By Aleshia Keyzer
I’ve recently been on a documentary kick on Netflix. I've always found them boring before, and I've often wondered who in their right mind would choose a documentary over the thousands of other options available (my brother would). Yet here I am - 4 documentaries deep over just this past week and currently searching for the next one. So far I have watched; "The Imposter" (creepy), "Soaked in Bleach" (RIP Kurt Cobain), "David & Me" (decent) and "The Fear of 13" (captivating).
Anyways, the reason I'm writing about boring old documentaries that nobody probably wants to read about, is because every single documentary I have seen thus far has left me inspired. Not inspired to murder or kidnap another human (which is what all of these documentaries are about), but inspired to live this life that has been given to me. "The Fear of 13" was an hour and a half of listening to one person speak. This sole male, who happened to be a death-row inmate, sat down and told us all his entire story. My eyes never once left the television screen, and at its closing - my entire body was covered in goosebumps. This man was obviously placed on this earth to tell his horrifying story to the world, and his ability to do so was enthralling. If this prisoner with a death sentence can find a purpose for his life and can use his own story to move audiences - can't we all?
In a world populated by 7 billion humans, it is sometimes hard to feel significant. I mean, what could I possibly do that could make a difference in the world? Through the life of Nick Yarris (aforementioned death-row inmate) I found the answer; all I have to do is live. Life is not a competition. Life is not perfect. Life is an unpredictable journey that we just have to roll with. Bumps are unavoidable, bad decisions will be made by ALL, there will be successes and there will be failures. What makes life, well...life, is how we accept the hand that we have been given and overcome these obstacles. It's how we take our grief, our tragedies and our disappointments and evolve into stronger and more intelligent humans. The life that we live, no matter how difficult; can inspire our neighbors, teach our children and can influence complete strangers. If I can be this moved by a man living his entire life behind bars, then we all have within us the opportunity to impact another life.
I know, I know, I got all preachy there and turned into a self-help blog for a second, but this is honestly all I've been thinking about since watching "The Fear of 13". I want to live my life in a way that recognizes and appreciates the journey that it is. I want to stop fretting on the little disappointments...in fact, I need to view these disappointments as less of a disappointment and more of a learning opportunity. I want to forgive and move on more easily because perfection is not out there and if writing this post has taught me one thing, it's that every single person makes mistakes.
I guess all that I'm trying to say is that we shouldn't be so hard on ourselves - and that someway, no matter how difficult, we should find a way to appreciate this journey we've been given. After all, we only get one go at it.
- Aleshia's Gets Real
Aleshia Keyzer is a recent graduate from Grand Valley State University. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in English and Education. To read more from Aleshia you can follow her blog at www.thekeyzerchronicles.wordpress.com
Printed in the August 21, 2016 - September 3, 2016 edition.