23 Years Old

23 years old, the age drips youth, energy, longing. 23 years old, the age that changes things. “I love you,” “Forever,” “I miss you,” these words and phrases don’t hold the same weight that they did when you were 18 and in love. By 23 I’m sure you’ve been in love before, you’ve had the “firsts” and you can never get those back. You’ll have first dates with people but you’ll never have your first date ever again.

Society says:

Graduate high school.

Go to college.

Find a partner.

Get a job.

Have a kid.

Have a ranch style split level in a suburb so the kids will get a good education and they can go to the same school you went to and you can work 40 hours a week and drive a Honda civic because of the gas mileage and yeah the BMW looks a lot cooler but you can’t afford car payments on top of house payments and pay for little Tommy’s clarinet lessons.

So here is my question to you. When did the passion fade? When did a kiss just become two mouths touching? When did holding that special person’s hand turn into simply placing a hand in the other hand? When did that special dinner you had planned turn into eating just because you were hungry? Did you become complacent in the life you were living?

Complacency is the killer. Complacency is the killer. Complacency is the killer. Complacency is the killer.

It comes from your past. It comes from the pain you felt and it comes from the way you chose to deal with that pain. You can tell a lot about a person by the way they rise from ruin. Some of my biggest idols in my life are my idols because they dealt with pain and depression in a way that I could never.

Dylan Mohs.  A good friend of mine, a personal idol of mine, and dead at the age of 21. Dylan lost his mom when he was in elementary school, and lost his dad when he was in high school. Dylan took his life in December of 2012. 2012 was the worst year of my life, and he was my inspiration, still is. I don’t look at Dylan’s life as a failure, he didn’t fail, and he didn’t let me down by passing away, if anything he showed me that we are all human. But don’t think for one second that I lost an ounce of respect for him just because he took that way out. I told him he was my inspiration, told him that in my time of darkness I looked at him for kick in the ass. If he could endure that much pain, why couldn’t I?

Grief, depression, failure, tragedy, anger, hate, heartbreak, and loneliness shape the person you chose to be. How has it shaped you at 23?

by A.W.