When We Were Innocent

It took me a long time to realize Rick James Mary Jane song was about weed. For a long time, I thought Mary Jane was an actual woman he was in love with. Every time I heard the song I would smile, my heart melting at the sound of love. Even after watching the movie Friday, where there were obvious clues (such as the song being played as Smokey inhaled three joints at a time that day Craig got high for the first time), I still didn’t get it. After learning what the song was really about, I still liked it but it didn’t have the same happy feeling to it. I didn’t smoke weed so I couldn’t relate. I liked it better when I thought the song was about love.

I miss when we were innocent. Back before we really knew how messed up the world was. Back when the world was ours. Back when my Uncle told me and my siblings we couldn’t watch Bevis and Butthead. Back when the lyrics were still crafty enough to hide the “bad stuff” from the kids. When you didn’t know what the meanings behind the songs were, back when you had to be mature to know what it meant. I miss when we were innocent. Like before you really got to know someone. Back when you were besties just because. Back before we knew each other well enough to be aware of the other’s faults. When you meet someone for the first time there’s an innocence, a respect and a kindness you give because your mother taught you to be kind. As we get to know one another though, it seems like we are no longer as kind, as compassionate, or as merciful.

We take knowledge of the other person‘s mistakes as an invitation to pull back on the amount of love we give. And we do it in the cruelest way. We pull back without communication, without questions, and without checking to see if our assumptions were correct, we just leave. Abandon one another after realizing the other person was human. We didn’t do that kind of stuff as kids. We fought, argued and then invited our friends (the one we just argued with) over for dinner. We didn’t think they were possessed or insane or no longer worthy of our friendship. They disagreed with us but that didn’t mean we were enemies. We knew they were flawed, but that just made us love them better.

As you blog, not everyone will stick around. As people get to know you better, they will soon decide whether you are someone they want to keep up with. And that‘s not a bad thing entirely. People have a right to decide who they want to have around them. That’s life. People come and people go. Blogging is no different. This decision will come, either from you or from them. Somewhere along the lines, you’ll learn you either are or are no longer compatible.

If you‘re new to blogging you better take advantage of it. Those days of people being kind and generous and supportive and of you being loved on won‘t last long. Four and five years into this thing and you will look up to the faces of a completely new group of people, wondering where everyone has gone. This new group will love you now. Appreciate them for it. These are the childlike stages of blogging. The beginning of things, the freshness, the newness. These are the days when we are innocent.

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If I Could Build a Time Machine

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Who I am today would melt away like falling snowflakes during freezing winters upon meeting the ground, for I would tear down the foundations to everything that built me. I would go back to change everything that makes me strong today. Arrogantly and ignorantly, I would rearrange days to fit my own endeavors; whatever pleases me that I will do. And those who’ve caused me pain I would exact vengeance. I would avoid hurt as if running from a plague, and strategically erase all traces of my own crime scene. Indeed, if I could build a time machine, I would fill my life with days of sunlight and sorrow would be a stranger to me. Childhood, Adulthood— I doubt if I would know the difference, for innocence and naiveté would cover me like fine linen. As such, my shoulders would not know what it’s like to bear heavy loads. My smooth skin would easily chip away at the sight of danger, my mind would know nothing of sacrifice, and in times of distress I would flood my bed with tears. They would fall dangerously from my eyelids like liquid apologies for not knowing the zip, slither, snap, and thump of a broken heart; for not understanding the crackling crunch of a spirit defeated; for pulling back the wounds of wisdom only to create outlines of invisibility, for I would cease to exist.

Don’t try to build time machines to go back to relive mistakes. Everything you are and everything you’ve endured is what makes you who you are today, flaws and all. That said, never linger on old wounds so much that you wish to go back. What is done is done. Meanwhile, the future has plenty of room for change. Embrace it.

Discouragement

Close-up of an English Bulldog Puppy, 2 months old, in a wicker basket, isolated on white I am not a robot for one. I have feelings and every now and again I do get discouraged. For me personally, these moments arrive during times I find it hard to measure my improvement or lack thereof. Especially when I know I have done all that I could do to ensure the proper outcome. It is always a good thing, in general,  to notice every little bit of advancement in our lives. To be able to recognize every step in the right direction, but  sometimes it’s just hard to see where that is exactly. “Did I take a step forward or backward?”  Despite the rising of the sun, every waking moment is not complete with rainbows and lollypops. As a result, you begin to feel that your work is not of value, that it is hopeless and brought forth in vain because despite talk of inspiration and encouragement, everyday ain’t beautiful. Sometimes I ask myself, “Why did I do that? Why do I do this? It doesn’t really matter anyway. No one listens and no one cares.”

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While we have all had (and have) our moments, discouragement can lead to different things. On the one hand, it can lead to a path of giving up, giving in to something of far lesser value, or not trying hard enough. But on a more positive note, it can help keep us humble in areas where we need to get over ourselves. It can help us to see what mistakes we’ve made and what flaws exist. Here’s a fun quote to help you to push back that first impulse to quit, push down that initial fear, push through feelings of helplessness and push ahead. It is then that you are less likely to find someone (or something) to blame, and to instead find a way through.

“Never say that you can’t do something, or that something seems impossible, or that something can’t be done, no matter how discouraging or harrowing it may be; human beings are limited only by what we allow ourselves to be limited by: our own minds” – Mike Norton