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Monday, July 28, 2014

When I was a teenager, one of my friends shoved me into the basement of an old school which had been abandoned for about thirty years (after taking my flashlight) and proceeded to close the door behind me.  This wasn't some act of mean-spirited bullying on anyone's part.  This was the stupid crap I did with my friends growing up.  I always tended to surround myself with the people who were looking for something unorthodox or atypical to do with their time.  You see, we never believed in routines, but we did believe in memories and experiences, even though a definition was never stuck to what we were doing.  Sometimes things are understood without having any relevant need to talk about them.

We believed in life.
We believed in letting life happen.

The thing is, we all get older and unfortunately when we "grow up" it more often than not means we have actually stopped growing.
Wait, what?
 Truthfully, I did the same thing for a few years as well.  Responsibilities, whether self-inflicted or based on circumstance have a tendency to change people in an extremely common cycle.  

I had these ideas and aspirations to do all sorts of things with my life and accomplish loads of goals - then I settled in like so many other people do and started the process of being boring instead.  Work for someone else, sleep, see the same people who live essentially the same life every week.  Five years later, I snapped out of it and realized I had to start investing in myself before it became too late to do such a thing.  

Don't get me wrong though, there are people who want nothing more than to live a simple life and have a routine mapped out for them until the day they die, but that isn't me.  Actually, it never was me, I was just sort of sucked into it because I had convinced myself that life was supposed to work that way since everyone else I knew at the time seemed to be in that pattern.  The truth is, I had stopped investing in myself during those years - losing sight of my goals and the things I was really wanting to do in life.

Currently, I try to live entirely without expectation because, that way, you don't leave much room for disappointment.  This applies to everything and some people misinterpret it as a lack of confidence when what I am actually doing is just letting life happen.  If having confidence requires a person to be needy, the world is in some serious trouble.  As an example, people have said things about me or made assumptions about my character or intentions without getting to know me fairly often.  While most others would try to defend themselves or "correct" skewed and incorrect mindsets, I have realized it's better just to walk away and write them off as a non-issue.
I don't expect anything of anyone anymore and trying to alter opinions creates dramatic situations almost all of the time.  Sometimes removing yourself from the situation is the best way to go about things.  The people who really matter are those who hold a strong confidence in your life and what you are doing - not those who form opinions on speculation from afar.  The former are the people who are genuinely interested in what you have to say and don't just ask questions to stir up smalltalk. If you don't know what I'm talking about, pay attention the next time someone asks you a question which requires a lenthgy reply.  See if they're actually paying attention to your answer or if they only asked to make you feel good about yourself. It's a weird human quirk. Redundant questions...

I believe in smaller circles of friends over big groups of acquaintances any day and this stems from my full desire to never be a cookie-cutter example of anything typical.  Hearing boring people say: 
"I was like you a few years ago, but one day you will *insert bullshit typical life example* just wait."
I want nothing more than to be nothing like that guy. 

When I think about this stuff it brings back that unspoken bond I had with my teenage friends.  They have all since settled in to whatever their lives have become. The one who pushed me into the basement is in a really good place. However, the others are just like anyone else in a young adult routine that they will be in for the rest of their lives. 
They don't seem very fulfilled... At all...

Surround yourself with not just people who support you, but also those who help you grow and want to see you succeed in every goal you have set.  You'll be able to simultaneously return the favor and find out what it means to grow together.  When you find someone like this, letting them walk away could be detrimental to your future and your life's goals could get overshadowed by compounded obligations that you only realize aren't fulfilling when you are stuck in a routine.

That was me.  
I found a way out.
Starting over is miserable and it's easy to fall back in line with "normal" people and just blend in.
Never get there in the first place.
Never blend in.

Give life everything you have, because failures help you grow and being typical helps nothing...
It may not be easy, but it is never too late.

Grace and Peace,



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