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Perspective

Maybe theres a reason for all of this pain and suffering, the torrential angst that plagues me unebbingly on a day to day basis. Racuous waves crash against the barricades Ive set up around my heart, seeking to tear them down dangerously and permanently, beckoning me sweetly to let the chaotic waters wash over me. Theyll perform a cleansing of the spirit, drawing me back out to the seas of passionate disorder, away from my island of safety and restraint. I think that by this point Im qualified to speak authoritatively about life on a ship adrift in the oceans of the world, and while I love the stability and predictability of life on solid ground, the truth is that Ive never felt as alive since Ive been out there  hundreds of miles away from the shoreline. Ive traveled to exotic lands 99% of people I know will never lay eyes on or witness. This world, my home, California, has changed because Ive changed. In joining the Navy, I sought to reinvent myself into the man I saw myself becoming. That man, emerging from the awkward, worn carcass of a teenager in the beginning of real life, could never be nourished and birthed in the sanctity and boundaries of my hometown. I needed to leave, and I had to escape. My very livelihood depended on it. So, when I feel that all too familiar pull back out into the waters of life, not physically this time, but emotionally and spiritually, it is my duty to heed the call. One of the greatest quotes Ive ever imbibed, and yes, thats what I do with language, imbibe, digest  and absorb it, not just merely read it, says that growth is painful and confort is stagnation. Each time we endeavor boldly, struggling against the weight of the world like an emerging plant fighting to reach the surface while the Earth is pushing down on it, we grow. We become stronger, taller, and closer to God. Adversely, every time we choose to recline in comfort and recoil from  effort that would pay off incredibly beneficially, solely because the work involved is monotonous and repititious, we lay in our coffins neatly for Death, the ponderousness made apparent by our expanding wastelines taking us a few inches closer to the bottoms of our graves. I dont know about you, but Im not planning on dying anytime soon. Theres too much life to live. If it hurts it hurts, and certain types of pain, like every muscle in your body firing in cohesion and unison to pull aloft a heavy barbell in the deadlift, or your brain laying wearily in your skull, thoroughly worked over and exhausted by the strenuous mental toil it endured by way of reading an inspiring book or expressing itself creatively and artistically, can be ecstatically enjoyable and personally fulfilling. I enjoy the dark side quite a bit, but Im not ready for the ultimate blackness to shut on me just yet, so Ill continue to choose growth each time. My coffin can remain unattended and vacant for the time being. So what if it hurts, burns, twists and rends to grow and change. Chicks dig scars right? No rest for the wicked.

I have a journey before me. For too long Ive held fast to the reigns of my past, too frightened by the unknown to merely trust God and dive in. I have one foot hanging precariously over the edge, giving me the thrill of the potential excitement promised. The other foot, with most of my body distributed above it, is planted solidly on the ground, safe from the supposed danger that would come with leaping into the abyss. Like a ship ready to take to the seas but tethered in port, Ive got those close to me wondering what the hell Im doing. The truth is, the unexplored areas of my life and my future excite and enthrall me. I hold onto past lovers, old friends and home to provide an ever radiating sense of warmth to sustain and comfort me as I make my way through the harsh, frostbitten emotional landscape of todays world. But its not like this for everyone, and my world only devolves into this hellish place when I allow negativity to dominate my perspective on things. When I commandeer my thoughts and become Captain of my vessel as I navigate through the uncharted waters of Gino's life, something miraculous happens. The dreary grey clouds that loom over me abate, allowing luminous sunlight to envelop and heat me. The rough, unfertile soil that defines social life and relationships suddenly breathes with ardor, friends and potential lovers springing up nearly instantly. The air crackles to life, no longer leaving me downtrodden, but rejuvenating me like the vegetable tinged scent that perpetually lingered around my beloved Grandmother's garden. In these instances, although I will always keep them close to my heart, my memories are no longer needed. They are allowed a reprieve, a necessary break, allowed to lay dormant and useless for awhile while I experience life fully and ebulliently, my world, mood and  reality vibrant and vivid. This is the way things should always be, and I have the power to create this world at will, full of its endless opportunities and bereft of any negativity, by simply being and remaining optimistic. It is my greatest power, my most treasured gift from God. It amazes me, and continues to do so, how a simple shift in worldview can actually turn the world on its head, providing you with a scenic, rather than depressing, view. A certain bitch kickstarted my return to this revelation and practice, discovered when I was 15. Ill thank her for that, since, aside from sex, she proved to have had some use. Returning to the important, non whorish topic of it all, this mindset shift and epiphany saved me from depression whilst in the midst of adolescence, so it surely will, and has been, helping me now as I stumble through young adulthood. A few minutes of conscious effort will affect every ounce of your well being as well as change the course of your life. There are no financial markets in the world that can provide and promise such a profitable return on your intial investment. So, get started.

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