Just to live. Just to breathe. Just to go outside and feel the sun on my face. Just to feel the wind in my hair. Just to be somewhere. You know?
Just to step away for a minute; to detach and disconnect. To put the world on hold and regroup; to find my balance and restore myself so that I can come back and get back in the game.
What an idea. To be away. To find a place where I can rest or put my arms down. And ah, the beach. The warm sand. The sound of the waves and the calls from the seagulls.
This is one of my spots by the way. This is one of my go to places. Then again, there’s the rooftop. This is another place of mine. Both of which are places that I’ve been connected with since my childhood.
On one hand, the beach and the ocean were places of reverence. I have memories of long walks on the beach at Point Lookout. I took a walk on the beach at Malibu. I walked on the beach at Ft. Lauderdale. Although all of the beaches were different in their own way; the healing power was the same. I view these places as necessary because sometimes, detachment is crucial. Rest is essential and so is the need to care for the mind.
As for the rooftops, as a boy I used to climb out of my bedroom window and sit on the roof of my childhood home. I would climb up to the top, late at night and look at the sky. I would look out at the rooftops of the neighboring homes. I thought about the countless lives and the various doorsteps of different families. I would think for hours. Sometimes, I’d just sit and tell my secrets to the sky.
Sometimes, I’d sip from a flask and drink my thoughts away. Of course, I’d have a few Marlboros with me; a smoke, an orange glow that glowed in the night with each inhale. Then I would blow my smoke in the air. There was a semblance of hope, peace, defiance, and yet; there was a means to endure, to continue, to keep going because ready or not, the world was on its way. I just wanted to understand more . . .
I had a shirt come in the mail yesterday. I want to be clear that I do not own this quote. On one hand, I cannot say this quote is entirely true. On the other hand, I think this quote points out a certain truism of life. The quote is this: “Nobody Cares. Work Harder.”
I cannot say truthfully that nobody cares. I can’t say there aren’t people willing to listen. Meanwhile, how far does this go? What is our life without the accountability to live it.
There is a great big world out there. There are jobs to do and tasks to complete. This is life and the one thing life does is always move — and sometimes, life moves unmercifully. Life is eventual and inevitable. We might not know how life will play out. We might not understand. We might not approve and we certainly might not like what comes our way. But like it or not, want it or not; either way, life is still happening.
As I see it, everyone has their own thing. We all have our own weights on our chest. We all have setbacks, secrets and distractions. In the meantime, nobody cares. Work harder. There are no crutches. There is no one that will do life for us. So work. Move. Build. And keep going but do not allow thoughts to betray you.
To each are their own tragedies and travesties. And to me, well, I have my things too. I have my own fears and intimidations. I am honest about them because otherwise, I am weak. I am honest about my thoughts and feelings because otherwise, I am a coward.
There is no harm in honesty. There is no shame in speaking openly; nor is there a reason to deny ourselves our moments of weakness. No one is a tough guy forever. Life doesn’t work that way.
There is one absolute truth. This truth is so amazingly simple and obvious, yet, we tend to overlook this one simple fact, which is that life happens to everyone. No matter where people come from, no matter what our background is, what color we are, what language we speak or what corner of the earth we live in; life happens to everyone.
I used to sit up on the roof of my house as a crazy kid. I was hoping find some cosmic answer to the constant questions that kept coming. Am I going to find my way? Who am I supposed to be?
I would have long, drawn out talks with the sky. I’d rehearse my speeches to the people I wish I had the courage to stand up to — and yet, meanwhile, I never dared to stand up to any of them.
I say this in total realization that there is no bully greater than the bully in my head. Fortunately, I have grown since then. I have matured. I have found a new way to live, which is what I call improvement.
I know this; I know that life is a trick. The world’s a stage and everyone has an act of their own. I get that.
I know that my struggles and triumphs are mine and as such, these things are only specific to me. However, although it may not always seem obvious; I live in a world of billions.
This means we live in a world of two kinds of people. One is the outward kind. They are the ones who show their cards. They wear their hearts on their sleeves. They think and they feel and they hurt; they empathize and they inherit more than they’ve asked for. They have life happening to them.
The other is the inward kind. They hide more and tell less. Both of the two have troubles. One just hides better. This does not mean they don’t hurt. This does not mean they don’t struggle. All this means is that everyone has problems. Some just do a better job with disguises. Some handle them better. Some are outward. Some are inward. Some will never dare, never speak and they’ll never try because they’ve given into the external ideas of the people in the world around them.
I suppose this is why I love the beach when it’s empty. Perhaps this is why I go to the rooftop of the building where I work. I go here because I need my own relief valve. I need a place to purge my thoughts.
I do this because rather than suffer or struggle with them; I would rather be honest. I’d rather face myself than turn my back. I’ve done this before. And it didn’t work for me.
I’m scared . . .
We’re all afraid. Act accordingly.
The reason why most people are scared is because we find ourselves locked in judgment. We find ourselves trapped in our own rejective ideas, which stems from judgment.
What if we don’t make it? What if we fail? What if we look bad or if people point or stare?
What if we are the fool? What if the joke is on us?
Or wait, what if we are the joke?
What if all of this is simply an old narrative that needs to change?
I find myself in places like say, the beach or on the roof, or places like here, which I have built like a chapel in my mind. I have places where I go to breathe and regroup. I have places, which I have built and maintained because without them, it is too easy to give into the rhetoric and the nonsense of the world around me.
It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks. It doesn’t matter if these words of mine reach any further than you or me. All that matters is regardless of my fears, my thoughts or my insecurity, I have managed to move forward.
Life has taught me that even the bravest and toughest soldier knows when to rest. They know when to regroup, when to eat, when to plan, when to defend and when to attack.
Come to think of it; the great thing about understanding this is that I am not at war anymore. At least, not with myself. Besides, these wars are the worst because nobody wins and the damage can be insurmountable . . .
To live, to breathe, to be free, and to find peace, — this is why I come here, if for no other reason than to find you, my most special friend.
There is more to do and more to say.
But I have life in front of me right now.
Tomorrow is another day.