To start off, my name is Jordan Flowers and I live in the beautiful state of Tennessee. I am in college and I truly love my life at the moment. I want to explain that I have never done something like this before. I have never been one to let people see what is going on in my life on any given day, but I wanted to open up and allow people to see the sides of me that only my family and best friends have seen before.
This weekend I had the opportunity to go back to my high school and witness my father on the stage doing a staged production of It’s A Wonderful Life. While sitting through the production, I couldn’t help but to recall all the countless hours I had spent in the same theatre. From working backstage to acting and singing onstage, my heart had found a home in that building. After the show I was invited to go to the cast party and was able to catch up with the many friends who I grew to love through theatre. Today, I find myself looking at photos of the different productions I was in and all the people I love.
In this photo is myself (as the Tinman) and one of the best friends I could have ever asked for in my life, Kaylee (Glenda). Looking at this photo I am reminded of the many times that Kaylee, myself and our friends would go to watch a movie at one of our houses- usually A Very Potter Musical. At the time I took all those days as simply one of the many fun things I would get to do in a week, but little did I know that those days sitting on the couch and laughing with all of them would shape who I am today.
They taught me to laugh, to love, to live without a care in the world. They showed me that sometimes the stress of the world is sometimes self inflicted and can be removed if you become comfortable with yourself and not let anyone else’s judgments define how you feel about yourself. These friends came into my life at a time where I needed to learn these kinds of lessons and they will never know to what degree they have influenced my life, causing me to not only love them but to love myself. Some days I wish I could drop everything I am doing and go to see them and relive the simpler days.
While looking through my photos, I happened to stumble upon this photo of me when I was a toddler holding a lion cub.
I look back at this photo and see the carefree nature of this boy: a boy who has never known of pain, loss, or heartache, a boy who merely loves his life in the moment and I want to go back to that state.
But going back to those simpler days is not all that simple is it? A life suddenly full of obligations and unforeseen duties has swung my way and I wish I could escape to the realm of the past where all I had to worry about was meeting curfew. Unfortunately, that is an impossible circumstance and is not the way that life goes. Sometimes we have to do tasks and jobs that we would rather not bother with, but what I have learned is that those tasks and jobs do not have to define our outlook on life. We control how we perceive our lives no matter what has occurred in our pasts. If there is one thing that getting to know all of my friends and family has taught me, it is that we all come from different backgrounds, but our futures are up to us to determine. One of my favorite quotes captures this perspective perfectly and comes from Stephen Chbosky’s Perks of Being a Wallflower.
“So, I guess we are who we are for alot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.”
I have had the pleasure of meeting several people whose pasts are truly devastating, but they live in the now and don’t let it get to them because they can’t control any of their pasts. They truly do inspire me. So I will gratefully take the lessons I have learned from all of my loved ones and carry them with me as I push forward and hopefully make them and myself proud of what I do.