Happy Birthday to Me

December 28 was my birthday. I’m 21. Wow. 21. So what? Big deal. So I can drink and gamble now. Like I’m supposed to just go crazy, drinking strawberry daiquiris and putting my life savings on number 22 at the roulette table. Give me a break. Just because I can do something doesn’t mean I should. I have the right to do so, but I’m not planning on pursuing those branches of life, at least not at this time.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately and it’s been a rewarding experience. Thinking in terms of the future. Wondering what I’m going to do with my life. Trying to understand how I fit into this puzzle called the real world. Finding my niche. Understanding why I’m here. Believing that I know deep down what the purpose of my existence is.

I know writing will be a big part of my life, as I’ve shown immensely over the past six months or so. I realize that humor is another key component in my life. Love is strong in my life as well, an unconditional love of everything around me. Understanding, stillness, relaxation, all other qualities of myself. Listening. Being there. Knowing. All things I know I possess. All qualities I am working steadfastly to improve on a daily basis. Being myself is quite a challenge.

You know how sometimes you get sucked into popular culture. You buy all the fad clothes, all the stupid toys or whatever that other people are raving about. You don’t do it because you like those things, but do it to “fit in.” Fitting in can be crucial in such a conformist society. Sometimes I get taken in by these cultural values. Materials over peace, agreement over honesty, bullshit over feelings. When you’re thrown into a world that thinks this way every day, you start to pick up some things that are not desirable except out in that world.

If you are being constantly exposed to these things, it can be hard to break the habits associated with them. I work hard to destroy everything I do that goes against my personal values, my philosophy of life. I may be Zen, but why go out and buy a Zen garden? Isn’t that anti-Zen anyway? I’m not in it for the money, I’m in it for the experiences. I’m in it for living in peace. I’m in it for forming a better world. I’m in it for enlightenment. There is no object that will give me enlightenment outside of myself.

So I try to understand that less is more, less is less distractions, less clutter, less problems, less allocation. Less allows for you to think more, to consume less, to live better. When we strip ourselves from everything we own, what is left? Ourselves. Some people mask themselves with the things they own. I mask the things I own with myself. I am no longer concerned with other people’s opinion of me. That holds no stock in my book. If you disagree, you disagree. Let me live my life, make my own “mistakes,” have my own experiences, allow me to just be, and I shall do the same for you. Help me better the world and you will be rewarded handsomely with a deep feeling of fulfillment.

So looking back on the last 21 years of my life, this past one has been the culmination of success for me. I have never had a more productive year spiritually, mentally, and socially. I understand much more than I did for the previous 20 years of my life. I have lost many fears I used to have. Death is no longer a problem. I’ve accepted the fact that death will come when it needs to. There’s no reason to fear it, as it is one truth you cannot escape. So why fear the inevitable? I know I’ll move on to something else afterward anyway. I’m just not entirely sure what it’s nature will be. I’ll just have to wait and find out.

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