" Remembering "

Trip Start Sep 30, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Indonesia  ,
Monday, November 12, 2007

So this is it.  This is life.  This is what I wished for, and this is what I got.  This is everything I needed and more.  I had forgotten how to live.  At times we go so long, so many days, months, and even years...forgetting that we are alive.  We are conscious to the fact that we are breathing, seeing, moving, and feeling.  But we often lose the notion of why.  Not so much that famous question of why am I here.  But, what do I want out of this?  What do I want to do with the time I have?  
I look back at the past few years and I realize how much of that time I wasted, just daydreaming about being able to do what I wanted, rather than taking serious steps towards getting there.  I just sat on an old rusted horse going up and down, round and round, on a carousel that became my world.  A lack of scenery and excitement brought drinking, which killed the bordum, but only brought more pain and more rust.  Long days sleeping in bed because there was nothing new to wake up to.  No new challenges awaited me.  Looking back, I can see.  Challenges don't go searching for people sitting around waiting for life to find them.  Potential doesn't turn into accomplishment without effort, just like a plant doesn't grow without some water and sunshine.  A little bit of love doesn't hurt either.
I look back and I see the times in my life that were so hard, and places where I hit rock bottom.  Getting lost in the vision of it all is like I'm watching a movie.  Watching myself struggle and crawl and feeling like I was dying inside.  I just failed to know how to love myself.  It's so easy to forget how to do that when we are suffering and making mistakes, or we are lost.  They say we can't truly love someone else when we can't love ourselves.  So many people haven't learned how to at all, or maybe have never tried.  You can have a hundred people loving you, but their love isn't going to be your own.  We have to find that inside of ourselves and be able to smile into the mirror.  We have to find comfort in our own pain and tears as well.  I think you can look at it two different ways.  You can grow darker and more bitter by thinking the world is against you and feel hopeless, or you can strap yourself in and know that its all a part of your journey and it's meant to make you stronger for what's ahead.  No matter how we got to the pain, in it there is healing, followed by meaning.
The hardest part of getting older isn't the physical aspects or the aging.  It's the challenge of remembering that no matter how old we are, we still don't have all the answers.  We might have a lot more than we did a year ago, but there are still an infinite amount of questions in front of us.  A philosophical quote I will never forget said "I know that I do not know".  Socrates lived his life around that, always searching further, but also sharing the knowledge already obtained.  It's sad to see how many people take a stance as if they have it all figured out, and they stop searching for answers or new possibilities.  They have become comfortable in what they know, as if it's enough to get them through the rest of life.  At some point, when do we get disconnected from our inner child?  The kid that never stopped asking why and wanted to know how everything worked.  The kid that took pleasure in the most simple things.  Why do some of us refuse to listen to other people's beliefs or views because it isn't what we want to hear or what we believe?  It's something we can't imagine being true, so we instantly label it false and turn our back on it all.  How many times in our life can we look back and think we had something all figured out and it turned out to be completely different?  I have been guilty of this plenty of times.  It's then when I can see the magic of life was not in my eyes or in my heart.  I set my feet in concrete because my hunger for knowledge had been temporarily fulfilled.  
Being in a new place, a new country, and a new culture has brought about a unique thirst for knowledge.  I always felt like being in America I was being sheltered from how the world really is.  Knowing the news outlets filter much of reality.  Always being spoon fed the idea that America is the best country in the world and why live anywhere else.  Saying something is the best is just an opinion, so why teach it like it's fact?  Maybe it is, maybe it isn't.  I can honestly say there are things I miss.  There are times I know we have it good.  Then there are other times I am ashamed.  We impose upon so much of the world and consume so much energy for a lot of luxuries we dont need.  The beauty of capitialism is that we have the opportunity to acquire those luxuries through our own hard work.  The ugly part is when it becomes our life, and our goal.  I can breathe deeper now, being out of that pollution.  I still feel what it has done to me, I still feel hungry for objects and toys and certain clothes.  But I have found a new substance as well and it is breaking me away from that.  Here, you have to live more simple, and in that simplicity you find what matters most.  You have more time to experience reality and examine your life because you don't have materialistic obsessions to distract you from the truth and what's real.  I'm not bashing America.  I'm happy I am an American and I am very lucky, otherwise I wouldn't be here and have the opportunites I do.  I get treated like royalty here, and sometimes its great, and sometimes I hate it and don't think I deserve it.  I just try my best to be an ambassador in a sense and not be the typical American that much of the world has grown to despise.  What I am saying though, is somewhere along the way we got a little lost and a little selfish and I don't think we really know how things truly are in the world.  Somewhere along the way we stopped asking questions and started believing what everyone else says to be true.  We turn on our T.V.s to find truth and reality, without ever questioning the validity or source.  We just adopt it as truth and create an opinion.  We go to a mall to kill time, instead of taking a walk in the park.  Somewhere, we lost touch with the child who craves knowledge about the world  The child that finds simple joy in running in the grass or chasing bubbles.
This is my Sunday morning.  This is my connection to people back home.  I woke up thinking about old friends and memories.  I woke up remembering old times and for a moment I awoke somewhat sad.  It's not easy being a million miles from home and all alone.  There are stages, and at first you don't even think about home, or your friends and family except for wishing they were with you to see it all.  Everything is so fresh that you are on fire with passion and wonder.  Like anything, whats new fades into something else but it's up to you whether you let it become old.  Waking up to these memories, I had to tell myself that those times have passed and even if I was home, they would still be memories.  They are times in my life that make up a part of me and who I am.  But not all of me.  All of me has yet to be discovered and that is why I am here.  That is why this journey is real.  The hardest part of leaving, is leaving.  Saying goodbye to those you love without knowing when you'll return.  The hardest part of being gone, is being gone.  When things get tough, you are all alone and you have to face it all on your own.  In that I am reminded again and again that I am never alone, no matter how far from home, because all I need is God and my spirituality.  Stripped down to my soul and spirit, a million miles from home, that is my truest armor.  In that, I remember...I am alive.

Nate Sartain
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