At some point in everybody’s life, the question of “Who am I?” rears its ugly head. We are put into a situation where we question everything about ourselves, followed by a careful examination of our entire lives. At first, it’s the simple task of slipping into a meditative state of thinking. Unfortunately, rather than just thinking through everything great that has happened in our lives, we start dwelling on the negative aspects.
One of the main reasons many of us slip into depressive states is because we spend too much time inside our own heads. Rather than focusing on the happier memories from our past, we begin a sort of tunnel vision. Regardless of the positive aspects of our growth, we instead focus on the destructive notions of life. When I look back on the moments from my past that have defined me, I am able to see both the positive and the negative.
I cannot recall a single moment of time that could be described as the cynosure of my life. It is impossible to pinpoint the exact facet that defines everything I have become, but a small insight can be uncovered if both sides of the coin are examined. Conversely, putting all effort into one side of the coin can lead to greater discoveries. If we only focus on the negative aspects of our lives, we are able to minimize the flaws in our system. If we only focus on the positive aspects of our lives, we overlook the qualities and actions that need improving.
More often than not, I find myself lying in bed at night just staring at the ceiling. With more effort than I care to admit, I try to focus on everything good that has ever happened to me. I close my eyes and focus on the happier times. Flashes of my childhood play out vivid home videos in my mind as scenes of baseball, television shows, swimming, and play-fighting all overlap. I imagine my first kiss. I imagine the first time I fell in love. I imagine my successes in sports, public speaking, writing, music, and acting. I see the crowd rise to their feet during my first performance on stage. A shiver shoots down my spine as I imagine taking a bow after a stellar portrayal of a character from a play. Right as my smile reaches its peak…I fall.
The girl that I first kissed has no place in my life right now. My first love left me for something she felt was better and greater. My body and mind has not graced a baseball field in over ten years. My voice hasn’t spoken to a crowd, my trumpet hasn’t played any mellifluous tones, I haven’t written anything of value, and I haven’t taken the stage in so long I’ve forgotten what any of it feels like. The roar of a crowd is a silent abyss in the inner sanctums of my memories. A darkening oblivion creeps its away into my dreams as it pulls me deeper and deeper into nothingness.
But a small glimmer still exists. A glimmer of hope resides somewhere deep within the pitch black holding cells of my psyche.
There are 31,536,000 seconds in one year. Living second by second means you make your decisions and live your life every single second. You think that each second is worth spending the most extreme time with value. You fear each second as it ticks on the clock. Do you live second by second?
There are 525,600 minutes in one year. Living minute by minute means you have a little more freedom than living second by second. It means that you know that one minute is an eternity of loneliness. It means that you fear each minute as it ticks on the clock. Do you live minute by minute?
There are 8,760 hours in one year. Living hour by hour means that you have down time, stressful times, and joyous times all at once. You have school, work, a relationship, and a family. You live each hour as if that hour is not only the longest hour you have ever lived, but it has only been one hour. You fear each time the hour hand ticks over one number on the clock. Do you live hour by hour?
According to the rule that you eat three meals a day, there are 1,095 meals in one year. Living meal by meal means the time between each meal is valued, but the meal is actually the milestone in your life. You fear each meal that comes, but when it does come, you know you have survived the time it took to get to that meal. Do you live meal by meal?
There are 365 days in one year. Living day by day means you count down the time until the next day. Sure, a day is a long time in the eyes of some people. But to others, a single day, a single 24 hours, is an eternity. The longevity of life is decided in a single 24 hours. You fear each day on the calendar as the days go by. Do you live day by day?
There are 52 weeks in one year. A week is long time to anybody that has a life outside of emotional feelings. A week can be lived in many different forms, times, and patterns. Yet, it is still only one week and still a considerable amount of time. Living week by week does have advantages to living a busy life. It is much simpler to feel at ease if your weeks are filled with love and happiness, and in some cases, darkness. You fear each week on the calendar as you flip the pages through the months. Do you live week by week?
There are 12 months in one year. Your birthday is in one of the months. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter; all in one of those months. The super bowl, the world series, the Oscars; all in one of those months. So, decide: do you live where you only wait the three months until your birthday or the six months until school is out? Or do you live where each month is a glorious time of the year? You fear each turn of the page of the calendar. Do you live month by month?
There are four glorious seasons in a single year. Each season represents something new, something fresh, and something wonderful. You know that when each season hits, it is going to be just as good as the season you just lived through. Each season portrays love, happiness, and hope. To live each season is to live with valor and dreams. You fear very little but some days frighten you. Do you live season by season?
Living year by year means that you have freedom and wisdom beyond that which anybody else has. It is a feeling of joyous love and hope that you feel as you live your life. Seconds, minutes, hours, meals, days, weeks, months, seasons; all cannot match up to what it feels like to live year by year. You know that you have made the decisions for your life that are the best decisions that could have ever been made. You do not fear each new calendar. You do not fear each second on the clock. You are not afraid. Do you live year by year?
No matter how long you spend combing the inner recesses of your mind, you’ll always find hope where you thought none could reside. Do not worry about the consequences of your actions, past, present, or future. Instead, focus everything you have on living your life to the absolute fullest. I challenge you to find out how you live and make that life-changing decision. I challenge you to become the very best that you can possibly be and live how you want to live. Never resort to a tunnel vision of negative connotations and charred memories. Be one with yourself. Who knows, perhaps you’ll find that those lonely nights in bed feel a lot warmer once you’ve become happy with yourself.