Saturday, June 7, 2008

Looking Back at My Life

The longer that I live the more I think about where I've been in my life. It's been a long and strange journey that has taken me from one side of the globe to the other bringing changes in my thinking and in the way I live.

Looking back, I realize that the language I speak now is not what I spoke when I was a child. My outlook on what my life was going to become is not the same as it was when I was living abroad. Even the word "abroad" has changed it's perspective.

I have lived through unique events that some people around me now only read passingly on web sites, world history text books, or trivia games. I have lived among a people that were no stranger to struggle and pain, but yet manage to dig out a smile from deep within their hearts while in the company of friends and family. It is the struggle to survive that is their common bond and in their unity they find strength to carry on and have hope within their hearts.

For a time, I experienced paradise with my very own eyes. No cable TV. No air conditioning. No complex technologies. No phones. The only connection to the outside world was a static-filled AM Radio broadcast and newspapers from other towns that would come three months late. We did not worry about the complexities of the future because we were all silently worrying about making it through the day. Grown ups worked in the fields and the stores. Children played and went to school. It was the simple unglamorous life during simple unglamourous times.

Pulled across to the other side of the world by fate and by birthright, I find myself living in a world I once could only imagine. It is a world whose images in my mind were shaped by movies and magazines.

In this land of dreams and promises, my eyes were opened to the complexities of the world. I have become educated to the nature of man. Its dark propensity for violence and self-destruction contrasted with a powerful capacity for love and brilliant ingenuity. Such knowledge has evolved my simple perceptions of the world; simple perceptions that once ruled my youth.

So here I am now working with computing machines and in a medium that I could not have fathomed as a child. I have lived and worked with people who's intellectual brilliance could only be matched by the beauty they show inside and out. But, I have also been in the company of the forgotten warriors, the lost who are trying to find their way, and the worst who I hope will someday see the light.

Despite the twenty years of living here, I realize that I have not travelled much in this country. I know that I have seen the neighboring states of Alabama where some friends of mine lives, and I have been to Mississippi to do some gambling in Biloxi, but I have not ventured any farther than this. I have roamed Northwest and North Florida, but I have never been to Disneyworld.

Some of you must be saying that this is strange and some have told me that it is tragic and sad. Perhaps someday I will go farther. In fact, I know that I will for my journey is not at its end. But do not mistaken me for someone who is uninitiated. My eyes have seen more things from around the world that many of you never will. I would give up my chance to ever go to Disneyworld if I could only spend one day in my grandparents home.

From time to time, everything I have done here still feels like a fragile dream and that someday I will wake up and this life and place that I have come to call home will vanish into the whispers of oblivion as my eyes open.
But I am not afraid. For if this was to happen, I know that I would only find myself in the company of friends and family living an uncomplicated life. Though, rest assured that I will miss my new homeland and all the people that I come respect and love.

Chinese Proverb:

"If I am dreaming let me never awake, If I am awake let me never sleep."

This is ByteMonkey signing off . . .

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