This is my mind expressed visually.
We could have said, ‘Cars don’t kill people. People kill people,’ and there would have been an element of truth to that. Many accidents are a result of alcohol consumption, speeding, road rage or driver distraction. Or we could have said, ‘It’s pointless because even if you regulate cars, then people will just run each other down with bicycles,’ and that, too, would have been partly true. Yet, instead, we built a system that protects us from ourselves. This saves hundreds of thousands of lives a year and is a model of what we should do with guns in America.
A century ago, we reacted to deaths and injuries from unregulated vehicles by imposing sensible safety measures that have saved hundreds of thousands of lives a year. Why can’t we ask politicians to be just as rational about guns?
It’s quite comical to me that I have progressed to the 25th Anniversary of my Birth. It never occurred to me that one day I would turn 25, wringing my hands wondering if I should feel different. It was assumed but never on the forefront of my mind that one day I will come to this point and that society and others might hold me to a standard of what should be accomplished. For me? My most important accomplishments are not things I could jot down on a piece of paper for future employment or hang onto a wall for others to see. Some people I know use 25 as their milestone. “I plan to have (insert something to brag about) done by the age of 25.” Be it degrees, children, a fancy house, some entry level job with your first promotion, good credit, a marriage. For me it was always short term. What will I do tomorrow?
By the time I was 18 I knew a few things. 1. That I am not like the rest. 2. I wanted to escape from beneath the thumb of my over-controlling father. 3. I could be anything I wanted.
See in my opinion, and this opinion tends to hurt others, I come from a family of severe underachievers. Before my 4 brothers and I were placed upon this Earth, my family had achieved very little. High School Drop Outs, Drug Abusers, Holders of Poor Health. I was on pace to be the first in my family to go to college and earn a degree. My only role model growing up was my father, whom I was named after. I have always felt regal being the 2nd born yet the name sake, that someday I would assume the throne to be great like my father. My brothers and I were princes; Rafael, Christopher, Michael, Richard. Names that seemingly should sit upon a golden mantle, recognized as royalty. I still remember the day that all eroded. Vanished into thin air. I never truly learned the effects an ugly divorce can have on children until I studied it in college. Textbook. You could conduct a case study of my family and see that we are the examples written onto the pages, Taught to privileged kids who have no inkling that some beside them harbor the effects described in bland detail. I thought I was immune. A cold heart. Unaffected. Up until college I achieved quite a bit swallowing and hiding everything. In reality I had it all hidden deep in the trenches of my mind and heart until they came bursting out in a violent volcanic eruption a few months ago. Sobbing in the middle of the night wondering how it all came to this. I can look into each of my brothers faces and see the pain. Pain we think is normal but the more and more we mingle with others we see that it’s not. No child should have to live through that. To watch first hand the demise of their family.
At some point my father lost who he was and what he wanted to become in life. In retrospect I watched from the front row as my hero died. The only role model I ever had.
Progression on to the University of Florida on a full ride. Yet. I fell victim to my own sense of camaraderie to my brothers still stuck under that feat of Human Evolution, thumbs. I felt compelled to help others when quite frankly I couldn’t help myself, the need to know others when I didn’t know myself. What did I want? When does the ship right itself? Who am I to become?
That was 7 years ago. I don’t have many friends nor do I want them. Many jumped ship when they saw me sinking. But through it all I have grown in ways that would not have occurred if the road was not bumpy, the seas were not rough and if I was not placed out of the sun. I consider myself something like Shade Grown Coffee. Adaptations in the void of light. I wanted so much to delete who William was. I wanted to become the last Good Emperor. Attempting to re-write history to prevent the demise of an Empire. Silly? Indeed. I like to think of it as poetic.
I consider the last 3 years a sabbatical of sorts. I am at peace with the irresolution, the lack of large steps. The small steps taken ran a fine tooth comb through the very soul of who I am. I think all the kinks are out. I find myself in a rare position to reconfigure my goals and career path. We reside within a society that pressures you to know what you want to do in life at an early age. Then you work work work until you die. I, on the other hand, I want to live until I die. And live I will.
I will count my milestones in relation to what I have accomplished since 25. I know what I am to do tomorrow and the day after that and the years after this is published and long forgotten. I know who I am and who I am not. I shall revel in the revelation of this self discovery, writing along the way so I do not forget this excursion from the oft beaten path.
Remember what once was and no longer is. Remembering the ideas that once fired between the synapses in my cortex. Never to forget that the bridge between ideas and success is decisions. Peace comes after.
Today is the first step of that journey.
The space between, Federico Infante
you make my