Saturday, May 31, 2014


On this evening, I find myself mulling over of the imperfections we all share. Each of us is a complex mire of swirling vices and misconceptions. Many of the choices we make in life are shallow or short-sighted. Sometimes we make snap judgments without considering the long-term ramifications. Causation is chief amongst why we make the choices we do. Too many of us bear scars inflicted by those that have hurt us in the past, both physically and emotionally.

The beaten child becomes an abusive parent.

The scorned lover becomes a misogynist.

The overlooked student becomes a self-destructive party animal.

We all bear scars. You. I. Your best friend. The waitress that lives down the block. Your math teacher. The guy at the grocery whom bags your apples. The cop writing you a ticket. The prom queen.

We all bear scars.

Given the freedom to do so, scars can remain as open wounds that fester and spread sickness throughout your entire body. The sickness can infect your mind and spoil your thoughts. It can worm its way into your heart and ruin your ability to love - either yourself or anyone else. You grow older, more depressed, more untethered to the consciousness of mankind. Eventually, your light grows dim. At the end of it all, you find yourself to be a mere hollow shell. No spark. No internal flame. Done.

The causality of pain producing scars, which in turn causes us to make imperfect choices - that is a bond that we all share. Ironically enough, the state of normality is for us to be imperfect. To be "perfect" is not normal, but abnormal! These scars, whether we find a way to make them heal, or let them continue to sour our existence, are what construct the landscape of our lives. In a way, these scars... these past attacks on our potential happiness... they make us who we are. Each thread in the tapestry of our life is a choice. Some threads are given to us from others. Some threads are earned through hard work. Some threads are the scars themselves. Woven together, a complete person is produced.

We must hold dear our scars and attempt to heal as many as possible. Though, I make no implication as to forgiveness for the scars we have. Most actions can be forgiven; there are some that can not. This is purely subjective - only you can decide for yourself what is to be forgiven. At the end of it all, I'm left with one simple, but profound notion.

Scars are memories that refuse to be forgotten.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Make an effort.

Holidays typically prompt me to reflect upon the friends and family in my life, no matter the particular celebration at hand. Today was no exception. I can't help but think about how small my circle of family and friends has grown over the years. I realize many of you reading this fall into either of those two categories, but let me clarify even further. Within the span of a year, I will probably see between three to five relatives (not including those whom actually live with me) once or twice. Likewise, I may see one or two friends within a year (again... once or twice). Many of the people reading this will be doing so through Facebook - extended family, those of you whom I went to grade school with, worked with at previous jobs, etc. We haven't actually seen or spoken to each other in person at any point within the past seven to twenty years. Let me repeat that - seven to twenty years.

Are we really friends? In fact, wouldn't it be better to call us acquaintances?

Are we really family? It takes more than shared genetic material to be family in my book. To place this point in perspective, any two humans from anywhere on the planet are 99.9% genetically similar.

I've heard rumblings through the proverbial grapevine that many members of my extended family have taken offense to not seeing me for many years. They feel slighted that I don't come to Virginia to see my father and all of my kin. Yet, these same individuals made little to no effort to have any sort of tangible relationship with me before while I still lived in Virginia. Only now, after I have lived for many years in North Carolina, do they feel as if I should make more of an effort to be "closer". You want to know why I don't visit my father? Read this entire blog and learn the answer. You could ask him, but I doubt he knows himself as to why I don't speak to him. In correlation to this point, I'm not the type whom constantly clings to family for my survival (both financial and emotional). I don't live in a collective. I don't rely upon the kindness and assistance of relatives. I stand on my own two feet. Independence is important to me. Relying upon family goes against my very nature.

Some of you I have maintained close contact with, though we may not have shared the same airspace in quite a while. Distance has not kept us from staying in contact, to which I am grateful. We are certainly family and/or friends. You know who you are. Thank you.

The point I believe I'm winding a path towards is this...

If you want to be a part of my life, then you must make an effort to do so. It's okay to be a past acquaintance or a member of my extended family. Yet, don't make it out to be more than it really is. If you want things to change between us, then make a concerted effort. Or don't... it's your choice.

"When I see a bird that walks like a duck and swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck." -- James Whitcomb Riley