“…You can FEEL yourself, not as a stranger in the world…not as something here on probation…”

Let me start out in reflecting back on a not so great part of my life, to not be a downer, but to show you need those moments to become more of  a person you want to be.  It is true…

She turned to me after quite a many bad things that happened to us, we have been through things many people should NOT have to go through, and simply stated, “I do not see the purpose in life, no reason.”  This shocked me because, yes, I took much of the misfortune on myself, blaming myself as her partner, wanting to make it easier for her, and I never could.  Ever.  I tried.  Yet, I still appreciate what had been given to me, a chance to look to others, see the beauty the word waiting above the crazy, stressful, and painful things that await people.  They do they are there.

Yet, just beyond the ridge, beyond the crumminess that does exist that often does not make us feel good about ourselves, there are people that you just enjoy life because they are THERE, hey make you smile, and sometimes hey do not even know it.  Those are the secret moments in life you hold close, you treasure, you know there is no moments in life that try to tear you down, push you back, yet, all you need to do is to recall those moments, and there it is, the paradise of life that many never have a chance to see.  This is more of a home to many than any others, if they just have those memories to pull out, the child-like moments of your life return and you realize how lucky you are, to hold onto these moments, for they will get you through.

That is me, and obviously, I tried, I tried so hard to get her to that point, but it never happened, and in the process, you slip as well, you fall back as a person and it is hard to come back from some bad moments, sometimes they get the best of you.  However, I have learned, if you can somehow get past the part of the right now, and look past that, you can trust me when I say, there is better.  There is much better waiting for you if you just hold out, and look forward.

I saw myself as a crummy, egostisical, and just worth nothing person in these moments, and I have to admit, all the worst traits I ever had came out from me trying to pull out every single effort I had to bring us both to a safe haven.  But I tried.  I didn’t like who I had become, not one bit, yet, the amazing people around me, and just the quiet moments life has, made me realize there is so much better than me in the world, and I want to see it.  Believe it or not, it paid off.

I am so much better for the people around me and for seeing the amazing things that life has to offer.  Yes, I have lost some dear people around me, and do I like that about life?  No.  But I feel a deep sense of living a life they would live, to honor their lives, to show they had an impact, even when they might not have think what they did matter, it did.  That is one thing we can each do for people that impact us.  In turn, our lives will change as well.

I thought all this seeing the students do Model UN yesterday, and appreciate the amazing energy, initiative, and WANT to do things right, and to make a change, even it is was for one day.  I sometimes heard, “Why do you make such a big did, who cares, relax?” But I could see in the eyes of these students, who hurried and made a difference, be it for one day, they DID care and the end result was they pushed other to as well.  I was asked that question, “Why work so hard?” so many times, as a grocery clerk, stock boy, shoveler of snow, newspaper deliverer, worker at Hardee’s, Food Lion, Friedman’s, The Butler Eagle, toll collector at the Turnpike, the jobs I thought would never let me experience something more than a rigid routine the rest of my life.

I learned, if you want something more, it will come to you, if you have that long term vision – if you want anything, it will be there waiting for you.  Then again, I also appreciated the energy and the people that helped without saying a word around me, that was a crucial component.

There was a old movie, called Vanilla Skies, as well as What Dreams May Come, and I loved them…, as they were so bizarre yet, they contained the dreams, the open possibilities that life can be something more, something so BIG, if we start to realize what others do for us every day, and when we realize how strong we are because of them, there is a power there, that tells you life is such a gift, NEVER to be taken for granted, and celebrate the people that make it so along the way.

Not really ironic, but of course my partner hated these films, and no matter how hard I tried, to explain to her, that there was a deeper, bigger meaning to what life is and can be, and I saw that in this case, at this time, through these films.  She didn’t.  It still hurts me of course, yet, I felt like a KING when I saw myself being able to be a part of what these students were doing yesterday, Sarah above the audience doing acrobatics in the air I had no idea she had the power to, Ana’s choice of words that added power to everyone’s action, Ji’s concern to make a difference and push forward, they all cared, and let everyone around them know this…looking at what students and adults have done to make a difference dating back to my days in Seaford, Maryland, even Butler.

You add these memories up, and you should have a difference perspective of life really is, if you take time to really, really appreciate it, and it will change you.  It did for me, and Alana Watts’ The Dream of Life help bring that out, but what did it and I didn’t realize it at the time, were the students of MUN yesterday.  Life – awesome even when it is not…:)





About Harry Brake

Employee of Woodbridge High School, Library Media Specialist, Media crazy! :)
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