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 for sure.
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 entertainment.
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?
About the Author: Drew Vics is an artist, writer and musician living in New Jersey. Aside from writing, which for now is a hobby, Drew enjoys playing guitar, writing and recording music, painting, and brewing his own beer.