Launch Yourself Into Living
Memorial Day weekend, 2004, found my wife and I along with friends,
relaxing in a nice camp setting in Hershey, Pennsylvania. We had a
great time at the Hershey Factory Tour Experience, which included,
among a dozen other attractions, an excellent 3D movie presentation
which wasn't quite like a movie at all, but a true experience, complete
with misters and blowers that would alternately sprinkle you with a fine
spray of water or tickle your ankles with a subtle burst of air, in concert
with events happening on screen. An exploding green blob or skittering
spider-like creatures for example. There were occasions when a the
sweet odor of chocolate would waft through the air as well.
It was an enjoyable trip, and I certainly recommend it to anyone who
doesn't mind waiting in line and being surrounded by not very subtle
Hershey advertising on the way to see some great displays of combined
art and technology in action. The cartoony, artsy look of the whole
atmosphere is what I really enjoyed, it's a fun world of chocolate, that's
Hershey Park, right next door to the Factory Experience, is not much
different. You stand on line, surrounded by Hershey, Hershey, Hershey!
And this time your waiting for the ride of your life. I got my butt kicked by
a blazing, lightning bolt of a Stallion (or was it a Mustang?) on the
newest roller coaster, Storm Runner. Talk about terror. Barely 25
seconds of pure adrenaline and practically involuntary bellowing. You
have to get the excitement out somehow.
While I was there at the park, enjoying the rides and the displays, I was
thinking about my life back at home, and how much I would like it to be
different, exciting and fun. It seems like I'm forever putting off living just to
wait for the "big break". And lately I've begun to realize that in order to
have a life, one must live. Seems like that would be an obvious thing for
humans to comprehend, but I see it's not. Waiting equates to just
existing, going through the motions. I want to live, without having to wait
for a reason why, without someone telling me when. I want to dictate
when and how I live. Now!
In the song "Enemy Within" by Rush, Neil Peart writes:
For you, is it movent or is it action
Is it contact or just reaction
and you, revolution, just resistance
Is it living, or just existence
Yeah you, it takes a little more persistence
to get up and go the distance.
I may have cited those words in another essay, but they speak volumes
of truth and I can't help but include them here. You can never have too
much of a good thing.
Yeah, I want to live, not exist. I want to go the distance. Those words, like
many others by Neil Peart, are inspiring to me and make me want to
strive for a fuller, richer life, yet at times I still find myself wishing for a big
break so I can live without having to worry about working all the time.
Seems like we work more than we live nowadays, doesn't it?
I want to conquer the enemy within who keeps telling me I'm not good
enough. The enemy that steals my nerve and weakens my resolve. The
trick is to recognize and acknowledge the existence of the enemy inside
yourself, then you can begin to dismantle it, piece by piece, restrictive
claw by restrictive claw.
When I saw those big painted signs and creative displays, the colorful
art and various smiling characters at Hershey, it gave me the urge to
create things and bring more color into my life. Yes, they may be
advertisements of a sort, but those smiling cartoons and chocolate faces
made me happy and kept me entertained. We all need happiness and
Milton Hershey built quite an empire. Now I'd like to start building mine,
however small it may end up to be. I will be happy, and live. I'm going to
make my break, not wait. Like being launched to the top of an 18 story
vertical climb on Storm Runner, I'm going to launch myself into a life of
living! No more waiting. Care to join me?
Drew Vics, an artist, writer & musician from New Jersey, writes for
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