This I Believe

Ryan - Plano, Texas
Entered on May 10, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

“You are going to fall on your bum every once in awhile Ryan, but you have to get back up. You have to keep living. And if you are not laughing and loving you are not living. The zest of life is the most valuable thing you have, Ryan. And if you don’t hunt for things to feed it, to make it survive, it will die.” I heard this or some variation of it from my mom every time I did something or something happened to me. As a child and young adult there are few things that your parents say that is given even an ounce of thought to; most is in one ear and out the other. This was one of those things that just passed; it was what having “the talk” with mom consisted of.

It wasn’t really until lately when considerably hard, permanent changes and situations began to occur in my life that I stopped hearing her and started actually listening. Perhaps seeing effective people pass on in my life and the permanence of it is what I needed to realize it. I love living. I love that hunt inside me.

At eighteen, I am not old and wise and I don’t particularly like to pretend to be either. Ever since teachers starting assigning papers and journals to keep, I always over thought what I was writing. I always held the morbid thought in the back of my head, “What will I think of this in ten years?” or “If I die and all that is left of thoughts is this dumb journal, is this really what I want people to read?” For most, it was word vomit to get the assignment at hand completed, but for me I couldn’t let go of these thoughts. I don’t know a lot of seven year olds that seriously consider if their school journal is publishable. Not publishable in the sense of grammatical perfection, but in the sense if anybody cares or would even enjoy reading this.

For a long time I thought that in order to have meaningful life I had to say or write at least one thing that really makes people think, or changes their life patterns based on my “oh-so-philosophical” words. That would still be cool, but I like my new stand much better. I can’t count on anyone to make me love my life and make it meaningful but me. After all, it is mine, not anyone else’s. Ever seen a lion waiting for a gazelle to walk up, lie down next to him, and say, “Eat me”? It’s the hunt that makes the heart grow fonder; it’s the hunt that makes me love life.