Recently, I posted several thoughts on my feed that brought a lot of approval, so here they are with a little side commentary as a preface to them.
So as “John Smith” continues to challenge me with his questions and comments about my life choices and on graduate school, I smile, because I know who I am and what I can do. I’m not lucky, I’ve just gone through the gauntlet to see where I need to be. I know what I’ve gone through in life–read the “about me” page, and there’s still much more I’ve had to endure and grow from. I know how much effort I put into things, regardless of what people perceive–from getting tutors from school and paying for my own outside help to understand, dealing with money issues on the side and working while in school, dealing with the death of three very important people to me during the fall quarter—things the naive and unlearned would never perceive because of their inability to ask questions. Things they will understand as they open their hearts to compassion, or when life throws other experiences their way if they are ready to open up and decide there is more than the shadows dancing on the allegorical cave of Plato, that if they turn around and step outside–life is right there.
“John Smith” is someone I thank because it strengthens my resolve to be who I am and laugh because what is perceived is not necessarily reality. That I vocally share my thoughts and emotions, and I am not alone in this, for life, school, spirituality, the Third Culture Kid experience–I never would have made as many friends in life had I not taken that risk and decided to embrace being me. I am Johnny C, and I am a traveler. I meditate and focus on self-reflection because it allows me to grow and challenge myself even when “John Smith” and others do not come, and it allows me to be happier with myself and choices. I know who I am and what I will do–Shakespeare’s Macbeth: “Know yourself and know your place in life, and your enemies will never conquer you.”
My aunt died on 9 November 2012. Kenny died a few months ago. Last year, I lost three people in two months. I am at a point where I am now embracing death as a friend who comes to remind us memento mori, remember death: make the most of this life on earth. I know everyone is doing well on the other side, but while I’m here, I’ll take care of the planet until the next person takes my place. When I’m in the next phase, I’ll be there with all my friends and loved ones partying hard in the Cosmos.
1. No, I’m not sad, lonely, angry, or any of that. I’m just sticking one hand in my pocket turning up the volume of the music in my headphones, and the other one wiping the sweat off my brow while I look straight ahead into the unknown horizon. The road less taken or the path yet traveled, it doesn’t matter: the sun still shines on me, and I’m gonna do the same thing I’ve been doing all my life, even when everyone has died (five this past year alone), broke or wealthy, hungry and homeless or satiated and sheltered. What’s that I’m going to do? Keep moving forward. Love is my resistance to all that comes my way.
2. When life is hell, it’s the Universe telling you that you may be better off doing something else. Resisting the river instead of flowing with it, you tire yourself out and can only get so far. It will seem like hell until you give in, then you go where you’re meant to be taken with the flow, but will have to go further and wait longer because of how much you’ve gone backwards instead of forwards.