Cookie Cutter Beginnings

February 18, 2010
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I had never been special. I never was an athlete, or on the honor roll. People didn’t remember my name after graduation and no one kept contact. My average childhood made way for an ordinary adulthood. I woke up everyday and spent 8 hours sitting in a lone cubicle. I typed away at the computer mindlessly, my eyes glazed over in a daze. Yet this was only what was to be expected, when there was nothing spectacular about you, when you were just part of everyone else.

Despite this revelation, I yearned for a change. I wanted to do something great, to be someone that would be remembered. Yet I had gone on for so long being a nobody, I did not know how to break the habit. Was it even worth the expected failure? I thought about my two sons, Connor and Shane, they were young. What were they to do? Would they grow up to have vague futures as well?

It was with this that I did something completely impulsive. The epiphany that occurred truly changed my view on life. When I entered my plain blue SUV, I sat there and stared at my steering wheel. I could either play it safe and go to work, as usual, and follow through with my everyday routine; or I could do the unexpected, the worthwhile, the impulsive and go anywhere; feel the true rapture of the unknown. My inner subconscious reminded me that this was not logical. I should just go about my usual day. Yet my heart was pulling me down a different path, a more meaningful way.

Adrenaline pulsed through my veins as I shut off the engine of my car, and slowly got out. For a split second, I just stood in my driveway, deliberating. Deep inside I knew this was it. I began to run; running so fast that my thoughts were a blur. I felt out of my body, so scared, so wild. The only sounds decipherable were the consistent sound of my feet hitting the pavement and the beating of my heart.

I turned onto a road I had never been down before. It was a dirt road, trees lined both sides, and the autumn light streamed through them creating a most pleasing sight. I came to a halt and caught my breath. Hands on my knees, I bent over, waiting for the panic to come. But it did not. I looked ahead and saw nothing but road and trees. There was a bend a little farther up. I continued to walk. The light wind rustled the leaves around my feet. I listened to them crackle and break. They were a kaleidoscope of warm colors; browns, reds and oranges. It was sad how I had never even noticed their true beauty. The realization came across that, in fact, I overlooked many things each day.

As I pondered these thoughts I continued to walk aimlessly down the empty path. Suddenly the road came to a stop. Taken aback, I slowly walked forward to see what was beyond. I smelled the salty ocean air, I could hear the sound of squeaking seagulls and the soft waves crashing onto a sandy shore. The sun was starting to set, and the pinkish light from the sun created a portrait of the scene before me. I was startled to see an ocean. Spread out below this rocky cliff, dark amber waves splayed across the shore. Even more surprising, I found that I was alone. This beautiful moment in time was mine, and no one else’s.

The wind was rising. My tie blew this way and that. Was this true freedom? I looked at the wide, wide world beneath me. I felt the audacity of the scene before me, the excitement of the open space. For the first time in my life, I was truly happy. Warm tears fell down my pallid cheeks, and a slow, bittersweet smile began to form. This was true life, a life worth living. I decided it was time to find my purpose, whether it was being just a simple father, or something greater. This was my life, and I had the power to make it whatever I wanted it to be. I no longer had to stay cooped up all day inside a cubicle. I spread my arms out wide, my jacket whipping in the cold wind. I looked up at the endless sky and embraced my world.





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