I’m still the boy with the long hair and sandals, compared to an apostle on many sunny days.
I’m still the young man who led a parade of inebriates to meet a touring group of teenagers in a cafeteria.
I’m still the guy who listened to “Nessun Dorma” prior to each performance of college theatre.
I’m still the toddler who struggled with his words and who felt more able to express himself with creative outlets.
I’m still the man who struggled to be the rock for America’s next generation of leaders.
I’m still the baby who learned how to share just about everything at a young age.
I’m still the die-hard fan of the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and Jefferson Airplane.
I’m still the football player who cried at night because of what people said of his masculinity.
I’m still the student who sat in the back row to avoid his insecurities about his height.
I’m still the fat kid who ate more than his stomach could handle and who crumbled to the floor at the slightest suggestion of weight gain.
I’m still the roadie who believed his was traveling with his generation’s next Beatles.
I’m still the man who kept composure when being thrown around the room.
I’m still the kid who yearned for his teachers’ attention and validation.
I’m still the young man who didn’t throw a ball until college because he knew it was not his forte.
I’m still the host who cooked a full spread to host a theme-party centered around Italy, the ’80s, Christmas, the ’60s, Hip Hop, the Letter “S,” and Seven Deadly Sins.
I’m still the man at the corner of the bar, who wondered who he’d be taking home.
I’m still the boyfriend who knew he was being cheated on and lived in delusion.
I’m still the boy next-door who excelled at everything society told him to.
I’m still the caffeine addict who shook in withdrawal without coffee.
I’m still the teenager who struggled to find meaning in his life while feeling so drastically different from his peers.
I’m still the college graduate who tried to find his “purpose.”
I’m still the patient who pondered if the bone-marrow biopsy would mean leukemia.
I’m still the wild child who stood on the top of a table, sang karaoke, and was helped back to the hotel room by the kindness of friends.
I’m still the activist who “died” at the steps of the Capitol.
I’m still the world traveler who walked around foreign cities alone to discover the variety and diversity of the human condition.
I’m still the teen who screamed at his family because he couldn’t understand how the world worked.
I’m still the homosexual who strived to be so drastically different from society’s perception.
I’m still the volunteer who was called “Nina” by Mexican school children because of the long blonde locks.
I’m still the photographer who wanted to capture the sunlight in every view.
I’m still the kid who avoided the dodgeball, only to be the sole survivor of the other team’s devastation, deciding the fate of his teammates.
I’m still the baby yearning for love and affection.
I’m still the child who asked questions about race in America, not understanding why bigots still exist.
Evolution doesn’t mean the past is erased, rather it means that the organism becomes better equipped to deal with the realities of the living condition.
I’m all of these people, but most importantly, I am me.