I want nothing more than to run one foot after the other, weight bearing down on me, the sun on my back, and hell on earth all around me. I feel as a child I knew what I wanted in life, what I wanted to do, and in many ways, who I wanted to be. I wanted to fight, I wanted to protect. I wanted nothing more than make a difference in this world. I have been blessed with aggression, yet in many ways it is detrimental. I look out from my couch as I hear the unmistakable sounds of rotors cutting through the air, and it is all I can do to stay seated. I look out into the world and see so much pain, suffering, and oppression. I want nothing more than to reclaim that which I want most.
I look out at the world some days and wonder why? What is it all for? What is life? I think of all the good we do as well as all the bad. I wish not to fight. I wish the world had no place for us. But we exist because we must. I am so close to finishing this chapter in my life and moving on to another. But it is hard when you feel you don’t belong, and even harder when you know where it is you do. A friend told me today that he was studying to be an engineer because he could not see himself anywhere else. He loved science and he loved engineering. He chose that life because through passion and desire come progress and change. Only those who love what they do are crazy enough to devote their lives to it. Only those who devote their lives can make the greatest changes. I know what I love to do.
I do not think it takes long for most people to realize I want more than the life I have before me. I want nothing more than to give up my life of leisure and live a life of hardship. I want nothing more than to reassume my position on the brink.
The irony of it all… I assume my position on my couch, table, where ever it may be, and engulf myself in knowledge. I sit and learn, something I love. Yet as I sit, I begin to go insane. I find myself wanting to get up, run from it all, and reassume my position. But what I know now is because of what I have done sitting. I have found these words because I sat, I thought, and I applied.
How could I have possibly understood myself and this world, what we did if I had not left, if I had not been sitting each day, reading? I guess we all need a break, and while this break is longer than I ever hoped, I hope to become the best I can possibly be. I hope that through the knowledge I have gained that I can help this world.
I am a man who loves a challenge, so why do I sit and tire of the challenge in front of me? I will look back one day as I have now and admire all I have accomplished in these years. I will have put the knowledge gained to use, and at that moment, know it will have been worth it. I know that this life I live now has a purpose. I will look back at all those I experienced and know that I made a difference.
While not as profound as the life I desire, it was a life worth living.
Jake Smith is a law enforcement officer and former Army Ranger with four deployments to Afghanistan.
As the Voice of the Veteran Community, The Havok Journal seeks to publish a variety of perspectives on a number of sensitive subjects. Unless specifically noted otherwise, nothing we publish is an official point of view of The Havok Journal or any part of the U.S. government.
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