Sunday, July 28, 2013

Thinking of you, wherever you are...

So I'm a geek and I have played the Kingdom Hearts video game series since it came out. The games themselves are completely irrelevant to what I wanted to write about. There's one quote that is said in the game, though, that sticks with me. The quote goes like this:

"Thinking of you, wherever you are.
 We pray for our sorrows to end,
 and hope that our hearts will blend.
 Now I will step forward to realize this wish.
 And who knows:
 starting a new journey may not so hard
 or maybe it has already begun.
 There are many worlds,
 but they share the same sky-
 one sky, one destiny."

I can't deny that I'm having difficulty grasping the fact that the people I've grown so close to and I are starting to forge our own individual paths. That's life, and it's a game you have to play. Of course, the old cliche goes that "life isn't fair" and unfortunately a combination of student loans and the fact that Doritos are bad for my health have taught me that this cliche is horribly true. 

It pains me to think that some of my best friends in the world, the people in the world I love more than anything else in the world (including Doritos... so this is a pretty big freaking deal) I've spent at max a total of 17 days with. At minimum I've spent a little over 8 days of my life with them. 

My feelings towards this realization are mixed. On the one hand of course it makes me sad that I've spent such a small amount of time with people who mean so much to me. On the other hand I'm pretty dang proud of the relationships I've formed. 

I meant to say this over the weekend (both on my last post and out loud) but I've taken a strange comfort in knowing that the people that matter to me will forever stand under the same sky that I do. And when it's dark out I can look up and see the same stars that they do. It makes the distance seem less significant and it gives the illusion that our vast world isn't quite as overwhelming.

We all live under the same stars, and like those stars, we shine bright in each other's lives. 

My life will forever shine brighter because of the people I've been blessed to know.

That's all I wanted to say, really.

Perfectly Imperfect...

The following is an accumulation of all of my writing this past weekend, during my camp JC reunion:

Liberty High School has its merits. There are some awesome people. I got a phenomenal education. I feel significantly more prepared to tackle the real world than most people... at least I think so. 

But Liberty High School was a public school with over a thousand teenagers roaming the halls during any given school day, and teenagers are fickle beings. Hormones are crazy, and weird, and they don’t make any sense. High school also created a mold. Deny it all you want but I have yet to see a school where there’s a certain image that you’re expected to fit into if you want to be popular and fit in. 

I know I write about MASC a lot, but I don’t think there’s a group of people in the world who deserves more recognition than my family at MASC. They’re some of the most crazy, real, and supportive people I’ve ever had the pleasure of forming bonds with. They’re also the only group of people I’ve ever felt like I can be 100% me around. With MASC there is no mold. There’s no image. There’s you and there’s your friends. They love you for who you are. The only thing they want out of you is for you to be happy and to give 110% in everything you do (we call that gusto, by the way). 

If I found a magic lamp and I could have three wishes one of them would be Jennifer Lawrence. The second wish would be for my college education to be paid for in full (like 100% free). My final wish would be for anyone who feels like they need to find themselves to be able to experience at least one week at camp. 

MASC is the perfect place to do soul searching. They do a fantastic job of allowing you to express who you are and who you want to be. They accept you. All of you. Your beliefs, your talents, your flaws, your everything. They accept and they love you. Just you. Not the image that you feel like you had to create.

As pathetic as it sounds, it has taken me a good 17 years to even begin defining who I am. I talk about my music a lot, and it plays a huge part in who I am, who I’ve become, and who I plan on being. Music is my passion. MASC is who I am.

I am Tyler. I am crazy. I am passionate. I’m a huge poop head. I’m sarcastic. I’m an evil little s*** sometimes. I care about my friends with an unfathomable passion. In all honesty I probably care a little too much. Scratch that. I KNOW I care a little too much. I won’t deny that I became a little attached to the people I feel close to. And there’s a hopeless feeling deep in my stomach that I won’t see some of these people again (thankfully a lot of them are going to Mizzou with me). A lot of them aren’t going to college with me, though. And that sucks.

I’m in no way ready for this weekend to be over. Any time I can spend with the other JCs is time that I cherish. Especially mah gurl Danica (I like Danica too much to edit that part out). There’s not a lot of people I can be friends with effortlessly. The JCs though are an absolute miracle. Our bond is seamless. We worked together for seven short days. In those seven days we created friendships that look like they’ve taken 7 years to form. 

There’s not a whole lot I want to say in this post. Actually I’m not sure there’s a point at all. I really just wanted to talk about how much I love the JCs. This weekend will be one that I remember forever. If it was up to me it would last a little (a lot) longer. My time with these friends is comparable to Spicy Nacho Doritos. I simply can’t get enough. 

All cheesy similes aside, I don’t think I’d be the same person I am now if I hadn’t met these people. While I think it’s important to be yourself, that doesn’t mean the influences of the world around you don’t help define who you are. I would never have the positive outlook on life that I do now without the help of people from MASC. I would never have been able to look beyond myself and see a whole world ready to have some crazy, positive, and revolutionary people from my generation make a change and impact the world in amazing ways. Without MASC I wouldn’t have an eye for opportunity.
Because opportunities are not meant to be passed up. 

If there’s one thing I don’t want to do it’s live a life full of regrets, and I in no way regret becoming a part of this family. They’re perfectly imperfect. I know that its a strange way to describe them, but I believe it’s the best way to describe them. We’ve all been through our hardships, but our past struggles don’t matter here. We’re together and we’re happy and that’s all that matters because, while we look to the future, we simply live in the moment. We are perfectly content with just being around each other. We’re the perfect team, and an unstoppable force of positivity.

And we will change the world.
Brice is pretty.

Life lesson #754: If you let MASC people “edit” your posts, they’ll add stuff. 

And I’m Indy’s Biaatch (No I’m not... yes I am).

Sunday, July 14, 2013

To My 10 Year Old Self...

I spend disgusting amounts of time watching YouTube videos on Soulpancake’s channel. They are seriously the second most inspiring group of people (MASC will always be first) I have ever witnessed. Today I watched a video where they gave total strangers a chance to write a letter to their ten year old self. I don’t know why I thought this was so cool, but I thought it might be something that I want to try... so here we go!

Dear 10 year old self,

First I feel like I should warn you: You’re going to have the hair of a Jewish man by the time you turn 15. Don’t question it. Don’t hate it. Don’t try and change it. EMBRACE IT. It’s going to become your trademark. Looks aren’t important, though. Just kidding. You’re going to be vain when you’re in high school. So that random 30 pounds you gain Sophomore year? Don’t worry. You’re going to work for your slave driving grandfather (That’s sarcasm) that following summer and lose ALL of it and then PRESTO you’re going to be a bean pole again. OH PS you get mono your sophomore year so any hopes of getting a 4.0 ever again are shot. Oh well. 

That viola you just begged mom and dad to let you start playing? Keep playing. Practice a lot. But don’t practice to the point where you hate it. You’re going to find your future in that instrument. You’re actually going to be good at it (One of the top 10 in the state by the time you graduate high school). You’ll make a lot of friends through your music. 

While we’re on the topic of music... when you’re about to be a Freshman you’re going to consider taking debate. DO NOT DO IT. TAKE CHOIR. PLEASE TAKE CHOIR. That will end up being your biggest musical regret. Yes you’ll be kind of decent at debate. You’ll love choir. Do it. 

Oh, and you’re going to join Student Council at the end of 7th grade. By the grace of God you’re going to win your election. And then your advisor is going to suggest you go to MASC StuCo camp. You’re going to procrastinate turning the money in. DO. NOT. PROCRASTINATE. If not joining choir was my biggest musical regret, not turning in that check will be my biggest regret EVER. StuCo camp is magical, and you’re only going to get to be a camper once and a junior counselor once. 

I know you’re feeling super lost. You don’t quite fit in with anybody. You’re not athletic, you’re not socially adept at all. Nobody in school is the right shade of crazy for you. The people at camp are your perfect shade of crazy. The friends you make at camp will mean more to you than anybody else in your life. Go to camp while you can so you can spend more time with these people. They get you. And they’re all going to see you ugly cry and they aren’t going to laugh at you until the next day. So they’re good people.

Remember how I said you’re feeling super lost? Yeah, that gets better. Suffer through middle school and junior high. High school isn’t too bad. Actually you’ll meet like all but one of your best friends in high school. 

That being said you won’t fit the norm in high school either. Your aspirations to become athletic are still dashed. You’re not coordinated and you can still barley run a mile. However, as your high school career progresses you’ll start to learn that it’s okay to be different. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being different. Stand out. People will pity you enough to vote you onto Homecoming AND Prom court.

Most importantly make sure you’re having fun. Live your life with the goal of making other people smile and you’re sure to be happy. And don’t take life so damn seriously all the time. Breathe, bud.

And try not to hit that girl’s car in the parking lot during sophomore year... it’ll be super embarrassing.

Trust your gut. Have fun. Live your life with gusto. Keep your friends close and tell your enemies to take a hike. 

Don’t be a stranger! Oh wait...

-- Older Tyler

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

You Were Meant For Amazing Things...

Dear piquant readers,

So I had a small child poop in the pool I was guarding at and may I just say that IT IS ABOUT DANG TIME. I've been praying for an incident of this manner to occur since pool season started.

You see, if someone defecates in the pool I get to close it for anywhere from 3 hours to the rest of the day. The time of today's unfortunate fecal leakage was about 4:30 and we got to close for the rest of the day. In case you're wondering: No, this blog post is not going to go into vivid detail about someone's solid bodily wastes.

The fact of the matter was that I was sitting in an empty pool and the only company I had was the company of my own thoughts.

Anyone who has read some of my earliest posts might be thinking "oh great... here we go."

I'm proud to say I think I've finally developed a consistently positive outlook on life. It took a lot of work. The saying "bad habits die hard" is not to be underestimated. For the longest time I felt like I was fighting the Hydra. For those of you that aren't quite on the same level of geek as I am: The Hydra is a monster from Greek mythology. It had a multitude of heads, and every time you severed a head more heads would grow in its place.

If I recall the heads are quite serpentine. As in they're like snakes. I. HATE. SNAKES. If I could eliminate one animal from the world it would be mosquitos first, and snakes after that.

I mean... there isn't a many headed mosquito that I know of. If there is, please let me know.

The Hydra was a fearsome monster. It was so strong that Hercules couldn't kill it alone. So he brought along his nephew, Iolaus, to help him.

I spent a long time battling my own thoughts alone. They were things I didn't want to share. After a while though, those thoughts begin to make one feel helpless. They make you feel worthless.

Luckily I had a lot of Iolauses that, whether they know it or not, aided me in overcoming my Hydra.

A very good friend of mine made a video once, that talked about how it's a gift to have someone in your life who believes in you.

I'm so lucky to have friends all over the state of Missouri who truly believe in me. They know my goals and dreams and they push me to achieve them. It's seriously the most satisfying feeling.

Now I want to pass on that message: If you have goals and dreams you need to chase after them. Find something that gives your existence purpose. There are people in your life that believe in you. I believe in you. Go out and change the world, because God knows it doesn't need to stay the way it is.

Also, if you ever feel a little down, I would like to recommend you give this song a listen:

There's a line that says, simply: "You were meant for amazing things." This song seriously makes me want to go and change the world.

Here's hoping all of your dreams come true. Stay real, everyone!