I remember when I was young and dumb, when the things that mattered most were the things that came in a box. GI Joes. Model airplanes. Those little Snap-Pop things they sell around the 4th of July. Then I aged a little and the things that mattered most came in other packaging. The thrill of jumping my Huffy off a homemade ramp in my driveway (I still have rocks in my knee from a terrrible geometry miscalculation). Swinging from a young tree in the woods behind my house. Still, I aged a little more and the things that mattered most came in the form of little animated dudes with guns in a video game. Don't get me wrong, nothing wrong with a little Contra every now and then still. Once again, I got a little older and a little wiser and the things that mattered most changed yet again. My POS Grand Am that was the key to my freedom as a teen. Shooting some pool with my friends like it was the last day a pool table would ever be found on Earth. Then I graduated from good ol' St Clair High and thought I was the wisest I would ever be.
Then at the ripe old age of 25, I had a newborn baby girl thrust into my waiting arms and everything I thought I knew about life went out the window. Over the course of many, many nights alone with the coolest little person I had ever met, life's lessons were rewritten over and over again. It was a constant state of flux. Once I thought I had it figured out, then teeth came and life proved me an idiot yet again. Without too much detail, the world did a complete turn around one day and I had to start learning all over again. All of it. How to function in the world. How to be a person. How to let other people be people. Every single aspect of life had to be relearned all over again. Well, maybe not so much the whole walking and talking thing, more like the my place in the world thing. My 30th year came and went, a cross country move did too. Unknown midnight drives up to a mountain to discover that the one thing I couldn't move 1500 miles away from was myself.
In year 32, I came home. Things were rough, I won't lie. Wrongs couldn't be righted fully and halfway isn't good enough sometimes. History can't ever be undone or even forgotten about sometimes. 3 years have passed since I made it back here, to where I was born and raised. In those 3 years I've learned more than I have in the previous 32. I realized that yesterday. I put aside my personal bullshit that stood in the way of things being okay with me and did what was right. I didn't do it to prove someone wrong, which I used to do all the time. I didn't do it to piss someone off, which I used to do all the time. I didn't do it because I thought it was the "cool" thing to do, I did it because I knew it was the "right" thing to do. Ya know what? I woke up today feeling like life had finally arrived. Like I had finally crossed over that line between immature and mature. I'll still crack the poop joke like the 12 year old boy I can be sometimes, but I think I finally found where I need to be in life. It's in the exact same spot it was when the things that mattered most came in the form of PB&J sandwiches with the crust cut off. In this little 4ish square foot patch of Earth I'm currently occupying.