These three friends, well-meaning but a bit naive, kept insisting that if only I would try to be more positive, more cheerful, more on the sunny side of the street as opposed to the shadows... in other words, if only I would be more like them... all would be well and I would find happiness waiting at the end of that rainbow they always seemed to be dancing on. And yet, in hindsight and based on how their lives have unfolded since that time now 25 years in the past, I have to say they would have been right at home in Stepford. One of them became a closet alcoholic (and had been all along), another addicted to drugs (and had been all along), and the third became what amounts to a card-carrying internet troll. So much for their sage advice.
And yet, perhaps because I was extremely vulnerable at the time, I found myself thinking on their words and actually trying to be more fill-in-the-blank. Ultimately, however, all I was doing was attempting to upload yet another false personality. By trying to subjugate my autumn spirit and mask it with spring, I was programming myself to ignore the beauty of a falling leaf only because society in general finds more value in a fresh blossom (because that is what they have programmed themselves to believe). In trying to always outrun the storm because someone had told me there was more value in the sunlight, I was failing to appreciate the soft caress of the rain, the delicate beauty of the snow. In attempting to be something I wasn't, I was losing track of who I-Am.
It took awhile for me to go through this process, but ultimately I began to see that it is only by working with our nature that we can learn to enhance, expand, and evolve. That isn't to say we can't achieve greater balance, but the balance I discovered is one of finding joy, delight, happiness, beauty and appreciation within my own nature instead of trying to upload someone else's program of what we're "supposta" be. When I finally realized that and accepted that about myself is when - "coincidentally" - Orlando reappeared in our lives and the path began to really unfold. As long as I was trying to be something else, I was lost in the program.
Never let anyone tell you who you are. That's your secret, your power, and your evolution.