Lost Boy Epiphanies

Maybe we’re more obsessed with knowing and not caring
Maybe we’re more obsessed with taking and not sharing
Maybe we’re more obsessed with receiving and not giving
Maybe we’re more obsessed with dying and not living

This past weekend, I went on a camping trip with four other guys in the Los Padres National Forest.  Reception is extremely spotty as soon as you get above 1000 feet, which is great for getting away, but terrible when one of your friends gives shitty directions and you drive 30 minutes up a windy mountain for absolutely no reason.  We made a big fire, drank heavily and then laid out in the middle of the road and looked at the stars.  Saturday, we went on a hike, trekked down a stream, got lost, climbed a hill and got back on the road and to the site in time for a 2-hour wiffle ball tournament thanks to a $5 impulse buy from Vons on the way up.  Then a repeat of Friday night.  Sunday we woke up and played hungover Uno, packed up and headed back down.

I realized 5 things on this trip.

1). It’s a great feeling when you don’t have to care about anything at all.  No one could get a hold of me.  There was no temptation to be lazy or be digitally stimulated somehow.  The only time I checked my phone was to make sure I hadn’t dropped it in the middle of the woods.  It felt like I was a Lost Boy, and living a dream that every little boy has; go play in the woods for hours with my friends where there is no parental supervision, but plenty of things that can make a big fire.  The euphoria of laughing so hard that it causes you physical pain is something can not be fully explained with words.  It’s not just the situation that makes you laugh; it’s more about who is in pain with you at the same time.

2). As soon as we had cell phone reception on Sunday, everyone was immediately on their phones.  I don’t have Facebook on my phone, and I had only one voicemail, so it took me about 30 seconds to catch up with anything I had “missed.”  It’s weird how we treat our phones like a drug.  As soon as we know we can have it, we get after it.  The thing is, half of the things you check on your phone aren’t necessary and you can’t say you really care about it.  You go online to check what’s going on in the social media-sphere, but really, do you legitimately care, or do you just want to know?  We love knowing about stuff, but we don’t care, and I realized if I don’t care, it’s not critical to know.  But I already wrote about my love/hate with social media technology, so I’m not going to get into it more than that.  Just remember the next time you’re physically with someone you care about, and you jump on your phone to check something you don’t honestly care about and is not important, you’re making a bad decision.

3). Speaking about decisions, happiness is a decision.  You don’t have to chose to laugh at something or force yourself to enjoy something, but if you are in a bad mood, you need to allow yourself the chance to be happy.  A lot of people act like they want to be consoled, but honestly, I think they just want to bitch.  They think about letting off the steam, but not about healing.  And if there is no healing, then letting off steam is just putting a bandaid on a wound that needs medical attention (hopefully not professional.  If you’re reading this blog and you need professional attention, stop taking my bandaid advice and please call someone with a degree that doesn’t evoke laughter when announced…Communications).

4). Using the past as an excuse is an easy way for people to justify their shitty behavior.  “This happened to me X number of years ago, and that’s why I act crappy.  You just need to accept that.”  So instead of dealing with an issue, realizing it’s a flaw that you have, and working on it, you’re just going to say “that’s just how I have always been and always will be” because it’s easier to do?  When you ignore personal struggles, conflicts, and feelings, you’re making an active decision to be stuck in the same place you’ve always been.  And what’s worse is that you’ll hurt other people with your hurt, even though they weren’t the ones that caused it.

5). I’m looking forward to being a good parent.  My goal is to have other parents or peers say “that’s a good kid you got there.”  I’ll never be more proud of an accomplishment or receive a higher praise, and while it’s a goal in the distant future, it’s one I look forward to tackling.

Take Care.  Heal Soon.

Thanks for reading.

– You Know Uno


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