Daydream Believer

February 13, 2013

I tend to daydream. A lot. In fact, I think I may be the only person that dreams more throughout the day than I do when I sleep. My mind is always running a mile a minute, pulling my focus in multiple directions at a time. I may come off as a pretty laid back guy, but don’t be fooled; beneath my cranium is a three ring circus, and the shows run all day.

I can recall one particular report card from first or second grade that read something like this: “He is very bright and engaging, but seems to daydream incessantly. He lacks focus on his schoolwork and seems to let his imagination get the best of him throughout the day.” Yup. Sounds about right. I used to stare out of the classroom window, watching as each leaf would make its one and only descent, swaying back and forth, taking its time, and really enjoying the only trip it will ever take, until it reached its final resting place. I saw life that way, even as a child. I was that leaf. I longed to let go and be free, even for a moment. As fleeting as life can be, I wanted to truly enjoy the ride…as long as I was here on this earth. I hated the thought of being stuck in a classroom all day when there was so much to discover in the outside world.

Even as an adult, I’ve seemed to retain that childlike wonder. I may not be that innocent boy that I once was, but I’ve never lost the ability to get lost in my own head. Even as we grow older and our once innocent thoughts can turn to sadness, longing, or pain, I can still find that place where I can go to be free. Where creativity is a river that flows endlessly and without effort, and peace is a lake, silent and blue.

I realize that we live in a world of fast tracks and deadlines. None of us, including myself, are exempt from the stresses and burdens of life in the twenty-first century. It’s a jungle out there, and we’re all just trying our best to stay sane in a very insane world. But I encourage all of you to take just a few minutes of each day, whenever you can, to turn off the TV, log out of facebook, shut down the computer, turn off your phone, close the book…and just let your mind go. Pray. Meditate. Think of a loved one. Stare out of a window. Find a trail near your house and take a walk. Whatever you have to do to shut out the world, and plug into your mind.

This might sound ridiculous to some, but our minds need a breather every once in a while. A chance to reset and break from the daily grind. Think of it as a joyride for your mind. It’s a simple concept, I know, but we often tend to overlook the simplest things. Sometimes we need to be reminded to simply slow down. To breathe. To forget about the worries of the day for a while. And just be. It may feel like you’re wasting your time at first, but trust me…you’ll soon discover just how productive that quiet time can be. Take it from me; there is no better place to get lost than in your own mind.

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The Road to Rediscovery

January 1, 2013

I’m not going to lie. 2012 wasn’t one of my better years. In fact, if I really thought about it, I might conclude that it was one of my worst. There were no monumental failures, or catastrophic events that took place. Just a series of missteps, bad luck, and a bit of heartbreak for good measure. I made some new friends, but had to say goodbye to a few as well. I fell in love, but as often happens, it wasn’t meant to be. I’ve gained and I’ve lost. I’ve laughed and I’ve cried. But, when it is all said and done, I probably learned more about myself in this last year than I have in the last ten. And that’s definitely something to be grateful for.

We truly learn who we are in the trenches, in the rain and mud. When we are down and out, at our lowest of low points. When we have no where else to hide, and are faced with only one way out. To look inward and find what was missing before. To look ourselves in the mirror and see what we are really made of, other than flesh and bone. You’d be surprised what you are actually capable of. Most of us will sell ourselves short in one way or another. It’s a fact. The majority of us will never reach our full potential. Doubt plays a big role. Fear. Self-loathing. These are just a few of the many reasons why we will only become a fraction of what we could, and should be.

But it’s never too late to start discovering yourself…

All it takes is that first step. It’s the hardest one, but the only one that really matters. Whether it is your goal to run a marathon, learn to play the piano, or reconnect with a long lost loved one, you must take that first step to making it a reality. The road to rediscovery won’t be an easy one, but don’t let that discourage you. Nothing worth achieving is going to come without a little hard work.

So maybe it’s time to hold off on the resolutions, and just learn to be yourself again. Remind yourself of what makes you happy, and what really makes you tick. Fall in love with yourself…yeah, that’s right…learn to truly like that person staring back at you in the mirror. Because you know what? Behind the blemishes, the insecurities, and the crooked smile, lies a pretty amazing person. The only one that needs convincing is yourself.

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My Life, As It Were

November 9, 2012

“You really should be writing all these stories down. Seriously. You have so many crazy stories that you could write a book.”

This is something I have heard dozens of times in my adult life. “Sure, I’ll get around to it”, I always thought. And to be honest, they are right. In my 30 years of existence I have had quite an interesting life. Not a life that would necessarily jump off of the page at you, or even one that has been lived to its fullest extent, but one that has had its fair share of ups and downs, its triumphs and heartbreaks, and its moments of sheer absurdity. The book of life has many chapters; some more interesting than others. Some are funny, some are heartbreaking, and some just don’t make sense. The foreword is constantly being rewritten, and the epilogue is just a heartbeat away.

With this blog it is my intention to begin writing, in essence, the story of my life. Word for word, story by story, and in no particular order. A tall task I know, but I intend to give it my best effort. I won’t share everything. Some stories are best left untold. And to respect the privacy of other parties involved I may often change a name here and there. I will also try my best to steer clear of politics and religion. There is enough division in this world, and I don’t intend to let it infiltrate my little corner of the worldwide web.

My hope is that these stories can help inspire you. Make you think. Make you laugh. Lift your spirits. Even if they do nothing more than give you a nice little distraction from this crazy world, then I will have accomplished my goal. And perhaps no one will read these stories. I am after all, just a man, with no extraordinary accomplishments. But to me, I have lived an extraordinary life. And if this blog serves no other purpose than for me to chronicle the random events that have made up my life so far, that’s just fine with me. I look forward to finally putting my stories to words, and I hope you enjoy getting to know me a little better!

– Josh