I Am *Not* Legend, Just Micah

Forgive me, Father WordPress, for I have sinned. It has been a few months since my last blog post…and so much has happened!

The Supreme Court overturned the linchpin of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and marriage equality finally returned to the Golden State. California itself has been on the uptick as both unemployment and the deficit have fallen dramatically. The national unemployment rate is slowly falling and the national debt is rapidly decreasing, as it has been for years now (no, really, it is). I’ll get to Russia and its f*cked up human rights violations in a future blog post…

As the world has continued to spin and ever change, I’ve also been undergoing a bit of a change in my thinking as well. Aside from trying to get back into shape and lose a few pounds, I have become more confident in myself and my identity. I recently turned 24 and have steadily come to the conclusion that while life is complicated and messy and often paradoxical, living a “good” life really comes down to a handful of goals (in my opinion): Love, be loved, and proudly be yourself.

They all sound so simple and yet they can be the most challenging things to achieve in life. As Nat King Cole crooned in “Nature Boy,” “the greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.” We all need it and crave as much of it as we can get. We find it in all the right and wrong places. We kill for it. We start wars and family feuds over it. Love is all we need even though we frequently claim immunity to it. It is one of the greatest things to experience as a human being.

I have yet to fall in love with another person as I’m a little busy with finishing school and working. But I wouldn’t trade the love I feel for family and friends for anything. It’s intense, warm, pulsating and strikes me at my core. It’s hard to describe and yet something we all intimately understand. That natural, organic, chemical, electrifying phenomenon known as “love” is something I look forward to experiencing more of as I journey through my life.

Of course this love must also be protected and not freely given out like cheap tickets to a has-been musical group’s concert in a casino. I’ve come to realize that love has to be cherished, nurtured and carefully expanded. Most people you meet will only end up becoming (or staying) strangers and acquaintances. Again, this sounds so painfully simple – of course most people aren’t going to end up being your life-long friends! But if you are like me and tend to hastily put emotional and relational stock in the wrong people, this is breaking news. Mental note: just because you have great discussions with Person ABC and share laughs with him or her does not automatically make Person ABC a friend. I need to stop learning this lesson over and over.

Another lesson I am continually learning is to realize that there is only one of me. Since I’m stuck with being who I am, I might as well have a ball and enjoy myself. I cannot be someone else’s persona of me or live my life according to another’s standards. I can’t change who I am no matter how hard I try, a fact I realized only three and-a-half years ago. I am me. It may cause some people to laugh or mock me and that’s okay. After all, if who I am offends others or doesn’t meet their standards, that’s their own problem and none of my concern.

I’m not the best writer out there but I am good. I frequently have trouble staying in the gym consistently but I do go. My eyesight without the aid of glasses or contacts is horrible but I can still see. I am continually fighting my inner demons and never-ending anxiety stemming from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and mild bouts of depression but I am still living my life the best I can and to the fullest. I’m not the son of wealthy parents nor did I attended an Ivy League school with a 4.0 GPA but I am about to finish schooling at a school in the California State University system with good grades (and the large dents in my bank account and small amount of student loan debt to prove it). I love my life and take comfort in the fact that at the end of the day I can look back and say I’ve done the best I can do.

I am me and I am loving every minute of it.

Cheers.

 

How can I ask for peace without sounding cliché?

I know that everybody – well, the sane – wants world peace. Regional conflicts, global wars, mass genocide, extremism, terrorism…is there any hope for our insane world? Can global peace be achieved?

As I wrote in the previous post, I strongly believe that extremism and fundamentalism in all religions threatens progress and humanity’s survival. The violent indoctrination that self-proclaimed “prophets” and other religious leaders instill into their manipulated followers is one of the biggest tragedies in the world today. To think that the people who blow up schools and behead journalists do so because they are promised a special fast-track to an afterlife in paradise is horrific and revolting.

I’m not asking for those who earnestly and peaceably follow their faiths to abandon them. Rather, I am hoping that we can reach a point where coexistence is a global reality…a world where religious violence is a horrible thing of the past. No matter what you believe or who you are, we are all deserving of respect and kindness.

Here’s a beautiful video by the amazing Madonna. Performed at her 2006 “Confessions Tour” stop in London, Madonna turned her song “Forbidden Love” into a prayer for peace. Enjoy and think…