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“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves - regret for the past and fear of the future."
-Fulton Oursler

My fear extends much farther than fear for my future, because everyone fears that which they don't know. Fear is ever-present. It falls heavily in the pit of my stomach on a daily basis, pulling my thoughts and self-esteem down with it. Fear that my daily choices, actions, thoughts and judgments are the real reason for my unhappiness. Fear that my blunt expressions of self will cause a close friend to fall away from me. Fear that those I love will make a decision that proves to be fatal - these fears are real. They're crippling. They follow me like a black funeral shroud, blotting out the sun and leaving me shivering violently, cold with loneliness.

Most wouldn't find that blatantly displayed on the surface when they interact with me. Daily transactions with strangers, acquaintances, friends, even family are just that - transactions. I don't wear my deepest emotions on my sleeve like a fool. The emotions that affect me the most lay quietly under the patches and ripped jeans, cheeky smile, and vulgar jokes. In truth, what I am to others is a lie. I quietly hide my fear by lying through my teeth to everyone around me.

My need for change reflects my insecurity. Tattoos, piercings, taking piercings out, hair dye and a pair of scissors - the mohawks, the blond locks, long hair, short hair, no hair, ripped jeans, patched jeans, studs put in and then taken out of my jacket, the change in tone of my voice depending on who I'm talking to and what we're talking about - physical changes, spiritual turmoil, the constant, ever-present need to just go someplace for no reason at all but to be somewhere new and unfamiliar - all of it reflects my fear of never truly knowing myself inside and out, no matter how hard I try and how deep I search. My openness to learning new things and constantly wanting to be proved wrong or shown a better way of looking at things fuels that internalized desire to truly figure out who I am.

Very little remains unchanged with me. How I want my life to turn out usually stays the same. My biggest desire in this life is to live it how I would like to - that will never change. My plans for doing that, however, always change. Yesterday I wanted to teach the younger generation to think for themselves while exposing them to beautiful, heartbreaking, cathartic prose. The day before that, college wasn't what I wanted. Today, traveling far and wide in search of unmoving wisdom and the perfect novel concept makes up the itinerary of my life. Tomorrow, I might throw that idea by the wayside in favor of a new, more exciting one. Or not. I don't know. I can't predict my thought processes as much as I can the time next sunrise.

Moments of true happiness are few and far in between. The moments when I'm with two or three of my soul friends, sitting quietly in a booth at Pita smoking hookah and talking nonsense and stoner babble; the moments when I'm able to find true quiet and peace of mind half-way through a particularly painful writing binge; the moments when I turn on the radio on the way to see the pile of crap that makes up my dysfunctional, fighting family, and I hear the song that describes my thoughts at just the right moment in time - those are the times when I feel the most happy, fulfilled, and content with my lot in life.

My goal for the rest of my time on earth? Paying more attention to my happiness, and less on my fears. Making more headway in learning who I really am. Letting my self-esteem, and my soul, soar. (And trainhopping, of course.)

In dangerous contemplation,


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