Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ted's Seven Seas of Life

For many years I have spent a great amount of effort and time building a boat. This boat is not a large boat, rather, it is about the size of a bed or two. Nonetheless, my little boat is mighty and can withstand the strongest of maritime storms (so far). When many people ask about my boat they are surprised to find out that I have been building it with no blueprints. Instead, I add to the boat little by little, piece by piece. People scoff at the idea and tell me that my boat will surely sink, but I assure them it will not. The boat I am building is strong and will stay afloat.

I have been sailing the seas in my boat for many years now. Everywhere I sail I aim to meet new and exciting individuals. At this point I do not know where all the people I meet have come from. but in my opinion this should not matter. I love talking to people no matter where I go. They just appear, and for some reason many of the people I end up meeting take great interest in learning about my boat. They say they have never seen a boat quite like mine. In result, I usually end up taking them for rides on it.

While sailing with others I often develop great friendships. Each friendship sets my life abuzz in ways I cannot even begin to describe. It is unfathomable how great people make me feel! Quickly I end up telling them of my life's aspirations. I have no set plans for my life, but I sure can dream! I want to help others, embrace nature, love the world, be a goofball, and so much more! Usually at this point my new friends are incredibly impressed by my desires in life and end up telling me of their own. They sound so great!

By this time I am so amazed of my new friends that I finally ask if they would like to sail the seas with me on my boat. They tell me that this would not be something they would like to do. In doing so, I realize why they would not. After all, this is my boat and every individual should be given the opportunity to sail on his or her own boat. So after realizing this, I ask if they would like to sail their own boats near to mine. But yet again I am turned down.

At this point I am very surprised and disappointed, but it has now happened so many times that I am getting used to it. You see, many of the friends I have made have come from the same place. In this place, everything the individual could want is given to him or her with no struggle. Fancy dining to fill the hungriest of stomachs, plentiful entertainment to keep minds from worrying about things, and a scheduled itinerary so all people know what they should be doing every second of the day. That's right, my new friends live on the cruise ship and do not want to give up that lifestyle to ride on some stingy boat like mine, even if it is for good reasons.

I am disheartened. I really like my friends. Why must they write me off so quickly? Am I wrong for building my own boat instead of riding the cruise ship of life like everyone else?

Sometimes I want to visit the cruise ship. After all, I bet it is a fun place. If all my friends enjoy it so much it must be. But I do not want to live on the cruise ship--oh no! I would just visit it, to understand what makes it so appealing. If I did, maybe then my friends would not view me so differently from their other friends. Maybe then my friends would see that I am not as socially awkward as I sometimes appear. Maybe then I would somehow connect with them on a whole new level that they never have been able to see in me before. Maybe then my inner turmoil would finally be relinquished. Maybe then, maybe then.

My friends have never invited me to their cruise ship. They probably think I'd take away from their fun or something. I can't blame them. My views and opinions are very intense and can scare people away from wanting to be out in public with me. I understand. But I also know this: it is far more difficult to spread love on an empty boat than a full one. I may never be able to get others to ride with me in life, but I sure as hell hope I leave a positive, lasting influence on others in some form or another.

What will become of all this? Who knows. For now I will continue working on my little boat, sailing the seas of life, and spreading goodness across the planet as best as I can--all while hoping for that one hand that may someday reach out to me.

I am not a sea monster. I am a lover. Let me hug you, for I do not know when I will see you again. The seas are rough but I promise you I will ride them out.

- Teddy Grahams

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