Tag: Life

Welcome to Life, Please Enjoy Your Stay

by on Dec.17, 2009, under Life

Today I woke up and realized, as I sometimes do, that my life has already been almost 27 years long and quite honestly it does scare me a little bit. As I grow older it seems time passes by at an exponential rate. Why is this? Is it that as we become older we forget out previous days? Do we somehow manage to delete the inconsequential days from our memory? Whatever it is, I don’t like it. The speed of life scares me much more than the fear death. It seems like only yesterday I was riding my first bike with training wheels and shiny red paint down Seagrape Drive, a skinny dirt road at the time.

How fast we grow. Life was so much more simple growing up, so innocent. I miss my old friends and family that moved on and passed away. Few children have any idea how hard life is for most people once you grow up. Most parents are good at hiding hardship and pain from their children and it seems as if it isn’t until their kids are older that parents are able to open up, as they do with friends and family closer to their own age, about their fears and rough times of the past and present. I’ve become closer with my parents over the last few years and for that I am happy. They have done a lot for me and I try my hardest to make them proud and give the family a good name.

Not everybody knows it, but I’d give the shirt off my back for a friend or family member in need. I wish more people were like this. If something needs tending to, I drop what I am doing to help rectify the situation with no fear of consequence. For some reason it reminds me of a Mighty Mighty Bosstones line, “I’m not a coward, I’ve just never been tested. I’d like to think that if I was, I would pass.” I really don’t think I have been tested in respect to how far I’d be willing to go for a family member of friend, but I’m sure one day I will find out and I pray I am up to the challenge.

With that said, I live my life on a basis of ideals and morality, almost to a fault. I sometimes feel I’ve lost some good opportunities because of my beliefs. Growing up, I didn’t have many friends that were big risk takers. I was never really subjected to people that put themselves on the line until I was in college. Once I began being around these risk takers I began to understand the advantages of doing so. I see now that people that take risks are often more successful and actually happier as well.

Just as my parents took the training wheels off my bike, so did the risk takers slowly teach me one of life’s most valuable lessons. I can now see that taking risks is one of the most important things in trying to succeed at something. Failure happens at every corner and is one of life’s greatest teachers, erasing the fear of it has been a more recent project of mine. Whether it be for love, a job, being known or respected or living on the edge to experience life, I see risk taking as an essential tool for life’s climb.

In my mind, my beliefs are more important to me than doing something that I would consider wrong, even if it’s in the gray area of morality or something considered by many to be ok. It’s interesting because I feel I live a rather religious life, yet I don’t go to church. Church is something I’m open to, but I think it’s something I’d rather do when I have my own family. When I was little I went to vacation bible school a few times and also went to Christian camp a few years in a row. I felt a little like religion was being forced upon me. I’m not saying I didn’t have a good time, but I felt out of place. Praying before every single thing we did was a bit much for me. One day I will be ready for it, but until then, my ideals will suffice.

Having good friends and family is also very important to me. Without these, one is lost. Strangely enough, life without family or friends is undoubtedly longer. But who wants that? Loneliness in exchange for the perception of a longer life. It’s human nature to feel lonely at some time or other, that’s just how we work. Loneliness is a mindset, deserved only to the wretched. Most people can get through that loneliness and are able to see that they are in fact loved by their friends and family. If you know someone is lonely, make them change their mind, your company is their cure. Good friends and family forgive and understand. While they might not understand your mistakes they want to have faith in that you are learning from them. Nobody’s perfect. Cherish your friends and family, for no one lives forever.

-Parker

*Please note this a free write essay and that I am well aware it doesn’t follow traditional essay form.
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On Creativity

by on Dec.15, 2009, under Short Essays


Tonight I was driving home in thick fog from a friend’s place when I wondered to myself why some people are so much more creative than others? Is it their upbringing or something more? I  would consider myself creative, but there are people on a whole other level and it can give me a headache on how they are able to achieve such a massive delineation from everyday life.

I grew up in an environment that facilitated creativity but I wouldn’t go so far as to say it cultivated it. Growing up I played soccer on one or two teams at a time. In sixth grade I began playing the upright bass and continued on through twelfth grade. I enjoyed playing and instrument, but I didn’t love it. In eleventh grade it was almost a chore, we played an asinine amount of school concerts and community event. This schedule, mixed in with soccer, unfortunately pushed me away from my interest in playing the bass. In twelfth grade I took an art class which I thoroughly enjoyed. In this class we did pottery the first semester and assorted paper art projects the second. We had one project in which we had to make paper mâché masks. Most of the masks were pretty ordinary aside from a few, mine included. Most people made very basic looking masks resembling real animals whereas mine was a dread-locked predator with bloodshot eyes centered with a glass bead. This was my first experience with painting layers to create depth, and I enjoyed it.

In college I started out a biomedical science student but I changed my major after 2 1/2 years. This change was pretty drastic: to theatre. This 180 degree turn happened because I decided to take a summer class as an elective. I really enjoyed it. That fall I took half science classes, half theatre classes, and in spring only theatre. I enjoyed doing these new artsy things, it was very free and obviously lifted a lot of stress off my shoulders. Science was fun and interesting, but it didn’t really make me happy.

My third year in college I had a chance encounter with an artist at the checkout in Wal Mart, his name, oddly enough, was Art. He said to me, “Hey man, do you paint?” I said, “You mean walls or art?” He said art then I joked about his name. He suggested that I buy some of those cardboard canvases and try some things out. I like to think I have a quasi-abstract mind and that’s how I started painting. I bought a few brushes and oils and started experimenting with some techniques.  Soon after, I became pretty addicted to painting, probably spending $25 a week on art supplies. I began buying real canvases and tried my best to spend more time on them, but I found this pretty hard. I always wanted a finished product and never really spent more than 4-6 hours on a painting. I began accumulating so many canvases I started selling them on Ebay. They would usually go for around 25-75 dollars, so I thought I was doing ok. The people I lived with enjoyed my work and unknowingly pushed me to find my style.

Once I graduated I moved back home for the summer and didn’t paint once, I was creatively dry.

I moved to Orlando for my second degree and the drought continued for almost a year. My roommate was a pretty talented graphic artist and had a project in which he used one of the old practice canvases from my past. The art flame was once again relit, for a while. When he moved out my creativity was again lost, and in the last year I have only painted two times, one was given to a friend as a gift and the other was probably one of my best works.

Looking at this from the outside it is apparent to see that I need a cultivator to grow creatively, something I really haven’t had in my life. There is a difference between someone that tells you that you’re doing a good job and someone that convinces you to push further and feeds the drive. To grow creatively, I must somehow find someone who can push me and I now realize, that person is me.

Obviously, I wish to do more than just paint. Developing my writing and filming skills are also things very important to me. I want to be known for my talents, not necessarily famous, but well respected in the creative community.

I find it interesting but understandable that some of the most creative people I know have often had a tumultuous upbringing. The struggle seems to be one of creativity’s best influences, something I have never really had to deal with, perhaps a blessing in disguise. I had a very smooth and “normal” upbringing while the most creative people I know had to deal with game changing issues like divorce or death in the immediate family. People in these situations have no choice but to be creative, an escape from their own hard reality. Since I always felt loved and never felt like I needed to escape from something quite so dramatic. It was unnecessary for me to create an alternate reality, whether it be via painting, shooting video, writing or something so simple as reading a book.

I like to read, but only in the past few years have I had an interest in fiction. That interest was brought on by my decision to take an advanced reading class in college. I originally took this class to help me in my script reading abilities, it turned out however, that this one semester would help push me to read and write fiction.

Since I’m not a tortured soul and rarely find it necessary to escape my own reality, the next best thing I can do is just keep working at it. Write something at least a little gripping every day. Paint more often. Go out of my way to be a visionary. Those who succeed in this regard have the drive. I too have the drive, it just sometimes needs a push start. I have faith in myself, my work and my ideals and will keep pushing fourth towards my goals for creativity and success, even if it takes my entire life……

*Above is a painting I did a few years ago.

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