I’m still walking a lot. They say if you can continue to do something past 7 weeks it can become a habit. I’m on month 5 of my walking most days and it feels great. I need to add swimming and upper body to the regiment. I’ve never been in particularly great health or taken care of my body. The walking calms me and walking in the parks open the pores in my mind. In particular on today’s walk I had thoughts about my youth and my passions as they were. At that age of change when the idealism and wonder of the world erodes into the cynicism of adulthood, I had a particularly bad time. I tasted real darkness. I saw the most horrifying things humanity can do to itself.
As most Americans experience in our culture at puberty my soul was tearing itself apart and the bully’s of the world beat on my body. I shifted into cynicism quicker than maybe I should have, or the environment acted as a catalyst. What I remember most was her. My first true love. When every other part of me inside and out went into black, she pulled some part of me into the light, or at least I followed her back.
I was so much more romantic then. Every single kiss was meant to be the kiss like it was the end of the world. Every hug tight like I’d never see her again. It was as if each step I took into the darkness, I held onto her tighter to keep me from disappearing. I took her to the side of a mountain and told her that I loved her and made vows meant to last forever.
After she died, denial came first. Then repentance. You can’t remove all the darkness. Old habits linger forever like a phantom always in the corner of your eye, as if you can see your shadowself if you just turn your head fast enough but it’s never there. I am not the person I was, not even close. No part of that exists in me. I may not be perfect, quite far from it, but I know who and what I am.
I don’t need rescued. I don’t need saved. I don’t even need much help. I just feel so hollow having wasted so much time and love as a grown up when it’s such a precious thing. Love saves and love kills. Wasting it feels worse like throwing away food when so many go hungry.
Maybe some part of that romantic still lives in me. Heaven and Earth might not need to open up to have it come out again. I just keep on living, breathing, and taking one day at a time. I just don’t know where hope resides, but I have it. Maybe it’s a lie. Maybe it’s the psychological barrier that the mind falsely creates as a form of self preservation. I just don’t know why I believe it. I believe in this hope without doubt, without hesitation, and without nary a thought.
Not everything in my life needs an explanation.