This came to me while riding from the west coast to the east coast of the US. Â A certain batch of songs in my increasingly long Road Trip mix had just the right escalations to put me onto a train of thought I’ve been working on for a while. When I go on these rides Everything in my mind is accessible and able to be ordered unlike the loud noise of facts I spend time sifting through, for there is one near fact about my mind: Everything is there, occasionally it just needs some sorting and digging.
The following will ring true for some of you that I know more so than others:
What caught me off guard was Â a 1-2 punch ofÂ The Offspring’s – AmazedÂ followed shortly thereafter by another of their tracks off of Ixnay: The Offspring’s Gone Away. On these rides I find myself analyzing the past and all those that were apart of it, especially those long since gone. There were so many, for a relatively solitary person, I met growing up. Whether by choice or chance they found their way into my life for days, weeks, months, and even some years with a bit of a gap in between.
For some reason those I’ve met found me to be someone they could talk to, possibly because I was the unknown variable in their community, or it was something else, but that’s not the important part. What is important is many of those I interacted with had to live their lives* and fight for things most people don’t think of. Even in the better off communities I had been in.
There were those with cancer, drug issues, abuse histories, families broken in ways that make others look like the Cleavers. We always made friends, enjoyed each others shenanigans, until either I moved, schools changed, or something worse. This of course being before easy tracking of friends was available, thankfully I’ve reconnected with some of them since then.
Being someone who is the unknown factor in most social situations, you have the opportunity to find out who the nice people from all the cliques are in very interesting ways. You have nothing that they are aware of to bring to the table but they reach out anyway or they return the reach for conversation. These great people and all of them have something they wish they didn’t have to deal with. Those with the larger burdens found ways of coping and moving on, while others found habits to distract them. Of those that found ways of coping some disappeared for a while, some never return. Everytime I think of them I think of the good light extinguished from this world. [Thankfully Not all were lost, I still have some contact with those who I saw as shining examples that kept pushing, I’m sure they find themselves thinking about how they’ve made it to where they are now and where many from their pasts have gone.]
Someone once asked me what I run on. I run on everything I’ve seen, everything I know that could be, everything that has been, and everyone I’ve ever known. I use it as fuel to feed the Fire that burns within. The Fire the keeps me going and pushes me to always continue. We may not all have made it but those of us that have should always push on if not just for ourselves than for those who couldn’t and those who may not. Focus on the few potential better outcomes that you can bring upon others. If you don’t think you have the fuel to keep going know that I know you do. Trust me: You aren’t the only one who has questioned if they have the fuel to keep going. Find the fuel for your sake, or someone else’s sake. When in doubt fight for the future you want, or for the one you want others to have. You never know whose life you may affect, I know I’ve been surprised.
Hell I’ve been “amazed” for over a decade now. See what you can do.
*”Someone who’s had to live their life” was said to me by a coworker and friend as a way of qualifying someone who didn’t have what anyone would call an easy life, or someone who has a lot in their past that is not to be spoken of.