Monday, March 21, 2011

Journal Update: Time Flies

I can't believe I've been writing on this web page for over two years. Time is a strange thing, it moves even when we don't, yet somehow we think we own it. We think we can carpe diem our way to the grave, seizing every moment and milking it of it's potential value. The older you get, the faster it goes. I didn't believe it either, kids, but it's true. Time flies.

The rate at which we grow slows, but time keeps flying by. There can be less difference between someone who is 30 and someone who is 50, than between someone who is 15 and someone who is 20. I think the late twenties are about figuring out what happens when all that expedited growth stops. I now have time to sit back and think, "What have I become?" "What did I allow to shape me?" The good news is I was shaped, molded, and I came out an adult with a half-decent head on his shoulders. The bad news is that my putty is much more dry than it used to be, so in order to change the shapes I dislike I'll have to work harder. I'll have to deliberately make better choices, consistently.

Health class in high school was what we called an "Easy A." We were taught a bunch of things we already knew about sex and disease and pregnancy, but I think administratively they were responsible to cover those bases, to bring everyone "up to speed" as it were. Mrs. Sahagian was our health teacher, and a fun one at that. She was bubbly, and would ease our adolescent awkwardness by saying "PENIS" really loud with a smile. "PENIS PENIS PENIS!" She'd say, "Now you try it... it's not a bad word so just say it and get it over with." I did a lot of eye-rolling in that class. I was so advanced, I thought, and all this stuff was too cheesy for me. Misses, which is what we called her, had hung a lot of inspirational quotes around her classroom, many of them about doing the "right thing." I remember a giant saying that wrapped around three walls of the classroom. I remember thinking how stupid it was. It read "THE CHOICES YOU MAKE TODAY EFFECT THE PERSON YOU ARE GOING TO BE TOMORROW."

Hindsight is 20/20. That quote could not be MORE true. It didn't ring true back then because I could change on a dime, I felt different from one day to the next, constantly experiencing and growing and changing. But my choices, especially in my late teens, have dictated the last decade of my life. My choice to move to Seattle, to join a band, to marry my wife, are a few major choices that define my surroundings as I sit and type this ten years later. They define who I spend my time with, what I do for a living, and what I'm qualified to do in the future. They define where I live, how much I make and who I know. These are the big choices, but there are millions of tiny choices that can have great bearing on your life. Those little choices can become big in the long run.  They define how I resolve conflict, how I love and serve, and to what capacity. They can decide for you whether or not you're going to be honest, or whether or not you're going to be addicted, or whether or not you're going to be GOOD. Tiny little choices that seem harmless in your present day can completely alter your days to come.

Back to this blog. After a few years, I realize the choice to start writing it has changed me. I guess I feel more comfortable writing, but I feel like I can form my thoughts better as well. I edit and proofread less than I used to, but I think that's because in the beginning I was naively fearful that someone would discover how fallible and normal I was. Along the way I think realized, among many other things about myself, that I am pretty normal so gave up trying to sound ridiculously smart. I'll admit though, the pull is there to reach for the thesaurus and find the most ostentatious locution to delineate my postulation (e.g. this sentence). I never went to real college, so the thesaurus has lent me a much broader vocabulary than my A.P. English teacher did.

Looking back at the last two years I also realize that I am the same in ways that I'd like to be different. I still have similar fears when it comes to failure. I have the same anxieties when it comes to my art and how it is viewed, who likes it and what it's monetary value is. I struggle with those things the same way I did two years ago, and maybe even more-so now. Maybe it is a constant battle, something that I'll fight for a lifetime, but I never want to settle. I never want to look back and say, "I was better then." I want to be the best now that I've ever been, as sappy and as sensational as that sounds. If time flies I need to grab ahold of it. If the choices I make today define who I am tomorrow then I need to make wise choices. Simple right? It never is.

I'm glad for you who read this. You have helped me in ways you'll never know. The recognition that your eyes are following these words across the screen has caused me to be honest, it's caused me to think deeply about my life, and I hope these lines have caused the same for you. Thank you.