October 3, 2012

What is my quest???

               We are on a mission, a very dangerous mission. We don’t know what lies ahead. We only know what is at the end. We must succeed. As we walk out of the dark and mucky woods, we come to a castle. It stands strong. I don’t know if I can approach it. As I look around, I see my men are tired. We need information and we need it fast. I swallow my fear and shout as loud as I can.
                “Hello?”  After a few seconds of silence, a sharp voice retorts.
                “What is your name?”  I timidly step forward to answer the voice.
                “Sir Lancelot.”
                “What is your quest?”
                “To seek the Holy Grail!”
 In life, we have to live with a lot of wrong decisions. After high school, we are shoved off to college to learn about something that we end up hating three months later! Then after our “higher education” we are herded into the work force to pursue jobs that some of us will eventually loath. Who wants to live that kind of life? This is why it is so imperative to make the RIGHT decision when it matters. The right decision is choosing to study a field that you will love so much that, when you do work, it doesn’t feel like it. But how do we know what is the right decision? The truth is, we all have to figure out what makes us happy, what our purpose is, and accept nothing less. So how do we figure out what our purpose is? In the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Sir Lancelot is just minding his own business when all of the sudden the sky turns dark, the clouds part, and trumpets wail! God descends from Heaven and tells Sir Lancelot that he is to find the Holy Grail. Well great!!! Now all I have to do is wait for God to come down from Heaven and tell me my purpose!!! If only it worked like that.
If you’ve read some of my other posts then you know me a little bit. You know that I love magic. Hopefully it’s clear that I love performing. You know that I have aspirations of getting into the medical field. Those things are great! However, my real passion is people. I love people in every way, shape, and form. People make me smile. People make me laugh. People motivate me. People. Ever since I was really little, I have always been in front of crowds. Audiences have always listened to me. I think that’s where my interest in people first started to grow. It’s been fascinating to see the youngest kids up through the oldest adults listen intently to whatever it was that I had to say. I feel that that’s part of my purpose. I don’t know why I feel that way, I just do. But I can’t have a career in just people. There’s no such thing. So what else is there?
Happiness. It’s the greatest emotion there is, in my opinion. I love being happy and I feel that I am happy more than anything else in the world. I hate being sad. I don’t understand others who choose to constantly feel sad or angry. What’s the point? I’m a really laid back kind of guy. I don’t take anything too seriously. I figure that if a problem arises, there’s no point in ranting about it. No one can ever undo the error so let’s calmly think of ways to correct it. In the long run, everyone is less stressed and the job gets done a lot faster.  They say that sharing is caring. Because I love and care about people, I want to share the amazing emotion of happiness with everyone I come in contact with! Seeing other people smile makes me smile even bigger, especially when I know they’re having a bad day. In all honesty, I think that is the reason I love magic so much. Every time I perform,  get to see the joy my art form brings to the lives of others. Now that is real magic. Hmmm… a passion for people, the love of making others smile and happy… I think I’m onto something. What else helps me find my purpose?
  I care a lot. Some adults may say that I care too much. I personally, don’t think that’s possible. How can a person care too much? I’m not a fan of pain. I hate seeing others in pain or discomfort. So yes, when I see someone with a headache, I care. I will do everything in my power to make sure that person feels even a little bit better. If someone is  sad or even a little disapointed,  I do everything in my power to make their day a little better. As humans, I think that this is the easiest way to show compassion. Even just a little, “Hey! You look really cute today!” or “Have a super fantastic awesome day!” or my personal favorite, “Come on now. Smile! Happy looks good on you!”
So let’s put all of this together. I love people. I really enjoy being happy and sharing my happiness. I’m very compassionate and care for others.  When you lay everything out like this, it makes things a little easier to see. I feel, deep in the pit of my stomach, that my purpose in life is to help other people. Helping others physically, emotionally, spiritually, or whatever way they need help. I want to pursue a career in medicine. I feel that I can reach out and help the most people in that way. I also want to continue to do magic. Not only does it make me feel better, but it obviously has a very positive impact on the people that witness it. You can tell by how they smile. Maybe that’s what it is. Maybe it’s all about the smile. Its so captivating. A smile is extremely genuine. It’s hard to fake one and still look natural. It just happens. That’s what I’m chasing in life. I want to set a world record for “the number of people made smile.” Unfortunately, it’s impossible to keep track of all of them.
I did it. I have now answered one of the hardest question a person could possibly be asked. What is my purpose in life? My purpose is to make people smile in with every talent and skill that i possess. People say to me all the time, “but magic isn’t real!” Whenever  I hear that,  I can’t help but call BS. Because magic is real. I have first hand experience. No, the illusions aren’t real. That’s why they’re called ‘illusions’. It’s the smiles. It’s all the joy that I can bring to others through my tricks. That, my friends, is the real magic.

September 23, 2012

Excuse me! Does anyone have a map?

               Left! Wait no. Right! Straight? Decision making is not an inherited trait of mine. It’s a skill that I’ve had to constantly work on. Then, once a year, I have to put this ability to the test. You see, every October, my family makes the small hike up to St. Paul Nebraska to meet up with friends at the Pumpkin Patch. It’s usually just the three moms and six kids that show. It’s a ton of fun every time. We have so many traditions that we carry on with. When we first arrive, it’s just a meet and greet. We hug, shake hands, and just talk. Then we start with the events and everything is a competition! Who can chuck the pumpkin the furthest? How fast can we peddle around the track on the mini tractors? However, the one that is the most fun is the annual corn maze! Every year, amongst the corn stock war, pushing and shoving, and sprinting to the end, someone different always comes out on top! Not being the best on decision making, it’s usually not me. Unless of course I hit a stroke of luck! There are so many things to choose from, so many different paths to decide on, and not to mention what to do if you get lost.

                In a lot of ways, the corn maze kind of describes where I am at this point in my life. I mean, if you want to get literal, I am in Nebraska. Aurora, Nebraska to be exact. I live in a house on a hill. My zip code is 68818. Yes captain obvious. I do know where I am. That’s not the kind of “where I am” that I’m talking about. I’m talking about where I am in regards to my journey in life. It’s a hard question to answer. Just like the corn maze, there are so many different paths I can take; so many opportunities to choose from. Things like college, career choice, money, and fun are always on my mind. Trying to get sleep at night is almost impossible! I’m at a point in my life where decisions have to be made. Things have to be decided on. Isn’t there an app for decision making? Something called Choice Chooser, Decision Decider or something like that? No? Darn… so now I guess it’s just iMakedecisions. This is like the ultimate test of how my skill has improved over the years. But how can I make these seemingly impossible choices? This is a question that has baffled me for a long time. I really want to be able to make the right choices. In order to do so, I have to look at where I am at this point in my life and also what I want out of my life in the future.
photo.JPG                Where am I now? In all actuality, I’m really happy with where I am at this point in time. I’m very content with what I have yet I’m not settling. I could always be better at something. I feel like self improvement never stops. There are always ways to push your boundaries and your comfort zone every day. I like to step out of my box. How do we really know who we are, if we never try anything that pushes our envelope? What makes me so happy? Honestly, I feel like I am happy because I currently have balance in my life. My good days outweigh the bad ones. I am getting to spend a lot of time with my friends! It seems like my play is matching fairly up with my work (though I wish I could boot out work all together). My home life is also very stable. In the not so distant past, this was the polar opposite. There use to be constant chaos. Never was there a break from yelling or fighting of some sort. Having that behind me feels really good. No longer am I afraid to go home. No longer do I feel like I have to leave the house to get away. For the most part, everything is calm and peaceful.                

               I am also at a point in my life where everything is go, go, go. I’m always running from one place to the next. Whether it’s Rhapsody at 7:15 A.M., early morning band, speech after school, work, or even out to hang with friends, nothing is ever done at a leisurely pace. If constantly running wasn’t a reminder, Officer Friesen at the bottom of my subdivision was. However, I choose this kind of lifestyle. Why? Why would anyone want to choose to be stressed and running all of the time? Well, to put it bluntly, I love it! I enjoy running. There is never really a boring part of my day. Because of all my running around, I don’t get to relax often. However, because I am running, it makes the few times I do relax even better.

photo.JPG             So where am I in my stage of life? I am at a stage where the realization of adulthood is far too close for comfort. I’m at a stage where I soon have to drop the prefix ‘young’ off the adjective ‘young man.’ It’s not an easy transition but it’s one every person must make once in their life. I feel like I am a content individual who never settles for anything but the best. I’m getting out what I’m putting into my life. I have a good idea of where I want to go in life. I have dreams. I have ambition to chase my dreams. I have goals to help motivate my ambition. I have expectations of myself to reach these goals. I possess enough self-respect to have expectations. I possess the self-respect because my family raised me to accept nothing but the best. Therefore, my family is the reason I have dreams. My family is the reason I know I can reach my dreams. I am where I am because of all the support my family gives me. My family may butt heads. My family may argue a lot. However, at the end of the day, they are my family. And I wouldn't be where I am if I didn't have them.

If you're confused with the pictures...
(From top to bottom) The first photo is of corn. There are two reasons for this. First, it goes along very nicely with the paragraph about a corn maze. The second is that Nebraska is very well known for being one of the biggest corn producers in the country. The next photo is of the sign by the state border. Just stating that Nebraska is one of the best states to live in! Below that is a picture of the sign on the Aurora city limit. I love this sign. It's just very clean, casual, and classy! Funny, the town has the same reputation. Then we have a picture of my school. Usually it looks a little nicer with green grass! The final picture is a picture of my family. I have this photo sitting in my bedroom. It just shows what I get to come home to and who I work hard for. 

To give you a visual idea of where I am... 

Top Left: This is Aurora's courthouse! Sitting right in the middle of our brick square, it's quite an attention grabber! 
Top Right: Football is a HUGE part of life at Aurora High School! It's amazing how many fans show up to support the Huskies on Friday nights!
Bottom Middle: This is my room. I love being here! Whenever I need to get away, this is where I go. My room is my safe haven. Nothing bad ever walks through my door. When I'm in my room, I'm calm. 


September 6, 2012

Wait... Who Am I?

I am from magic tricks and pixie sticks,
From Kool-Aid and the dirt under a tent.
I am from things of color,
Like the dancing blend of red, orange, and yellow,
And from the silver bullet, friend-filled and fast.
I am from the people of the cleft. It’s deep and distinct.
From the people who are 100% right, 75% of the time.
I am from the live and learners, the book smarts,
And even from the mistake makers.
I am from pride, dedication, and tradition.
From the friends that feel like family,
Always there with a dry shoulder and open ears.
I am from Keith and Julie, who are from John and Elaine.
From grandma’s corn, home cooked meals, and cookies baked with love.
I am from the ear grandpa lost to a motorcycle accident.
From the beautiful sunsets that fall on the Pacific,
Blended and created to perfection by the father above.
In a place only known to me, I keep a box.
IN this box, are memories of where I’ve been.
I’m from best friends, heartbreak, and lost friends.
From midnight movies and the “Two A.M. Tango.”
I’m not from the number of breaths I take,
But rather the number of moments that take my breath away.
And I wouldn’t change where I’ve been for the world.
I wrote this poem my sophomore year of high school and have kept it on my dresser ever since. I keep it there for a personal reminder of where I’ve been and some events that have molded me into the person I am today. For me, that poem is sort of like my driver’s license. It gives me a sense of identity and helps me answer a very important question. Who am I? Personally, I feel like this is a question you could ask at many different points of someone’s life and the answers each time have the potential to be polar opposites. Who am I? Well I used to be a happy but also very  frustrated child. I was bullied a lot through elementary school for being overweight. Not only was I bullied but there were certain situations on the home front that added to my stress and frustration. When I was being me, I didn’t have a lot of self-confidence. At that point in my life there were only two things that made me truly happy. One of those things was movies. When I would watch a movie, I would get so into the story that it seemed to drown out all the negative things going on in my life. The second, was acting. I loved being on stage! The reason I felt so comfortable on stage was simply because I didn’t have to be me! For about an hour, I could be somebody else. I had a different name and a different life.
            As elementary school came to a close and I made the transition into middle school, I started getting really involved with magic. The entire concept just fascinated me. As I started learning more magic, I had a bigger urge to show off my new discovered talent. When I performed magic for my peers, they all seemed to really love it. It was the one thing I was able to do that made me feel accepted by others. Because of this, my self-confidence went through the roof and I really started to break out of my shell. Magic has been a huge part of my life since and it is something I will always hold close to me.
             So the awkward years of middle school finally comes to an end. At this point in my life I’m a very happy, fun-loving, magic-doing nerd who likes who he is. However, now this meek freshman has to somehow mesh in with the tall and intimidating upperclassmen. How am I ever going to make it? Then about two weeks of living in the high school world, I realized that these next four year were going to be fun! I made a lot of new friends. Unlike the people I use to associate myself with, these friends actually accepted me for me. I didn’t feel like I had to pretend anymore. I could be me and feel good about it. During my freshman and sophomore year of high school, I gained ample amount of self-confidence, a bucket full of laughs, and enough memories to last three lifetimes. As I slowly climbed the ranks of underclassmen to upperclassmen, I’ve learned so many things about myself that I could almost write a book! I’ve learned that everyone deserves you at your best, even when you feel like you’re at your worst. I’ve learned that it’s okay to be who you want to be, even if it means getting a little gruff from your friends. I’ve discovered that hard work and determination really does payoff. I’ve now know how to be just as good of a loser as I am a winner. I’ve found out that everything is ten times more funny after midnight. I’ve learned that by trying hard to bring out the best in others, automatically brings out the best in you. I've learned that life isn't fair. You don't always get what you need. You will be shoved down more than once but it's how quickly you can pick yourself back up that really matters. Most importantly, I've learned the hard way that I really don't know everything- but please don't tell my mom I said that.
 Now let me try this again. Who am I? I’m a guy who likes to have fun! I don’t take life to seriously because I know I’m not going to survive it anyway. I absolutely love being happy! By being enthusiastic and positive about life, I feel like I can make others smile as well. Who am I?  I’m a very passionate person. I’m mostly passionate about music, magic, and helping people. If there is something I can do to make someone else’s day a little better or a little easier, I’ll do it! If they are hurting in anyway, I do my best to try and help. Not only does it make them happy, but it makes me feel better about myself. Who am I? I’m a person that has high expectations. I always prepare for the worst and expect the best. I have enough respect for myself to treat my body well. However, every now and then I do treat it a little too well by giving it a sweat snack or two. Who am I? I'm a very competitive person who loves sports but was just never all that good at them. Now I take my competitiveness to speech meets where I actually stand a chance. Who am I? I’m J.T. Wetherington, a kid from a small town who wants to make a big difference in other peoples’ lives- in any way, shape, or form.