I had begun thinking big and dreaming big. I was beginning to see my potential. I was growing. A lot. Things were coming out of me that…had power to them. In them. And I felt like I had a responsibility to put these gifts to use, to not waste them. And I really thought I would, I really thought I’d see these dreams thru. How could I not? The signs were too clear. When ALL the signs say “Go THAT way,” what kind of idiot wouldn’t go THAT WAY? By the end of high school, life was good. Understand, in general, I hated my high school. The education was fine, and I was a pretty good student by then, but the people and the culture just sucked. You have no idea how long it took me to figure out that “People don’t suck, it’s just Phoenix!” But thankfully, by the end of it I had found maybe half a dozen people I really cared about AND (this was new!) genuinely seemed to care about ME. You have no idea how good that felt. It was in the fortress of their friendship that I felt safe enough to pull the pieces my self out and put them back together. I rebuilt myself under their watch. Thank you. I was feeling SO GOOD and so alive at the end of my senior year, that I had my first conscious and visceral experience of psychic phenomena!
After graduation, the school hosted an all night party, and we actually went. Because…that’s what all the cool kids did. Ha. At the end of the night (i.e. 5 in the morning), which was a truly wonderful night, we were all in the cafeteria for the last hurrah and a big raffle. The raffle was of course just a gimmick to get us to stay the whole night and not go out and kill ourselves stupid. I didn’t care about it, but everyone who came was like automatically entered in or something. And there were some badass prizes, so yeah, we were there. Sitting there around the lunch table, FOR THE LAST TIME. Lunch tables that some of us had NEVER even sat at before (we all ate outside, in a corner usually, like we were hiding from the fucking world. A lot of my friends were in Sci-fi club and had a penchant for black trench coats. Nuff said). There we were, Class of ’99, getting all sentimental and shit over our plastic cups of coke, and it happened. I was enjoyin the last hour of the party, talkin, listenin, laughin, whatever. Tired but alive. And there, in the midst of that, the strangest sensation came over me. Suddenly, my entire body….wanted to stand up. I had no idea what was going on, I just felt this push in my mind, telling me over and over to do something that I didn’t understand. I did Not want to suddenly stand up in the middle of the cafeteria for no reason at all! That was not something that I wanted to do, I valued my invisibleness. But some part of me was trying to tell me what to do in a language I was not familiar with. In the midst of that sensation, I heard my name. And then I heard it again. And it wasn’t just in my head, I knew that after the second time. And because people started to look at me. My name was being called, quite loudly. Over the speaker system. I was being called to the “stage.” I had won something in the raffle.
I immediately stood up. Thrilled to give in to this crazy impulsive urge. Even though I was still trying to process what was happening. “What.….just….happened?” I think I stood there for a second like, “What the fuck WAS THAT?” The fact that I won something was cool (and weird), BUT….something way bigger just took place in my little existence. The whole way up to the stage my head felt like it was in a dream. I was not there. This could not be happening.
Somehow….I knew this was going to happen several SECONDS before it happened. Some part of me knewwww. How is that possible?
Needless to say, that experience redefined the word “possibility.” My mind was reeling. What a message to receive. It’s one thing to believe, it’s a whole nother thing to know. From experience. Experience trumps faith, and always will. This was mine, this was just another door blown open. My mind used to be a cell, but now it’s full of skylights.
There are so many well-defined lines that can be blurred. That’s what that experience taught me, phenomenally, for whatever reason. And here’s the thing, I won three hundred dollars in plane ticket vouchers. Which is a pretty cool prize. BUT….I never used em. Just never used em. Just like that. It’s safe to say that…my life was pretty sheltered in certain ways. I would say this was a sign of that shelteredness. I had only flown in a plane like twice up to then, and it was by no means normal for me to “travel” on my own. Why am I putting that in quotes? I have no idea! I guess cuz that word was pretty foreign to me back then. It’s not that I didn’t have that kind of independence, I just didn’t have that kind of freedom.
My point is though…I Had That ONE OF A KIND EXPERIENCE over something that would lead to nothing. Wow. Do you see what that means? That didn’t happen because that trip was fated to be some huge turning point in my life that was echoing backwards into the present. It wasn’t. It never happened. I sensed the future about something completely insignificant. It happened because it happened. It happened because it’s POSSIBLE. Because I was ready for it to happen, because my mind happened to be in that perfect place that would allow for such a blur in the time continuum to occur. All within that tiny space that is my awareness. Lucky me. Still, what a thing to know.
But yeah, that’s how good my life WAS. And my state of mind. And my relationship to the abstract. It all climaxed when I was 18. My life was better than it had ever been before and that was largely due to the fact that my understanding of life was better than it had ever been before. I got it. And it’s worth noting that this culminated with the end of my search for God. I "found" him. All by my lonesome. I went from being a nonbeliever and an active skeptic to the opposite. I opened my mind to it, I searched, and God came in. It was all adding up. I could see it now. For the first time in my life, my life made sense.
I did not have the wherewithal to see it thru, to see thru what I knew needed to be seen. And said. And heard. And shared. I failed. And I did it by choice. Which is quite a kicker. Still kicks me in the gut every now and then. The Alchemist went from being one of my favorite books to a source of guilt and shame. I betrayed myself, I stabbed my own life in the back. After everything that had ever been dumped on me, the one to break me was me. It sucked. It’s the worst thing I’ve ever done. Within a couple years, I could hardly call myself a writer. And it set me on a course that would take TEN YEARS to complete. One big loop, one big detour full of little detours. What a trip. Despite all I’ve ever learned, and all I’ve been given, I still gotta do things the slow way. Sucks.
For all those years, I was living, and encountering people and touching lives and being touched by lives and I wasn’t even myself! I was not being the best me I could be. I was not representing human existence as I knew it should be, full of verve and splendor. I was barely invested in the story of us. I was not appreciating what I had or what I was given. I was not in love with life. And I was okay with rarely feeling GREAT.
I almost feel like I should apologize to all those people I came to love or came to love me then for never showing them my best. I’m sorry. You all deserve better. I hope that you will open your minds to all that I really am. It only gets better. I promise. Unless you don’t really like me that much. Then.....it probably…..doesn’t.It’s a silly thing to dwell on, but if I do, it brings me down. What a shame. To go from such a high to such a lifeless medium. To go from being a catalyst of good and betterment to being a glimmer in the window of your own life. Silly.
But you know what, that’s what life does to us. It makes us less than ourselves. Kills us by degree. It’s the deaths we never see. Our inner child, our spirit, our innocence, our belief. It’s the deaths we never see that affect us the most.
But whatever, thank god for second chances. These things can be regrown, the abstract world is very plentiful. I’m back now. And I am truthfully better than ever. Positive energy is an amazing thing and can take you to great places IF you can harness it. And truly believing in yourself is like throwing off the chains of doubt and sprouting wings. I would suggest doing both, if you have something worth flying for.
My life right now is better than it has EVER been. And I think it’s worth noting that that is a pretty remarkable thing to be able to say. I am thankful for it. I have been more alive and more creative this past year than I have ever been before. And the quality of my work AND my life have risen to new heights. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it’s a really exciting time to be me. And the opportunities on the horizon are absolutely TITILLATING. I would be jealous if I were you, but thankfully, I am me. ;-)