I never ever wanted to do this.
But enough people have been telling me to let these feelings out the best way I know how, so here’s to a few moments of vulnerability and frailty in prose.
The gloves are off, the gun is buried in a shallow grave outside and there’s nothing around except me and this mirror. No shots being fired, no more fighting alone — just me and a couple weeks of emotional reflection in front of a mirror at home; showing me the person looking back at me is someone I hardly know, or recognise. But in a good way.
I’ve made a lifestyle out of running away.
That is what I’ve been told, and I guess it’s true. I’ve spent my life living in unrecognised fear of what I believe is one of the most powerful parts of the human experience: love. I’ve been afraid of love all my life, though I still somehow manage to get others to love me. When it comes close, I push it away. When it seems too far away, I reach out for it — hoping I can always keep it close enough to keep me warm, in preparation for the inevitable day when I fear no harm, and finally feel I can grab it, fully, and never let it go.
Last year I took a couple steps forward; steps I thought were leading me in the right direction. And for a while, they were. Until I hit a roadblock at a force that was strong enough to push me further back than where I had originally begun walking.
When I got back on my feet to prepare myself once again for the journey ahead, I realised … I was alone. Alone, but in recognisable territory that for a while made me feel comfortable. For a while, I felt that maybe it’s just where I belonged — except as I looked around and felt a sense of solace in the familiar things I saw and felt, I noticed I was walking backward.
I hadn’t gone too far. But by the time I ran back to where the road was blocked, to where I thought I saw you waiting for me, you were gone. I was alone again. Just me and my road block.
And that is when the rocks began falling.
Brick by brick they came crashing down on me. The wall that had stopped me before was falling apart, right in front of me. And not until I was able to wipe my tears long enough to clearly see did I realise … it was you who threw them at me.
You took my roadblock apart and turned it into a million stones; finding ways to pelt me with every one so each struck a different part of my soul.
It hurt me for a while, some bruises still linger. But eventually, lately, I realised, you cleared the way for me, using the same stones that had once enclosed me. Then you took them with you to rebuild your own sanctuary.
And even though sometimes I still feel used, ashamed and hurt. And even though sometimes I still find my vision obstructed by the water in my eyes, and still resent you for giving up before trying … Had it not been for that journey, my reflection would still be the same, my road block would still keep me where I thought I was to remain, and my path would still lay before me, unpaved.
Eventually, all the pain and anger will subside, and I’ll be able to bring the sunshine with me as I continue down this unexplored path, hopefully walking with someone more willing than you to share the journey with me.
But in the mean time, while I sit here waiting for these bruises to heal, and for heartache to not be the only thing I feel, I just want to say: thank you.