About a week ago my life was changed. I always thought life changing events were massive things like winning the lottery or meeting your future wife. Only recently did I find that that is not true. We all try and simplify life in our own minds, we love simplicity, it seems to make things seem less frightening. Life, however, is not simple. Life is the most complex thing we will ever percieve. Life contains beautiful moments beyond our imagination, but life can also be incredibly brutal. There are over 7 billion people on earth, and we are all experienceing this incredible ride we call life. Deep down we are all frightened by life. Thinking of the vast possbilites of life can make us all feel terrified, but we dont seem to aknowledge that we are all experiencing this same fear. We can only wrestle with the idea of life as it pertains to us. After all that is all we are required to do in order to survive. The problems in our life can seem so large, they can cloud our vision, and we can become blind to the fact that we are not alone in this crazy experience. But we are not alone, there is a reason God gave us each other, life is too big to take on alone. I am a college student in Bozeman, Montana. I live a life many would dream of. I can drive 20 minutes and ski some of the best places in the world. I live in an incredible house with my brother and his fiance. I have great family. I remember two years ago I packed up my thing and moved from Seattle into the freshman dorms. Moving to the dorms was terrifying at first, but turned out to be the best time of my life. I met really great guys that became my good friends freshman year, and together we spent the year exploring Bozeman and the wild mountains and forests around it. It was what I had dreamed college would be. Sophomore year, however, things started to change. I took few classes and worked in hopes of obtaining in-state tuition. The magic of the new college experience began to fade away. My friends were all feeling the same way, and although we were still doing the incredible things like exploring and camping, something had begun to change. Since I was not in school full time like the rest of my friends, we naturally began to drift. There were still happy days, but something inside me had changed. By the end of the year, the difference in our lifestyles had created a divide between my friends and I. They assumed I would be busy, and the texts and phone calls I recieved diminished. I felt alone in paradise. The change inside me had turned into a depression that I felt every day. I began to question everything about myself. Am I not funny? Am I not fun anymore? Am i just not a good friend? Junior year rolled around and all magic college originally held for me had completely vanished. I was so doubtlful of myself at this point that all confidence and self love had vanished. I could not socialize with even my old friends like I used to, and the looming thought of life after college made us all bitter. I would be in my room and hear hurtful remarks about me from friends downtstairs, and my self confidence would plummet even further. I was incredibly depressed. A new friend of mine moved into town in the first few weeks of my junior year. He moved from California, and seemed to be living a perfect life. He was an incredibly talented engineer from Cal Poly, a great athlete, he even had a girlfriend he was planning to mary. He was an incredibly nice person, a good heart. I began hanging out with him, but he also hung around my other friends, and my disconect with them had turned to spite. I tried desperately to avoid hanging out with my friends becuase every time I did I would leave feeling more incompitent than ever. We would sit around and drink until all filters were gone and someone would say something they would regret. I could tell that they didn’t mean it. They all have great hearts. Most of them, like me, were strugling with life. They wondered what was next, would they ever live their dreams, they knew all too well life could be cruel. This fear turned into hate for others. I knew we were all thinking the same things, and all I wished for is the chance to talk about it, I knew we could help each other rather than tear each other down. Being male, however, this is difficult. As the first semester ended, I remember looking out my window at night and thinking to myself, this is rock bottom. I couldnt think of a reason to live. I wondered how things had gotten so bad. From the outside my life was gold, but from the inside my life was simply stale and meaningless. About three weeks ago second semester began and I all my friends came back into Bozeman. I didnt recieve a text or a call from my friends until a week int the semester, I had never felt so alone. Out of the blue, I recieved a text from my new friend that had moved into town the first semester. He wanted me to go with him to a youth group and I reluctantly decided that anything was better than being alone. He picked me up and we went on our way. It was a great group and an enjoyable experience. On the way home, however, my life changed. He confessed that only a few months earlier he had been feeling so lonely in CA, he had been extremely depressed. I was blown away. I assumed his life was perfect! I began to tell him my story and how I was feeling the same way, and everything immediately changed. That moment changed my life. We talked about our dreams briefely and he was supportive of my ideas. I couldnt believe what had happened. Fast forward three weeks. I am still in school here in Bozeman, but my confidence is coming back, and my life is slowly changing for the better. All I needed was to understand that I was not alone in this experience. I can’t explaine why this simple fact changed me, perhaps it is human nature, but it filled a hole inside of me. I woke up the next day and decided that I would work as hard as possible to accomplish my dreams, and not look back. I needed to stop looking for approval in others, for the past year and a half it had left me feeling completely empty. I wrote down on a white board a few projects I would occupy my time with, I joined a gym, and I joined a youth group. This website was the first project on my list and I created it in hopes that stories like this will help someone understand what my friend helped me understand. You are not alone. Life can change in a flash, the hearts of those around you can change in a flash, don’t rely on the approval of others. Fill your time with things that make you not just happy but productive. Do what makes you feel fulfilled. If you dont know what that is, welcome to the club, but in order find it you have to look. Life for me is still uncomfortable, but I know that all I can do today is work hard to make tomorrow better. When you see your friend, or a stranger on the street today just remember, we are all in this journey together. No one has it figured out, and we are all struggling. Every one has their own struggles and although it looks like someone may have it all figured out, all that glitters is not gold. Thak God we are not alone, even though sometimes it can feel like we are. If you feel alone today, you are not. Many of us feel the same way, including myself. I know your pain, and want you to that you are worth everything to me! I believe in your dreams, now go work hard today so that tomorrow they are your reality. We are all on the same short ride. Lets make sure we all enjoy it.
John’s Saga part 1
A Work in Progress
All that glitters is not gold
Lost and found
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