Waking up in August without Wonderboy

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In the baseball game of life when we’re called to the plate, there’s a long pause for quiet vulnerability. From the moment we stand in the dugout making our stride to the field, all the way up to the point when we raise our bat waiting for that pitch from the cosmic stars, we’re exposed. Bravery to me means giving life your everything. So from the way I see it, there’s the people who prefer to live a little less in order to maintain a constant state of happiness, and there’s the people who surrender everything they are, leaving them susceptible to pain because there’s no such thing as half-assing greatness. Pain or comfort, which would you rather endure? Pain although uncomfortable, gives an indication that we’re putting ourselves out there in order to reach for stars which hold our dreams. Contrary to popular belief, comfort in abundance reaches a limit beyond childhood & adolescence. It serves as a reminder that we’re no longer putting our best foot forward. Without pure ambition embedded into our initial endeavors for greatness, are we truly living to the best of our abilities? There’s one clear element separating those who travel proudly across unknown terrain from those who tiptoe through, and that is hope.

August is a lot of things for me. Through my eyes, it’s 31 additional opportunities for adventure, camping and hiking, the beach…basically any activity which requires little to no clothing whatsoever. It’s my favorite season, my birthday month,  and it’s overflowing with beautiful sunny summer days that we’d wish to never end. Every August since my first has meant a fresh experience and the arrival of a new beginning. Waking up in August was always pure joy, but that changed. From one Sunday of survival last summer in 2014, I felt encouraged to re-shape my life. I was pushed into an unforgiving time span where I expected for danger to be lurking around the corner at every turn. This was my inevitable road I was forced to endure, and perhaps any person who’s been the victim of a car crash. In four days time I was back upstate for my final semester and eight hours away from home. I was in search for any reasonable way of life that would keep the pain at bay, forever. This is not a story going through the events following my accident, but rather why I decided to always keep the light in my life at a spark. And in opposition to the pain I experienced bending me towards the pessimistic side, how my windows of hope never closed.

Batter Up! Swing Or A Miss?: Starting from a young age, I was always powering through my days in a dreamy haze. Pursuing everything with a strong mind and just hoping for the best. I don’t believe our level of hope directly relates back to the way we were raised, but it’s a choice nonetheless. After all, the choices we make pave the path to our future, ultimately determining the people we becom and the legacy we’ll leave behind in this world. I’d hit quite a few bumps in the road before that crash, but the shattering of glass is what put everything into perspective. What’s considered to be striking out when we’re up at home plate? Is it the swing and a miss? Or is it choosing not to face the pitch at all? I was fed up with people, with tragedy, heartbreak, & betrayal. Back up at school, and I began cutting loose strings from my life that didn’t belong there anymore. Healthy? Perhaps it was, up until the point where walls were constructed in order to protect my fortress of solitude. I still thank the day for whatever reason(s) it was, that I came out of that numbing coma. It’s been nearly one full year since I got into that damned car crash. I couldn’t feel happier to still be me. Know in your heart you can make that swing with or without Wonderboy.

Here’s why hope, not hiding, is the key to hitting the home run.

Bulletproof Or A Fool Who’s Aloof?: Our relationships with other individuals are without question, the leading reason for our defense mechanisms & self-protection. Considering the popular modern dating tactics of one night-stands & social media escapes, it’s no wonder people build protective barricades to block off pain. Sia sings, “I’m bulletproof nothing to lose, fire away fire away.” Putting aside the catchy tune and metaphorical gunshots, why would we prefer having nothing to lose? Don’t we want a life filled with people we’d never wish to stray from our side? Without our friends and family, our love interests, what the hell are we living for? With our guard up there’s no greed or selfishness to haunt us, but there’s no real happiness either. We lose the ability to experience deep love and hearty laughter, because without sensitivity, there’s no meaning to the term humanity. I’ve got news for everyone, you’re not doing yourself any justice by boarding yourself away from the world.

Concrete Walls Don’t Make Great Windows: Cutting those loose strings from my life felt invigorating, free…and then it felt lonely. If you snip a loose thread too close to the shirt, the stitches will unravel. I was trying to rebuild my life the right way but the construction was all wrong. I wasn’t building windows, I was building walls and doors that came without a key. Keep the love away from your heart, and you put yourself in a position where you cannot give or receive. Makes it quite difficult to love yourself, to appreciate the feeling of being alive, or of just simply being happy.

The Road to Enlightenment: Yad Vashem is a site I visited on my birthright trip two months ago. It’s stationed on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem, 804 meters(2,638 ft) above sea level on the western slope of Mount Herzl, adjacent to the Jerusalem Forest. Established in 1953 through the Yad Vashem Law passed by the Knesset, (Israeli’s Parliament), it is Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. From entrance to ending, the tour winds through rooms and halls illuminated by large ceiling windows overhead. As the tourists perpetuate forward moving further through darkened history, the windows grow smaller and smaller, ultimately allowing minimum light to enter through these areas of the building. The light from the windows symbolizing in it’s essence, the hope of the Jewish people. Though it was a shred of light, the last room did not fade to pitch black. And the memorial room consisted of one candle with endless mirrors, giving the illusion of fire flickering from every corner so no area would be without light.

There are two quotes I’d like to share with you, the first one is anonymous. “There are two types of pains, the kind that hurts you and the other that changes you.” And for all of you Cinderella Story/Great Bambino fans out there, “never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” ~Babe Ruth. We’re all faced with challenges. At the end of the day, it’s a matter of which ones we choose to be lessons. As I said, this is not a story going through the motions of events following my accident, but rather why I decided to always keep the light in my life at a spark no matter the circumstances. And in opposition to the thought process belonging to all of those negative Nancy’s out there, how my windows of hope never closed. I know now with this mindset I can wake up in August, or any month for that matter, and feel happy.

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