With a touch of hesitation in my step I approach this keyboard, nervous as though I’m on a blind date or seeing an old friend for the first time in years. There is fear in my throat even as I type out these first few words because it feels as if I’ve been encased in stone and I’m not sure if I still have it in me to spin words the way I remember doing so long ago.
There is rust in these knuckles and my fingertips have gone soft. Each breath carries with it a bit of self-judgment. The passing moments present themselves as opportunities to slip my foot just a little further out the doorway of procrastination and excuses.
And so I steady myself, swallow the fear, let go of expectations, and allow vulnerability to be my strength.
I mean, after all it’s not as if I have some epic novel to write here.
So yeah, it’s been a while. It’s been far too long, actually. I’m not exactly sure what happened except that I just up and closed the lid on this book of thoughts…..hmm….actually that’s a lie. I know exactly what happened. I shut down. Life got really fucking strange and I shut down, emotionally and in some ways physically. As life was going pear shaped I was finding ways to distract myself, mostly self-destructive and not at all in keeping up presence with what was going on in my heart. I barely spoke out about it and instead chose to drown in bad decisions, alcohol, and pointless Youtube spirals.
It’s a funny thing that we fool ourselves into thinking that we can run from our suffering because in truth we can never really escape it. In fact running only heaps more on the already festering pile and even though this bag of stones strapped to your shoulders may create the illusion that you can carry the weight, you are only breaking your own back.
Getting wise to your own shit can be a bitter pill to swallow and lately I’ve been eating those pills by the fistful.
This is partially why I return to this medium of expression, because I don’t want to hide anymore. I’ve got nothing to gain from carrying excess weight and everything to gain from shedding it onto the threshing floor.
So I've been shedding, and I've been noticing lately that these pills have been tasting less bitter and positive changes are becoming much easier. My heart is becoming free of dead weight and miraculously my back is much stronger for it. Instead of hiding I am poking my head out and testing the air, shrugging off my armour in favour of bare skin.
Indeed it has been far too long. The past year and a half has been a series of trials, ripe with triumph and trip-ups. I have loved, lost, lived, and gained. None of it has been easy, but all of it has been exactly what I’ve needed and I honestly wouldn’t change a thing if I could. But what I can change now, and what I will continue to change until my dying breath is my mind when It wants to retreat into that comfy yet oh so stale hiding place.
And as I write these words, as the fear leaves my throat and as I take my foot from the door and plant it firmly in presence I remember what it is like to be alive. As each day passes and I become stronger in my body, more whole in my heart, and more expressive in my speech, I remember what it is like to be free. As I embrace this freedom like an old friend I thought I’d lost long ago I remember who I am and what I am here for.
And I hold that old friend more tightly than ever before, whispering in their ear....
“Thank you, I love you!”