I have been alive for 39 years and 11 days, meaning I am 341,640 hours old. Sure tells you alot about me doesn't it? You can just put me in the 300K to 400K LifeSpan Box on the shelf. Wait, you mean they don't have those?
Life isn't just a compilation of the minutes you've been alive, but of the blocks of time in which you were building certain experiences.
There is the 15 years that I was in school, that was Student Nick.
There is the 7 years I was working at and managing a Formal Wear Store, that was Formal Nick.
There was the 30 years spent as a fighter, either in the martial arts, in the streets, in the ring or on the mats, or in my spirit, that was Fighter Nick (He could beat up those other Nicks.)
There is the 13 1/2 years that I have been a Father, now I'm just Dad. (This Nick is old and broken, and would beat the hell out of Fighter Nick if he ever harmed my children. This Nick would destroy the world to protect them.)
There was the 17 years I spent as a married man. That was Married Nick, and the combination of both of our mistakes, stubbornness, and lack of communication that ended Married Nick.
Like time segments, these blocks of experience are what we add up to compile the person that we become to those around us, and are how we are remembered. So when we are doing stupid things, or doing nothing at all, we need to look around and realize this is the crap filler, the stuff in hot dogs you don't want to know about, the additives and preservatives we ignore because if we knew what was in something we would be disgusted by it. So why do we ourselves allow our time to be filled with these crap fillers and wasted moments when we could be doing something meaningful that actually adds to how well we are put together once our blocks of experience are compiled?
Trust me, I am as guilty as anyone. I sit here in pain, KNOWING this is when I am supposed to be writing, but instead I find things to watch online because it hurts so bad to focus. But nobody will remember how many episodes of a TV show I watched. Nobody will know how many movies I've seen in my life. They will remember the experience blocks. They will remember the moments that I touched someone. My children will remember the lessons I taught them, the hugs I gave them, the laughs I brought out of them. My friends are gone for the most part, but I bet they will remember me, because I tried to be a good friend, and because there were times when I failed and lost them because of it... but I will be remembered, for good or bad.
Things like Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Texting, have all given us reasons to make most of our lives now nothing but the filler, the hidden stuff in hot dogs you pretend is really pork or beef. I wish I could go back and just be Happily Married Nick, and change things, knowing what I know now. Never go on the Internet, when I could have just wrestled with my kids, or read them a book. If they were here now, I guarantee you I'd be surrounded by them, because we all know how fragile and important time is now.
Who knows if I'll defeat the odds and make it through the next year. Who knows if some miracle will happen and I last another ten or twenty. I just want to stop piling filler onto the experiences that made me ME, so when people look back they don't have to dig through the rubbish to get to the Man.
Let me be a lesson to all of you. I had talent that I wasted. I had skills that I lost. I had love that I took for granted. I physically hurt people because we had to prove who was the baddest. I emotionally hurt people because I had to prove I was right. I've been emotionally hurt by people who had to prove THEY were right. I hurt every single day because of squandered abilities years ago when I was young and stupid. I had an IQ that could have guaranteed a full ride anywhere I wanted, but I wanted to run the streets instead. I was an idiot.
But I also had wonderful children who are in my heart every second, even though I see them only once a week or so. I once danced to a love song, with the love of my life in my arms, one ear bud in my ear, and one in hers, as the rest of the world had no idea we were an entire world of our own. I've written stories that will be around long after I am gone. They will still be available after my children's children are gone, I created things out of Nothing! I have done wonderful things.
Building blocks of experience. That is life. Not years. Not money. Not power. Experience. You are the only one that can decide if they are good or bad. All of the bad experiences I've had, now that I look back, only I could have put me into a position to have them. So love with all you have, live every second of every day, instead of just adding in more filler.