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Dear, anyone who cares enough to read this whole story,
To be honest, I’ve always seen intolerance and cliques in high school. It used to bother me but right now I honestly don’t care, I am enlightened. If I was Buddhist I would say that I have reached my Buddha, but I’m not. Now I’m supposed to write this a certain way, but the truth is, I can’t. If I write another cliché story of high school, it would hurt my writer spirit too much, and to sit here and lie and say that all of my life has been at school, would be dishonest. I’m just going to write this story the best way I know how, and if I don’t win money for it, I don’t care because I don’t need money to be happy. “Life is not about making a living, its just about living.”
It all started about 10 or so years ago. My parents had got divorced when I was 5 and eventually when I was 8, my mom had to give up our big house because she couldn’t afford the taxes on it as a single mother going to college in her 30’s. That’s the first time in my life I truly remember crying. For the first time I wasn’t crying because I scraped my knee or I wasn’t getting enough attention. It was the culmination of everything that had happened. My parents getting divorced was hard, and I did cry, but I’m not sure I truly understood it. Hell, I didn’t truly understand it when I was 8, but I just thought my whole life was crumbling around me and there was nothing I could do. For the first time in my life I cried from pure sorrow of living a life I was too young to live.
We moved into my grandparents’ house. For most kids this would be torture, but I loved my grandparents’ house so I was alright with it, for the most part. I was put into a new school that year. That was hard too. I guess I cried a lot that year. Anyway, my grandmother became like a second mother and my grandfather became the figure of masculinity I would never have gotten if we hadn’t had moved there. For the next 10 years my grandparents and my mom raised me, and towards the end, we raised our grandparents.
My grandma’s health was bad almost the whole time we lived with her. That’s important to the story. I’ll cut the story short and basically just tell you the most influential part of it.
Christmas break of my junior year of high school, my grandma got sick, really sick. She stopped breathing. We called 911 and within five minutes are house was lit up with ambulance and police lights, like the scene of a brutal murder. I went upstairs. I couldn’t stand to see her carried out like that, hooked up to every machine an ambulance could carry. I made some excuse not to go to the hospital. Some bull like I had too much homework or I had to take care of the dogs. She died in the ambulance for 5 minutes. They stabilized her before they got to the hospital but she was sent straight to the ICU.
“You have to where these masks and sterile gowns. Your grandma has Pneumonia and any germ you have could get her even sicker,” the nurse said as my family dressed in these sterile suits. We looked like clowns. We looked like creepy surgeons from a thriller movie. My grandma looked worse. She had a ventilator to breathe, I dialysis machine so her kidneys didn’t fail, IV’s everywhere, and so many tubes she looked like she was being reborn into the Matrix. Like Neo in the original.
Well anyway we thought we were going to have to pull the plug, and that was hard, but I had to keep myself from crying. The strongest man I know, my grandpa, was crying, but that was his wife so I understood. Since my grandpa was crying, I had to be strong, for everyone. I lent my tears to my family so they could cry more. I didn’t need them; I needed a cool, calculated stair. No emotions, the way a real man needs to be.
Like a truly perfect phoenix metaphor, however, my grandma rose from the ashes of death and actually began to recover. The hospital decided to put his in a hospice care center. Four days later she died. We went and saw her. When we got there her body was still in the bed, but her life had left her. She looked like one of those pictures you see of the Jews after the Allies saved them from the concentration camps. I had to cry. There was no way around it. I few tears rolled down my checks but I had to stop the rest.
This is really where my old life ended and my new life began. After we got home, I jumped in my car and rode off. I drove into places that no one from my school had seen before. Abandoned barns near unplanted corn field, back roads so old their pot holes had pot holes. I must have drove around for five hours that day with no point A or point B, I was just livin’.
That’s the climactic battle that killed the false being within me. That was the climax, the best part of the trip. That was my enlightenment. I realized life is too short to put to much thought into what people thought about me. In years past, in high school, when people would be talking I would aqwardly try to join in, but now I can’t sit in silence and be completely happy.
I’m sure when people look at me at school, they see a shy kid, who probably hates high school, and his life, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I love sitting quite and listening to my class mates problems that they think are of colossal significance, but in the wide spectrum of a life time, amount to close to nothing. I don’t need to be rich or have parents that let my friends drink in my house to have good friends. In fact I have better friends than that. I have friends that I wouldn’t mind spending the last hours of my life with because the truth of life is that the only thing certain about it is death. Why should I hang out with people I pretend to be friends with, then go and talk behind their backs? If I die, with one true friend, I can guarantee I would be more satisfied with life that a football player with 897 friends on facebook.
In conclusion, you have to live every second like it’s your last. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean that in the sky diving, adrenaline junky kind of way. I mean you have to live life anyway you are happy, and I mean truly happy. Whatever that may be, if you’re happy, its good. Even if everyone you’ve ever known frowns upon it, this life is the only life you will ever get, so if you’re not happy, you’re wasting it. 80 years on this earth isn’t a very long time, but it does last a life time, so make it the best life you will ever know because it’s the only one you will ever know.