These are the times that I live for. These are the moments that make life worth living. This is my time to shine. And this is my opportunity to accept life and make it my own. This must be what every twenty something feels like, and this must be the inspiration that moves a nation. This must be what gets people by. And this must be what everyone is waiting for. But the question remains, is that what I was looking for?
Did I enjoy all those times when I lost control? And was it really me who depended so heavily on a bottle to make life interesting? How did I get so lost in the escape? And how did I know that the escape was no longer serving me? What is it that prompted this change? And how can I tell others that their time will come? How can I inspire faith in yourself? And how can I explain the trust that I had to develop within? What made me put down that bottle? And what made me finally look up from where I stood? Who can I give credit to for saving my life? And how did I recognize my own distress signals? How can I share this experience with those who need it the most? And how can I explain that with a little faith in nothing but yourself, you might end up living a life you are proud of? How can I explain manifestation? And how can I convey the need for such exploration?
I wasn’t made different, but I became different. There was a trust in me that I cannot explain, and a faith in my heart to lead me in the right direction. But that faith wasn’t always there. I didn’t always have a clear idea of what I was doing, and at times I had too many ideas to follow through on any of them. I swing from inspiration to desperation in one breath, and I can’t seem to catch it until I hit the extreme of one or the other. I’ve felt lost and I’ve been more than confused. I’ve stumbled through life and somehow ended up alright. But alright was never enough, and I always had an eye on what I denied myself, what I could have done better. I always kept an eye out for the next possibility and I always set my standards impossibly high. When I committed to partying, I could always consume more intoxicants than my frail body could actually process. And when I put my mind to getting a job, I ended up with three choices to pick from. When I decided that I would do well in school while embracing the college student spirit, I showed up drunk to class and still got A’s. But the problem was that when I succeeded at what ever I put my mind to, I was baffled that it worked out in the end. I was stunned that I actually pulled it off, and it wasn’t until the aftermath that I realized I had changed — for better or worse. It wasn’t until I looked up from whatever situation I had gotten myself into, that I recognized that I had made it through. I am waiting for that change to hit. And I am waiting for a sign that I am headed in the right direction. I want to know that what I am doing is worthwhile, and I want to know that the work I am putting in will pay off. But I know I will never know with certainty that I am headed in the “right” direction. And I never know until afterwards what an experience might offer me. I did not think that my degree in hospitality would ever open the doors I wanted to open in life, and then I started managing a startup boutique hotel in a city that I love. I never thought that my years of drinking would have taught me anything besides how to discreetly puke in strange toilets, and then I realized that I now know my limits and I can recognize signs of my desperate need to escape. I did not consider my experience of unemployment to teach me anything besides how to kill time, but it was through time killing that I found writing and a need to balance my life. None of what I have been through is glamorous, and I’m sure most everyone can say the same about their own lives. I was presented with disadvantages, which everyone carries, but I learned to focus on my advantages instead. I taught myself to see the light, because no one else can see it for me. And I learned how to be positive. I learned when to put the bottle down, but I also learned when it is alright to pick it up again. I learned that I value time with my friends and family, but I also learned that they can constrain me with views of my past. I learned that starting a new can be one of the best and worst things I can do. And I learned that the escape is fun to chase, but it’s what I do after the escape that really sticks. I learned to have faith in experience, both good and bad. And I learned to trust that I will make things work in the end. Because there is really no other option but to continue on.
This is the moment I have been waiting for — but there were countless moments that got me here. There were moments of doubt, and moments of extreme judgement. There were moments of disappointment and moments of celebrations. There were times of grief and times of exhalation. But all of those times were times I needed, and all of those experiences led me to where I am today. I truly regret nothing, but not in a boastful way. I don’t have much to brag about, except everything I have created in this life. I want to brag about time spent with family, and boast about memories created with them. I want to shout out about parties I have attended and dance out the energy they have filled me with. I am proud of the mistakes I have made, and even more proud that I came out alright afterwards. I want to explain the disadvantages life threw my way and show how they were overcome. Because every moment is a learning moment in my world, and every opportunity is a chance to experience something new. I no longer have judgement on what might be good for me, and I no longer have a concept of what is considered bad. I define the world I live in, and I define the view that I choose to have of myself. I allowed others to control that for so very long in my life that I had forgotten that it was all up to me in the end. Because no one else can pass judgement on what I have done, because no one else is me and knows the motivation behind my actions. No one else can explain why I do the things I do, and no one else has to. Because I won’t listen anyway. And I can’t be bothered by the pressures of other’s perceptions. I can only consider me, and I have to be selfish. Because I was handed one life on this earth and I was gifted one opportunity to live, and it has to matter to me and no one else. So all others be damned. This is who I am. This is what I was looking for. And this is the life I want to live.