I had been stripped of everything I knew and possessed. I was cut down to the white meat as my cousin would say. It was deep and there was no bandage large enough to cover my wounds. One day when the pain of failure was just too much for me to handle, I went running. I’ve come to love being a runner and now I felt I needed to run for my life. I yearned for my privacy and immediate peace even if it were only for a couple of hours.
For weeks I ran up inclines on hills and walked on flat ground. Some days my outings were to vent. I was so angry and although I had my headphones on, the music wasn’t playing. My rants on a quiet Virginia Street was all that was feeding my angry inner dragon. I yelled and screamed. It felt good. No one was around to hear and I let the universe, everything, and everyone who I thought screwed me over have it! The reality however, was that I only had an audience of trees that aligned the suburban street revealing cooking cutter homes.
It wasn’t until my daily runs began to permeate thoughts of solitude that I opened my eyes to the true magic of my surroundings. It was beautiful, it was intoxicating, it was liberating. It was simply nature’s peace and it radiated throughout my entire body causing me to feel light as a feather. I felt something shift from within.
Something amazing was happening and I was aware of it. It was obvious and certain occurrences felt as if they were appearing just for me to take notice. Butterflies, creatures I hadn’t paid much attention to before were flying all around me. One in particular was adorned with the most beautiful shade of royal blue. Dragonflies would hover over my head and when they flew closer to me, were prancing about with vibrant colors of blood orange, emerald green, and once again, royal blue. I was in awe of their beauty and how they made me feel. I remembered how I always loved the color royal blue. It stood out to me as being such a powerful color. It was also my nephew’s favorite. He was buried wearing it. I wore that very same color to his funeral.
A few years ago I developed a fascination with birds. Particularly hawks and eagles. I’ve always found them to be so breathtakingly beautiful and majestic. I would see hawks almost every day on my runs. Sometimes off in the distance and often one, two, or three at a time. It seemed as if with each day that I ran, they flew closer to me and then on one beautiful summer day, one landed on the median on the street across from me. It sat there for a moment as if it were contemplating its thoughts. I stopped and waited to see what it would do next. In some way, I was hoping it was a sign that things were changing for the better. I waited for it to see me and to provide answers to the many questions in my head. It did nothing, but it was something so peaceful about being that close to such a divine like creature and feeling protected. In that moment, I felt apart of something greater. I felt hope. This hope began to build with each day and was heightened when I would see the hawk, the butterflies, and the dragonflies all at once.
As I became completely engrossed in my daily bouts with nature, I began to play my music again and I started to feel. I missed emotions that gave me a sense that I was alive. Memories of places I had been, and people I have met began to flood my mind in complete overload. It was overwhelming and I felt like I was meeting myself for the very first time. I had good music and a good feeling and in that moment, it was enough. I went with that!
As the weeks passed, I thought it would be a great idea to begin writing myself notes as a reminder to do something good for myself each day and to love myself. I know that sounds like it should be an obvious thing to do, but when life was beating me up, I too got a few licks in. I had to change that mentality ASAP!
I fell in love with being out in nature immersing myself with physical activity. I was building someone new and my body was beginning to morph into a much healthier version of itself. I embraced this experience of awakening but I wished it would translate to physical manifestations of income and financial freedom. It was fun however, finding value in myself without the need for validation from a job or a vibrant social circle.
I wanted my happy back. The kind of happiness I saw in people on tv commercials. I know that sounds silly but it’s what I wanted to believe. There was no doubt in my mind that with all that I had been through, suicide and the fuck you it would have been to the mean cruel world wasn’t enough! I wanted more than the finality of my existence. I wanted to win, I wanted to fight back, I wanted the universe to right the wrong. I now believed that it would, but not without my cooperation.
There could no longer be any part of me that felt sorry for myself. I had to snap out of it and lick my wounds when things were better. Until then, I would keep persisting until something happened. I wanted new experiences and despite coming out and discovering a new path for myself previously, I knew once again with all I had been through, I really liked me. It didn’t matter if no one else did. They weren’t on this journey with me and they damn sure couldn’t save me.
I decided it was a good time to create my own personal code. It all came about one day while running in the rain and I began with making commitments to myself. I was committed to my overall physical well being. Not necessarily for the aesthetics, but for the release it provided in addition to the mobility it allowed me when life itself was stagnant. I made a promise to myself to work on my dreams until I was getting paid for them.
I was committed to family and to their success along with my own. I would walk my own path even when the decision to do so wouldn’t be popular or the norm. I would continue to have new experiences that challenged me. Lastly and the most important code of all, was to love me first, and not join the world when it used me as a punching bag. How could I have ever took part in the battle against me that would assist in my demise? I knew better. I always have to have my back when others don’t see my worth. I will never let myself down again. This was my promise.