Sunday, November 29, 2009


This is a paper I wrote for a freshman english class at TJC a few years ago. It talks about a dear friend that passed away in high school. Today it has been 5 years since he left us. Thought it was appropriate to share. We miss you Scott. RIP.

You Dropped Your Pocket

Looking back, I remember the cool summer nights we stayed up until one in the morning playing basketball for hours under the dim orange street lights. Even as first graders, these so-called friendly games to ten became relentlessly brutal, noone wanting to give in and lose to the other. He beat me almost everytime, but the one game I beat him drove him crazy, and we always played one more to satisfy him.

“Come on lets play again, you got lucky.”

Monday, November 29, 2004. I still feel the cold rain drenching my clothes and the freezing wind cutting through me like a knife on the day that changed not only my life but the lives of many of my classmates. Soccer practice lasted late that day and as we scrimmaged I saw three of my closest friends walking through the rain up towards the field. I thought nothing of it and continued to play, assuming they came to watch the end of practice. I soon realized noone came to watch an unimportant soccer practice on such a cold and wet day as this. I saw some of the other senior soccer players walking off as coach called them over to my friends, and I instinctively followed. As I walked nearer, I realized the gravity of the situation. My friends eyes streamed wet, and not from the rain. The tears contagiously passed from one person to the next until they finally reached me and I heard the news. One of my best friends Chance broke the news to me.

“Scott just died in a car crash.”

I grew up with Scott Everett Baker. Since first grade we played basketball and baseball together, shared classes, and spent the night at each other’s houses. Even though in high school we hung out a lot less, we still remained friends. Scott epitomized the class clown, always making jokes no matter what the situation. If someone walked into the school not knowing him, they instantly stereotyped him as the popular one just by looking at him. The guys all wanted his friendship, and the girls all wanted to date him.

Speechless, I fell to my knees. “How could this happen?” I thought. As we walked down to the parking lot, we saw dozens of students standing in the rain, even though school let out almost two hours before, embracing each other as they cried. Eventually the principal allowed us to sit in the cafeteria before finally everyone began to go home. The state of shock seen in everyone’s eyes told the story. Scott, always the daredevil, trying to pass a friend on a narrow slick road, turned his truck over and crashed it into a tree. He died instantly, and life for many changed permanently.

Sadly, growing up in that town, tragedy became common. In four years of high school, five people close to me died. But none effected me like Scott’s death. Of all the people, noone imagined this happening to him. The way he made people laugh, the smile he always wore, things that people never realized they took for granted before instantly became missed. It rained the entire week, and postponed classes became common, as counselors came and talked to us repeatedly. Everyone took the loss very hard, even teachers and administrators who knew Scott showed signs of deep sadness. As much as a trouble maker he sometimes seemed, he became loved by just about everyone who knew him.

The day of the funeral, the first sunny day in weeks, held mixed emotions for many people. As much as it hurt that Scott died, the day felt more like a day of celebration. At the funeral everyone shared stories about how Scott made them laugh, made them smile on a bad day, and everyone agreed his soul now resided in a much better place. I never cried and laughed so closely together as much as at Scott’s funeral. Noone felt guilty for smiling and laughing at his funeral, everyone knew Scott wanted it that way. Someone talked about how Scott use to run up to people in the hallway and make them believe they dropped their pocket. Everyone laughed and remembered the funny times about Scott. The most memorable moment of the funeral, however, came when his uncle stood up to speak. He told Scott’s two brothers to stand up, and said words that ring in my ears to this day.

“I don’t know if I ever told Scott I loved him and its going to haunt me for the rest of my life, but I want you boys to know that I love you. I love you Scott.”

Scott achieved something for our senior class unlike anyone else, unity. He brought the seniors of 2005 together. Everyone told stories about Scott because he touched everyone’s lives in someway. Less than a week after Scott’s death, our school held its annual winter formal. All the seniors wore sweat bands, bracelets, and pink in memory of Scott. Scott always wore a sweat band, and planned on wearing a pink tuxedo to formal that year. Although the dance missed one important thing, him, we still felt him there with us. We danced all night long, and dedicated songs to him.

The loss of Scott showed a lot of things to a lot of people. The words his uncle spoke at the funeral are what will remain with me for the rest of my life. I no longer take life for granted, and realize just how precious it is. If I love someone, I tell them. Scott’s life ending so suddenly taught me not to hold back. Scott lived like that, and his death helped many to live like that as well. I miss Scott and always will, but I will never forget him and the lessons I learned from him.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Control Your Version

There are people you should have walked away from. When people walk away from you, it's because they gave up. Trying isn't the problem, quitting is. It is because they don't deserve you in their lives. It is because...

"The unreal is more powerful than the real. Because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it. Because its only intangible ideas, concepts, beliefs, fantasies that last. Stone crumbles. Wood rots. People, well, they die. But things as fragile as a thought, a dream, a legend, they can go on and on. If you can change the way people think. The way they see themselves. The way they see the world. You can change the way people live their lives. That's the only lasting thing you can create."
-Chuck Palahniuk

I'm not saying that you can't become someone else in the future, but who you are now has everything to do with the people who have been in your life and helped you become the person you are. Completely abandoning the people that loved you and were there for you doesn't make you strong. It makes you weak. It means you gave up the challenge. That you cared about yourself more than you did them. That the only thing that you care about is you is you. Fighting for the things you believe in and care about isn't something to be criticized or looked down upon, it's something to be respected and appreciated. People who gave up, who quit, never got anywhere. It was the people who were persistent, who wouldn't take no for an answer, that have changed the world. There is a difference between accepting something is over and fighting for something you believe isn't. I believe in goodbye, but I don't believe in shutting people out of my life who have influenced it positively and have done nothing to deserve not being in my life. If you love something, love it with all you have. Don't hold back. Don't guard yourself from feelings that you are afraid of having or showing. If you have something in the past that didn't work out the way you wanted to, don't let it affect your future. Learn from it, but never forget it. Sure, you can't make everyone feel the way you do about them. I'm very aware of that, but being persecuted for trying is almost like saying you shouldn't ever try in a relationship (rather it be with someone of the opposite sex, your family, even spiritually). And that just isn't how things work. Relationships (all of them) take work. Take effort. Take commitment. Take courage. Take patience. Take time.

"Hypocrisy and distortion are passing currents under the name of religion"


“People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality; their feelings most of all. People talk about how great love is, but that's bullshit. Love hurts. Feelings are disturbing. People are taught that pain is evil and dangerous. How can they deal with love if they're afraid to feel? Pain is meant to wake us up. People try to hide their pain. But they're wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio."
-Jim Morrison

"You realize that our mistrust of the future makes it hard to give up the past."
-Chuck Palahniuk

It's not always about moving on, or letting go, or finding peace. It's about understanding what is real. It's about figuring out not only who you are, but who you were, and most importantly... who you want to be. It's about making realistic decisions about YOUR life, and not letting outside influences affect who YOU are as a person. Sure I'm a realist, and even most times skeptical about a lot of things, but it is better than being an idealistic hypocrite with no grasp of who I am or what I want. People get lost trying to find themselves, everyday people are making hypocrites out of themselves by pretending to be people they aren't, or trying to follow some movement or fad because other people are encouraging them to. Life is a journey, an individual, unique adventure that should be different with everyone.

"In a world where billions believe their deity conceived a mortal child with a virgin human, it's stunning how little imagination most people display. "
-Chuck Palahniuk

Sure there are religions out there, and I completely respect what most of these things are trying to preach, but they are meant to teach us morals, right from wrong, not a detailed instruction on how to live your life. It's not about being "religious", it's about being spiritual. Finding your own way, your own "godliness" on Earth. People shouldn't be afraid of going to Hell, they should want to find their own calm and tranquility while still on Earth. Scare tactics in religion are what have caused most of the wars in human history. Why can't people understand that whatever it was that caused us to be here, didn't want us to all be alike. How else do you explain so much diversity in the universe. The Bible was written by men, and should be used as a guide, not a rulebook. Otherwise we'd still be smearing lambs blood over our doors during the passover.

"No matter how careful you are, there's going to be the sense you missed something, the collapsed feeling under your skin that you didn't experience it all. There's that fallen heart feeling that you rushed right through the moments where you should've been paying attention. Well, get used to that feeling. That's how your whole life will feel some day. This is all practice."
-Chuck Palahniuk