I can remember when I was much younger playing soccer every day. I can remember playing in the street with my friends. And for some reason now, it is much more difficult to relive the intensity of those moments.

No longer do I have the opportunity to roam freely without a care in the world. I guess that is part of growing up and having responsibilities. Playing in tournaments where rain would be pouring down was what I lived for, that excitement that filled my body. At work I can only relive that thrill in short glimpses, whether it is repelling from a helicopter or playing soccer out in the desert with friends. Soccer is a part of life that can make the weakest feel like giants, it can make the underdog the sudden victor. I can picture myself right now playing downrange with my friends in our uniforms out in the middle of the desert. Soccer can unite people from across the globe and I love that.

I try to look back at all the moments in my life that I have taken for granted. Simple things like a hot meal or a nice shower are the first to pop into my head. Missing birthdays and special occasions are things that I will never be able to make up for. The only thing that I can do is mail presents out and look at pictures from said events. The price of freedom is more than what most people can imagine. I can’t sit here and complain because I signed up knowing the consequences, granted I did not fully comprehend them. Although they’re times when morale is severely low, I can finally say that I am at peace with my choices. It has taken me over two years to realize it. Yeah at times we might complain, especially me, that I am alone here, that I am far from family and friends, but you know what? I am finally ok with it. If their is anything that I have learned from here it is to appreciate all the little moments in life. Things can always be better but as long as things aren’t crazy I am ok with that.

Through reading various books on different topics I have been able to finally let go of everything. Books like Finding the Game by Gwendolyn OxenhamThe Way We Never Were: American Families And The Nostalgia Trap by Stephanie Coontz, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordian, and different psychology papers by Mary Davis of ASU, have really help me grasp a large amount of ideas whether they are from made-up characters or scientific studies

By no means does this mean that I will be perfect or that I wont feel down at times, it just simply means that I have come to peace with my life here. Obviously the sleepless nights and the constant anxiety wont go away, but at least I am making an effort to overcome everything. And to anybody reading this, don’t ever take things for granted because you never know when you wont have the opportunity to try them again.

You’ve been asking me to mention you on here, so here you go, Innsbruck here I come 😉

A poem that is always in my mind here is from Chief Tecumseh, hope y’all enjoy it.

So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.
Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and
Demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life,
Beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and
Its purpose in the service of your people.

Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.
Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend,
Even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and
Bow to none. When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the food and
For the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks,
The fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and nothing,
For abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.

When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts
Are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes
They weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again
In a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”

I can remember …

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