Excelsior

To anyone around me, it’s no secret that I’ve been struggling with the finer points of existence since the day I turned 30.  In all honesty, I still don’t know how to feel about it.  I feel like my youth is gone and some semblance of wisdom is required.  However, there still may be a lot of my youth left because in comparison I’m not as old as my peers or contemporaries.  It’s just been a weird thing to try and wrap my mind and heart around.

One thing I’ve found is that part of getting older, you tend to look back and reflect on everything that’s happened.  Meanwhile, the more and more experience that you gain, the more and more you may come to realize that in spite of everything that has happened, there is something missing.  Personally, I’ve found that there has been a lot missing because there’s a pretty wide contrast between how things really happened and how things could have hypothetically gone better.  There’s just been a need for some hindsight.  Maybe I feel like if I went back and looked at things, maybe I’ll find something I missed.  As much as people will say that you can’t live in the past and take advantage of the present, there is indeed wisdom in dwelling in it.  Maybe not so much as reliving memories or finding safety in them, but there’s a unique opportunity to use current events to draw parallels to the past.

The one thing… perhaps the most sizable objection I’ve had about getting older has always been that the more and more time spent having the same mindset or attitude, the more difficult it is for a shift to occur.  It’s always been accepted as an axiom of the human condition and there’s circumstances that seem to further reinforce those concepts.  Whether they come down to our perceptions of ourselves, how we should treat others, or even regards to how we carry ourselves… there’s always something missing that gives clarity and offers an avenue to pursue change.  I am no exception to this.

Throughout most of my life, I don’t believe I’ve had a “true” sense of what love really was.  Sure, the emotional attachment was there and I could experience what it was.  However, the more I look at it now, the more I believe that nearly all of those connections were conditional.  It was hard, and to this day still is, to believe that genuine interest exists beyond a superficial level.  Because of that preconception, anything that may or may not have come from those relationships and connections were effectively confined within that concept.  I couldn’t for the life of me understand why that was so damaging… and much to my chagrin and utter misery… to me and me alone.  Until now.

As I’ve gotten older and had experiences the constructs that I’ve built over the years, I’ve only now come to realize just really what was missing through it all.  I can say that not being in an emotionally stable place affected me in such a way to remove any joy, gratification, or perhaps even any wisdom that may have came with knowing that there was more than what was at the surface.

An epiphany can come from anywhere and from anyone who has endured a similar heartbreak that I have.  I would like to believe that I’m not arrogant enough to know that there isn’t any wisdom in the psychological warfare or emotional turbulence that the people in my life go through everyday.  I see people I care about go through rough times and I can empathize with, console them, and perhaps even advise them going forward in coping with the reality of what just happened to them.  Even as a young man, I always thought that my purpose in being a friend would be fulfilled in doing just that.  That’s all I felt I had to offer so why not offer it freely, right?

Then it just hit me… the way this person was feeling… not only could I empathize with… I could identify with.  I had all of these feelings of betrayal, resentment, feeling like I wasn’t enough and that I didn’t deserve to attain my goals or pursue my dreams… and because of all of those perceived failures, I learned (Quite easily, I might add) that I also didn’t deserve something else.

Forgiveness.

Because I didn’t deserve forgiveness, I found it much more difficult to give it and near impossible to receive it.  Especially now that I’m consistently around personalities that put me in a position to constantly shift my logic and way of thinking to allow for such things.  Furthermore, it’s allowed me now to isolate what I have now that could have served me so much better then… and may have allowed for a different life had I known how to do things differently.  Because all I knew was bitterness and pain, that’s all I allowed myself to see.

“Y’see, I feel sorrier for you than I do for him.  Because you’ll never know the things that love can drive a man to.  The ecstasies, the miseries, the broken rules, the desperate chances, the glorious failures, the glorious victories…  All of these things you’ll never know simply because the word ‘love’ isn’t written into your book.” -DeForest Kelley

For the longest time, that word wasn’t in my book and even more to the point, it didn’t mean anything.  There was no opportunity for what it really meant to love someone until recently.  Looking at the big picture now, it’s so true.  True love forces us to identify just what kind of a person we can really be.  I was not the type to go to hell and back for anyone… or even honestly out of my way for them.  I’ve seen what love can do.  I’ve seen its destructiveness.  I’ve seen how it changes people into something so… ugly.

I’ve also seen how it changes someone into something beautiful.

I’ve seen how it grants a second, third, or a fourth chance when they’d swear up and down that they shouldn’t have or didn’t even want another one.  As someone who has endured the ecstacies, miseries, consequences to the broken rules and desperate chances, been disappointed from the effort that lead to nothing but failure… and found lasting hope and joy for being in the midst of the essence of anything but love, I’ve found that it is the one thing that we absolutely cannot afford to do without or use maliciously towards each other.

I’ve always been a Kirk.  I’ve always been the one willing to go above and beyond.  In retrospect, I needed to learn how to be Spock.  I needed to learn that in spite of everything that I’ve learned and conditioned myself to be, that at the root of it all there is no release in resentment and no meaning in life without any risk… and above all else… knowing there is absolutely no life without love… and being loved in return.

-Kevin

P.S:  Thank you for the words of wisdom, Adrian. #ChooseLove

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