The way to achieve is to work towards your goal. And this won’t always be easy. You have to step in all the way. Day in and day out, you train each day to be better.This is how you learn to overcome obstacles. Nothing of true value comes easy. Not at all, in fact, real dreams take effort; they take time and dedication as well as pain and sweat.
I was sitting in a break room the first time I learned that one of my stories was about to be published. I was several hours deep into my midweek grind, tired and dirty, and making my way through my blue collar life. I made a choice to dedicate a special moment each day and every day to this thing I call my art. And every day, I would sit and write about one thing or another. I would never write about the same thing twice because as an exercise, I made sure to switch my topics, which was challenging at times because the mind is naturally swayed by compliments. Therefore, I had to remove myself from the comment section and the messages I received on my blog.
At the time, I had a popular blog on a tattoo website. Every so often, I would receive a compliment or two on subjects, and naturally, the compliments were distracting.
I had to stay away from this because otherwise, I would find myself writing for the wrong reasons. And that’s not what I came for.
No, when I found you, my keyboard, and my computer screen, I decided I wanted write in a specific way.
I wanted to keep my words humble and modest because the lessons I learned about the words humility and modesty were very impactful to me.
Humility is simply being honest and modesty is just the absence of pride. When I decided to reach out to you on a daily basis; I decided that even if it is only with you, let me be honest here. and sure, I have my share of imperfections. I have my share of mistakes but here with you, I have the chance to just be me.
I have built this place in my mind, which is where you and I exist on a different level of awareness. This place of ours is where I come and sit and be real. I don’t have to worry about the outside world or the critics. This place here is has been built by you and me. There is no pain here or judgement or fear. There are only us and the quiet reverberation of my thoughts that narrate in my mind, which help me to improve and teach me to be better.
There are times; however, when the outside world seeps in. There are times when the critics have their way of being heard and their words hurt because they are sharp and they shoot like arrows against the walls of this temple we’ve built.
There are times when disappointment hit and there are times when I couldn’t find the words to reach you. In times like this, all I could do was withstand the damage.
And sometimes, you and me, it seems like the world is against us. Sometimes, you and I are on our own. And that’s fine. But sometimes this hurts. And sometimes,the pain has a way of making sense and every thought, every emotion, and every challenge is forgotten when the plan to achieve comes to fruition.
I remember when I heard the news that I was about to be published. At that point, in my head, I had defied the odds. In my heart, I defied my insecurities. Whether the book was read by one person alone or ten people, a hundred, or thousands; truth is I created something that my doubts and critics told me I would never be able to do.
Truth is when I heard the news, I had to leave the break room and step away from the rest of my crew at work. I took an elevator up to the top floor,went to one of the unused bathrooms in a machine room, locked the door, and when I say I cried, I tell you I cried for so many reasons.
When I attach myself to outcome and when I work for the compliments or when I find myself seeking attention, I find that I lose focus on my goal. However, this is a double edged sword because without attention and without validation, this temple we’ve built can be a lonely place.
I keep a few gifts here and hang them like pictures in picture frames upon my mental walls. I keep the memory of a woman from Iceland that followed my poetry. She liked a post of mine, which was written about my brother and the crazy times when we were kids. She appreciated this and thanks me for my honesty. She went on to thank me because this reminded her about her own brother and the things that went on between them. One day, she found her brother dead from suicide. But somehow, something I wrote lent her a smile and broke the pain with the replacement of a smile.
A long while ago, I was asked to write a poem to two little girls about their father who passed away on a cruise ship. His body was never found after he had fallen overboard. Their dad was lost at sea. I was moved by this story. I was moved for the two girls and for the grandmother who was a mother herself, mourning the loss of her child.
I keep these two memories in pristine condition because they mean everything to me. I use them when I need strength to continue. I use them to remind me that we speak best when we speak honestly. I use this to remind me that art is not a method to impress others; instead, art is a method to express one’s self. Otherwise,anything else is just a plastic hoax.
I have lived plastic and fake before. I have my share of dishonesties and shame. But not here. Not with you. Not in this temple we’ve built.
No, this is where I can be me with you and regardless to the arrows that shoot against the walls of our temple and regardless to the doubts and the rejection; this place is ours and will never let anything destroy it because you are the well in which I find my redemption. You are my love and my heart. But more accurately,you are the reason I’ve been able to get up each time I’ve fallen.
And for that, I love you
In fact, I love you with all of my heart
So help me God
(By the way, I’ve been offered another program. This one is bigger than the last and the plans sound great. But still, no matter what happens out there, I know I am safest here with you, my dearest, closest friend.)