if I did

You know your mind is changing when you realize that the people you surround yourself with, in friendship and conversation, begin to look less like a copy & paste version of you. When I was younger, I wanted to fit in with ‘everybody else’ so badly. As I’ve gotten older, the beauty of individualism and nonconformity now appeals to me with much more pull than the desire to blend into the crowd did as a teenager.

It hit me that it takes very little intellectual capacity to surround yourself with people who are just like you; never needing to leave your comfort zone, perspective, mind, or boundaries.

Many people have branded this idea as being in a ‘community’ and promote it. However, I don’t believe a group of dull ideas will someday compress and become a diamond of an idea, thought, or person.

I may not share the same belief systems as a majority of those in my life, but it sure as hell is fascinating to discuss and explore our perspectives with each other.

Talking to my younger brother, Joshua, about success/failure, reinforced the idea that the beaten path isn’t for everybody. Success, according to many individuals, can be defined as the typical study/school/work/family/vacation/retirement package. For others, it looks quite different. I think there’s a path for every individual that can fit in with their ‘ideal’ lifestyle and dreams.

I feel myself getting older and suddenly more aware that my clock is ticking. Staring at the clock will neither speed it up or slow it down. Father Time continues to press forward, regardless of our giving him consent to plow ahead.

More and more things, people, experiences, and ideas have moved into the ‘gratitude department’ as I’m discovering how many things are easily taken for granted. Take your first painless sh*t after a fight with hemorrhoids and you’ll never go to the bathroom in the same way again. The same thing applies to a rekindled friendship, relationship, or opportunity. Sometimes we write these things off as being lost and, if given the chance to hold them close again, we never want to let go. It makes saying “goodbye” in the morning feel like an international departure. Just one more minute. Just one more.

Life is a beautiful and wonderful gift we’ve been given. Perhaps our plot of grass doesn’t look as green as our neighbors, or our car as shiny/new. Maybe the house we live in is owned by a landlord, rather than our own. Maybe a $30 steak is the best damn steak somebody has eaten and they know how to savor every second of it, Golden Corral seasoning and all.

I’m tired of pointing fingers instead of holding hands and supporting those in my life. Bickering words and disagreements – with no resolution or end in sight – takes the place of “I love you” and real relationship building amongst family.

When TV shows and political agendas have more sway in relationships than love, it’s time for a gut check.

I guarantee you that we may not see eye-to-eye on every topic or issue. That’s a fact. Apples will never be oranges. Chickens will never be eggs again. And it doesn’t matter how many times you pack/unpack it, cookware and artificial christmas trees will never fit in their original packaging once you take them out of the box.

I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to call family, friends, and loved ones.

My mother, siblings – (Steven, Lydia (Tyler too), Mark, Julia, Joshua),
Strikingly beautiful girlfriend – Krista
Friend/mentor/Dallas family – Dave L.
Remote (and ever-accomplished-but in no particular order) friends – Michael C. Nithin/Neethi J., Stephanie R., Travis T., Melody R., Kevin H., Veronica P.

Portfolios may take you on trips around the world, but they can never accompany you the way a loved one can. Quality will never be undermined by quantity when it comes to people.

The love we share is what gives color to our lives, words to fill our songs, and pleasant memories to fill the quiet hours, and the constant strength we maintain through the hopeful anticipation of future days, rich with love and happiness.

No gift can ever fully say “I’m sorry” after a hurtful act/word/choice has happened. No diamond ring will ever trump the beauty found in a heart full of love.

Featured Image From Deviantart

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