Chapter 9: Striking home

When the buildings were struck, I got angry. When I heard Pittsburgh had a crash in it, I got scared for my friends. But when my dad told me that his good friend in college was the pilot of flight 175, the 2nd tower’s plane, it hit me. It was too much, it connected. I retreated to my room, high on caffeine, and turned on Outkast’s “Bombs Over Baghdad” as loud as I could, and just stood there in a daze. My friend Erin J. came to the door and dragged me to a religious service special for the occasion. A combination of a long walk, and Erin keeping my attention up, and the service from a variety of religions pulled me out of any mood I was on the verge of falling into. Thank you Erin.

Chapter 8: The day the World went away

Today was a day I will always remember. This morning I saw over a thousand people die. I heard a plane crashed in my town, and I nearly punched a wall because I was so scared. I held my weeping friend when she feared for her loved ones’ life, and feared for my friends. I stared in wonder at a scene that until quite recently, I imagined could only happen in a movie. Whenever I feel comfortable, things change.

I listen to the words he’d say,
but in his voice I heard decay.
The plastic face forced to portray
all the insides left cold and grey.
There is a place that still remains,
it eats the fear, it eats the pain.
The sweetest price you’ll have to pay
the day the whole world went away.
– “The Day the World went away” by NIN

Chapter 7: Peace in Nature

I have always been in love with the wilderness. My dad has always taken us out into the great beyond. Recently, out in the middle of North-Eastern Utah, hiking on alpine tundra, the wind whipping in your face, the clouds stretched out below the horizon . . . this is where I find peace. The trip to the mountain top is magical; conquering the beast that is large beyond comprehension brings energy to my stride. Sitting atop the rock scattering of a peak, where each direction is down, alone with the sky. Only when you are alone with nature, when you have only yourself to see yourself through this, when everything you need is on your own back, only then are you truly free.

Chapter 6: My Quota

I was preparing to go to a recent party, and I was informing various people I thought might wonder where I was of my plans. One girl in particular asked me if I was going to get drunk, and I responded, “Probably.” She glared at me, and gave me the impression that she thought less of me because of it. I knew some of what she was thinking, that alcohol isn’t needed for a good time, and that drinking isn’t healthy. But, Miss Princess, when I go to a party, and I invariably start to dance and sing, instead of glaring at me and saying “Your quota of song and dance for the day is up,” people would join in. I know it’s illegal, I know it’s not healthy, and I know I could get into a lot of bad situations because of doing it. Why do I drink, you ask me? In a world full of unspoken rules, leaving your inhibitions at the door can be a welcome change of pace.

Chapter 5: Lost

Wither lies the road? No road! Into the unknown… – Friedrich Nietzsche

Thrust into a strange environment from which I know no escape, I could easily panic, because I am lost. I do not know where or who I am, and because I am lost I must find myself quickly, because being lost is not ideal. It is a testament to the power of the mind to be able to reverse the way you think about being lost, and immediately turn evil into good. Exploring is something frightening and exciting, turning over new leafs and walking through new doorways that have never been ventured before. Why be lost when you can explore? When you begin to go out of your way to be put into new and amazing experiences, you will have dropped the stigma linked to “being lost”, and will have become a true explorer.