When I was still very young, I ventured out into a herd of cattle to really see if those white things (salt licks) were the same salt that I ate at the kitchen table. I trespassed on all the land near mine (and even some not so much) in search of apple orchards after stumbling on some one day. I stole grapes from a family friend's small vineyard, even after she protested that I was doing so.
When I was a bit older, I ran wildly down the streets. I sat up games racing neighborhood kids to the bus stop from further and further points. When we saw the bus on the horizon, we would all start running. If a kid was slow, he would miss the bus. Someone always seemed to miss the bus. I sometimes missed the bus. I wanted everything wildly and blindly. I wanted life in the most pure sense.
Then I got older and realized the ephemeral nature of things. I fell in love with the first girl who appreciated my poetry. I lived and died by her word, and when she broke my heart I could not understand. At the same time, I started losing key family members to disease and accident. Shocking how everything changed so fast in those days! I crawled into a shell for a bit, but found my self again while in Colorado. My family and the people I met there kindled my wonder and hope. I picked my head out of the books and started to try to personify my favorite protagonists. Adventure seemed to follow me in those days. I spent the school year in Illinois waiting for my return to my Colorado. Meanwhile, I would buy calling cards with my own saved money from working various jobs to call those friends whom I left in Colorado. On many occasions, I begged my mom to let me move, to let me find another way outside the Midwest.
So there are my foundations ... along with many life lessons on loss, pain, coldness, love, tenacity, loyalty, drive, failure, bullying, fighting, education v. knowledge, imagination and spirituality (back then only known as religion).
So that is why I cannot accept the ordinary. I cannot sign up for your casual marriage, casual kids, casual job and Friday night potlucks, though at times I do crave to fall in the fold and accept this. I want a love that will set the other hearts ablaze with jealousy. I want a love with solid foundations with kids who will know if nothing else that their parents love them and they love each other. I hate to see the pain being brought into all of these families by an inability to stand one another. I also do not want to live in a place where adventure is casual, where the climbs are low and the threat of failure may mean just a few nights in the woods or a sprung ankle. I want to feel the pinch of death as I start on my journey. I want my logical nature to fend off the wild, the uncontrollable. I want my ability to survive to hold out over the threat of death. I do not want to feel myself becoming soft. I would also like to continue on my path of knowledge. I do not want to feel my mind slipping into the apathetic malaise that plagues our society.
Lately, I think I have let go of a lot of this. Thought maybe I could just try to fail and accept the ordinary. Saying that I lost too much this time ... Saying that I always lose so much in my journeys. But I returned to my place of solace and found myself again. I guess my true nature was sitting on top of some granite peak, chilling out, waiting for me to come back to it. I like to think it could have set up there in the cool breeze, gaining composure and strength while the what was left fought my demons.
Please, let me find a path to optimism among those who will support me. Let me find the things I really crave from life. Let me find the courage to help those around me. Let me find the strength to persevere and keep hold of my true self.