Roller coaster of life

It's been a wide gamut of events the last couple days.

After attempting to produce a couple videos for the paper that won't have the blessing of being viewed by the community, I had to regroup and bounce back on a personal level.

I had made some interesting footage, gathered some nice audio of people explaining the feelingof situations and felt confident about my future as a visual journalist. But when equipment and software revealed several shortcomings in my ability to tell stories, I felt a crushing blow of disappointment. Only then, having follow that up with having to cover the funeral for a fallen soldier. I'm not a big fan of funerals anymore after having to attend several on a personal level and as a professional. Learning about Cpl. Stephen Matthew Kowalczyk and his approach to life made the experience different than I had been anticipating. He was a man who lived a rich and simplistic life.

Members of his unit and family all had a common theme in remembering him: "He had life figured out."

He didn't judge people or try to change them, he had a very limited collection of personal items, he enjoyed outdoors and nature and many other sound principals of a simple life. I find it confusing that most of the wonderful people who figure out how to live and give are taken from the world so early.

After the long day of American flags flapping, Taps, tears and 21 shell casings hitting asphalt it was back to documenting everyday issues and life. A professor and a student having burgers and beers, ethnicity of all kinds marching in honor of equality, high school kids hanging out at a bowling alley and Easter Egg Hunts.

As I try to be a fly on the wall documenting people living their lives, I can't but wonder if they think about what it means to live or if they just live to live? I've always had several moments of a day where I wonder what the bigger picture is in life. I know there also is no one answer to the perplexing question, yet I continue to seek the right one out.

Maybe it's just a little three-year-old girl named Emma, walking across blades of grass encased in ice, wearing her father's coat, giddy from collecting a basket-full of toy-filled eggs. Or maybe it's that it takes all of that, Cpl. Kowalczyk's ability to embrace life in his way as I embrace mine and Emma enjoys hers, to add up to this roller coaster called life.

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