Can't Go Back Now.

Humans are infinitely more interesting then most species I have ever studied on the Discovery Channel or while watching "Planet Earth". I just watched the documentary "American Teen" tonight and was flushed with waves of differing emotions. The documentary follows five teens in Warsaw, Indiana and their friends/families. It follows them throughout their senior year and the beginnings of their college experiences. There is the indie girl, the popular Homecoming Queen, the Geek, Basketball Player/Jock and the knock out. It was so funny to watch such a documentary because it was like looking through the looking glass of my past. I saw bits of myself in every one of them but mostly was reminded how entertaining and complex the average adolescent is. This was besides a fun night of games and laughter the perfect remedy for my latest state that I was in prior to the evening.

I find myself extremely confused with life in general. I am in a vortex of fear, frustration and happiness. Watching these fairly sad and pathetic individuals (all very different and from different walks of life) experience life and come to terms with their own battles was very refreshing and reminded me that I am not a lone in these life experiences. Everyone goes through the horrors of puberty and yes eventually the horrors of growing up and becoming a man or a woman. I find that I am constantly worrying about what is to come instead of enjoying the present moments life gives me. Whether they are awkward, exhilarating or horrifying they are still moments I need to find myself present in. I was telling someone today that while break isn't over for another week and a half I still can only think about leaving to go back to school and how depressing that is that I am leaving my family and such. And then I realized that life is just a series of entrances and exits. Perhaps I am just incredibly supple and sensitive at this stage in my life. I have changed immensely within the past year and even more so within the past four months in California. Roughly one year ago I made the decision and told my parents I should leave Roosevelt and Chicago and now my life has literally done a 180.

Life is a series of random yet fateful situations. Change. Change. Change. Survival of the fittest. Watching those five adolescents go through the same trials and tribulations and changes into college, I realized that while it is so easy to only think of your own troubles and hardships you need to realize that EVERYONE is experiencing the same thing. No one wants to leave the comfort of their home at the end of the day. I am glad I have learned to be independent and survive on my own in two major cities: Chicago and Los Angeles...but lets face it at the end of the day I want my mommy and daddy and brothers/dogs and cat at my side. While I am very apprehensive of the stress that will consume every single orifice of my body when I return to L.A. I know that it is all progressive and will be worth my while. I just need to remember the following: I am alive, well and learning. I am on a journey. My entire body and back may be threaded with knots from stress but in the end I need to realize it is all about this incredibly ride called life. As silly as that sounds it is so very true. I signed on for a hard life the minute I realized what I wanted in my life and what I wanted to accomplish. And you know what? I would not ask for anything less! It is incredibly easy to give up or relinquish from a battle...I am here to stay and here to fight on for the sake of my dreams, my family and friends and my destiny. As hard as it is to say you have been given one body and you have to work with you have because at the end of the day regardless of if you are in a relationship or lie in a bed at night by yourself....you answer to one person at the end of the day and that is yourself...and God if you are spiritual. So why try to alter and change what you have been given? Live in the complexities and learn from the errors. It is the imperfections and quirks that make someone interesting. After-all we are not made of plastic but living, breathing flesh.


Peter Pan.

I'm like a bittersweet cookie at the moment. Hot one minute then cold the next. I'm proud of the things I have accomplished and anxious for the future. I try to find myself at home in my skin but seize to find a place. It is as if the line has been drawn. I'm home but I am not home. I'm smiling but not inside. I get that glimpse of freedom, that glimpse of happiness at the oddest moments. The sun shining just the perfect way. Basking in the perfect weather. The slightest touch of a snow flake on my skin. When you go out and play in the snow then come back inside and cuddle in warm pj's--the little things get me. But alas, I feel like a cartoon at times. As if I am walking along the street and a giant dark cloud is hovering over me. I don't want to have a pity party but I feel like if growing up means losing all emotion and excitement then I mine as well stay a child all of my life. I will be Peter Pan. The end.


A Letter to Myself.

Everything at some point deteriorates. Metal rusts, people age and soft skin turns into wrinkly sand paper. New laptops get old and crash, new bikes grow rickety and tires pop. Love is made and love is broken. Life is beautiful but also a cruel bitch waiting to give you one in the face. Everyday I see both sides of life: the beautiful things and the ugly things. On one side I am performing daily and through this I experience a severe amount of joy and of course some heartache because performing is indeed a labor of love. Every day I come a little bit closer to being comfortable in my skin and living an open and honest life, but then I become insecure again from the slightest trigger. You wake up some mornings and actually like what you see in the mirror. You wake up some mornings and want to cry from what you see in the mirror. It is life. A constant and ever changing reality. I can't really complain about my life right now--besides the fact that I am ridiculously busy and need Christmas to be here, but is that ever a bad thing? At least I am working hard and am working towards something.

Yes, in comparison to a starving child in Africa I have it pretty damn good. But as a human being you can't help but be drawn to the dark side. Life eventually becomes slightly muted in color and energy and you begin to stumble into a sort of depression. The moments when I am most happy are when I am either performing or with friends and family. This makes sense--given my profession. I don't know if it is the fact that I literally rearranged my life in the course of a year and everything happened so fast, but I feel like I lost a part of me along the way. I feel like I am just the body of Braden going through the motions complacently for the most part. Occasionally I receive a blissful glimpse of genuine amazement or wonder, but then it comes sky rocketing down on me and I lose it. Christmas time is approaching and I always have enjoyed Christmas. Something magical comes from the holiday seasons--even the red cups at Starbucks get me going. But this year I just feel like a robot even in my own home. During Thanksgiving break I felt like a puppet--moving seamlessly yet shallowly. This needs to change. Perhaps this is just a part of growing up. There was a time when Braden didn't give two fucks what someone thought about him. What happened to that? Where is the fearless Braden that existed two mere years ago? I want him back.