Before you ask, no, I do not actually think the act of deleting my Facebook led to what I'm about to describe; however, it was symbolic for what did and can lead to what I'm about to describe.
It is so easy to get caught up in the portrayal of our life. We often get so caught up in this that we forget to just live. That's why I deleted my Snapchat and Facebook last fall. This is my story of what has happened since I decided to just live:
In the last seven or eight months, I experienced and lived life in ways that I never thought possible. I experienced and saw tangible and intangible beauty that is impossible to recreate.
I know there are plenty of people who had bigger, badder and better years than I did, just as there are plenty of people who may have had worse years than I did. I’m writing this because maybe it will be motivating, even for just one person.
I read quite a few stories that made me want to “live” more, and eventually they added up and I decided to start living.
In the last half year or so:
I’ve been to 15 different states (soon to be in the range of 25 to 30!). Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to leave the country, but I am traveling internationally in the first two weeks of 2015!
I ate a plump Trinidad moruga scorpion pepper, which once was the hottest pepper in the world. It can be one million scoville units hotter than a ghost pepper, and can be as hot as US grade pepper spray.
I’ve slept at some of the most beautiful places around, ranging from beaches to the top of a 35-story building in Manhattan. Even better, I've witnessed, and been woken up by the sunrise from these majestic places.
I’ve had nights that I thought could only occur in fictional movies. I’ve lived it up in casinos, clubs and bars in some of the best cities in the country, including NYC, New Orleans, Charlotte, Chicago, Daytona Beach, Tampa, Atlantic City and DC. Granted, I’ve also had some close calls and luck that likely will not perpetuate.
I’ve beaten and rebeaten my record for oldest woman I’ve hooked up with, but don’t worry still haven’t crossed the line of actual oldie.
I started a company and was able to secure investment from an incredible incubator.
I served as interim Finance Director for a Congressional Candidate, who I actually think has enough purity and drive behind his intentions to make a difference. Despite not being out of college yet, I was handling FEC filings, IRS disclosures, fundraising, budgeting, compliance and more, and believe I truly made an impact on his campaign.
I’ve seen who I believe to be some of the most talented artists around live. Multiple times.
I’ve grown closer to people than I ever thought possible. I’ve learned to trust in ways that I thought only naïve people could do. Still have a long way to go, but I'm getting there slowly.
I finally started reading. I've always wanted to and seen the benefits of it all around, but could never get into it. I've started working through some awesome non-fiction and even fiction literature, and am amazed at what it's teaching me.
I fell in love with the world, with my life, with everything … and with a girl. The catch: I’ll never get to be with her. I’m not good enough, it’s unrequited and it’s not worth risking an incredible friendship, but that’s okay.I truly want nothing but the best for her and to see her happy, and if other guys that make her happy, that's more than enough for me.
Plus, just the process of falling in love has taught me more than I ever could have imagined. I learned that I am capable of truly loving, truly trusting and truly wanting to be with someone.The next time someone as incredible walks into my life, I’ll be ready.
I know I'll be good enough for them, and am the type of person they deserve to be with. That lesson transcends being applicable to someone I fall in love with; I want to always surround myself with incredible people who make me better and bring out the best in me.
If I want to surround myself with these people, I need to be the type of person they want and deserve in their life.
I’ve dealt with some events and issues in my past that I thought I would never be able to come to terms with. I’ve still got a long way to go, but feel I’m finally making authentic progress, rather than just faking it.
On the other side of things, I’ve used my own experiences to help others (ranging from strangers to friends) with their own traumatic happenings or past. I’d like to think, and have been told by said people, that I’ve helped several people deal with things they didn’t think they ever could or get back on their feet when they thought there was no hope.
All of this happened while I was a full-time college student, so I can’t wait to see what is in store next. I never really thought I was capable of true happiness, true trust, true relationships and of truly living. I never thought lives like this actually existed.
When everything is said and done, those extra two points on a paper or that extra hour at work isn’t really going to matter. How many likes your pictures or comments got isn't going to matter either. Your memories, relationships and your impact will.
My name is [… doesn’t matter…] and I’m living a fairy tale. You could be too.
Disclaimer: I know I am extremely privileged and blessed and even if many people "just live," not everyone has the same opportunities. This isn't meant to be taken literally or to seem like I think people are completely responsible for their situation in life. This is meant metaphorically, to remind people to not get caught up in their facade of life, but to stay focused on actually living.
Photo Courtesy: Carson Olivares