A Questionable Love

I have a deep secret. One that which contradicts modern society’s social and legal ethics, and may cause you to question my mental stability. A hundred years ago, I would have been institutionalized or exiled. Three hundred, I might have been stoned. But I don’t care what you may think or your judgements; I need to get it off my chest.

I am infatuated and in love with my pocket knife. I don’t mean I think it’s kinda cool and handy. I mean cherry-blossoms-falling-on-a-warmly-lit-Spring-morning-with-a-visually-fuzzy-parameter-and-puppies-wrapped-in-fresh-white-linens kind of love. I fucking love my knife and everything about it. From the feel of it perfectly fitting in the grip of my hand, to the quick spring of the blade’s erection with just a slight pressure of my thumb. With a 3 1/2 inch blade, it can penetrate or slice anything. It is light as a feather, strong as a bull, and every centimeter of its long shaft and tip is black. (I told you.)

“There never was a good knife made of bad steel” -Benjamin Franklin

When I had decided that I would like to start carrying a pocket knife for little every day uses like slicing vegetables, trimming my nails, cutting string and cords, and helping me open Amazon boxes; I did a little online surfing to find a good, light, multi-purpose blade. Outside Magazine rated a Kershaw knife to be the best for the modern Jack-of-all-trades and so I furthered my research until I found the perfect one. Like chips with guac, the partially serrated Kershaw Black Blur Glassbreaker was a match made in heaven. It doesn’t matter if I’m wearing business slacks or jeans, it fits in every pocket so comfortably it’s as though it were stitched in. I love the SpeedSafe opening mechanism that pops open the blade so quickly it’s almost a switchblade! The handle is made of anodized aluminum to keep it lightweight, durable, and scratch resistant. The handle even has a carbide tip that can break a windshield in case of emergencies. And of course being all black, it matches every outfit of mine. Seriously, this guy is my other half. Like a tiny Ninja warrior in my pocket who always has my back.

Also, I noticed something changed when I began to wear my knife in public. It’s like I was suddenly placed into this social club of knife-carrying men. A deep understanding and unsaid acknowledgement toward me by other guys who would see my knife’s clip, point to theirs, and then telepathically say, “You are a Knife-bearer, Frodo. To bear a Knife of Power is to be alone”. Apparently a clip is a tiny metal, secret societal emblem. Motorcyclists belong to something similar. Every time they encounter another, they acknowledge each other with a slight hand gesture of their first two fingers together, as though they’re invoking Baphomet. But who doesn’t like to feel like they belong to something they share with other peers? Maybe it’s derived from our evolution when we realized it was easier to survive in a tribe than without. Regardless, it’s comforting to know there are others out there who understand the extremely questionable fondness we have for our pocket knives.

Now, some individuals equate carrying a pocket knife to carrying a gun. A small knife is very different than a firearm. You have to know how to throw a knife just right for it to land blade first into your enemy at the distance they are, as well as where to aim for it be lethal. A gun can kill by pointing and pulling a trigger. How many young children have accidentally died or killed others by playing with a gun versus playing with a knife? Knives are dangerous and can kill, yes. But so is a brick or a bat if you know how to aim just right. According to the FBI, more than 8,500 deaths in 2011 was caused by a firearm, whereas over 1,000 was from a knife (https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/expanded-homicide-data-table-8). Guns are made for one purpose, knives are made for many. “Someone once told me that religion is like a knife: You can stab someone with it, or you can slice bread with it.” -Vera Farmiga

It all has to do with intention and I have gone everywhere with this guy. I backpacked across Iceland with it. I’ve worn it to meetings, concerts, games, restaurants, you name it! One time I took it along on a road trip across the country, mailed it to myself, and flew back. When a bouncer at a nightclub asks to temporarily confiscate my knife, I refuse and leave because I’m the jealous kind. I remember when I once couldn’t find it for two days. TWO DAYS! All the happiness had left the world and I was a beast ready to rip out chunks of drywall and smash furniture to dust in order to find my precious! I felt so vulnerable and incomplete. Come to find out, it was simply misplaced within the dark abyss that is my closet. But that’s when I learned that it had become more than just a tool or a weapon, it was a security blanket. I’m not sure if I’m okay with this or not but I suppose we all have little security blankets in our lives. And what better form of one to be had then if it were to be a handy pocket knife.

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Know Thyself

What a winter. I haven’t posted here for three and a half months with lots of reasons for this, of course. Going to Christmas parties, Solstice parties, and hosting my own and first-ever Yule party. Work always gets busier this time of year and the class I was taking at the time was the hardest one for me yet (woe to the Algebra student). I drank and ate a ton and never went to the gym and so I developed my annual “winter belly”. And then of course the new president of the United States was elected and inaugurated, shocked the country and the world, and created a butterfly effect everywhere.

For some people, when life gets very real and very crazy like this, they lash out in anger and protests. Emphatically going through the motions. However, I tend to close up. I’m a rabbit after all, and so I burrow myself deep into the Earth until I feel it is time to emerge again. You could accuse me of hiding and retreating and not doing my part to fight or participate, sure. But that’s not true, either. I am fighting, everyday. See, I am in school not to better my education, my income, and change careers because I’m sick of the art community. Those are added bonuses, whipped cream on a mocha. I am getting my Bachelor’s in Environmental Science so that I can make a difference. So that I can be one of the many who will help to recover this planet from our destruction. Every single day I log onto my student website, I am fighting. Those who are marching for women’s rights and for the rights of every minority; they are fighting and representing their freedom of voice. And so am I.

My original plan when I graduated was to go onto grad school and earn my MBA or MS in Environmental Policy and Management. Very vague degrees that allows me to find a career in a multitude of options, which was kind of the point since I’m still very new to this field in a professional sense. Then the inauguration occurred. The impossible was just made possible and every small seed of hope I had for it to be annulled-due to Russia’s involvement, Jill Stein fixing everything with a recount, someone leaking vital and criminal information, or Ashton Kutcher telling us we’ve been Punk’d-dissolved. That shitty morning after feeling sank in with the world’s biggest hangover headache. And I suddenly remembered Obama’s challenge from his farewell speech: “If you’re tired of arguing with strangers on the Internet, try talking with one of them in real life. If something needs fixing, then lace up your shoes and do some organizing. If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clip board, get some signatures, and run for office yourself.”

Challenge accepted.

I changed my grad school plans and decided right then and there, that I was going to law school and earn my Juris Doctor in Environmental Law. With a shit ton of dedication, time and money, internships, and experience; I will shoot to work for the federal involvement of environmental quality and laws of protection. I will help oversee and care for the National Parks and reserves, recommend actions and decisions to the White House, remove or enact legal implications, and help to make a major international difference. And if this doesn’t end up becoming my career with this education, then worst case scenario I will work for a local courthouse with a job title of Nature’s Lawyer. Which is still pretty badass and effective in my book! If Trump is going to push for more finite resource industries like coal and oil and ignore climate change, then I need to step up my game so as to compensate. It is why I’m here and what my god asks of me.

It’s a high, let me tell you; finally knowing your purpose and what you want to be when you grow up. Your path laid right out with no other trails. I understand things can change and shift and I am open to allow this. But I know without a doubt, since I was 12 years old, that environmental advocacy is who I am. I encourage each of you, if you feel stuck or depressed with your career or with the current state of America, to ask yourself, ‘Is this me?’ And if it’s not, then it doesn’t matter how old you are or how much debt you have or will have if you changed, make it happen. We may have multiple lives, but this is the only one you get as this person in this body on this planet. You owe it to yourself to not waste a moment more of it not living it to your full potential of happiness and change.

“Most people in this world have no idea why they’re here or what they want to do. You do. You have a mission, a reason for being here. You’re not here by chance.” -Buffy Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season 7, episode 12)

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