“…go with all your heart.”

For the longest time I have felt the desire to do something, anything. It is an immediate need that never seems to be fulfilled, even when I summon enough energy to take a step. As soon as I put one foot forward, a warming sense of calm radiates throughout my body to create a temporary feeling of relief. Soon after, the shame arrives. Why didn’t I do the sooner?

In some way we all have this thought. We want to do more, be more, have more. We seek the completion of who we are, or an extension of who we want to be. We all want to feel proud of ourselves, or I guess slightly less remorseful. The adage “life is short” feels like a neurological command prompt that is programed into our psyche at an early age. Many of us will make use of the credo, and (to coin another expression) “live life to the fullest.” This past weekend I attended a funeral where all anyone could talk about was that he had a certain passion for life – ephemeral and effervescent were in most of the speeches. Through tears, I felt myself nodding and saying yeah, that was Brett. There was a certain part of me during the services which guided my thoughts to wanting it for myself, effervescence that is. Funerals are great for allowing us to reflect on our lives. If you are like me, living life fully has actually scared me to the point that I want to do the opposite – nothing.

Why? Great fucking question. The fact of the matter is that I regret quite a bit. I don’t want to, nobody does. I want to feel like I have accomplished something. If I don’t think that I have, then I press the redial button and begin again. Each time the cycle starts over, the standard of what my expectations raises, so by the time opportunity has come and passed a few times, I have a harder bar to meet. I think I have a poor definition of what it means to actually live.

Imagine, if you will, a place or act that comes to mind when I say, “get out” or “adventure”. I can bet a few will imagine walking their favorite walk around the block or a nice drive through the mountains outside of town. Maybe a few imagined an activity they enjoy such as riding your bike or skiing, and maybe you just thought about traveling to a new place. Each time someone I close my eyes and attempt the same, usually I picture myself straight out of a Rock and Ice magazine (or something similar), climbing the hardest and coldest routes possible. I think of the people who accomplish such feats and I compare my mediocre existence to how they live their life. It makes me feel rather small.

This is not to say that I don’t want to try and climb mountains, jump out of planes or bushwhack in the jungle. It is appealing to me. However, I can honestly say that I haven’t done anything close to the caliber that these activities require and I think I should have by now. Dwarfed by the accomplishments of others I crawl back into my trap, ready to once again mentally climb a taller mountain.

Time to re-set. Up until now, I have been speaking in the negative – comparing myself to other people and trying to justify why I feel stuck. The Instagram effect. I don’t particularly like writing this way and I hope that nobody would really want to read these awful ramblings. However, my brain lives in, and has been stuck for a very long time within these sheltered walls, and I would like to acknowledge the fact that this is my norm.

My goal as I write now and into the future is to grow, learn, be kind and offer forgiveness. I want to challenge my own perceptions or accomplishments and redefine what it means to “do something”. I want to be proud of myself for how far I have come, content with where I am now and curious about where I will go. I don’t want to preach or express how you should live your life, I just want to know what works best for me. That is the only person any of us can legitimately compare ourselves to. You and I have the amazingly simple, but ridiculously complicated task of loving ourselves while asking ourselves what we want. Those of you who have this ability – fuck yeah. As for me, and maybe a few others, let’s embark on this journey together to see where we will go. We will do something different and break the cycle. We can do some of the exact same things, but maybe with a different approach. And maybe we can learn that, “wherever you may go, go with all your heart.” The internet said that some guy named Confucius said that. Sounds good enough for me.

Until the next non-sensical composition,

– Japes


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