A long, long time ago, I wrote about newfound freedom. It was great. It was glorious! I wanted it to last forever. Honestly, though, I was afraid that the freedom would end when returning to society. Society has conventions and your life has a routine - even though I left society for five months, it is easy to fall back into that previous lifestyle.
Well, I wanted none of that. I didn't know how the trip changed me, but I was not going to let five months go to waste. I decided that one change is this newfound freedom. Society may have its standards, but when have I ever been conventional? There is only one Brandon Imp in this world, so I might as well make the best of it.
The great thing about newfound freedom is that I can develop new patterns and attribute them to the freedom. Like being neat and organized - that is not necessarily a "freedom", but the new pattern is definitely being recognized as an active change under my newfound freedom. Flossing and using mouthwash fall under the same category.
My friends and family hold a closer place to my heart. Especially after losing Sunny, I realize that these people will not be around me forever. I like them all (a lot!), so I need to maximize my experiences with them. Even if it's a short talk over drinks, rock climbing at the gym, or falling asleep to Lord of the Rings, every moment is special. I will no longer be passive or develop anxiety over "having to see so and so."
I went into Philadelphia tonight to see my close friend Dom DiTanna perform at World Cafe Live. He hit the stage hard and was feeling the moment. While Dom and I lead very different lives, we are so happy to be friends. He says, "It's amazing that you hiked the AT and graduated from Cornell. Like, man! What the hell!" But I come back with, "Dom, I wish I had your confidence. I would kill to sing and play the guitar like you. You taught yourself photography and can work a crowd of people without breaking a sweat. I might have hiked the AT, but you kick ass on so many other levels!" Years ago Dom recognized his "anything goes" freedom and made the best of it. Here I am, 22 years old, and feel like I am tasting it for the first time!
So, with this freedom, I changed up my look. The mohawk? That stuck around for a bit. A new job has reduced it to a buzz cut, but I am not complaining. And today. Today! I got a tattoo. My best friend Kelly and I have been discussing it for a year, and I ran over the idea with Ringleader over our trip, so this has been a rational, thought-out decision. I love it. It is unique, definitive, and unobtrusive. Plus, Kelly got one as well. Even my parents gave a nod of approval (they strongly disliked the mohawk...).
Here's to all that is new and good! May this trend continue (and may I please write more blog entries!!!)