Thursday, September 30, 2010


If it seems to you that my life is forever in flux, you'd be right. Most people's lives are such, but few get to see such a balance of extremes. Things go from very good to very bad, and I try to catch up. When it's good, I prepare for the pendelum swing, and when it's bad I remember the good so as to combat it. Change is inevitable, and it's as constant as the seasons- we have little control or choice in the matter. The only alternative to change is stagnation, which is like death and devolution. So, I choose life and change.
Now, I do not pretend that I love all the changes that take place in my life, because I certainly do not. But, I accept them and hold to the belief that all things "come out in the wash", as the saying goes. One may not be able to choose all the things that happen in life, or even when it happens, but one can choose to celebrate instead of mourn. In midst of all the erractic things of life, this is one thing that you can have and hold for your own.

You may mourn the death or celebrate the life
You can sit down and weep or stand and laugh at strife.

I talked to a boy today that has an immense amount of talents and abilities at his disposal. He's in school, only a year away from graduating and becoming a substance abuse counselor. He wants to join the navy because he feels an immense pull for him to do so- who can argue with that? But he wants to quit school now and join. I urged him otherwise: go in the military if you want, but go in after finishing school so that you can be an officer. He told me he didn't want to be an officer because he didn't believe he had the skillset to be an officer. I became slightly exasperated- "what is it with people thinking everything should come so easily and naturally?" was the thought- and told him: "i'm sure Patton wasn't PATTON in the beginning. There's a learning process, even if you have the natural ability, just like with music." (He's a drummer, so this was very applicable to him.) He laughed and said I made sense (which I'm aware of). Let's see if my words were enough to encourage him to postpone going into the military at least long enough to get his degree. My other piece of advice was this:
"do what's going to cause you the least amount of regret. You will never regret having a degree but one day you might regret that you don't." I for one, think that he'd make a great officer- he's no Patton, but he could be someday (even though I'm very well aware that Patton was Army, not Navy). Why not dream when you can?
For me, it seems times of dreams are over. Reality has a firm grasp on me, and it only becomes more apparent every day. My mother had to have emergency surgery last week (thankfully, she's fine now). My father, honestly, can't handle a crisis. He is very much not in control of himself as a general rule, but when things get crazy, he flies to pieces. When I got to the hospital, he did calm down ever so slightly, but on the phone he sounded absolutely crazy. My mother is his "rock"- without her, my dad doesn't do well. My brothers, however, didn't even make it a point to call until days later- despite being made aware of the situation. It's very evident that I cannot entrust my parents to my brothers, and that, as they age, that their care will fall on me. While my parents are in relatively good health, despite the fact that they're nearing 70, it is inevitable that they're going to need help, especially my father. He worries me most of all. His mind seems to be slipping- he's so forgetful of everything, he's extremely volatile emotionally. My father, who has been engineering all his life, can no longer accurately make measurements, and this is most troubling of all. So, in looking down the highly possible realities of life down the road, I have decided that I will stay very near them. Staying here is, quite frankly, an awful prospect, but worse is the idea that my parents, who have remained my faithful cavalry my whole life, may need me and I will not be around to return their unfailing love and care. So, here I stay. And I begin the process of building a permanent life, instead of transient one, which is something I've never known in my entire 25 years. I'll do my best. I'm very thankful that while I was not blessed with being the most beautiful or the most athletic, I was blessed with immense personal strength and conviction and sense enough to know how to use what has been given to me. I feel that eminently it will be put to the test.

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