A little less than 10 years ago, you would have seen a reserved, preacher’s son standing behind a pulpit with a part in his hair and naked chin, celibate and sober, afraid of women, professing to the congregation his dedication to God.
Today, you will find a 23-year-old bearded man holding pen and paper in company with a high-alcoholic-content beer, writing all encompassing stories about the lives of others and his own, breaking every rule he ever followed, and his new catch cooking him a meal with nothing but an apron on.
It is impossible for me to fill in a complete record of the accounts in my life. In short, I was a reserved and highly religious young boy with only knowledge of the heavens and scarce knowledge of the world. I refashioned myself into an adapting social chameleon of a man, living life of indulgence with an open mind susceptible to every experience in the highest and lowest of places.
In my life there has been a tremendous shift since my younger years to now, and I wouldn’t change a thing in regards to my transformation. I have matured and been exposed and enlightened to the many walks of life, changing constantly to mold a lifestyle appealing in my own eyes.
Even with regrets, every choice and action has allowed me to become the continuously adapting and broad-minded individual I am today.
In the past, I would go to church in a white shirt and tie every Sunday. I would listen to talks and sermons of men and women who devoted their hearts and lives to the king of kings. The mentality of the crowd I mingled with was to dutifully serve this king, serve this father figure, and exaltation will be yours. The heavens will be your kingdom. If you’re good enough you, too could be a God.
I followed this example and would rise to the occasion to speak what I had been taught and groomed to believe since birth. Constantly going through the motions of this religious life there was always something void and missing for me.
And that was the exploration and experience of the unknown. My life had grown stagnant with the same slow role of worship and repentance of sins. I came to feel as if I was a humble servant in the world of the king, and the only way to receive my daily bread was to stoop on all fours and exalt one on high. Every step in this direction brought me more unhappiness; more curiosity for the unknown and indignation toward the lifestyle I was living.
I was unhappy.
So instead of feeling lowly and subservient for the remaining of my days, I decided to become a rebel to the life I once knew. Although I had shown a rebellious spark I had shown in younger years, the straw that broke the camel’s back was my first, long-term girlfriend at the age of 18.
This monumental point stemmed a life of sex, drugs and music in that order. I gave way to my sexual prowess, my curious mind of sin and locked away the constant chirp of Jiminy Cricket of my religious past. With this new-found ability to break the binds of rules and limitations I expanded my mind and found a network of unlimited possibilities in life.
Whether they were viewed as good or bad to certain individuals. I understood that I had just as much horns on my head as I did halo and needed to give way to both ends of the spectrum.
I fell in love multiple time’s with numerous women, gained friends from every walk of life from gangsters to scholars, pansexual to drug addicts, party animals to hermits. I chose not to only associate myself with one group or institution, but became a drifter in the world. I met and gained an intimate understanding of the lives of the many individuals I would never have given my time or an open ear to if I were still in my religious mindset.
From all heard and saw, I decided to pick and choose the aspects that best fit my lifestyle path, and then integrate them accordingly. Jumping out of my comfort zone with leaps and bounds made up for much of the lost time of my youth, changing me and molding me to wear diverse faces and allow me to deal with any personality I ran into.
I called myself “The Social Chameleon” and stood in places treacherous or prudent with comfort and ease.
This impulsive and unprotected mode of living brought me addiction, punishment for disorderly conduct, and at times would even bring me to tears. Into the bargain this lifestyle also brought me Love, euphoria and amazement for the world I lived in. I decided as the being I was, I could be empowered without giving credit of my empowerment and natural ability as a human being to another.
I alone was capable of becoming as successful or happy, as I wanted, without the consent or praise of a king. I would find my own daily bread, and not wait for the king to provide based on my worship. I became a low-key agnostic. Meaning I claimed neither faith nor disbelief in a God. I only knew that whether or not there was a God, he, she, or it did not affect the way I would live in this lifetime. I decided that leaving no stone unturned and finding all different experiences and knowledge in the world was most important and a priority to me at this time of my life.
Even to this day I respect the faith of my father immensely, but still I had to know more. I had to be exposed to more because I yearned and desired for knowledge of the unknown, experimentation and the onset of stirring emotions I had never felt before. Do not live by the traditions of your father’s the rest of your life. We are all capable of change, and should use this capability to insure that we experience life to it’s fullest without constraints and without limitations. There is no predestination of life. Take the road less traveled, change roads constantly, and through your exploits on those roads you will find what lifestyle you truly wish to follow.
My word of advice is never to stay on the road you have been born into, but to venture off the path so as to find what really makes you tick, find what your potential can truly amount to, and find what gives you perfect fulfillment. Do not fall into the traditions of your fathers, or find yourself on a preconceived road. It doesn’t have to be a Hollywood ending, only a story where you never settled for less. Demand more than what has been placed in front of you.
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