth I have to the world and what I can do to better my station, but when a complete stranger tells me my 3 best traits are being knowledgeable, outgoing and confident, I’m reminded of how far I’ve come in improving how I take life on, as well as how much farther I have to go to rise higher. I know whenever I hold a straight edge razor in my hand the only prevalent thought is “I wonder if this can still cut out coupons cleanly?”

Those I’ve befriended over the years have done much to give me a shoulder to cry on and let me see my issues from a more objective perspective, and for that I’m grateful, but even back then I knew they couldn’t always be there when I needed them, and that I had to build my own strength if I expected to survive the kind of life I wish to lead. Seeing others with that same fire to find a way to make their desires reality, while occasionally leading me to those I hold philosophical agreements with, renews my own fire and reminds me of why I choose to live on and push ahead, regardless of what they come to pass.   Every day I ponder the meaning of weeding out the weak and the strong, and every day I’m reminded of what that means to me: that those who are strong will do whatever it needed to live a life full of worthwhile acts and words, and that those who are weak will freely let the world rob them of every chance available to them to excel, if it means they can live on autopilot and let the reins slip completely from their grip. I admit I still do a bit of whining about the disadvantages I currently face, but I know well how capable I am of creating the kinds of resources I need to climb up, as well as what it means to sacrifice comfort for something better in this world, something worth committing to paper. It’s with this realization I’m able to see what the next step in growth is:  assuming the risks my path entails and learn to ride life’s ebb and flow.