You might be sitting there asking yourself “Why on earth is Greg writing an article about something as mundane as shaving”? To a certain extent, I’ve asked myself that same exact question a few times as well, but bear with me. As an adolescent who started developing a scant mustache and a stubbly neck beard, shaving became a regular part of my life (and I’m assuming most of you who have gone through puberty could say the same as well). For a long time, I viewed shaving as a somewhat annoying task which was menial and had to be done, much like showering or taking out the trash. That is of course, until I discovered wet shaving.
For the longest time, I’ve never understood why people get upset when musicians or notable figures die. Many of these people have never once met the celebrity they claim had such a huge impact on their lives. This feeling evaded me for most of my life, until I learned about the passing of Charles Bradley the other day, which made me cry.
If I could go back in time and drill one thing into the head of my 20-year old self, it would be knowing that success is not a linear path. There is an overarching societal expectation that you’ll graduate high school at 18, college at 22, and then either further your education directly thereafter or dive right into a well-paying full-time job. With this expectation as your guideline, anything which happens to deviate or deter you off of this path can seem like your one-way ticket to a life sentence of menial labor and destitution. For some people, life doesn’t throw them many curveballs. They rarely, if ever, deviate from the linear path of success. At this point in my life, I have not been one of the lucky few who never experience such tribulation.
As a lifelong amiable individual, I have always actively avoided confrontation at all costs. Its been something which I’ve always shied away from, but I don’t think that it’s healthy to avoid it 100% of the time. The root of my passivity has always been a fear of backlash. Letting fear dictate your life is entirely unhealthy and silences your voice in the world. When I started this blog, my intention was to share my views and opinions regardless of how they were viewed. In doing so, I’m not striving be a senseless provocateur, but rather give the world an authentic view of myself. To me, authenticity seems like a much better goal than trying to make everyone happy by not taking a stand.
As you may already know, I moved from my house about a week ago. During this time, My mother and I had to decide what to do with everything we had stored in our house over the past 20 years. To say that it was exhausting was an understatement, as it took not only the physical effort of moving these objects, but also the overwhelming emotional effort to know what to do with all of these things. The further we got in the moving process, the more these objects felt like anchors weighing us down. Now living in a different home, I hope to free myself from the crushing heaviness of keeping so many possessions.
I find it hard to communicate anything without first giving a back story, so allow me to give you another. I grew up in a home where listening to non-christian music was not encouraged, and occasionally met with disdain. As a child, my favorite bands were Switchfoot and Relient K (as these were Christian rock and acceptable listening material). Upon telling someone of a new band or artist which I discovered, I would usually be met with the ‘Are they a christian band’ question. If they were not, I’d best be ready to understand anything and everything which these artists stood for and have the ability to interpret their lyrics on a deep metaphorical level. If I wore a band tee of a secular artist, this conversation would eventually arise, and I have avoided sharing music with others to avoid such conversations with others. Until now.
I have lived in the same house nearly my entire life. On Friday morning, the purchase and sale agreement will be signed and a new occupant will be living there. The thought of not waking up at 850 South Main Street again is as alien to me as a planet in a distant galaxy. Everything I’ve experienced in life has in some way included this building, this place I’ve called home for over 20 years. To say it feels bittersweet is an understatement. This mixture of emotions is happening on a much greater magnitude than I expected. Excuse me, while I become overtly nostalgic. Let’s take a trip down memory lane.