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Yes, I am about to write some cheesy stuff. Prepare yourself.

Life has been good lately. It has been good to me for a while, but only recently have I felt skilled enough to internalize it, to begin to give my own answer.

I make mistakes and have setbacks every day. but I've also do a lot of right things. The memory of my friend gives me determination to move forward my own story. I complain less to myself or to anyone about trouble. I seek fewer chances to postpone or escape or hide or distract myself. I may pursue different activities and goals at times, but my life is one thing.

I wish my friend were here to see this. I wish he were here to share in the future we are all building together. Selfishly, I wanted him to see the stories I could create.

I asked myself before: how many more? How many more friends will be gone before I am ready to share the tales I have been spinning with my days? How many loved ones will never get to see what I want to bring to life?

I hear those questions again daily now, but no longer with fear. I am determined not to wait.

Today, I am neither saint, nor sage, nor warrior nor poet. I'm just a dirty traveler, still not fully used to true hardship, just barely getting started. It doesn't matter if it doesn't look like much now. It doesn't matter if outside circumstances get better or worse. I choose my ​path​ by choosing my next step in the right direction. I strive to become more skillful and to transform the ingredients of the present for the future.

I have many memories. I have many moments, many emotions that are part of me. I've passed through many intersections, dead ends. I've seen seasons and ships pass me by. But the decades do not weigh on me. There are so many with fewer years, more hair on their heads, more money in their pockets, more achievements on their biographies who are nearly corpses. When I consider it even for a moment, I have neither envy nor scorn for them. What I have: pride in my friends and family, in my path, in my determination for the future. Life is short, but that is fine. I am young, and I refuse to be any other way. The length of days and nights wax and wane, but they are laden with purpose. The road stretches far into the distance. The story is just beginning.

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