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Let's Not Capture This Moment

It was the perfect moment. Twelve writers sitting around a make shift round table, caps off the bottles of rum and white wine that half filled most of our glasses as the evening got underway. The sun had already disappeared with dim bulbs and a few sparsely placed candles providing more than enough light for us to read. And then it started. One by one each writer read pieces they had created; some that day, others the week prior, others still years before. Collectively we listened, applauded, criticized, and praised each work and how they were delivered. We launched in to discussions about meaning, symbolism, alliteration, all things only a group committed to the art could understand and appreciate. Everyone spoke and everyone listened. And when the moment ended three hours later it left a connection silently acknowledged by all. A connections shared through our common passion for the art of expression.

The entire night was inspiring, and through it all not one single picture.

I couldn't believe it myself. No one tried to gather everyone in a corner to create the perfect Instagram post. No one took pictures of the bottles of alcohol spread out around the tables. We were all deeply infused in the moment, engaged by our own words, our own thoughts, without even the slightest preoccupation of capturing the moment.

But the moment is still vivid in my memory. I can still feel the emotions of that evening without having to visit my twitter stream. We lived it. Every second of it. And it still means just as much

There is something liberating about the ephemeral. Knowing no matter how amazing or how crippling a moment, that "this too shall end." You are free to be free. To embrace that moment and then let it go. No picture can ever capture that. *******************************************************************

Read "Thoughts of a Fractured Soul," a tragedy of family, failed potential, and the Millennial struggle with ambition, expectation and the fight for independence.

Available in print and e-book format at www.kerncarter.com.

Dealing with Expectation

I had a tough act to follow. Playing runner up to an older brother that excelled on the classroom and on the football field, earned a full athletic scholarship to Stanford University and then went on to play four years in the NFL was no small task. I remember the first time I got caught skipping class in high school. The first thing the teacher said while she ushered me to the office was "I don't expect this type of behaviour from you, Kern."  It’s a phrase I would hear countless amounts of time during my teenage years. At first I took it as a compliment; that my defiance against how I was supposed to behave in some strange way made me cool. And in high school, who doesn't want that title?
But as I matured and the opinions of my acquaintances mattered less and less, I learned how to handle that expectation. Actually, it went beyond that; I craved that expectation. I stole those preconceived ideas of me being intelligent and talented with a gift for expression and focused all of that into my passion for writing.

"EXPECTATIONS ARE DANGEROUS ONLY IF YOU LET OTHER PEOPLE CONTROL WHAT THOSE EXPECTATIONS SHOULD BE."

Now I had new standards, and instead of worrying about fitting in, I concerned myself with meeting the enormous expectations I placed on myself. Today the standards people place on me is not based on familial affiliations. Instead they are based on the standards I created for myself. The way I carry myself, the way I speak, the quality of my writing are all expectations people instinctively (seemingly) place on me only because I have placed them on myself.

 

Reflecting back I realize that expectations are dangerous only if you let other people control what those expectations should be. If you create your own standards, your own set of beliefs, and then live everyday by those measures, people will come to expect what you already demand of yourself. Meeting those demands..well that's another post.
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Website: www.kerncarter.com
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My book Thoughts of a Fractured Soul is available for purchase now at www.kerncarter.com in print or e-book format.

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