Enjoy the Ride

10 Jan

Enjoy the ride.  Life always will have its peaks and valleys, and the key to happiness lies not in thinking about tomorrow but living for today.  I have spent endless hours of my life dreaming about the unforeseen wonders of tomorrow, and when the day comes, it never feels as vivid or glorious as my overactive imagination hyped it up to be.  I soon found that constantly yearning for each big event had blinded me to every simple pleasure that passed me by.

The next big event is working as an intern for TSTC Publishing.  A whole new slew of experiences are heading my way as I get to write for the publishing firm, starting today.

I was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley.  I never really appreciated it.  All of the kids talk of “getting out of the Valley.”  Hey, I was one of them.  When I finally arrived at Baylor University, it was like a breath of fresh air.  New friends and new experiences soon became the norm, and I settled into a routine, no longer in awe of the positive energy that surrounded me.  I guess people get too caught up in their lives to appreciate their surroundings.  During a recent visit to the Valley, I had a revelation.  “Look at the palm trees, man.  They’re everywhere!”  For the first time, I took in the beauty and realized what a wonderful place it could be.

Along with writing, music is my passion.  That feeling of hearing a fantastic symphony or a distorted guitar turned to eleven is indescribable.  I love classical, blues, and jazz, but I am a rock and roller at heart.  I’ve played drums for Ashlyn Dane, The Mad Satyrs, and The New Communicators and guitar for The Lace Up Loafers.  Making music, creating wonderful sounds from nothing, with like-minded people is an absolutely transcendental experience.

It parallels writing in a way, creating something from nothing.  People endure an endless amount of funny, dramatic, zany, frightening, and memorable experiences every day.  Most of the time, they relate to their friends a simple story, not even breaching the surface of the true nature of the experience.  But a writer can recreate that experience, touching on the minor nuances that turn an occurrence into a story, breathing life into an event.  The beauty (and horror) of writing is that it is a solo practice.  There is no bass player to juggle the beat or rhythm guitar player to cover the bridge.  It is just the writer and his imagination.  I spend a good amount of time in my imagination so that works for me.

As a writer and a person, I feel it is always important to learn and grow.  I’ll admit that I have spent periods stagnating, but who hasn’t?  The key is getting out of my comfort zone.  I open my mind to different ways of thinking and spend time with people I normally wouldn’t have.  It’s surprising how much you can learn from just listening to someone else’s life experiences and lessons.

Still, there is always that voice in the back of my head telling me that I can’t accomplish something, that everything is futile.  For a while, I thought I was disturbed, but I realized that everyone has that.  It is part of being human.  Some people learn to bury that voice at a very young age and breeze through life, completely comfortable in their own skin.  Many people let the voice run their lives and never reach their true potential.  A select few work and practice at controlling the voice.  I’m not quite there yet, but I’m well on the path.

I cannot wait to see what I end up making of my life, but then again I will enjoy today for what it is.  Right now, you might be at work, class, or just sitting at home, wishing for something spectacular to happen.  Look around you.  You’ll find something.

–John

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