Every year of life teaches us new lessons, and reflecting back on it in the rearview can often times be enlightening.
When we were younger, full of piss and vinegar, and running the streets as if tomorrow were an afterthought, like the sun were never going to set on our shoulders, thoughts of never breathing again, never laughing again, and even crying as real men aren't supposed to do in front of a living soul because of their fear of looking weak and inferior weren't thoughts that ever crossed our minds. Not even every once in a while, because life was so vibrant then. It was still very much in front of us all, and we had no rearview mirror memories to look back upon, and wonder why things had come together this way. Never until I got older, watched every adult relationship of my own turn for the worst, while watching my friends and the world around me have children and families of their own did all of this seem so evident to me.
When the skies were a lighter shade of blue, the warmth of the sun beat against my clothing and bare parts of my skin, and the leaves were a magnificent color of green; when you could take a breath, feel your chest fill, and your lungs expand as if they were never going to fully reach their capacity; when the troubles of the adult world, the anxieties of the uncertain next day's whereabouts, and fear of losing touch weren't around each corner; when all else, except for the moment that you were living in was nothing more than a story that hadn't been written yet...these were, and continue to be my meaning of life, and what I have never stopped chasing.
I have let so many things go while searching for my meaning, told the woman that I love more than life itself to pick up and live another life, and have created my own personal mind riot that cost years of my life to be lived less than adequate. While chasing after this dream my present day's happiness was compromised, as well as the happiness of my lover's. While trying to get myself back to less responsible times, greater open-minded ones, and become more self-inventive to reach my next plateau, I found myself living someplace unrealistic, and had forgotten about the here and now. I've found that in coming to terms with it all, and with so much being learned, also so much was lost in doing so.
Every year of life has shown me new lessons, taught me greater things than I knew existed. and changed my perceptions about a world that goes on outside of the one that lives inside of my mind. As even my own branches produce new leaves of life, ones that will take me thru my next season until they're ready to go thru another dormant cycle before springing back to life when they have found their way thru yet another trying time of change. I am just as any other piece of this puzzle.
Photo courtesy of Damian Gerlach