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The Devil and God Are Raging Inside of Me.

Ten years doesn’t seem like a long time. When you still refer to everything in the past as 2006. Ten years ago, man. Ten years ago. 2006 was such a pivotal year of growing up for me. I find myself going back to that year in photographs, nostalgia, and through listening to albums that seem like came out yesterday.

Ten years ago, I sat in my parents guest bedroom, staring out the window. I laid in my bed watching the clouds go from grey to slate. Hearing every cloud rupture with anger and sadness, as the rain fell from the sky. In a room I didn’t grow up in. In a room, I felt like I kept coming back too. I was in-between places, still trying to figure out what I wanted. This wasn’t home but Fresno wasn’t home either. Where do I belong? Where do I fit in?

Ten years ago, I didn’t want to go back to school. Even though I knew getting older meant it would be harder for me to do things. My odds were against me. I was finding myself fearful of people and a fear of my peers is what always told me not to go back to school. It takes me 10 minutes to get out of my car to do simple tasks, without feeling like the world was against me. I didn’t realize I was sick. I didn’t realize that this wasn’t normal.

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Ten years ago, I let the wrong people in. I let people hurt me. I let people use me. I let people cloud my judgement of what good really was. Instead I harbored a pain so great that caused me to cut open my outsides, to understand what my insides were feeling. I was burning in this vessel of a body, with this need to please everyone. To be there for everyone, while people have done nothing but watch me fade in the background.

Ten years ago, I thought I was going to marry a variety of different people. A drummer in one band, a bass player in another. Plotting how one day they would look at me differently then they had in the past. That I wouldn’t be self-conscious. I wouldn’t be awkward. They would look straight into me, as I have looked up at them, many times before.

Ten years ago, I feel in love too easily. Always someone different. Always people I shouldn’t have loved. But I wanted to love as I always felt in the deep depths of my heart. How they play out in movies and we see on the big screen. I was hopeless in wanting something I wasn’t prepared to understand. In a way I used people. I just wanted what everyone else had. A hand to hold to keep themselves from falling apart. Because sad was better than lonely. And now I can’t remember the name of the first boy I kissed.

Ten years ago,  I wanted amazing things to happen to me. I wanted to stand in an open place and watch life happen to me. In a big city, miles away from my mediocre small town. Far from the same people I see every day. Maybe if for once instead of running, I would finally allow things to happen. Watch love open doors, see my careers unfold, watch myself change from strange into something beautiful. I waited forever for things to happen. I waited for people to move. I waited for things to happen. I waited too long and feel as if I am running out of time.

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Ten years ago, an album came out that changed my life. I didn’t think it would. Many albums come and go and still I remember this as if it was yesterday. From the weather changing from the warm fall days to the chill of cold of the soon to be winter months. How it felt wrong to buy it from some mass production corporation, how I needed to purchase the album how I had purchased all their albums. Straight from the band, straight from the source. How I ripped open the package and watched my life change in front of my eyes. No one understands how that feels. How something so simple as opening a padded envelope could change your life in so many magical ways. How I needed to get out of my house and play every song loudly. Loud enough to where my insides would wake up. How every cigarette I smoked, I exhaled out the smoke and watched the smoke slowly leave my lungs open to the cold air. The rain kept falling, as this soundtrack continued to play. How perfect this seemed. My favorite band, playing the songs that for that moment I didn’t understand. It didn’t matter how many times the windshield wipers wiped my windshield clear, the rain still managed to leave a mark. Which is how I feel about this album. No matter how many times I try to wipe this away, a small mark still remains. I could write forever about every line in the songs. I could. I have. But today, I want to live in it’s memory.

Ten years ago, I didn’t understand. Ten years later, I finally know. We are not suppose to fit in. We are not suppose to be normal. Sometimes you don’t realize how bad you’re hurting until the years pass and you become someone else. Someone completely different then the person you were ten years ago. Its hard to come out of the darkness and back into the light. It’s hard to understand that even though we feel completely alone, we are never truly alone. Even when you think you can’t start over, life throws you something completely unexpected.

Today, I watch the rain fall from the sky to the tops of each tree and rooftop, from some place far from home. I think back on those memories. I think back to my sentiments and feelings.  Ten years ago, I had no idea where I was going. I stopped believing in love. I stopped believing in myself in the years in took to get here. I stopped wanting to marry the boys that would never love me. I stopped dying for a hand to hold. Ten years ago, seemed like such a long time ago. Now, I sit here wondering what happens next.

Ten years ago, man.

10 years.

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Vindictive.

vin·dic·tive: having or showing a strong or unreasoning desire for revenge.

The other day a good friend of mine called me “Vindictive”, over a situation that was beyond my control. To sound vague, I am just going to state the situation is not that important. Truth is I never truly stated what really happened. Nor, am I going to start. Some battles are just easier to let go and others were just not a battle to begin with. It’s human nature to crave the drama, to love the dramatics of people’s actions. If we are being truly honest with ourselves, sometimes people are not meant to be friends. Instead of finding myself and putting myself in a position of being immature, I just refused to say anything. I could have just let the word go. Brush it out of my mind, but being who I am I haven’t. I find myself repeating the word and asking myself if I really am being vindictive.

I am not trying to draw attention to any particular situation. Life is crazy sometimes and people will always make their own assumption of things. There are some moments in my life I wish I could be vindictive. I wish I could be really mean and say everything I feel inside. I could spew out the same hate and mistreatment that others have thrown on me. None of which would make me feel any better. I could be really mean if I wanted to be. I could act out every dramatic scenario known to mankind, but I wouldn’t. I could be upset about various things that go on in my life or I can just take everything with a grain of salt. Even by saying nothing, I still come out like a villain. Childish, immature, and of course vindictive.

In the course of a few months, my life has changed. With life changes come friendship changes. I don’t blame anyone. As much as I would like to be angry, no one is to blame. Life happens and no matter how much you want to escape it, its coming toward you full speed ahead. No one tells you that when you’re growing up, your friendships change. In the process of being grown up, you lose people that meant the absolutely world to you. Nothing malicious, nothing mean, just life continues to go on. The truth is sometimes people are meant to be in your life for a limited time and as much as everyone loves a great juicy story, there isn’t one to tell. It hurts to have to come to that realization. Sometimes you grow out of your friendships and sometimes you see friendships for what they truly were. A great time in your life that you needed and sadly have to move on from.

You can’t stop people from believing what they want to believe. As much as you want to you can’t stop people from leaving. Reality is there is nothing left to say. All the dramatics I want to throw out are  just my emotions seeping through. It’s just my sadness trying to make sense of growing out of friendships. People grow up eventually and sometimes you out grow your friendships. Sometimes I want to say everything I feel in my heart, but there really is nothing left to say. I am allowing people to believe what they want to believe.

Maybe I am vindictive. Maybe I am a little hurt and angry. That’s growing up. If you’re not losing friendships, you’re not growing up.

I guess this is growing up.