Why the mountains

I swear the air smells funny. It really does. People say the air up there smells crisp, fresh and clean, but I get something a bit different. When I first took a whiff of mountain air it reminded me of a strange and distant memory—the smell of the sheep eyeball we watched get dissected in 1st grade. I’m serious, I can see myself and 4 other classmates sitting around a small round table in the project area, sitting in tiny multicolored chairs, watching in horror and amazement as Mrs. Wile took apart a single eyeball in a clear Tupperware as it sat in a water-like liquid. That memory sits on the edge of thought as I breath in the cold air of the mountains. And, for some reason, it’s still a pleasant thing—the scent of the mountains. Very strange, I know. The unexpected placement of that memory continues to boggle me.

The mountains do strange things to the mind, and honestly we all could use some mountain time. Mountains, they let your mind wander. They remind you of lives you once lived, the feelings you once felt. All in such an unexpected way. But they don’t punish you like doubt or regret does, they just sit there, massive and magnificent in front of you. And you don’t expect anything else from them except that. There’s such a peace in it.

Sometimes you need something strong, something being all that it can and all that it ever needs to be. Because, sometimes you feel like string raveling undone off the spool onto the floor. You feel like the roadrunner losing the ground you’re standing on waiting for that plunge that you all too well expect and know. Having something like a mountain in front of you, it does something. It stays strong for you.

In elementary school, I was one of those kids who would sit on top of the monkey bars during recess. We were like trapeze acrobats swinging down off of them. I was pretty good at it too, but one time I overextended my swing and found myself landing on my back onto the wood chips. I remember laying there gasping for air that wasn’t there, terrified at this dying-like feeling, but then I found my gaze up to the sky. It was bright blue with bright white fluffy clouds, and it was then that I found my breath. This was the first memory I have of getting the breath knocked out of me, and when shit hits the fan I can feel those wood chips digging into my back with that same burning in my chest. I discovered it then, I and still know it now, I need something like mountains. Because when I stand in front of something so huge, so entirely large, I don’t have to think about inhaling. It comes easy. I get to feel small. The aching of my longings, the worries of my discontent, the pain from disappointment, it all somehow gets blown away by the air up in the mountains, and I’m able to breath.

The weird air up there, the unexpected scent of it, there’s something funny about it, I swear.

 

Boom goes the dynamite

So there I am, at the gym working out on the arc trainer— you know, the elliptical looking machine that makes you look like you’re jumping over hot coals or something. I keep my phone in front of me laying horizontal on the ledge of the face of the machine. I go to skip a song on my Pandora station, cocking my head to read the name of the next song, when my hand gets caught up in my headphone cord which then sends my phone flying off the machine. Hitting the foot swingers of my machine on its way down, my newly leased iPhone bounces off not only the machine that’s to my left, but then off a third arc trainer before it finally hits the ground leaving booming echoes of this extraordinary fall. My headphones, dangling in front of me, still plugged into my ears. So harshly was my music torn from me and left me with the deafening loud hum of the ellipticals in front of me and some top-40 pop song overhead on the main speakers.

Muttering a “fuck, “which very probably was a bit above a mutter, as I angrily ripped out my earbuds and slowed down my pace to stop the machine so I could retrieve my phone two machines over. Thankfully there was nobody in the immediate area of fire. Apprehensively walking toward it, I could see it was facing down hiding any shame it now may have possessed. Bending over and under the machine to snatch it up, I turned it over to realize my fear was real. I had managed to crack yet another screen—another glass spiderweb to look through.

Okay, so it wasn’t that bad of a crack, and it was only the screen protector that cracked, but STILL, this was the piss of the day that broke my seal.

To get some background, I am no stranger to cracks in my life. For some reason I attract them. Just one week earlier I turned in my old phone that had been severely cracked for over a year, both screen and protecter. I was just now getting used to the luxury of having a smooth, bright, crackless, and happy full iPhone screen. I currently have a crack in my car windshield that over 3 years has been annoyingly extending right into my sightline. I graduated college with a laptop that survived falling off my couch onto a wood floor—surviving meaning it worked but a ginormous crack spread over it. I was an advertising design major, and every graphic design I turned in was created through a glass spiderweb.

So, as you can see, I am FED UP with having cracks in my life, in my sight, and under my fingertips.

But, this whole crack thing got me thinking.

Cracks happen.

And yeah, they become something we always have to look past, an annoyance that we deal with. But, eventually you don’t notice them anymore. You learn to live with the cracks. Hell, maybe the cracks made me a better designer, you know, gave me a keener eye…Ha. Ha.

It just goes to show that events that happen to us may seem like a big deal initially. It might even feel like the end of the world. But, as proof of you living, life goes on. The cracks of life are still there, but your human strength to focus on the more important things, like the road in front of you, give you the edge you need to get through.

Sometimes we have to remember

This morning, I ate 4 cinnamon rolls, the kind that comes in the tube that you have to smash open. Each bite was less satisfying than the one before, but still I continued eating. The frosting is what kept me going. I got the cream cheese kind because, well duh.

Sometimes, the frosting is what keeps us there, in a good moment. Underneath the mundane reality of a singular moment, is something sweet enough to make it memorable. These sweet moments, although may be short in duration, last long and strong in our memories. Because, it’s not about how recent something happened, but how memorable it was. That’s what matters. Our life is compiled of events. Some of them are sweeter than others, and those are the ones that usually continue to stand out to us over time.

Time is something that goes, always. It will always be there, and it will always be gone, away from us. What we need to remember is not the amount of time away we are from the good moments, but the moments themselves. Because they will always be there. They won’t change, they happened. They may have moved us, stopped us, made us ponder, or made us feel. The fact is that they were there, apart of us. We forget too often about the memories that matter to us. Our present reality is not everything, although a lot of us rely on it for happiness. When we take a look back at our frosting moments, we get another glimpse of something we let live back in our mind. When we bring it to the front, we see and recognize something that continues to be a part of us. Because we aren’t just made up of this moment, but all the moments before. And we should remember that even though the past is where they live, they are still with us, always.

 

The illusions we treasure.

People don’t say what they want to say.

People don’t say what they need to say.

People say what they think they should say, and people do what they think they should do.

So what does that make us?

Short answer. Delusional.

We live in a world where we are told we have total control, but do we really? Did you tell the person you just fell in love with, that you love them? No. Because who in their right mind could fall in love that fast? Better hide it wait for a more reasonable time to share your feelings. Saving face is what we live for. God forbid we respond to a text message in less than a minute. The person on the other end might actually think we care.

We’re all fucking crazy.

We live in a world where we feel more connected to–more empowered from– our phones than actual people. And even then, we use our phones as a crutch to lean on so we don’t have to expose our vulnerabilities.

This selfie says, “I’m doing great! Actually, I ‘m more than great. I’m doing better than you, and look how awesome my face looks today!” That’s what we want people to see–to think. That we are fine, when in fact, fine is the word keeping others at bay from us. Don’t get too close, under the bullshit is a whole lot of ugly that we don’t like looking at. So we give it a new face. One that shows only what we want others to see, what we think they want to see. And what’s really messed up about it is…it’s easy.

We keep our phones on the table during dinner. We stare at our screens when we are in a room full of people. We are sitting right across from each other, but we might as well be miles away because we can still ‘like’ each others pictures–each others lives. We look at our views through, a pretty decent, cell phone camera. Our phones have literally become the middle man of our life. When did we become complacent with shit like this? When did we find more enjoyment in posting on social media, than we actually do taking the goddamn picture.

I can’t preach like I’m any different though. I use Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat more than I should. I feel the connection to the world that exists in the imaginary cloud. I feel the urgency to share the good moments of my life. I contribute to the illusion. But that doesn’t mean I’m not sick of it all. Because really, who the fuck cares what I had for lunch? Short answer. Not even me.

It’s stupid the amount of pictures of food I have on my Instagram. It’s stupid the amount of selfies I have of myself–like just me, close up, blurry background.  Honestly, who the fuck cares about what I look like today. Short answer. Not even me.

So why do we do it? Why do we let this imaginary world be our reality?

Maybe because it is easier to face than the truths of our lives. Definitely.

It’s easier to click a share button than to actually go do the adventure written in the article. It’s easier to read about how your relationship might be fucked, than actually LOOKING at it. Hell, it’s easier to end a relationship because of what you read, than actually reading into the person you’re sharing the damn bed with.

People are real. The warmth from our bodies is real. The words we say are the result of our thoughts so why don’t we make them mean something. We are limited in the ways we are able to connect with this world, and express ourselves to others. What we say and do is all we have. But these days we don’t say or do anything.

Except click an imaginary button, that who really cares about? Short answer. Nobody.

 

The happenings of your mind

It’s the sound your mind makes. When you drift off into yourself, and reality gets pushed behind. It’s something you don’t notice until you are snapped back into realness.

Inspiration can be found in anything you find beautiful. Whether it be an ugly beauty, or the definition of it, it can stir something within you. Sometimes its effect is great. Sometimes it’s meant to stay in that moment. Wherever you find it, keep it close. Let it ignite your ambitions, and steer your flight.

Lights connecting in your brain, ideas begin to shine through the rest of it all. You get lost in the paths intertwining, creating a maze of thoughts–the kind where there’s no way out.

You know, it’s kind of like those drawings you would make as a kid–at least the kind I would make. Where you make lines and shapes on a page of paper without picking up your utensil, and you find a way to connect it all. Then, you fill in each shape made with different colors, creating a map of colors. That’s what I imagine creativity taking shape from inspiration looks like.

And my favorite part about it? No two drawings look the same. It’s like a snowflake but cooler. It’s created solely from your beautiful mind.

You have it in you. Everyone does. At different extents. Different pictures get painted. Some people use colors that others don’t. That’s what makes thought so interesting.

Embracing it is a whole ‘nother level of beauty. That’s the kind that inspires others. People living with this breadth are my favorite kind of people. Life seems better when you surround yourself with thinkers.

 

It happens in a moment

Life as we know it. What is it exactly? You think you know what it feels like to be in whatever life you have, then BOOM, it–oh so suddenly–is something different. How can time make life feel so different? How can something that was once so familiar become to feel so distant, and odd? Realizing it tho. That’s what’ll get ya. The feeling comes so quickly. You know, it’s kinda like the feeling you’d have trying to catch butterflies while running down an avalanche. Super unsettling. Super strange. Super unstoppable. No answers as to why or how. Just that feeling. And then, BOOM, you’re pulled back into your current reality…you look up from the picture the ground painted and move forward.

Something you thought you wanted, suddenly seems unworthy. Something you were so unsure about, suddenly has a distinct direction.

The kitchen floor your bare feet scuffle on is now different. Your daily routine starts to actually resemble a routine. Your waist is thinner. Your views are more colorful. People leave. People come.

 

Life gets different.

 

And you adapt to it; unaware of the smells and sights you used to know drifting further and further away from your consciousness. It’s only until a moment, a moment that the life you know dissipates, where something is catapulted back into your mind.

‘Hmm. That feels like something I used to know.’

But you can’t keep onto it. As quickly as it comes, it goes. All that’s left is that feeling of uneasiness because you know you just missed something. It’s like a dream that you know you vividly dreamt, but when you wake you suddenly can’t remember a lick of–only the lingering feeling of it. Floating in this awkward presence, your past life rubs with your current. Just enough to remind you that you lived once before.

This is it, the end of college. Shit. I mean, hooray!

1464670_10156650810310181_4171462827021866781_n

“I should ask them for a ride,” said the girl from my class as we were walking out of the building. She was talking about a pickup truck stopped at the stoplight  with 4 rowdy college boys in the bed of it–no tailgate. I laughed. (It’s one of the first nice days after dealing with yucky winter, so as you can see people were celebrating.) Then the next moment she is running across the street to really ask them for a ride! After a little budging, 3 guys inside open the doors and let her jump in. I laugh again in disbelief–mostly at the fact that she literally just jumped into a truck full of people she doesn’t know. (Now I know you may be thinking that a girl getting into a car full of strange guys isn’t the smartest, but keep in mind that this happened in broad daylight and Spartans tend to generally see the good in people.) 

After the light turned red again, I crossed the street and preceded to walk to my bus stop across campus. Along the way I couldn’t but help but think about that girl. Not that what she did was a bad or dangerous decision, but that I wish I could be as spontaneous as that. I would never do something that crazy and out of the blue. I mean, I do do spontaneous things sometimes, but never have I decided something that quick! That truck was waiting for the light to turn green. When I saw them, my only thought was “haha that’s funny.” While, this girl was already thinking about running over and asking them for a ride!

 

Lately, I have been searching for some inspiration.  Finishing up my last semester of college has got me seriously freaking out about the fucking future. I’m graduating from a Big 10 University, and I STILL don’t know what I want to do when I grow up. My plan was to have this figured out by now. It’s only been this last year that I have actually begun to enjoy my major. So, what should I do?

No idea here.

So. That is why I am searching for some inspiration. I need to find out what makes me excited about life. What makes me passionate. I have began to feel a lot of inspiration and passion for a business of mine, but I’m looking for even more. I’m looking for a  new mindset, and a happy balance in life. I know whatever journey I am about to embark on is not going to be easy. The lost and wandering college grad doesn’t get it’s bad rep from nothing. But, I’m actually excited about this part of my life. Now, that statement might totally bite me in the ass here soon, but I’m keeping an open mind.

So, back to the girl who jumped in the truck. She reminded me that life is about living! I gotta get out there! Too often I find myself cooped up not taking any risks. AND I’M SO BORED. Not to say that my life is boring, but I am bored with doing the same ol shit sometimes. I’m craving something brand spankin new, even if it scares the poop out of me.

Netflix, it’s been real. But I’ve gotta cut down our chill time. It’s not you, you’re great. Seriously, great. It’s me…