Forgive the length... I don't know why I'm writing this specifically. It may be because of the state of the world as it is. I could have been inspired as I was getting lab work done at the Veteran's Hospital here in Pensacola this morning. The hundreds of patients, the majority of which seem to be far older than I am, never fail to make me tear up, but I'm a bit of a crybaby anyway. More than likely, I just want to write this to get my thoughts somewhere other than my head. I'm posting this because, well, I have ptsd and clinical depression. A few back problems, but nothing a deep massage can't really fix. Most of my wounds are invisible. Most. I disagree with suicide more than anything, having for some misfortune or reason been exposed to suicides as the leading cause of death for people I have known, and lost, in my life. As far as military loss: We lost one brother in Baghdad, not to the constant bullets and rockets, but a malformed valve in his heart while he was exercising during the rare few hours of respite in squad rotation. That was probably what made it especially difficult. We all thought we were invincible back then. On my second deployment, while my squad was walking to the truck to leave the wire, a single gunshot rang out from another platoon's sleeping area. A Marine we all knew had shot himself in bed, after finding out his wife was unfaithful. We saw the strange Iraqi firetrucks come, turned and left. We had a patrol to do and would find out what happened after. The fact that they required us to take classes to better reintegrate into civilian life once your contract is nearly over struck me as odd then. I hadn't really experienced anything other than the military job wise, besides cleaning pools, and being a pool boy is definitely not as appealing as it is in certain fifteen minute videos. I met a new woman, I started playing more music, took my "art" seriously and painting on everything. I got engaged, started working around town and spent as much time as possible with my amazing immediate family. I tried college, but that all just seemed so arbitrary. Fake. I didn't want any part of it after enough of it. Be it malady or enlightenment, I'll surely see soon. In all of this, I was ice skating uphill with the VA in pursuit of care. Then personal connections started eroding. That amazing woman turned out to be anything but. After four anxiety attacks that I could only describe as Hellish, I sold my phone. I deleted my social media. (well, tried with facebook, you bastards) My dad got sick and lost his job. My parents started fighting. My sister got married and had a baby. my brothers moved away. Here's where it gets relevant, and sorry it took so long with my personal diatribe: I bought an Xbox one, I hated it. I sold it and still don't care. Gaming was always a constant and happy part of my life. My earliest memories are of me and my younger brother, staying up late with my dad playing Mario/Duckhunt on the floor of our living room. When we inevitably fell asleep, my dad would stay up as late as he could to get to the end. When me and my brother woke up, we'd rock paper scissors to get to fight the boss and save the princess. Yet, suddenly, nothing in the pantheon of incredible recollections from my favorite hobby at all seemed appealing. Nothing really did, but this struck me harder than anything once I realized this. Whatever that means, I have always thought that while no person has ever asked to be born, we are all just dealing with it. As well or poorly as possible. I am a Bungie fan. In that gilded chest of the aforementioned incredible recollections exist not less than a metric -blam!- ton of times I smiled so much my face hurt playing their games. I've played Destiny now. My passion has absolutely been reignited, among more than a few other amazing turn arounds thanks to my friends, and my family's dumb luck that somehow manages to let us pull our asses out of the fire at the last possible second, rudder smoking as we stabilize. I don't know if a system will ever be in place to make the world just, or truly equal as we should be, but though life is sad, it is always beautiful. I assure you, this is the most exciting possible time to be alive. No matter what. This is the time when we either solidify our intent as a species to succeed, get off this rock, and embrace our destiny as caretakers, but temporary residents of the earth...or unmake our past and make certain we die out while nature and the cosmos move on inexorably toward the future. There is hope. Always. We are all part of the same thing. No matter how much worse we may think we've had it. That's negating the whole point. Thank you so much for reading, Guardians, see you starside. And thank you Bungie, for putting the biggest smiles back on my face and new friends into my life.
Hope is one of the biggest driving forces for us humans. It keeps us going and keeps many from giving up. Thanks for your service to all those that served and continue to serve. Toughest job in the world.