Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Last 17 Days - 5 Years Later

Over the years, 217 (or just 17) and I have been inseparable. It's ridiculous how much I love it, but I'm cool with that because it's also ridiculous how much it actually shows up in my life. Exactly five years ago, I was counting down the few hours I had left as a 17-year-old. I wanted desperately to capture who I was at that point in my life. Each of the 17 days leading up to my 18th birthday, I made a list: my 17 favorite movies, the 17 most influential places in my life, the 17 most memorable moments from my 17 years. It's all here on my blog. On the final night, I left myself some encouraging words along with a video talking about the whole thing. The entire experience was incredibly rewarding because of the intensity with which I reflected on my entire life up to that point.

Now, on my last day of 22, I regret not having repeated the whole thing. I want to remake the lists to see what's changed, record another message, and more. Truth be told, I didn't realize I was in the five-year anniversary of the 17-day countdown until it was already halfway over. I haven't had the time to put anything together since, and I although I'll probably get around to it in the months ahead, I want to write briefly about these five years while I'm in the moment.

What, exactly, has happened in those five years? Two of them, the first and the last, were spent at the University. Two more were in Germany, where I served as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Saints. The remainder of the time was scattered. I had a metal bar inserted into my chest and removed 3 1/2 years later. I contracted Lyme Disease from a tick in Hof, Germany. I developed and then defeated skin cancer. I had two implants to finally complete my smile. I began working full time. I started channels on Twitch and YouTube. I'm currently building up a personal radio station. I made a few short films, composing a song for one. I went to dozens of concerts, watched and played hundreds of movies and games. I took my song collection from 4,700 to nearly 12,000.

And 217? Holy wow. The CVC code on my credit card was 217. My extension at work is 217. God welcomed me to me mission with 17, the station at which I happened to be dropped off at when I got to the MTC. There were, of course, dozens of less significant instances and probably a few I can't remember at the moment, but enough of what happened in that time. What about who I am? What's changed there?

The shear amount of information I poured out on all of those blog posts five years ago was overwhelming, even to me as I look back. On the final day, however, I centered the entire endeavor on the two most valuable parts, both of which I will replicate today. First was a list of the 217 most influential songs in my life, which do more to describe me than anything else could. I'll remake that list according to 22-year-old Kyle and stream it on my web radio station all day tomorrow. The second was a simple summary of who I was at that time. Here it is, exactly as I wrote it at 17:
  • I am passionate, but extremely hesitant to show it.
  • I am driven by music. It's in my mind, in my heart, in my dreams, in my future. It is everything right now.
  • I am full of imagination and creativity. I love exploring others' ideas and I'm extremely passionate about my own ideas.
  • I am thrilled to live righteously. I've sorted things out in my life and I'm ready to let my spirit take me where it wants me to go.
  • I honestly don't want to go to college; music and writing are where I belong. They are what I truly aspire to.
  • The thing I want the most right now: to fall in love. There, I said it. I cannot wait until that day...
  • I am thankful for every little thing that has put me where I am today. I realize that I have great potential. I know that I am fortunate. I am ready to take advantage of it.
And now, as a 22-year-old:
  • I consider creativity paramount to my happiness, with storytelling above all. I'm proud of what I've done with it so far, but I'll always hunger for more. I'm also intent on finding more people who care for what I create.
  • I am thoroughly obsessed with music. I am convinced there is no limit to my love for it because every year, it's somehow stronger than the year before. As long as it is there, I cannot be broken.
  • I wish I had more time to do all that I want to. I think that one day, I'll pick something to focus on, but for now, I'm spread thin between numerous aspirations, unsure of where I belong.
  • I'm continually astounded at just how active my mind is. It keeps me awake for hours every night. It is endlessly imaginative and thoughtful. It continually berates me with school-induced stress and insecurities. It is both my greatest friend and my worst enemy.
  • I love my God. I haven't been the most diligent in seeking out those things I know He wants for me, but my faith in Him is unwavering and I find much comfort in that.
  • I'm deeply saddened that I have not yet found love. I am lonelier than I've ever been before and I'm desperate for that to change. I feel like I have much to offer, but no one who wants it.
  • I am anxious to build my empire, but it would pain me to do so alone. The right time is coming soon, I think, and I can hardly wait for that day.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful. It is great that you can express your thoughts on this web page. The only thing I can say about Love is you really have to mingle. I know so very well. They do not have to be the most beautiful, because that is only skin deep. Ask questions, probe their hearts. You can feel when it is right. There is always love at first site that works wonders. But You have got to make it happen. Staying home will not help.