Afterthoughts And Epiphanies:
Who Am I This Time?

I'm surprised at myself. This was supposed to be a light, funny page filled with zippy humor and a unique blend of Mike-ness. Instead, it became a sort of cathartic exercise that I needed, to review and write about all the bad things I'd done in one phase of my life in order to move on to the next. The past is never dead, but it sure isn't alive anymore in my head. I finally cleaned everything out, and everything's been exercised and lifted off my conscious and conscience. This entire page just took me two days to write and put together. A very self-revealing and honest two days with myself, in order to get my history put down right, and to get over a lot of things that I had never been able to before. Seeing them all now up there on the screen, I've gained perspective and distance from these events, and I feel I have a better understanding of myself and who I am today, and most importantly, why I am the way I am.
    I was talking to my mother today, after finishing the previous page, and was heavily imbued in my own thoughts and feelings on my past. After telling her I'd done a lot of bad things and how much I regret the decisions I've made, she told me that it was all part of growing up. Everyone makes mistakes when they're young, and that's how we grow as people. The two most important things are that 1) I can recognize what I've done that's wrong or bad, and 2) that I've now gained the wisdom not to repeat these mistakes again. This made me feel better, and reassured me that I'm not the only one that'd fucked up in life. I'd just fucked up a little differently than other people do.
    But that's OK. This is my second phase of mature development, starting today, at the age of 20. I've set the goals I want to achieve in life, and am fully dedicated to reaching them. I feel better, and much more optamistic than I ever have before about the future. It's plenty wide and bright, and I feel emotionally secure enough to continue on.
    I go to college, and am closing in fast on my degree (an English major, hooray hoorah). I have my band, and I feel that we're getting better and better every day. My writing (though you can't tell from this slapped-together structure) is advancing and I'm beginning to find my voice. The sun rises every morning and sets every night. I have a family that loves me, friends that support me, and the golden fleece of youth to protect me. Life, or some form of it, is beginning to spawn. And to think, after all the craziness and fun and sadness and love and hate that I've gone through so far, that this is only the beginning of something much more. Life and the living, no matter the circumstances, will always beat out the dying and the dead. This, if only this, is the most concrete truth I can base my existence on. And it's good enough for me. 

I'm the fellow with the tambourine.