A night of lost souls

"Let's go! *clap clap* Let's go!" The cool night air carried the sounds of the chanting cheerleaders from blocks away. The sounds of their cheers stirring something deep in my soul, something that hadn't been touched for a long time. I stood there listening. The bright moonlight shining down upon me. The cold and slightly damp grass underneath my feet and squeezing out between my toes.

"Wooo hoooo!" The clapping and cheering of the crowd was again carried to my ears, breaking the silence of the night, like a gentle whisper meant only for me to hear. It had been so many years since I'd heard cheering. So many years since I'd been to any kind of sporting event. I don't like sports.

"Yeeeeeeaaa" If I disliked sports so much, why did the cheers stir something deep within me? Why did I suddenly so dislike my current life? Why did it feel like something had split me down the middle and shed off a false me that was covering over the me that lay beneath, a me that had been covered for so many years?

"Wooo hooo yeeeeaaaa" Why was it suddenly me I wished they were cheering for? Why did I suddenly wish I was 12 again and could take it all back, so I could be one of the ones out there the girls, parents, and friends, were cheering for?

There has always been a me that loved the night. One who wanted to wander and watch.
There has always been the me that wanted so much to be a part of something others appreciated and cheered for, to be one of those in the local spotlight.
There has always been the me that wants so much to feel needed, helping to guide others along their path, for them to say thank you or give me hugs showing me they feel better or reassured.
There has always been the me that wants nothing to do with technology, who wishes we were living back in the days of the small towns, free from all the worries of "modern big city life".
There has always been the me that wants to be the one standing with that crowd I heard tonight, cheering and yelling with everyone else, as a friend or parent.
There has always been the me that wants to be a part of those they are cheering for, as a player, or as someone helping those players.
But there also is the me that wants the quiet times.
Also the me that does enjoy sharing little things with a special someone, not a group of people.
Also the me that does want to live somewhere I don't see the cheering and happy crowd unless I move to that place in the house where I can.
Also the me that wants to live somewhere I know I can hear laughing and happy children around, and I can hear them and be surprised, or I can seek them out and be reassured by seeing them at play.

Have I somehow become shattered? Or have I merely strayed so far off my true path that I no longer know where it is or recognize it?

I wonder at times, will I ever find my true path? Is it really possible to truly know yourself? How can you really know yourself when it's possible for parts of you to be forgotten and lie dormant so long you forget about them?

I suppose the best I can do is try.
Try to understand myself more with each moment.
Try to not let a moment pass by that isn't spent doing something I enjoy doing.
Try to live my life for me.
But most of all, try to never forget what it truly is that makes me happy.

I've lost my way and accepted the path that lies before me because it has become so familiar.
But, if I can uncover the path I have lost, maybe I can find my way back to where I belong.

Copyright Eric Stryker 2003