Youth is fleeting. In the moment, it feels as if you’ll stay young forever, then suddenly it’s over. Looking back, it’s as if you’ve lived your life on fast-forward. It sounds cliche…but it goes so fast. The unlimited energy and unlimited possibilities dwindle with age, and we are left with important decisions on where and how to spend our increasingly limited time and energy.

I suppose it’s not just youth, but all of life. Every year the seasons seem to grow shorter and shorter. Every year seems to go by more quickly. That being said, life is full of so many beautiful moments, and filled with so much joy that the shortness can be counteracted with the abundance of sensational experiences. Youth is nice, but experience has its value as well.

I don’t miss the rush of my youth, but I do miss some of the friends that I had and some of the opportunities and experiences that I still cherish. Life happens exactly as it should and we are given exactly what we need in order to grow and develop as best as we possibly can. Another chance at youth would be nice, but I wouldn’t trade the life I’ve been given for another. I would do it all over again-exactly how I had the first time.

If you are in the prime of your youth, have fun. If you are in the fall of your years, pass on your knowledge. If you are towards the winter of your life, relax and enjoy the simple things, and bask in all of the beautiful memories that you have made. Every stage of life has its value, youth just seems to be the most fun because it goes so fast.

Reasons to Remain

  1. My wife
  2. My son
  3. My family
  4. My friends
  5. Reading
  6. Writing
  7. Good coffee
  8. Good tea
  9. Sunrises
  10. Sunsets
  11. A nice breeze
  12. Soft sheets
  13. A warm bed
  14. A nice view
  15. Spotting birds
  16. Spotting wildlife
  17. Long walks
  18. Intelligent conversation
  19. Sharp wit
  20. Humility
  21. Beautiful clouds
  22. Thunderstorms
  23. Falling snow
  24. Sweatshirts
  25. Sweatpants
  26. Comfy socks
  27. Hot showers
  28. Cold showers
  29. Back rubs
  30. A fresh shave
  31. Relaxing
  32. Good music
  33. Good food
  34. Hugs and kisses
  35. A good sense of humor
  36. And many many more….

The Dream

The simple life is what I seek. I want a small, secluded beach cottage situated on the ocean. Friends and family would be welcome, but I fantasize about living a hermit’s life, and romanticize about being completely off of the grid. I truly want nothing more than a library full of books, paper and pens, coffee, and a writing room in the upper floor that faces the ocean. That’s it. That’s my dream.

I don’t want a fancy mansion. I don’t want flashy cars. I don’t want fame and fortune. I want a quiet, peaceful life with my family. I would die happy knowing that I have endeavored into great literature, written to the best of my ability, and provided my family with a safe, comfortable existence. That’s all I want, and I can already see it coming into fruition.

Who Are You?

The complex answer is…you are an infinite spirit energy having a human experience in order that you may achieve a higher understanding of universal consciousness. The simple answer is…whoever you would like to be. Most people whose confidence has been crushed, or who have been ingrained with limiting beliefs will scoff at the notion. But, stay with me for a second. Are you who you were ten years ago? Or ten months ago? Or even ten days ago? No matter how firmly you may believe you are the same, the correct answer is no.

It is impossible for experiences to not fundamentally change who you are on a physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual level. The neuroplasticity of your brain, and the receptiveness of your spirit turn all experiences into transformative occurrences. Thousands of these transformations happen every day, and change your physical makeup on a subatomic level. You go to bed every night as a different person than you were when you crawled out of bed that same morning. It is a fundamental truth of existence. You create your reality as you go…scary I know.

I will not go into the rates of change that our cells undergo, or the lack of our working memory’s efficiency (although they would only provide further evidence to support my claims). This is not a scientific journal. Scientific evidence aside, think about the fluctuations of your mood, mindset, and outlook over the course of an hour, let alone a broader time-frame. Constantly changing. You, myself, and indeed all of us are in a constant flux.

It’s not just humans that are constantly changing. All animals, all plants, all life on earth are constantly transforming. Our narrow spectrum of receptivity to the vast array of energy fields and vibrations in the universe limit our ability to fully grasp the complexity and intricacies that are constantly fluctuating around us. We have built advanced machinery that allows us to see a slightly broader scope and scale of the world around us, but for the most part, we are traversing through our universal experience with rose colored lenses.

We sense just enough concrete evidence to enable us to navigate our experience with clarity and confidence that we are truly alive. Our scope of reality separates itself and ourselves from dreams, fantasy, and imagination. We can see, hear, touch, taste, and smell our external surroundings. But, just remember that our brains are essentially an antenna. The vibration that we send out, the universe returns to us as our fundamental experience of reality.

IF you can manage to change your vibrational frequency, your surroundings will mimic the change. Meditate, heal, read, write, and do things that invigorate your highest spiritual self. Become the best possible version of yourself, and watch as you create your greatest possible version of reality. Many have done just that, and so can you. Anything is possible. “I think, therefore I am.” I love you all. Onward and upward. -TRC

Why are We Here?

Allow me to start by acknowledging that the Universe/God etc. cannot be captured with words. We do not know, and I think we are not meant to know. Life would be an utter bore if we knew all of the answers. The mystery is one of the reasons for our eternal striving for existence. That being said, I am only capable of putting my ideas on the table. All readers are able to pick and choose as they please, or to leave them there entirely.

I think we are here on this vibrational plane in order to learn. We are here to learn how to love. Love is the most powerful emotion that we can experience, and we are here to spread it to all other entities on this plane of existence. Spiritual leaders have preached the same message throughout history. We are all here because we are seeking to break out of the cycle of existence in the human sphere, and to achieve a higher consciousness which will allow us to exist on a higher rung of an infinite ladder of cosmic experiences.

Whether or not you believe in past lives is up to you, but I believe that our souls/spirits are eternal, and we may have experienced our lives or similar lives many times before. Some of you/us may believe that we are here for the first and only time, and that may be true as well, depending on your spiritual path. Others may believe that we are doomed/blessed to repeat this life over and over in a damned/beautiful eternal recurrence. No theories are full-proof, but I can promise that living a life full of love is the easiest and best way to create a better life for yourself and for all others that you come into contact with.

Love yourself. Radiate peace, love, and harmony. Love your enemies. Show kindness to those who are in need. Be gentle with those who are angry. Show compassion and empathy to those who are suffering. Sacrifice yourself for the greater good and you will truly experience “heaven” in this life or the next. Live a life of love, find peace in this chaotic existence, teach others to do the same, and you may begin to scratch the surface of why we are here. I know I am constantly struggling to do so myself. If it was easy, everyone would do it. Fight the good fight and better yourself every day. If life is indeed meaningless, you’ll at least be creating a better experience for yourself and everyone involved. I love all of you. Onward and upward. -TRC

Perfect Universe? Imperfect Creations?

If the universe is perfect why…

  1. Are oranges so hard to peel?
  2. Can I bite my tongue?
  3. Do I stub my toes?
  4. Do I slam my fingers?
  5. Are people so stupid/such jerks?
  6. Does water take so long to get hot when I shower?
  7. Do I have nightmares?
  8. Do people chew with their mouths open?
  9. Are people such assholes while driving?
  10. Is there traffic?
  11. Are there non-crisp apples?
  12. Do I burn my popcorn so easily?
  13. Am I not musically inclined?
  14. Is country music so bad/monotonous?
  15. Do people make/enjoy country music?
  16. Do my bananas bruise so easily?
  17. Is the sun/weather too hot?
  18. Is/are the weather/elements too cold?
  19. Is rain so depressing?
  20. Are we killing the planet?

The answer to most of these questions is human ineptitude. The rest of them are minor inconveniences that I experience in the first world as a creature of comfort. We as a species are really fucking stupid. Let’s be honest. We spend more money on football stadiums than we do on cleaning up the oceans. Our home planet is screaming at us to save it, yet we stay glued to our screens. We live in a fantasy world while we destroy the real one. The earth will cleanse itself, whether through fire or water or quakes or all three. We will be gone. The earth will remain. But hey, let’s watch Game of Thrones, continue to use fossil fuels, and trash our environment, while killing off most of the world’s wildlife in the process. Because lololol let’s wake the fuck up people. It’s almost 2020. Enough is enough. Consumerism and capitalism are driving us to extinction and nobody seems to care. Here today, and gone tomorrow, bruh. Right? Everyone must think that way. Just some food for thought: I honestly can’t wait for us to make this list. The planet would be better off. I honestly pray that aliens scoop me up and take me elsewhere. I truly do. Call me crazy…and go back to working a job you hate, to buy shit you don’t need to impress people you don’t like. Dying. Aren’t we all? Lol Later, Bruh.

Interstellar Thought

I constantly find myself thinking about the synchronicity of the universe. For our home planet, it means our consistent orbit and rotation around our closest star. It is difficult to determine earthly matters as anything but trivial. We are so infinitesimally small. The universe is so inexplicably big. Our daily routines, habits, interests, loves, hates, and relationships fall into a universal void when the true “big picture” is put into focus. Does any of it truly matter? What does it all mean?

As anyone who has taken the time to determine their place in the universe will tell you, our lives our inherently meaningless, to the degree that nothing we do will throw the universe off of its course. The upside to our tiny lives, is the simplicity. We can cause tremendous change on Earth, and the ripple effects of which will reverberate for potentially centuries to come. We have the capability to create meaning for the innately meaningless, which is our most powerful blessing.

We are here. We are alive. We are conscious. And if we are self-aware, we have the power to create the change that we wish to see in the world. It may sound generic, and it may seem cliche, but it is our duty as citizens of this planet to make it a better place before our lives come to an end. Instead of becoming another sheep in the flock, and following the lead of others, become your own shepherd and create your own following.

People are looking for leaders. They are looking for guidance. And most likely, they are looking for answers. Become the light that people are seeking, and shine as brightly as possible. Like moths to a flame, people will naturally be attracted to your spiritual luminescence.

Don’t be confused, however. The road to self-awareness and self-mastery is not easy. It is the most difficult path that a person can take. If it was easy, nobody would need help. The first step is connecting with your eternal spirit. The second step is strengthening that connection to the degree that others take notice. The third step is teaching others to find the connection with themselves. The fourth step is reaching a level of spirituality that transcends earthly limitations. The final step is nirvana, perfect bliss, heaven, etc. Is the final step possible? Very few can give up the attachments that keep us on this vibration or frequency, but those who do achieve eternal happiness. Can you?

2019 Update

Honesty. I’m going to be honest in this post. Readers from 35 countries will be allowed into my personal sphere. I’ll drop a truth bomb right off the bat. I was recently diagnosed with Bipolar II. This does not mean that I am “crazy.” I have a chemical imbalance in my brain that causes me to shift from high’s to low’s at random intervals. The majority of the time I struggle with depression, while very infrequently I will experience periods of hypo-mania. Many writers (Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Churchill, and others) all had their own struggles with bipolar. Birds of a feather flock together I suppose.

My outlook on life has changed for the better now that I have received a diagnosis. I have achieved a more stable mood and mindset. I am optimistic for the future knowing that my imbalance is treatable with medication and therapy. Now for the update on my life. During a hypo-manic episode (9+ miles a day of activity on 3-4 hours of sleep for weeks on end) I forced my wife and child out of my life. Instinct played a role (I didn’t want to hurt them in the process), but I just didn’t have the time or energy for anyone else (mania induces a highly exaggerated sense of self, planning, goals, capability etc.). I had mountains to move and rivers to drain and I couldn’t have anyone slowing me down.

That being said, I moved their stuff out and they headed to California to spend some time with her father until things cooled off. That was almost six weeks ago today. For the first three weeks, I was riding such a high that I had almost forgotten about them. I can’t begin to describe how unhealthy the entire ordeal was for all parties involved. I will let you use your imagination for how it must have felt for her and my 13 month old son at the time. Traumatic is the only word that comes to mind. My father finally had me admitted to the hospital, where I spent 72 hours coming down from what felt like an endless source of universal energy (I felt like I could run back to back marathons on zero sleep).

Upon leaving the hospital, reality finally settled in. My son. I miss my son. I miss my wife. How could I have done such a thing? The answer is hypo-mania takes no prisoners. I had forced out my loved ones, frightened my family, and was left feeling like I was at rock bottom. It was the hardest week of my life coming to terms with the path of destruction that I had left in the wake of my manic state. There was a light at the end of the tunnel, however (there always is).

I cleaned myself up, and began repairing the relationships I had damaged. I sought therapy upon my wife’s request and did everything humanly possible to become stable and restore a sense of personal identity. After several weeks, my wife and I are once again very close, and cannot wait to see each other again. I am ready to see my son, and I will never lose time with him again. This chapter does have a happy ending. I promise.

They come home tomorrow. And “home” is a new house in a secluded neighborhood in a historic area of rural, southern Maryland. We will be together as a family again for the first time in weeks. As odd as it sounds, I feel so blessed and so thankful to have gone through an episode, a diagnosis, and a recovery. I have come out as a better husband, father, and a better man overall. I am so lucky to be alive, and I am so lucky to have my family in my life. I will continue to write this year, and I apologize to my followers for my hiatus. I love you all and there is more to come. Onward and upward. -TRC

The More It Changes…The More It Stays The Same

What could be more monotonous than constant change? It never stops. Never ceases. Why is it that time never pauses, fast-forwards, rewinds, or stops for eternity? I suppose, in certain ways, it does all of those things. There are moments when time seems to “stands still.” There are moments that we realize that the past week, month, year, or decade has “flown by.” We are always capable of rewinding our life through our mind’s eye with our memory, in order that we may “stroll down memory lane.” And at some point (maybe?) our entire experience in space and time will cease altogether.

So maybe the constant flow of time isn’t as constant as we think it is. Or, maybe it is, and it is only our perception of the hypnotic motion of the cosmos that changes. I am unsure of which option is true, however, I also realize that there are numerous other possibilities and explanations for the topic. I am not an astrophysicist, and nor will I try to act as if I am. These are my own personal thoughts on the matter, based on limited research and discussions. To me, I don’t think we’ll ever truly understand the origin, nature, essence, or purpose of the constant stirring of the universal soup and all of the ingredients held within. We are not meant to know. The unknown is what keeps us constantly striving to survive.

We’ll do whatever it takes to continue this sensational existential experience. Even if we are unhappy, unhealthy, or both, we will still innately cling to every bit of experiential data that we can get our hands on. Even if only one of our senses remains adequate, we will maximize all of the energy, emotion, and feeling that we can possibly pull from it. Sensational experience is all we have. Without it, the world would seem cold, meaningless, harsh, and barbaric (maybe it is?).

Well, after this routine cyclical thought process where I end up in the exact same place as when I started, I think I’ll use my time to prep for the week, to make sure that I’m maximizing my efficiency and “using my time wisely.” Sometimes, I think I’m just along for the ride and my perception is the only thing that determines how I experience reality. I’m really not sure. Anyway, time to do some housework and get ready for a “new week.” Onwards and upwards. – Taylor R Cook