I had a cup of coffee each of the past two days, which I usually don’t do for fear of my heart exploding out of my chest, excessive fidgeting, lack of sleep, etc., but I’m glad I did because I sort of stumbled upon – with help – what I’ve truly come to learn and value over these past years in a way that isn’t so easy to explain, or even grasp in concept still myself.  It sounds like a lot, but honestly it’s quite simple.  It’s like when your searching and searching for your keys ’cause your in a rush, in a hurry to get somewhere quickly because you fear if you don’t some negative consequence might befall you that you’d rather not deal with, only, when you reach down into your pocket you find them jangling in the fabric brushing against your skin.

I guess I should back up a bit.  Just a little to let you gain some perspective.  This past weekend I graduated from college.  I did it.  It doesn’t feel like I did much, but there were diplomas and cupcakes and family and gowns and so I’m pretty sure I did something in the past few years that lead to this.  I’ve always admired success, always sought after it with everything I had – if you could speak to my mom she’d be willing to tell you some embarrassing wet-my-pants stories of me not wanting to quit playing to take a break and use the john.  Somewhere along the way – before I even came to college – I started linking girls, attention, money, etc. as symbols of success and fame.  These characteristics would serve well to describe the types of people who the majority of Americans feel are successful, would they not?  It’s not a complete list I know, but the point is I started thinking that there was a path one had to follow in order to achieve these things I thought I wanted.

I had goals and lots of them.  When I was 13 I wrote my current ones down on a sheet of paper and posted it above my bed to look at every night before going to sleep.  Now, even though those goals may have been a little far shot – replacing Derek Jeter as shortstop for the New York Yankees – I look back at them now and wonder where along the trip I got off?  I’m not saying I’m going back to baseball, I haven’t picked up a baseball and actually thrown it in years, but what I’m more or less asking is what happened to the innocence I held in lofting up such beautiful dreams?

I picked marketing as a major because I thought I wanted to do advertising when I came in.  I thought about money and about creating messages and cool slogans with huge celebrities and sports stars and then somewhere in the past year, it just sort of vanished.  I won’t really narrow, or pin point one little thing, any specific event that really pushed me forward, but just know that all those things, all those miniature events and happenings started driving me in other directions.  It felt as if I had almost been sedated the past three years and had woken to find my clothes wrinkly and stained and drool stringing from my chin.  It felt I had finally woken to see that while there definitely are “paths”, they are honestly just something created to provide structure and guidance for ease of learning/life/whatever you might want to plan for.  I realized that I, a senior in college, had the whole damn world in front of myself and no one to tell me no to whatever I wanted to do – legally.

I sat drinking coffee the last couple of days, talking about how I truly viewed things, how I really felt and honestly it was amazing.  It was sort of this realization that I had indeed come upon myself; that I  finally felt fully tangible to my own touch, no longer a soul living inside a paper mache exterior waiting to be cracked open and sent sprawling onto the floor.  There was a word that kept popping up, kept being used that I know now very well and have been getting to know better and better over the past year, that what I had found in life, or rather gotten closer to, was passion.  Not the half-naked-man-holding-scantly-clad-woman on book covers right before the wal-mart registers type stuff, but the real deal… for everything.

I found that, for most things in my life, I had certain feelings and thoughts and those thoughts and feelings combined together formed opinions which eventually made/will make decisions and the whole world is happy now and everything else.  The point of writing this I guess, is that it’s important to find things your passionate about in life.  I thought, this past weekend, while sitting waiting to be called to receive my diploma, about the things I wanted to achieve, how I wanted to help others with what I do.  I thought about how crazy some people may think others are at some points, how sometimes things can be seen as waists of talent, or bad decisions, etc., but honestly who really knows in the long run?  You, somewhere in the future right?  The you, who has learned, who has educated themselves through general interest, or first-hand experience.

I’m not saying it’s bad to follow a path, not at all.  I’m saying sometimes you have to check that path to see if the ground is sturdy enough to carry you all the way forward.  And yea, some paths cross and diverge and everything, but isn’t that what makes life so damn interesting?  Isn’t that what makes interacting with each other so unique that you can sit down and talk, about nothing in general, and just enjoy it for it’s own existence, it’s own happening?  What happened to liking things just because of the way they made you feel?  What happened to being able to openly admit that?  Why are we all so afraid, so hidden from everyone else that we feel we have to conform, or mold into what is seen as successful?  Why not fail?  Why not live?  Why not attempt at dreams outside your path if you feel the passion?  It’s not wrong to be filled with questions.  Not wrong so long as you seek the answers.

Over 1000 words later, your wondering why you just spent time reading this; why you even bothered continuing this far.  Well, maybe it’s because you feel the way I do, maybe you don’t.  Honestly you feel the way you’d like to because I’m not telling you to do anything.  I’d just like to enjoy the things I do, love the people I choose to interact with and live with intention to do things as I see done right and well.  I’d like to close my eyes when I go and know that the things I did, the things I truly cherished, were monumental.