I sit in the breeze of Lake Michigan between classes on the first day of a new school semester at Roosevelt University. I try to retrace the steps of my life that have lead me here at this very second and my mind cannot even comprehend the enormity of all the things that lead me here.
So much has happened and so many people and things have shaped the person I have become and the person I am still evolving into. All of the people included in my life have impacted me in a way and it no longer matters whether or not their part was a positive or negative influence at that time because I have found happiness.
It did not come in a neatly packaged box delivered to my doorstep or picked off a shelf in the store. It mostly came from letting go of any desire to control everything around me and force some form of artificial happiness on myself. It also comes from the wonderful people I share my life with and the experiences they share with me, even those dark and surreal experiences you wish didn't exist in the world.
The world is a dark and imperfect place and the sooner you accept those darknesses, you can begin to see how the whole range of your emotions affects the thoughts and decisions you have and make that in turn leads you to change the way you share the world and your experiences with other people and you begin to let more people into your own personal world whether you are merely listening to a story being told by someone you just met or shaping your perspective during a conversation with an old and familiar friend, life is a series of social interactions and too many people live in the center of their thoughts and fail to see the value in that interaction.
The water and lake front reminds me of the hours of reflection I had while traveling in Ireland. Many of those times were dark and tempting thoughts of not returning home. I met so many great people during my travels and learned so much from each of them. Since being home, I have had more darkness in which I regretted my return to Chicago. But I can now see that there are people at home with ideas and experiences to be shared and that traveling the world is not the only way to have a diverse social interaction.
I find that my writing has given me the chance to reflect and sort out the crazy corridors of my mind and that while I ramble too much in conversation, I can write concisely and with absolute clarity.
I wonder that I too often live in a world of fiction and fantasy to avoid reality but that fiction is sometimes a great mimic of reality where you can be comfortable to explore things knowing they aren't real when in fact, they discuss and present very realistic issues found in real life. I am going to set this aside now and finish enjoying the breeze and beauty of a Chicago summer on the lake front with a good book and then go back to class.
This journal has recorded the ups and downs of my summer, and while I chose to not share almost all of these entries, I am consciously choosing to share this one. My motivation is a small hope that my friends and family will take a moment to evaluate their relationship to the world and the amazing people populating it and the hope that only positive reflections and peace of mind follows that evaluation.