When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Everyone has heard this saying at some point in their life, and everyone knows or at least thinks they know what its supposed to mean. If you are given the opportunity, take it. If you are given the tools to succeed, prosper. Most people want to go to college to get a degree so that they can "be successful," which is a nicer way of saying they just want to make a ton of money so they don't have to worry about anything. Not me. My plan, along with the plans of my two best friends, is to make a difference. We want our lives to make a difference in this world of hate and greed. My name is Bryan, and let me tell you the first of many stories about my friends and I's journey to try and leave this world a better place.
This first story I'm going to tell you begins with what was a new beginning in my own life, or I guess instead of a new beginning you could call it the ending of my old life. I was a month out of high school and preparing myself for my new adventure that would start in just over another month, college. I had heard so many people were so excited and knew exactly what they wanted to do, I on the other hand felt so lost. I wasn't sure if I was excited or not, all I felt was afraid to close the door on what turned out to be a great chapter in my life, and I was so afraid that I was going to lose people that I cared about. To add to that, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. The only hope I felt I had was a long distance relationship that I thought would work, but I was starting to worry wouldn't. So what was I doing with my life? I was sitting in my room, doing absolutely nothing. The guy that didnt want to lose his friends decided to isolate himself from everyone, and don't ask me why. In fact it wasn't until then that I actually started talking to my friends again, and the first two people I had talked to in a month besides my parents and my girlfriend were the two guys that I half mentioned beforehand. They were my two best friends, Patrick and Tony. These guys are my bro's, and I can talk to them about anything, which is exactly what I needed at that point in time.
So its the beginning of July and Patrick decided that I needed a pick-me-up so he gave me a "courtesy call" as he described it and told me to be ready in 10 minutes. So I was ready in 10 minutes. 30 minutes later Patrick showed up. I had been friends with him for a while, but I always forgot how bad of a judge of time he was. He pressed his head up against the glass of my front door and gave a couple obnoxious knocks. He knew the door was unlocked, but for whatever reason he decided he needed to do this still.
"Doors unlocked," I yelled. Sure I was standing up and it wasn't like I was too far from the door, but I was lazy and didn't feel like making the extra effort to walk over to the door and opening it.
"How's it going?" Patrick said as he opened up the door and walked inside.
"It's going the same as when you asked me 30 minutes ago," I said, walking over to the kitchen and pouring myself some tea,
"So why did you make me get ready right away?"
"Huh,I didn't think I was that long," he stated cluelessly, he never thought he was late, "Anyways, we're gonna get you out the house! Get your keys! We're gonna go cruise through the city!"
"I should've known that was your great idea," I said grabbing my keys. Patrick always thought cruising through the city was the best thing to do when someone was a little down. I didn't really like to, but if I would say no he would either annoy the hell out of me until I said fine, or make me feel bad for not wanting to go, so I just started to go along with it. Besides he was just trying to help, and he had a hard time thinking of anything else because to him doing anything else at anyone else's house was just as bad."You already let Tony know?"
"Of course I did!" Patrick said giving me a nervous look.
"You might want to call him and let him know," I said, rolling my eyes. Patrick never remembered to call Tony. You probably are beginning to sense the pattern here.
"Good idea!" Patrick said grabbing his phone.
About 15 minutes later, the two of us were pulling into Tony's driveway. I honked the horn a couple times and waited for Tony to make it outside. Patrick in the mean time jumped in the back seat, which was the normal routine. After a couple of minutes Tony stumbled his way out of his house and got in the passangers seat.
"Sup guys?" He said with a nod.
"How's it going, man?" I responded, while Patrick responded with a simple, "Tony."
"Let us be off!" Patrick yelled after a quick second of silence.
"Fine," Tony and I said together, both of us letting out a little bit a sigh. We did this quite often when it came down to a lot of Patrick's crazy ideas. It was just how it was. Tony was more laid back where Patrick was a lot more uptight, Where as Patrick only wanted to get us out of the house if anyone was down, Tony was more willing to just hang out at one of our houses and just relax. All in all, they both were my best friends, but Tony was more like me. We left Tony's house and began to cruise, just like Patrick wanted. Of course it was about 20 minutes into the cruising and Patrick started to get antsy and decided we needed to go somewhere.
"Anywhere!" Patrick exclaimed, "I don't care, let's just do something!"
"Arcade?" Tony asked.
"Just what I was thinking!" I said, letting out a chuckle. That's just how it goes between Tony and I. I decided to take a short detour from the arcade to take a drive along the beach. We are all creatures of habit, and even if we wanted to, I don't think I would have ever taken a different route. There is just something about driving along the beach, smelling the air, looking at the waves, it never gets old. Even though there are always hundreds or thousands of people at the beach, it always feels so relaxing. After taking that drive we always feel refreshed.
About 15 minutes later we arrived at the Arcade. We noticed almost right away that something was up. There was almost an eary feel that was never present there, and we would've been the few people to know because we had been going there since we were barely able to reach the controls. Then we noticed the sign on the window. We all feared the worse, and we were all right. We didnt bother to read the sign, instead we all piled back into the car and drove over to the mall. When we reached the mall we all went straight to the food court and got smoothies. After this kind of news, it was always smoothie time.
"I can't believe the arcade is closing," Tony said, breaking the silence that had been present in the group of friends.
"I know, it's crazy. I'm in such disbelief," I stated, "I feel like I'm at a loss for words." Patrick just sat there, staring off into space. The arcade was such a big part of our lives, and with it closing, it was the perfect way to show what was happening was what we were afraid was happening.
"This is the end, isn't it?" Patrick said, finally breaking his silence.
"Glass half empty or glass half full?" Tony shot back to him.
"What do you mean by that?" Patrick asked, trying to give it some thought.
"Is it the dark ending that will only bring about bad things, or is it the bright beginning that its supposed to be?" I responded, answering the question. It had taken me this long to realize it. "Yes, this chapter in our lives is ending, which sucks but we knew we couldn't stay in High School forever. We've made a ton of great memories, so why are we worrying so much? We're about to start the next chapter in our lives! In a little over a month we are going to be off in college! Things are going to change, but only for the better! We are going to make even better memories and it is going to be some of the best times of our lives! So why are we sitting around moping? Let's go out and do something different!"
We didn't even second guess it, we all got up and left. I had been so worried about what was going to happen that I was starting to let it consume my life. I was so afraid of the change that I was trying to hide and keep hold of the past!
It only took my friends starting to drop off even more for me to realize how stupid it was of us to be afraid. I finally was able to realize that this isn't the ending whatsoever. This was our time to finish writing up this chapter, and then start the next one, which is going to be even better. We weren't the only ones that were lost, we were far from the only ones, because even the ones that seem like they have everything planned out are just as lost as the ones that have no idea. We are supposed to enjoy the time we have before a big change, that way we have no regrets once it happens. As stupid as the whole "YOLO" craze is, it is the truth. You only live once, there are no redo buttons in life. So why not enjoy it?
I'm not saying go do a bunch of stupid stuff, Im just saying enjoy the time you have with the people you love. The next day I didn't complain to my girlfriend about being afraid. Instead I gave her a kiss and a hug and told her I loved her. Don't worry about the future, have fun in the now.
This was only the beginning of the story of how we decided to work to try and change the world, but before we could look towards that, we had to look a lot closer. That was the day that we would use to kickstart our lives. This was the day that we made a difference in the world, by making a difference in ourselves.