5 or so years ago my good friend Zepp had come home from the military and had soemthing to tell me. He emerged from his truck, a lost and sunken soul. Crying, unsure of what to do, he told me how his girlfriend was pregnant. Zepp was all of 19 years old, I had no idea what to tell him, but I listenned. We went for a walk that day, headed down the road to a local trail I knew and walked to a swamp. When we got to the water edge, I asked Zepp to join me in an experiment.

“Zepp, pick up a rock and throw it in the water and as you do.. tell me what you see.” Zepp picked up a rock, threw it in the water and he tells me, “The rock makes a splash and a bunch of ripples and then it sinks.” I asked, “And what happens to those ripples?” He replies, “Well, eventually they die out.” I smiled and then asked him to pick up a stick and do the same has he had with the rock. Zepp picks up a stick, throws it into the water and he answers, “The stick makes a splash, it keeps floating along and it keeps making ripples the entire time.” I then looked my good friend straight in the eye and told him “You have a choice to make Zepp. Do you want to be the rock? or the stick?”

Years later I asked myself that same question today. But a good friend of mine helped me think about it from a different angle over lunch. For the last few years of my life I’ve been the rock. I splash, I make big waves.. I sink. But now I want to be the damn stick. I want to make tiny ripples. But the new perspecti8ve that was brought to my attention today was this though, “Sometimes, a stick is just a stick.” I need to learn that I can be just me. That no one can strip me of my “bark” and glue new bark onto me. I am ok just the way that I am… being who I want to be, doing what I want to do. The ripples will come… the wind will blow..

One of my classmates wrote in a paper recently, “A man known as Keith King once said “Take it where you want to take it, however before you do something with it, you don’t understand it.” ….it (education) offers endless possibilities to experience new things. Yet it isn’t till you actually go out and face them when you will really understand it. Everyone knows that running twenty-six miles is long and strenuous on the bodies yet that’s all they know. It doesn’t matter if you run a short distance everyday, for that is an entirely different experience then running fifteen, twenty or twenty-six. … Education is experience, which you then reflect on afterwards. Same goes with running, just with a little twist. You can prepare your body for months before you run a marathon, however if your mindset is not there, you won’t be able to make it to the finish line. It’s when and if you do, the time you spend reflecting on it afterwards when you realize what exactly you got out of it.”

I’ve done a TON of reflecting as of late. I ackowledge my problems and my weaknesses. I know my strong points and my weak points. I know what I can work on alone.. I know what I really need help with. I know what hurts me. I know what hurts others. I know what makes me happy. I know what makes others happy. And yet I struggle with understanding the word PATIENCE. I’ve always been an “all or nothin” kind of person. I hate that. I want to take things one day at a time. I want to smile again. I want to feel loved. I want what everyone else, I think, wants. But I’m stuck.. because I’m not entirely in control. I know what I AM in control of.. and that’s all that I can work on. And I’m working on it very dilligently. Truth, honesty, integrity and courage. These are my morals moving forward. I have the unique opportunity to reinvent myself in the weeks and months ahead. These morals are the framework of a better being.

Rock or stick, sink or swim.. big splash/dying ripples.. little splash/undying ripples. I’m not sure as I have a choice in this.. but either way I know that I can either BE a rock or BE a stick… and both are fine just laying on the shore just being themselves. Regardless… I know my mistakes. I will forever own them. I will continue to reflect on them and learn their lessons. I have no other choice… I just feel like I’m losing, losing what I truly want.


3 thoughts

  1. John,I read your blog a lot and I must correct one common mistake.Already- By this or a specified timeAll ready- All prepared, set to goYou often write “all ready” when you mean “already”. It is a common mistake that I see all of the time.


  2. we thought we had the answers,it was the questions we had wrong. quote u2. think about it. peace to you my brother. al glenn.


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