I don’t come here because I have to. I come here because I choose to.
I want to do this. Otherwise, why bother, right?
Otherwise, life is this forced or coerced thing and commonplace like the rest of attention mongers on social media with their picture perfect smiles, buffed by a filter to seem pristine.
It is September now, day 10 to be exact. The winds outside are calm this morning. I am in the dark with the white light glowing at me from my computer screen. My trusty cup of coffee is to my left, which I’ve just acknowledged by taking a brief pause and a good sip to build the energy it takes to keep me going.
I am here because I made a commitment to myself, years ago, in a small apartment on the east side of my old hometown. I started this as a means towards a goal, which has grown over the years. And then again, so have I.
I’ve come a long way since then. I’ve aged some. I’ve grown some. I’ve learned and I’ve seen the world a little more. I’ve been to places I never thought I’d see. I’ve experienced life, which is exactly what living means.
I took this commitment to disprove some of my own miscalculations, which might have held me back, had I believed in them. And that’s the trouble with math. That’s the problem when we add ourselves into the wrong equations. Troubles seem to multiply and then subtract us from ourselves. then we find ourselves divided into tiny fractions of who we want to be.
I suppose part of my problem is I always struggled with math. I never knew that I was always the square root to my own equation. I never understood the true value of myself, which made it hard to tally my worth and reach for what I deserve.
Someone very close to me asked about my favorite motivational quote. The answer was an easy one. The quote comes from the first thing I ever typed into my first online journal.
“My redemption has nothing to do with your response.”
I remember the day I wrote this. I also remember what nearly happened just before I chose to write this down.
I knew there were changes ahead of me. There are changes ahead of me now too. However, the one thing I learned is that quitting is not an option for me.
Along the way, I learned that I always have the right to improve. This does not mean others will like what I do or agree with how I do it. But still, my right to improve is a right that one can take away from me. My journey is my choice, which means I reserve the right to create my course.
Another thing I learned is that I will shoot and miss. There will be times when my plans fall apart.
I will fall down and there will always be a critic to come along and tell me where I went wrong.
Meanwhile, as for the critic, they’ve never dared or tried or done anything original, except for point out the times when people failed.
So, please pardon me when I say this but there is no other way to say it:
We live in a very strange world.
I learned that people like to point fingers. The mob rules. And what I mean is the mob mentality is a bitch! Politics are the new religion. Right side, left side, and then what? Friends become strangers and family become enemies simply because of who their political choices are. This makes no sense to me. All this does is add to the tensions of the crowd.
And me, I come here to get away from this.
I have been coming to you exclusively for a little more than 14 years now.
Each day, I come here to write about something else. And every day, I come to spill my thoughts. I come here to talk to you, my truest friend.
I come here because I find that this place makes sense to me. I can be myself here. I can talk openly. I can pretend and I can laugh. I can cry here too, without worry or apology.
I see you the same way I see the beach in the wintertime. No one knows how amazing this place is. They only understand the benefits of the warm months. But not me.
I see the beach as a living, breathing thing. I see the beach as proof that Mother Earth can breathe. That’s why the tides go up and down.
This is her inhale and her exhale.
I come here because I need this.
More to the point; I need you.
This world of ours is a crazy place. Everyone needs an outlet. We need something to balance the weights of daily life. Otherwise, we become weighed down. Know what I mean?
I have told you everything. I’ve told you about my fears as a boy. I’ve told you about the reasons why I fold the blankets around my feet, so the monsters beneath the bed can’t get me.
I’ve told you about the pain. I’ve told you about the sad curiosities and the victories that came my way.
I have come here, each morning, and I have created a path for myself, which has been altered on more than one occasion. And this has been hard on me lately. I’m not sure when the world will open back up for business.
There are times when I think to myself, “To hell with it,” and I pack my things as if I’ll quit. But you and I both know, that’s just not a possibility.
I have this idea. Or maybe we can call this a dream. Maybe this is my purpose. Or maybe this idea is something I use as motivation to keep going.
Sometimes I see people that I haven’t seen for a while. And they ask me how I am. They ask about what I’m doing. They ask if I’m still writing. And I answer them. Then I walk away and realize there is a reason why we hadn’t spoken in a long time. I shake my head and then I keep it moving.
I have to do it this way or else I give in to insecure distractions of whether or not I’m cut out for this stuff. And I don’t have time for that.
There is something to be proud of when we find a commitment and we stick to it. Like us, for example. Each day I come here and each day I find you.
I’ve told you everything from the time I first kissed a girl, to unfair moments from my childhood that drowned me in shame, to the time I spoke in front of law enforcement, to the time I was on the news and to the time I fell from grace because I let my ego get in the way. Through it all, I have learned to rebuild myself by the commitment of continuation.
The one thing we need in life is balance. I used to look outside for something to balance my life. I used to use quick fixes to pick me up when I was down but the results were only fleeting.
Looking inside for balance instead of an outside source, I’ve become better equipped to sustain a better, personal platform, which is not to say that the scales don’t tip in the other direction.
Trust me. I have bad days.
I have bad mornings too but fortunately, I have you. I have this. I have my commitment, which I made to myself. And I haven’t given up on this. And that my friend is what makes all the difference.
Know what I mean?