"Greetings all! Yes, it's your fearless narrator. FINALLY come back from the dead!"

Sometimes work can be consuming. I literally was consumed the past couple of weeks. Thankfully, they've hired a new editor to take the load since a little stress-related incident took possession of me and left the lunch room as silent as a grave. But that's neither here or now, since I haven't concluded my epic 3-part saga when Desiree and I went home to San Luis Obispo for the weekend. Granted it's been a couple of weeks, but I applaud those who have trudged on without the knowledge how this galactic odyssey concludes. But, I suppose one episode a week is like how they do it in real-life tv time. That's funny, real-life tv. Anyways, I'll fast forward to the good part:

Desiree and I made it to the beach house and spent the next hour catching up with the "home" crowd as well as rotate in to beat the reigning champs of Beer Pong, the two Ryans. The tall Ryan whom we call 'Crush' puked so much I couldn't believe he was still at it half-an-hour later. Needing some air after walking through the solid wall of puke aroma, I found myself outside in the pale moonlight.

"Hi, Johnny."

There it was, the inevitable start to an inevitable confrontation that was happening inevitably now. I turned to face the Goliath to my David and something struck me as I looked into my ex-girlfriend's eyes; I felt happy to see her. Weird, huh? Maybe it's the circuitry within me that's crossed every which way, but I genuinely realized that my trip back home was for this. Don't get me wrong, there was no way we were getting back together. It just wasn't like that.

About an hour later, Desiree stumbled over and found us chewing the fat about how kids these days are growing up without proper television sitcoms like Step By Step and Saved By the Bell. Within mid-discussion about reality television shows, Desiree made it evident she needed to leave when she unloaded on my favorite pair of Pumas; ironically the pair Jennifer bought me for my 20th birthday.

Of course, Desiree apologized every two seconds the next day during brunch at the Cliffs, but I told her it was fine. You know, I took for granted a lot of things that I thought was behind me, especially my college life. In my mind, I thought I needed to break out into a new life and become a totally new person than college-Johnny since I'm in the real world now. But that was partly true.

You see, I realized that becoming a better person comes with the territory. We need to adapt and change to survive this chaotic world. And, putting the past behind me is the only way to move forward, but keeping those experiences and lessons close gives you an edge for the future.
Take my relationship with Jennifer. I initially looked at it as a "college thing" and dismissed it as that. But after this weekend, I realized that we both have changed and we're both trying to survive. Maybe not the same jungle since I can't deal with teaching college kids, but surviving nonetheless. And the friendship we had was lost until now.

Desiree and I headed out on the road shortly after brunch. When my parents told me they loved me, I actually listened deeper to those words from a new perspective. I understood that life CAN be simple as those words. In the complex world we live in, these small truths make it worthwhile. Things like "I'm sorry" or "good to see you" puts a whole new meaning on life when the people saying it really means it. And in my case, having my parents physically 3 hours away, its comforting to know that I feel the same emotion for them.

Yeah, you may think I've grown soft with this realization. But, I challenge you to not get emotional! Realizing the truth about things is empowering, especially in the chaos I call my life. And, you have to latch on to those moments and use as ammunition to continue fighting from day to day. Looking back at the beginning of the weekend, I dreaded seeing Jennifer. But now knowing the truth, I would have regretted it since what came out of it was a renewed friendship and a new pair of Pumas.

But on the real, this conclusion has set me on fire: I've grown up and been taught and shown examples of people who make the right decisions and are successful because they're good people, etc. I definitely agree these people are ones to strive to become, but my definition of role model is quite different. The person that I look up to is a person that makes mistakes. I said it! Empowering, huh?

You may be confused right now. Well, let me explain. I want to be a person who isn't afraid to make mistakes. I want to be a person who takes the good and the bad and learns from them. An inventor doesn't stop tinkering on an invention if it passes the first test. He continues to test it until it fails! Therefore, making the invention much stronger after continuously modified and changed. The same applies to who I want to be.

Bottom line, I want to be someone who isn't afraid to get tinkered and tinkered until what's left standing is a confident, person staring life down. A guy who strives to make good decisions, but when mistakes occur, is willing to learn from them. If I may be bold enough to say, I am PRO making bad decisions in hopes in learning from them and bettering oneself. Classic slogan, huh?

The entire drive back from San Luis Obispo, this is what swam through my mind. It feels good to write it down for the world to see instead of just being a figment of an idea in my head. Having it come from my stream of consciousness is refreshing. And, hopefully this little epiphany starts a chain reaction for you as well. I'll strive to shed light on life, but my life isn't necessarily the same as yours. So, I hope that you can pull away with a notion that will help you in your pursuit for truth.

I know it's cheesy, but I want to end this post with the words of Achilles, portrayed by Brad Pitt, as he speaks to his Myrmidon before landing on the beaches of Troy, in hopes that it will inspire you:

"Do you know what's waiting beyond that beach? Immortality! Take it! It's yours!"