"We interrupt your regularly scheduled broadcasting to bring you this weather announcement. A strong batch of storms is heading for the Louisville and surrounding areas. Be prepared to take shelter in the lowest areas of your home in case of a sudden tornado touchdown or violent winds."
This moment changed a simple night into a very complicated one in a matter of minutes but not for any bad reasons. In fact, this moment only helped to bring a simple moment of clarity to pierce into the light of what had been a very foggy brain. during that moment of clarity, I came to five important conclusions, all interconnected and interwoven so tightly that I couldn't even begin to figure out which thread to pick at first to make the whole thing unravel. I knew that the answer to all of it lay in the center of these conclusions and if I could just make them all make sense, I'd have my path. After scouring my then sleep-starved mind, the answer, or better yet the catalyst to it all was found in one simple statement that needed to be spoken aloud, by no one else but me.
It's time to grow up, Kevin.
As I lay awake that night, I found my thoughts drifting back and forth between the past and the future. The here and now seemed like such a distant dream. I knew what I had to do and I knew what mistakes that I needed to avoid to get there. Even as I lay there, I felt the nervous urge to get up and move, to pace until I had worn a track into the floor. Then it hit me: All of these things are all fine and good, but you need to focus on the now, not the then. The future is not determined by wishful thinking and careful planning alone but through bold actions. I needed to find my voice, that thing that made me... well, me.
All of the other things were burned away in the realization that I was living, dwelling in the past. I was letting it color my thoughts and behaviors so much so that I realized that the person who I'd see staring back at me in the mirror would surely be almost unrecognizable to me and alien to the person who I used to be six years ago.
Who was this person? Why were his shoulders slumped? Why did he look so beaten and pitiful? Where was his confidence? His drive? His roar? The glint in his eyes, the intelligence that so many people had seen before? Why had he allowed himself to become so defeated?
Because I stopped fighting, that's why. To grow and become a better person isn't just pretty words on a web page, it's a a battle. A constant fight against not only yourself but the winds of change themselves. Sometimes, the wind is nothing more than a gust, others a powerful gale. But even still, it those moments, a small gust of wind is life for a ship stuck in still waters and on a gale is when birds soar highest. Although the sirens may sound and the sky flashes it's anger and the winds howl, never allow yourself to be beaten. Never allow yourself to be defeated.
Stand in the face of the storm and scream your defiance. Never surrender. Never allow this life to beat you down. Because one thing's certain...
The strongest, tallest trees are the ones who let the winds of change blow around them, but never buckled under the strain.