At this point in our young lives, most of us have discovered and experienced a fair amount that this life has to offer. We’ve formally introduced ourselves to the realm of non-soberness, and done a variety of things that we aren’t exactly proud of. Ranging from nights you wish you could forget with people you wish you could forget because even though you were probably having fun at the time, it wasn’t right or in other words, you are not proud of your actions.

proud – “feeling deep pleasure or satisfaction as a result of one’s own achievements, qualities, or possessions or those of someone with whom one is closely associated.”

Where do these feelings of regret or doubt in your own actions derive from? Think about how you would respond if asked, “Well, why aren’t you proud of taking one too many shots and hooking up with Johnny in Alpha Kappa FuckBoy?”

You might say something like,”if my parents found out…” or “I don’t normally do something like this…” or “my friends would be so…”

Most responses to this question would be formed off of the idea that your actions have caused a group of people or a singular person in your life, to now have a different (particularly negative) opinion of you.

But why? Why do we look at our lives and question our decisions using the opinions of others as a basis to judge whether that decision was right or wrong?

This is where the idea of social barriers directly influences all of our lives. Using myself as an example, an everyday struggle I experience is the desire and goal to be able to say I was a good person when it is all said and done. So how does this goal affect my life today? Think about a good person from the general viewpoint of society. This person may be a devoted Christian man who rarely uses curse words, consistently partakes in community service, doesn’t drink or use any type of drug, and lives his life for others. This man is probably a damn good man, there is no doubt about that. But what if this same man, suddenly became an alcoholic. Or what if this man were an Atheist. What if this man spent his entire life loving those around him, being the best friend any friend could ask for, smiling at those who needed to see a smile, picking those up who were down, and no matter what, at the end of the day, this man was happy and made others around him happy as well. Those who truly knew this man would undoubtedly say he was a good man, but what if throughout his life his curiosity led him to indulge in, what many religions would consider, aspects of sin.

This man would now likely be labeled, by society, as a drug user, or a sex addict, or a man of no faith. He is now a sinner.

Who has the power to say what is right or wrong? Please tell me how having sex before marriage and murdering someone are both under the same title — sin. This is not a defamation attempt at religion by any means, however a majority of society understands the things in this life that are considered sin, which automatically creates the idea that partaking in these ‘bad’ things creates room for judgement.

Blatantly speaking… I seriously enjoy letting loose and having fun, and I don’t see anything wrong with it. I love to get f**** up– and what do people automatically assume? “Oh you probably just do what you do because you aren’t happy when you are sober.”

Are there people who do this? Of course. Everything in this life can be abused and turned into a problem. But there is NOTHING wrong with having a good time and escaping the negativity that seems to flow from everywhere we look.

How many times in your life can you truly say you were living in the moment? How many times were you living, feeling, and thinking about only what was happening right then and there, with no back-thought. As if your conscience just turns off, and you are living through what is in-front of your eyes right now. Those moments don’t come very often, but those moments are the ones that keep you working hard, that keep you moving forward in the right direction in hopes that one of these moments will come again.

My good friend Gavin Ertl passed on a quote to me that he had heard that really stuck with me, “You have to gain control of your life, and let go of it at the same time.”

I know this directly applies to a lot of people in my life, because the few people I consider to be truly apart of my life, are all similar in one way or another. We are all just a bunch of kids, striving to be a success, and trying our best to not let these days slip through the palms of our hands.

These are the days that we will look back on and wish we could go back. These are the days that are shaping us to become everything we desire to be. These are the days to fuck around, and to be quite honest, if you are going to fuck up, better at 19 than at 37.

Do not let the weak links of the human race define you – those that ” look at the speck of sawdust in their  brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in their own eye” – Matthew 7:3

Only you can define yourself, and as I am writing this, I find myself struggling to practice what I preach, but we truly can help each other learn how to grow.

At the end of the day, no one else matters. Do what you want to do, don’t question where life takes you, unless it takes you into heroin or something than you might want to seek help. Otherwise, have fun and do not let irrelevant opinions hold you back from relevant pieces of your life.