“There comes the point where you have to have your priorities straight, Patrick. You can’t live in the past forever,” said James. “You have to move on and stop fighting what you’re fighting. Move on, be strong, and get on with it”. Patrick was contemplating quitting school, quitting everything. Patrick felt that he might have depression and severe anxiety. However, James felt otherwise. “I don’t think you have depression or anxiety; I think you’re in a funk or a stage of contemplation. Contemplation of what matters to you. What your future looks like”.
Patrick said, “is what I want to do accomplishable. Am I capable of getting ahead, finding love again, or being happy”? James responded, “what is your goal in life. Or your goals? You have yet to state them, plus to find love and to be happy. What makes you happy? What makes you love people? That’s what is important. Your values”. James was very aggressive in stating these opinions; Patrick was in a feeling loop. James said, “look, Patrick, we are on the beach, we are walking and talking, the sun is bright, it’s a beautiful day. Maybe, you should walk along the beach every day, feel the breeze, and try to find happiness within the overcast clouds.”
As they were walking down the beachside, James and Patrick were approaching the Northside Jetty. The sky was orange and yellow, a light cool breeze, people playing volleyball on the beach. “Look around you, is this happiness to you? You see families; you see environmental beauty, you see mother nature, you see life around you. Plants, animals, humans. Find meaning in life, Patrick. There is plenty of it,” James said. “Life is short, sitting and thinking things that have already happened, that are in the past, and out of your control, will only stress you out even more. It would help if you moved on”. James turned in front of Patrick and looked into his eyes, “the sooner you have this mentality, the happier you feel.”
James turned and walked with him side by side on the jetty. They sat down at the edge pier, staring out at the orange and yellow sunset, watching the waves come in and out. “I have a question, James.” James responded, “what is that.” As they were swinging their legs off the jetty’s dock, Patrick asked, “Are you mad at me for dating your cousin? What did I do wrong? Did I offend you? Am I a bad person”. James responded, “look, this is between you and her, I’m not involved. I think you’re a genuine person who cares, perhaps too much. But, the fact that you do care says enough. I think Annie needed some space; perhaps you were not aware of that,” said James. “Do you think she will get back together with me someday,” asked Patrick. “Who knows, but what you should do is give her space, time, and respect. Let her have time to reflect, perhaps a few months. Then slowly start establishing trust and respect, perhaps become friends again,” said James.
Patrick asked James another question, “should I keep going to school?” James turned his head fast, “yes. Your future depends on it. Financially, economically, and socially. If you want to be happy, do what you like, maybe have a family, schooling will help. Cut and dry”. Patrick responded, “okay, fair enough.” James stood up, as did Patrick, turned around on the jetty, and started walking back to the beach.
As they were walking down the seawall, a girl their age was running towards them. Patrick and James were the only ones on the jetty. Standing by the edge, James responded, “Annie! What are you doing here”? As she was running and crying, a smile was on her face, she jumped at Patrick, and both fell back into the ocean”. The line wasn’t high enough to kill them, though James turned around and yelled, “what the hell, are you guys alright?”