The year I embraced my own vision was the year progressivism conquered liberalism and empathy devoured love … the year everyone wore a mask to save Boomers, and children were mainstreamed into learning from computers.
It was the year when tribes got smaller, squads got tighter, and everyone experimented with raised gardens.
It was a year so insane that I finally made sense to myself.
Every year before this year, I’d known I had no idea what this world was all about, so I’d searched all over to find what others had figured out. Everyone seemed so confident that things were one way or another and I very much wanted for someone to be right so they could mansplain life to me.
I was genuinely seeking answers, yet nothing I found made me stop my search and start to believe — even when I forced myself to try. Everything felt incomplete so I’d set out again to search for more.
Sometimes, I’d hit the roads for months — driving whichever direction called to find people who saw life differently than I’d seen it. Sometimes, we’d talk over a fire late at night. Other times, we crossed paths at tourist destinations. Often, we met at some niche local shop that sells the oddities you only find on the road.
Nearly always, the people I met were good people.
Occasionally, I met people who were not well-intentioned. But I learned to respect all types quite equally because the world is a big place and we all play our role.
And, sometimes, we don’t.
Sometimes, we shake things up and a wolf is a knight in shining armor for not eating you when he could, and a hero doesn’t save the day because he’s not in the mood.
Yet no matter how the day plays out, there’s one thing that’s fairly certain: Everyone is doing the best they can with what they know and what experience has taught them.
In this way, everyone is a teacher of how the world works for them. And I love hearing about the same principles from different perspectives because it helps me understand them better.
Up until now, I never dared believe I truly understood something. But in this year of toilet paper and bottled water hoarding, I came to really understand that everyone is guessing as best they can in this crazy world.
I’m guessing you already knew that.
I certainly feel like I’m pulling up in the last short bus to school as I catch up with the fact that life is not meant to be understood real-time because we cannot think and be present and the same time.
This is a tough concept for thinkers like me to wrap their heads around, but I think I’ve finally go tit.
Life is to be embraced with unabashed authenticity. We’re here to see how long we last, how bright we shine, and to light up dark paths for travelers passing by.
I have met so many people with bright inner-lights over the years — people who made no illusion of their path in this world and never played at being anything but what they were. And I’ve always respected such people.
So now it’s time to be like them.
I’ve always feared going full-bright on the world because I’m a weird soul. And, no, that’s not me being hyperbolic or self-defeating. I’ll bet you can’t find a single person who knows me who would describe me as “normal.” It’s a word people choke on a bit when it comes to describing me, yet I never really pop out as very extreme either because I’m always listening … always weighing … always learning.
And that’s fine, but it’s time to go full bright, choose a vision, and stand for something.
I have the insane year of 2020 to thank for this. It’s a year that shook up anyone who lived through it. I would imagine it has changed nearly everyone it’s touched. It’s definitely had its paws all over me and it’s taught me one lesson louder than any other:
Be genuine — whatever that looks like. And, in my case, that looks a little weird. So I hereby embrace this meme moving forward, and promise to turn up the brightness on my lamp from here on out.