Alive


Dear Friends,

A very dear friend of mine once told me that when I write I’m not great at defining the beginning, the middle or the end.   “Hmm…” I thought to myself,  “You know what she’s right”.  So it got me thinking…and since I have a blog it’s obviously something I do far too much off :)!  I’ve always wondered what it would be like to write for a living.  Stressful I’m sure but infinitely rewarding… especially since I love to do it.  But in saying that I can’t write for long.  I don’t think I could write novels or even short stories for that matter.  When I look back at the various things I have written I see one constant and enduring theme.  It hits me in the chest like a bolt of lightening, this sudden, almost uncontrollable desire to speak my mind, to scream it out loud on a sheet of paper and then share it with those I care about so that I know I said it.

Now that’s generally a fleeting enterprise and not given to chapters and volumes.  So one day I think I’ll figure out what to write about… but in the meantime let me keep doing it this way :).

The Begining,

My mother always told me I was a quiet boy and content to play with my legos and later Nintendo for endless hours without interruption.  In fact I remember the excitement of receiving a new lego model to build and construct a new creation.  The sound of the plastic crinkling as I opened up each little packet of blocks and lights.  I remember being careful to follow the instructions, just so, and always one step at a time.  I remember the pride of finishing… and the sudden pang of regret that I had no more blocks left to build.

My Nintendo days were spent fighting as my self-named hero, “Bors” swashbuckling through Dragon Warrior, Final Fantasy and Zelda.  Later it gave way to building empires on my all time favorite game, Civilization.  In my own world I was a King building an empire and struggling to fend off the Mongol hordes.  I lived whole lifetimes tucked up in front of my Intel 386 powered processor and 16bit color 13in screen.  Ahh… life was good.

In the beginning I ran around in red colored corduroy pants, wore a captains hat I picked up in Niagara falls and was imminently excited about receiving a new pair of sneakers at the start of each school year.  Simple… innocent… does it get any better?

In the Middle,

I grew up of course, got taller, a little heavier and adopted all the insecurities of a modern teenager for my time.  I got pimples, agonized over how my hair looked and fretted unceasingly about how to flirt with girls.  As I entered high school I made my first true life long friends (Rob, you the man!) and dated my first girl (it was called “going out” back then).  I worried about fitting in, about the clothes I wore, about how my grades stacked up against my peers and how to try and be cool… even though I wasn’t on a sports team or built like a teenage superstar.

I survived like we all do and did and no doubt from those days some of the lasting traits of my personality were born and buried deep in the foundation of who I am. As high school progressed Rob and I held court each weekend to organize the frivolities that would ensue. We banded together with some other chaps and the “5 Amigos” were born.  We would toilet paper our friends houses, party into the wee hours of the morning, talk about girls, drive our cars way to fast and do everything in our power to embrace that noblest of teenage endeavors… to be invincible!

In the middle I wore jeans and t-shirts that fitted just right so that I didn’t feel like my arms were to skinny.  I wore an old green hat with a British flag seen on the front and I ran around in worn out docksides that were perpetually in need of being re-shoed.

The End,

High school gave way to College and Grad School and in a blur modern day life begun. Along the way I feel in love, out of love, and back in love again.  I owned my first cell phone and now today my 20th (go iPhone!).  I became confident in knowing what I want and when I want it… even if I had to learn the hard way to recognize it next time it comes around.  I learned that who I am is who I am… and that is okay, even if it isn’t okay with everybody else.  I learned the world is big, scary, confusing, lonely, noisy, exciting, wildly different and bloody enormous!  I learned that my life doesn’t have a script and that I can’t fast-forward through the bits I don’t like anymore than I can rewind to live over the bits I think I lived wrong.

These days I work hard at my job and plan for my retirement.  I have a life insurance policy and very shortly a will.  I can understand what the newscasters are saying on MSNBC about futures and equities and I get sort of excited when I see one of my stocks flash green and get bigger.  I drive, I fly and I take ferries to and from places I have never been.  New airports don’t’ scare me and the idea of 15 hour flights doesn’t sound so horrifying.

These days I still wear jeans and still wear t-shirts that I think don’t make my arms look skinny :).  I wear an old red hat and still wear docksiders that are in a perpetual need of being replaced (which I just did).  I have considered upgrading my wardrobe with the addition of a watch… but other than that not much else has changed.

I know I am just at the end of one chapter and ready to start the next…even if I can’t write it out that way :).  I know tomorrow will bring a fresh batch of new beginning, middle and ends and hopefully they will all be worthy of adding to the storybook of the life I write about.  In the end… this is me… and I’m alive… and every now and then I’ve just got to scream it out loud and scribble it down on a piece of paper…one voice in a sea of billions… but just for a moment I think maybe mine was loudest.

Cheers to your beginning, middle and ends… may they be clothed in comfortable jeans, old worn out hats and your most favorite t-shirt :).

Ben

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2 Responses to “Alive”

  1. I still love jeans but my shoes are sensible and comfy. I think I had some amazing beginnings, good enough middles and I am working toward an incredible ending……. Meanwhile keep your creative writings flowing there is definitely a story in there.

  2. Yes, keep writing. Love to read your blogs 🙂

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