we all have expectations. we all have a picture in our minds of who we think we used to be, who we think we are, who we think we will be in five or ten or fifty years. we imagine perfect lives, painless lives, only a few bumps along the way. and for the most part, that remains the same most of our lives. but people also change, people grow, people bend, people forget. and all we really have is hoping that the pressure of life isn’t as painful as it possibly could be, that at least one of those things ends up not being as painful as the others. the select few who don’t feel the pain of changing, growing, bending, forgetting at all aren’t really the lucky ones, but the ones who only feel one or two are the luckiest. if you don’t feel the pain at all, you never really find out who you are or see that person juxtaposed with that picture in your mind of who you want to be. those people kind of just float, slipping in and out of the cracks and ripples that break & shake everyone around them. they are fluid, smiling in the morning & in the night, never smelling their skin burning under the flames that the waves and cracks create when their eyes are closed. i wonder if they even realize what it feels like to actually live, like a nerve exposed to fire & ice & wind. it hurts, it hurts worse that the slip of a knife or a curling iron on your fingertips. but there’s something so astronomically serene and lovely about it that sometimes we can’t help but stare the pain of life right in the face & not be able to tell it to leave. we learn to live with it, like it even. and i believe the greatest people in life are the ones who learn to love it, because it is their life. and once we understand that, its much easier to accept. i like to think that i’ve accepted the fact that my life may always be made up of the same raw pain i’ve experienced in it so far, but i think i’ve been able to go this far for this long because i’ve secretly been harboring just a little bit of hope in the midst of my characteristic pessimism. but then again, there’s nothing wrong with that. the calm comes in finding the balance. and i’ll keep pressing forward until i find the place where i have just the right amount of difficulty to keep me strong. and once i reach that point, maybe i will be who i always pictured myself to be. and maybe it will be sooner than i had expected.