Sunday, May 27, 2012

Land of the Free and Home of the Brave

Something is missing.. As I sit here quietly preparing to spill the words of wisdom I hope to procure, I ask myself. Why? Why do I write? Why do I continue to apply attention that may or may not ever develop into anything? The answer is simple. I love it, and life is about love.  So then I ask my next question. What is the point? Well when I first opened up to the thought of writing a blog I wondered what to call it. I reflected on my own life and wondered what I would want to read. The biggest thing that came to mind was that I wanted advice. Maybe not even advice necessarily, but I wanted perceptions. I wanted to process thoughts of other people and compare them to my own beliefs. I wanted to grow in my own opinion. Listen to each belief and relate that to my own. Figure out who I am.

The hardest thing since graduation for me has been realizing that I'm no longer a child. I have real responsibilities. Not only does society expect me to develop and mature, but there is a constant yearning inside of me to BE. It's difficult to explain. I am becoming. Becoming.... Becoming what, I don't know. I just know that I appreciate the constant change and accept it as a natural part of life. Better yet, I welcome it. Who am I to think that right now I'm at my prime. How selfish would it be to believe that I am the best now that I'll ever be? I know without a doubt that the ampleness of the worlds wisdom will occupy me for a very, very long time. 

I was talking with my best friend... Beau. That's what I'll call her. She's been one of my closest confidantes over the last 3 years. We met my freshman year, and naturally I hated her. She was talented in every way, great looking, and as we would eventually find out... Gay. When I was young I hated a challenge. Anyway, Beau and I hung out last night. We try to have nights occasionally where we just sit. Reflect in each others company. A few years older than me, she is also much wiser. She brought up a very valid point that I've often felt, but never verbalized. She asked me a very serious and haunting question. She asked me, "Does it ever feel like you were born into the wrong time? Like maybe you were supposed to be born into a different era?" After I listened to her realization, I realized I felt the exact same way.

She pointed out that she felt as if she was to simple. She was content with love and happiness. She was also deprived of the passion found particularly in the seventies. I completely understand. I have always felt a little to deep, a little to overwhelmed with the sense of urgency behind life. To stand for something. The need to be a part of something much bigger than myself. I've always wondered how it would have felt to be a part of a time where love and peace were the ultimate ideas. Where kindness was not only understood, but still expected. A time where honesty and trustworthiness weren't foreign. Everyone was an activist and an optimist, and disbelief was abnormal. I long for a time where selflessness was offered without reward. Then I remind myself that there were exceptional people who started that movement. People just like me, and just like you who put faith into their hearts and lept into their own dreams hoping to create a wave of familiar passion around them. That faith rippled, and before we knew it there was a movement. A need to be better. That movement is slowly becoming extinct.      

We all know someone in their forties or fifties who has been doing this for a while, but it just didn't go the way they had hoped. Someone who when they look back, realizes that they wish they would have done more... Do you want to be that person? Are you going to settle for mediocre, or are you going to capitalize on your youth. Take into consideration that maybe its possible that you're supposed to be incredible and just go for it. After all... What do you have to lose? Just the other day I was watching an interview of Michael J. Fox and he said something that really intrigued me. He said "You don't always have to say yes, but say yes more than no because no doesn't get you anywhere." He's right. You can settle for mediocrity and allow yourself to dissolve into the routine monotony society has accepted as the norm, or you can take a chance. Chase a dream. Reach for a star. I suggest that you make life a little challenging. Don't pick the easy way out.

 Right now gays and lesbians are suffering from hate. We have advanced far enough that we can walk down the street holding hands without being beaten or stoned (sometimes) but we haven't gotten far enough that we're considered equals and enjoy all of the same rights the every other American has. We're not asking for anything extra. Nothing special. Just the ability to live, and die free. Now I have to ask. Did you vote in the last election? Have you ever protested something or volunteered for a cause? Are you a part of the movement in our generation doing what you can to help the freedom of yourself and others or are you someone who claims that you're "not into politics" and just waits for change to take place? You my not be interested, but politics are certainly interested in you.

Could you imagine what life would be like right now without the generations before us who fought in the streets, picketed with signs, sacrificed their reputations to stand up for what they believed in which was the right to freely love whoever they wanted. The Matthew Shepards and the Teena Brandon's who were caught in the crossfire. I have already had 2 encounters with Westboro Baptist Church, multiple encounters with discrimination and hate, and live everyday as a second class citizen because "I'm not normal".

Which side are you on. Are you going to float through life riding on the success of your predecessors or are you going to stand up and help set the example for the generation who follows. As few people that care in this generation, the next generation scares me. We've become so selfish, believing that we're entitled to everything, when we've done none of the ground work. What if we had to start over each generation to fight for our rights. What if we as women couldn't vote now until we fought for it. Couldn't wear pants. Couldn't go out in public with our girlfriends. (some of you might still be going through that.) so what do we do about it?

We fight. We love. We search for peace , happiness, equality and all of the other beautiful things that make this world an amazing place. We're in America. Land of the free and home of the brave. Isn't it time we reflect that?

Remember me... I'm Tennessee.

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