I was thinking about a few words this morning and decided to look them up in the dictionary. I know what the words mean. After all, these are simple words. Maybe I just needed something a little bit more concrete . . .
The dictionary says the word “Purpose” means the reason why something exists or is done. Purpose is an action with an intended or desired result. Purpose is an aim or goal. Purpose is also determination to be. It means reason
The dictionary also says the word “Destiny” means something that is to happen. It is the predetermined, the eventual and irresistible, inevitable, and the power or agency that determines the course of events.
Next, I looked up the word “Fate,” which means something that will unavoidably happen.
I’m not always sure what my purpose is. And when I say “purpose,” I mean in the grand scheme of things. I’m not sure where I’ll be this time next year. I’m not sure if I’ll ever learn to pull off my trick and I’m not always certain if I’ll be able to perfect my craft.
I’m not sure why things happen the way they do. I’m not sure why children get sick. I don’t know why people that love each other split up or why good families fall apart. I’ve never been sure why we betray ourselves and do things we know we shouldn’t. I don’t understand much about human nature.
I’m not sure why bad things happen.
I know I’ve been told, “There’s a reason for everything,” but what does that mean? Is that supposed to help? Does hearing somebody say, “There’s a reason for everything,” solve the problems of heartache? Does it dry the tears of parents that lost their child or does it help a wife that suffers through an abusive relationship?
Truth is I don’t always know purpose. I don’t always know the reason why I do what I do or feel how I feel. All I know is that my destiny has changed because I decided to change it. I know my fate is different now because I decided to live differently. As I see it, I think destiny can change; and thus, so will my fate.
I have seen so much this past week. I’ve seen great things and sad things. I’ve spoken with good people that do bad things and bad people that do good things.
I met with people that struggle and I saw a few of them smile. I watched a few of them cry, and well, me being the way I am, I cried with them as well. I swear sometimes I wish I was tough—or at least tougher. It used to be, my heart was cold. Either I was cold-hearted or I was buried beneath so many years of anger. It must have been the anger that kept me from feeling anything else. Maybe the anger is cover. Maybe it was pain. Maybe it was fear or maybe it was both and as a result, I found that I could hide behind my anger and resolve my fears by putting on a brave face and keeping myself cold to the touch.
Back when I was young and attempting to be ruthless, I was waiting on a scam with a friend at fast food place on Old Country Road. We sat together in a booth by the window and chatted up a few schemes that we planned to make some money. In the middle of our laughter, a man came in. He was rather flamboyant and dressed in loud bright colors. His voice was feminine and in his frantic state, the flamboyant man was calling out for help.
“She’s dead,” he screamed.
My Partner and I asked, “Who is?”
Panting with fear, the man explained there was an accident outside. Of course, since this was back before the age of technology and even further back before the internet, there was no such thing as cell phones. There was no such thing as texting or anything like that.
Back then we had pay phones. It was either me or my friend that pointed toward the pay telephone on the wall near the side doors to suggest the man call 911.
There was no emotion in us, whatsoever. I felt nothing. I felt the same as I did before this happened and trading bullshit stories about scams and break-ins. My partner and I decided to investigate the accident, which was right outside. Together, we walked out into the street where a young Mexican girl was sprawled out across the double yellow lines on Old Country Road.
We were not too far from the mall so the road was busy. This also happened near rush hour, so traffic was a bit intense as well. However, as a result of the accident; traffic stood still.
The lights from behind me, glaring yellow from the fast food chain, and the streetlamps glowing from the sides of Old Country Road, the bright glare from the nearby gas station, and the lights from the other stores around us could only brightened the street so much.
There she was—lifeless and still with almond shaped eyes, fixed in her last expression. She has long flowing black hair—like the kind that would make you think of a beautiful American Indian girl that remained untouched by an advanced world—and her unblemished skin, so pure like that of Aztec angel. There she was, lifeless in the middle of the street with a growing halo of dark blood seeping out from underneath the back of her head. Her stomach had been flattened by the last of three cars that ran over the body.
We were informed this woman was newly employed at a popular hamburger chain across the street from where we were. She had just received her fist pay check and in her excitement, the young girl attempted to run across the street. She was excited to deliver her first humble and meager paycheck to her husband that was currently working in the fast food spot where I sat and waited with my friend.
I remember the way we stood over her. I remember the way her blood looked in the street. It was dark, like a black or purple crimson. I looked at her, heartless, and noticed that her stomach had been crushed to paper thing.
If it wasn’t the first car that struck the girl and sent the young woman in the air; perhaps it might have been the second car that killed her, or possibly it might have been the third car, a limousine, that ended her life.
I remember looking down at the woman. I felt nothing. I thought nothing but I remember everything. I was so cold and wrapped so tightly in all of my hate that I could not feel a thing.
Meanwhile, the limo driver stayed on the scene. I watched him sobbing and crying in great wailing pains, as if the woman that died was held as dearly to the driver as his own flesh and blood. Others came to comfort the driver. The second car to strike the young woman was a pick-up truck. I have less memory about the man driving the pick-up, but I have more memory of the flamboyant man, frantically crying as he ran in to call 911; however, he was quick to leave the scene. As best as we could surmise; he was the man to hit her first.
The frantic man’s car struck first, sending the young Mexican girl in the air, which was then her body was struck again by the pick-up, throwing her high in the air once more and when the young girl landed, her outcome was finalized beneath the wheels of a black, stretched limousine.
There are things you see in films—violent things. And you watched them desensitized and numb because deep down, you know this is only film. It’s not real.
In that moment; I felt no different from this.
I watched her as if her life wasn’t real. She wasn’t real to me. The blood and guts on the black pavement, which I saw plainly and clearly; they meant nothing to me. In fact, in true callousness, I went back into the fast food spot and ate pizza of all things.
My partner and I watched through the window, poking fun at the frantically, flamboyant man that ran in to call 911 and then fled the scene.
We laughed about the pocketbook—a small brown pocketbook that lay next to the young Mexican girl’s lifeless body. And with all my regret and shame; I admit we discussed taking the bag, which we didn’t, and yet somehow the bag was still missing because someone else must have taken it. This is how ruthless I was at the time.
I had no heart then.
There was a girl that stood near us. She listened to my friend and I talk about what happened and what we saw. She asked us, “How can you be so heartless?” Meanwhile, the pizza we ate, which resembled intestines of a body was like nothing to me. I was unmoved.
The girl standing nearby addressed us. She pointed at the large glass window. “Someone just died outside!”
“How could you both sit here and be so cold?”
I answered, “Nothing I can do about it. She’s dead!”
The girl asked, “What would you do if that was your wife. Or what if that was your sister? How would you feel then?”
Her voice was more concerned. Not judgmental, but concerned, as if to wonder what could have happened to us that made us so cold and callous.
I didn’t answer any more of her questions. Then again, I didn’t have to. My friend spoke up after she asked one of her, “What would I do” questions. With a smile, my friend explained, “Listen honey, if that was his sister or his wife or someone in his family—you see that limo driver right there? He would be dead right now?”
Again with shame, I admit I thought this was cool at the time. I thought it was cool to be heartless and cold. I thought it was safest to be this way instead of feeling and crying. I’d have rather been this way—ruthless.
The girl walked away calling us animals. And we laughed when she said this. We laughed and went back to our pizza, which, at the time was worth more to us than a tear for a young precious girl, who was tragically killed and spilt across the double yellow lines in front of a fast food joint.
Fortunately, my purpose has changed since then. I am no longer self-driven or controlled by my own hate. I have changed and fortunately, so have my destiny.
The other day, I sat in a conference room with someone in an exercise. This was a role play scenario. We were to act as if this was a hospital room and I was to go in and meet with the patient recently brought back to life after an opiate overdose by Naracn reversal. My position in this role is to act as guidance, comforting the client; meanwhile, as a recovery specialist, I am to steer the client towards the idea of treatment or detox.
Getting into character, I thought of who I was. I thought about the hate in my heart and the anger which used to pulse through my veins. I thought about my “Me first” world. I thought about the damage I caused and the pain I caused as well as the pain I ran from.
I thought about the scared, mixed up crazy kid I used to be, and in my approach to the patient (although pretend) I acted as if it were real.
I acted as if the patient or client is dear to me. I acted as if the person in front of me lived a life which was as sacred as my very own. And in my approach, my eyes began to water. Next, my partner stopped his part in the role and asked, “Are you crying right now?”
I answered, “Yes.”
When asked, “How come?”
I answered, “Because this is how I feel about.”
“Because it’s that important to me,” I told him.
I don’t ever want to be that person again. I don’t even think I want to be tough. Hell, life is tough enough just trying to be myself.
I once wrote to you about a goal I have. I explained that my redemption has nothing to do with your response. And by “You” I mean anybody that takes offense to my changes of a better life. By “You” I mean anyone that chooses to laugh or put me down. I still feel this way. My redemption has nothing to do with anyone’s response. It only has to do with me.
I also wrote to you explaining that the depth of my love is equal to the span of my hate. If I can hate so perfectly and heartlessly; then that means I can love this way too.
Maybe all that I’ve seen is a reason that led me to my purpose. Maybe this is fate leading me to my destiny.
I just know that had I never changed—my fate would’ve never changed. And I would still be that miserable, cold-hearted punk that I was back then