To Love, And Have Courage

Essays, MY PERSPECTIVE | MY STORIES

Though I am the bearer of fragility and foolishness, I harbor no hatred. I am the spark before judgment, the ghost disguising pride; I mustn’t give in to hatred. But you! You can tell me what it is like to hate with fury. Deliver me from naivety and expose the shadows running through the heart of every man and woman. I know these shadows; you have become your shadow. You furiously cast fear and hatred into empty vessels. I have only sadness and compassion for your malice. Do not mistake my depression with despair. You are the one who is full of despair; You feel so weak in your ways that you turn to hate. Ashes embrace you but are fleeting.

Memories of those forsaken soon spell disaster on your tongue. And where has your arrogance led you? What path trembled, split and shattered beneath your feet? Who is to blame for your disillusionment? How much is your love worth now? No longer able to bear your reflection, you cast shadows on those around you, but this is not the world’s fault; it is your fault. You are too scared to see it, but you must. I will guide you through the desert, and you will confront the truth. Your mind cannot breathe as burials burst from beneath and settle on the surface. You are falling apart. Your lies collapse into your chest; your legs shake as exhausted bridges plummet from the air. You have a tenuous grasp on reality, and beneath it all, you are full of fear.

Because of this, you have my love; Do not mistake benevolence for weakness. It is because I love that I may see you as God intended. Everything exists because I love; life is love. Your hatred does not succeed because there are those who will continue, into the abyss of time, to love one another. That is my answer to your hatred: to love. I feel heartache because I love and gratitude because I love. You and your hate will burn, and burn out.

I am one, and they are all

Essays, MY PERSPECTIVE | MY STORIES

I know I cannot help it

Someone asks me what the cost is,

I close my eyes, relax my hands and stop

What change did you expect?

A search is on and you can’t get away from it.

Ain’t that a six-inch stone in your wheel?

Don’t you get the shakes when it’s gotten too late and the brakes on your door aren’t working?

And the stove coils in your head are heating up an’ burning

So you curse yourself and you assume someone out there is tricking you, someone out there is kicking you.

That someone is caring too much and maybe it’s the wrong way.

And you can’t figure which temperature feels good and you don’t even know if some out there do.

And what do you do if everyone thinks of you badly?

What do you say when the feeling that’s got you wrapped up in knots is paranoia and you try so badly to rid it from you?

How do you sleep when your brain is mad at you?

Do you look into others eyes for a choice or ought you to think that there’s a chance you may be right?

And ain’t that some kind of feeling?

Isn’t that something you aren’t sure you want but feel you know you need?

What do you do when the tricksters are planning?

What do you do when you feel you can’t be wrong it’s that all things thinking of you are meant for deceiving?

Do you try with your whole soul best to follow your head and stick to your breast?

Should you hope for a reason to convince you on what you’re feeling?

It’s when the river bed can be seen by a bird with one wing that you know you’re bleeding.

When the whole sky and all its friends can put on a sheet and worry you when you sleep. Is it the letters that decide the end or is it the season?

When you wake with London’s sprinkling you can’t go back to dreaming for the best of your reasons.

You can act like a rebel or sing on a step.

You can hope for the night to come down but you know you can’t help but not believe it.

So you drink ‘till the plastic guards start retreating.

You hurt your chest so badly it starts caving in behind you and soon enough you’re bound to find the things that held you are now the things you must carry around.

And they want to go this way or the other and no matter what choice is made your brain won’t be bothered.

And you start seeing pathways that you haven’t gotten but have been given and you try to cry with all your might because you know this ain’t the usual gift-giving.

But you can’t cry ‘cause your souls been hidden.

Your mind’s been delivered but it ain’t your name on it written.

And it scares you half to death even though you don’t know if you believe in the thing you keep searching for.

You can’t excuse yourself anymore.

You can’t keep asking for a sentence.

And all you want is someone to show you where it was you went missing.

And no one believes you because nobody here listens.

What do you do when the price has been lifted?

When their patience wears thin and you think it’s them that are sinning?

Do you think to yourself while kicking god, what’s their thinking?

Didn’t they go to school or were they the whole time just whistling?

And you don’t want to think these thoughts in the worst of your seasons but you can’t help but think it’s them that are cheating.

What do you do when you think you are wrong?

When it’s you and not them that have been misspelling your name all along?

Do you think these thoughts ‘till your brain starts un-weaving and your bridges come down heaving?

Or do you think it best to hit the road on all fours and stop at the very last fever-torn store to figure out just what you’ve been reading?

If you can’t find it where you’ve been looking is it best to stick to those thoughts or do you think it’ll help to quit thinking about whatever it is you’ve been eating?

And if that ain’t it where do you look?

You can shake hands with each doorknob but you know it might lead you somewhere you’ve been before.

Down a road that’s no good anymore but you go because you’ve forgotten yesterday and more.

And maybe down the weakened path, you’ll find a heart that can bring you back.

But you get hesitant when you see that hand coming to yours because you know you could be wrong and if you are you fear you may lose the thoughts in your head that have kept you running for so long.

So you hold onto these thoughts with shovels already in their hands.

But isn’t it going that way these days?

You can’t lay right cause the things you think are true just won’t stop bothering you and the thought you might be wrong keeps you hurting all night long.

And you feel guilty even though you aren’t sure why and the thought of any happening makes you feel your stomachs filled with fire-flies.

And you wonder why you feel so bad and you say you try but you hardly do.

And you want to blame somebody but you don’t know who.

And when that feeling comes you stop in your tracks because you don’t know where to point the finger at and you’re scared it might get bitten off by ideas you thought were long written off, better left alone, or put in a retirement home.

So you feel tricked and embarrassed because your ropes are tied too tight on the harness and you act harmed by the ones thought to understand you best.

Are you wrong for shining your sword too long or practicing your whip too strongly?

Are you understanding at all or are jokes thrown at your name behind the mall where you thought the kids once crawled but you know they might be the ones with the ball?

And you don’t want to feel this way but others think you do.

You try and help the cause but can’t stop thinking all the while they’re hurting you.

So you surround yourself with very few in an effort to produce just who it is you’ve been calling “you”.

But that ain’t what you think you want to do.

So why does the sound of voices bother you so much until you crack and crunch the idea of being in touch?

What do strangers tell you that not even your closest crutch could?

What answer do you give when the lights are on so bright it burns your eyes all the way thru to the inside?

If your marbles are too slowed down do you kneel to the chrome buildings and give in expecting some sort of healing?

And you start running sideways and get all turned around even though you know this ain’t the right way into town.

So you build a wall of sand that blocks the beggars from your hand and all the while people question where you stand.

You aren’t sure yourself but it seems a better way than winding up lying down on 6 pieces of wood with a person only known as a saint and you think she’s no good.

Do you keep pushing even when the feeling is gone?

Is it best to keep up construction even though you know that it’s wrong?

And if you hear that you are the one holding the wrong cards do you continue to weep even when the royal clown comes knocking at your door.

So you’ll wait and wait ‘till he’s been at your door too long and starts moving on. And in your church, you sit and think if you’re going in the right direction or if you should cut off your feet.

You can choose to save your water and walk down that street or you can hope for forgiveness on the other side of the parade that’s lit up with people who’d rather stay awake than sleep.

You feel you’re right though you’re told you’ve been wrong before.

But it doesn’t matter anymore cause your captain’s already heading to the shore opposite the one that holds the people you’ve denied once or twice or more.

And behind they sway their hands and shout to you through the waves.

They cry for your return but you can’t go back again seeing as it’s too far a swim.

And even if you could you feel you’d be giving a lie you’ve already shown once to them. So you jump off the boat and can only hope that you’re right.

But you cry in your hours when you’re locked up inside and you think to yourself if your thoughts are really yours

And you open up a door filled with questions you ain’t seen before

And want to shout out but there’s no one left standing by your door

And you wish you hadn’t been asking questions full of scorn

But you did and you’ll find that people don’t care for poor souls anymore

And even if they did, in the end, you start back all over again

Seeing Through the Fire

Essays, MY PERSPECTIVE | MY STORIES, QUOTE

If you are anything like me you like to ask questions that are beyond our comprehension such as What is the meaning of life? Or Why am I here and what is my purpose? There is no satisfaction in asking these questions because we can never find satisfactory answers. Our curious minds often get the better of us and we are left with a feeling of confusion, doubt, and most damaging a feeling of failure. Because we cannot answer these questions that are beyond us anyhow we feel a sense of defeat or a lack of intelligence, both preposterous presumptions but both very real feelings.

In my experience, the very act of asking and further investigating these questions prohibits me from getting any real work done. It becomes an exercise in futility; daydreaming about these questions and hoping that somehow, as if by magic, an answer will drop down through my bedroom ceiling, settle on top of my head, and begin working its way to my brain whereby I will finally have the answer. But this never happens, the answer never comes and I am left to toil in my bedroom feeling as though I cannot go on without asking these all too important questions.

The truth is, however, these questions are not important at all. They lack importance because we are limited and cannot answer them or even begin chipping away at them. It is not as if we are on a slow journey to these answers and we decide to throw in the towel instead of doing the work — Our work isn’t leading anywhere — only to more suffering, mental anguish, and feelings of defeat, failure, and mental fatigue. It is this fatigue that keeps us from accomplishing the very things that ultimately give meaning to our lives. And for me, by relinquishing my desire to ask these questions I have found a freedom that has allowed me to find personal value and given me a glimpse into how one finds meaning in life.


I am a work in progress. If I were to say this in casual conversation or begin a job application with these three words, work in progress, many may assume that I have just been released from prison after 25 years and I am learning how to cross the street without being hit by a car. “He’s a work in progress, but at least he’s out there trying,” Something to this effect may be whispered by others, applauding my efforts but feeling as though I am playing catch up to them; for they are no longer works in progress, they are done with progress and thus they must have found the answer to fulfillment and happiness! This is most definitely 90% derived from my own insecurities; But for good measure, the idea that the pursuit of personal growth in such a deep and rigorous manner somehow puts one behind everyone else is lost on me.

Character flaws and shortcomings are within each of us and working to improve yourself and addressing your shortcomings by no means puts you behind the pack. I would venture to guess that many do not want to look at the very reasons they are stuck in unfortunate situations and often blame poor luck or other people for their own misfortune. For me the answer is never outside of myself; my problems, my misfortune, cannot be caused by anything or anyone else unless I give it power by ceding my power over myself. Sheer laziness will give others the power to determine the outcome of my day and I will not allow this to happen. By developing a relationship with ourselves we create a clearer idea of who we are and we can begin to find the reasons behind our negative behavior.

Over the course of a year, I have practiced intense self-analysis, mindfulness meditation, one-on-one therapy, and group therapy. Although all have been and continue to be an immense help in my personal growth, self-analysis seems to have the most profound and intellectually stimulating impact. The practice, if you are not familiar, can be intense and may not be the best endeavor for everyone. It is an in-depth look into one’s motives and character — it is necessary if one hopes to improve, to be honest in a way that perhaps one has never been honest before. You begin stripping away layers of yourself that have been built up over the years, finding pieces that you never knew were there.

We have a tendency to keep the things we are most afraid of hidden, often to the point that we no longer acknowledge they are even there. However it is these very things that we have kept hidden that manifest in other ways and ultimately show themselves as new, different character flaws. Without addressing the deep, core flaws within ourselves we find that we only scratch the surface of the very issues that are holding us back. In this confusion we wonder why we cannot move forward, we believe fully that we are making a genuine effort and we are being honest. What happens is we begin rearranging the surface, we redesign how we look to the outside world and for a while, this works. But in reality, we are only fooling ourselves and keeping more secrets. We have to go deep to the core of the issue to solve it, and this means we have to come to terms with our shortcomings and be prepared for difficult discoveries. This is not all bad news! It is in this process that I believe we begin to find true meaning.


So, with my insecurities on full display and my ego perhaps notched a little higher than usual what have I found?

My personal journey and subsequent self-discovery have given me an understanding of how I can best find meaning and personal value in my life. For me, meaning comes from confronting these very difficulties in life and getting through them alive with a new understanding and a new set of tools. Once I identify my character flaws I can begin working towards improving my character — in this discovery and progress, I find meaning. I set out to find the very issues that are holding me back — it begins with an admittance that can at times be embarrassing but is necessary for growth.

For instance, there was a time when I believed it useful to be completely open with people, maintaining maximum vulnerability so that they could know me as best as possible. I noticed, however, that this practice seemed to overwhelm people and even more embarrassing made people uncomfortable. I thought I was being completely selfless! “Take all of me! I’ll tell you whatever you want to know!” — Unfortunately for me, I am a person of extremes and this leads to me having to work very hard to find anything even resembling balance. My natural inclination is to give you everything I have or nothing at all. Upon learning that I made someone uncomfortable my reaction was to beat myself up, convince myself that I had nothing of value to share, and completely stop sharing anything at all. This was not the correct response!

Everything is a work in progress. Upon realizing that I was either totally open or completely withholding I began working to find balance. First, though, I had to come to terms with why I was sharing so much. There was ego involved to be sure, and what I mistook as selfless sharing was, in fact, more self-promotion. I felt that my best qualities were these very deep discoveries I had made and in order for someone to appreciate me, they had to see these deep qualities. Through small talk I felt like I couldn’t impress another person so I instead shared negative qualities about my past only to then share how I overcame them, painting a picture of someone who had made mistakes but overcame them and is better off for having made such mistakes. This was selfish and self-centered indeed, and that is the real issue; The idea being that I may not have a 9-5 job but I have a healthy sense of gratitude and humility. I was comparing and trying to force something — I wasn’t lying about anything, and in fact, I was being incredibly honest, but my motives were wrong and that is why I had to go to work finding out what I was compensating for and how I could find balance. I didn’t have a clear understanding of my value; I shortchanged myself in many areas and overloaded myself in others. Zero balance, all or nothing thinking is overwhelming to others and exhausting for myself. It isn’t healthy and so I had to figure out why my behavior was so extreme and how to change it.

I am not perfect and at times I go silent for fear that I am sharing too much. This is ok too — the point is that we find areas where we struggle and we work to improve these areas and no matter the speed of our progress we begin to see meaning from within our lives. We learn to be patient with ourselves and we begin to have a clearer picture of what we are and are not yet prepared for.

This process leads not only to meaning and value; it forces us to be honest about where we are in our lives. The important part is realizing that it does not matter where we find ourselves, only that we find ourselves and begin working towards improving ourselves. There is no point on the map that any one of us is supposed to be at; there is no finish line. Personally, I do not have the ubiquitous 5-year plan and I don’t place much importance on goals that require being somewhere or somebody at a certain point in time.

Do not confuse this with a lack of goals or ambition — I have very clear goals and there are certain things I think would be nice to have in my life; however, I do not force things in my life that don’t belong. I can think that being married sounds nice but if the right person isn’t in my life I would surely make a mistake by marrying someone just for the sake of getting married, right? The idea, for me at least, is that I improve myself each day. I do not set out each day to work towards being a great father for when/if that time comes; rather I set out to create the most character I can each day so that when/if I become a father I will be confident in my abilities to be a good one.

My purpose is to work on myself each day to become better then I was yesterday and to do this with a positive and patient disposition. When I do this I have nothing to fear — I will be prepared for whatever the world decides to confront me with. I find meaning in overcoming these difficulties in life — I find value in looking back and recognizing growth from one day to the next and within this value and meaning I find that I haven’t prepared myself for a specific status, city, or relationship. Instead I find myself prepared for life, however, it decides to present itself to me each day.

My Balancing Act

Essays, MY PERSPECTIVE | MY STORIES


“If the world were to end tomorrow would you get wasted?” That was the question that got the table laughing and got a resounding “yes” in response from the others. I had just finished chairing a meeting at Bellevue hospital, speaking to those still in the terrifying grips of this illness so the others would have to excuse me if I didn’t share in their excitement. I wasn’t angered by the question nor did it change my opinion of those who answered it differently from myself. This hypothetical only has one thing to do with this essay: The question compelled me to consider how we respond to fear and it made me notice something that has changed within myself.

To say that I do not have an ego when it comes to my sobriety would be a mistake; my actual self is genuine and confident however it is mixed with a lot of self-criticisms, which is where most of my old ego can be found. Throw in the occasional self-congratulatory feeling followed by hours of beating myself up for having said feeling and there you have it, there is my old dysfunctional ego! This being said, the change that has occurred within me has gone far beyond the surface and my understanding of most things has been rebuilt. My desires have changed and the things that once excited me now upset me for the most part. I believe that within me there has been a psychic change, a spiritual shift. I have been changed at the core of myself; The change has worked itself throughout, redesigning my way of thinking. And this design doesn’t grasp the appeal of questions such as these because the anticipation to escape the world no longer has a meaningful place in my mind — at least not at the moment.

The compelling part in all of this for me is that I have been able to surrender my arms – the fighting and the debate have ceased. I no longer feel as though the world is lined up unfairly against me; The life that I live is actually a life that I want to live. There were moments in recovery when the struggle could be found in just leaving the house and the fear of falling back into old habits was always present. It is an exhausting and continuous effort for what you believe is right but at your core still aren’t totally sure you want. The confusion is powerful and it is difficult to trust in your own thoughts.  The miracle happens when this fight stops and the desire to escape these thoughts aren’t there because the old desires are no longer there. And for me, at least at this moment, the fighting is over.

A different kind of fight will be upon me very soon, however. This Friday I am returning to the neurologist who first told me, just over a year ago, that I have brain atrophy due to my many years of active alcoholism. The images of my brain revealed to her the damage I have put my physical self through over the years and left her more than a little concerned, comparing my brain to that of a 60-year-old man. She told me that this type of atrophy is reversible through sobriety though it is difficult to say what other areas could be damaged or later manifest into something more serious. I have taken neuropsychological exams to determine my cognitive ability, struggled at times with memory loss and speech and have experienced brief moments where I am utterly lost and confused. I have been told, in no uncertain terms, that my brain shows signs of what could be the beginning stages of multiple illnesses including epilepsy and muscular sclerosis. And of course the ever-present, always lurking illness of active alcoholism; the doctors do not need to remind me of the dangers it presents. I have all the information and the idea is to see how prepared I actually am; how do I react if the news is something unexpected? This is when the winds of change begin to roll in; will I roll with it?

So, if everything changes on Friday and my future becomes less certain, would I want to throw it all away? The way I view this question is similar to how I view the first question posed: To me, each question is essentially asking what you would do if there were no consequences due to a perceived lack of hope or meaning. If I answer yes to the first question, if I would head to the bar the night the world ends, I am telling you that I do not see the value in the life I have at this moment. In answering yes I am ultimately saying that, given zero consequences, the feeling I truly want is one of loneliness and isolation from others. To answer yes is to tell you that this life is an unwanted fight for me, that if given just the right set of circumstances I would change everything, and that the value in clarity is not all that important to me. But this is not how I feel, and so my answer remains no, I do not want to feel loneliness the way I once felt no matter the lack of consequences. That feeling is nothing but pain and suffering and the obsession to reach something beyond it is no longer there. I do not have an excuse to return to my old habits.

I understand that sometimes we cannot see the excuses we use to behave without reason or meaning. I know that there are times when it feels there is no way out, that life is too difficult to bear without numbing yourself. I have been through tragedy and I have used it as an excuse to act with reckless abandon; Sometimes you go through things in life and people will give you a pass, people will forgive you more easily for acting out, but nobody here has the authority to approve my reckless behavior.

I am asked why I focus so much on my sobriety. Some wonder if my sobriety has become my identityPerhaps this is my identity; if my identity is an honest, dependable person I will take it. What was my identity in the past? I was a ghost. Many who are in the throes of active addiction want to know how they’ll be rewarded once sober! I tell them that they get to be sober for another day and down the line they may realize how incredible that reality would be for them. I am committed to living a certain way because it brings forth the most positivity and meaning I can offer to the world and to those around me. I have found value and purpose in life, easily overwhelming any desire to escape; I am no longer fighting, I am living. So on Friday, when life happens, I will be ok with it. I will be able to continue the life that I lead because I know it carries value, more value than I have ever had. My life means something not only to myself but to others. I have been put in a place where my strength and desire to live a life of happiness can inspire others to continue fighting until it no longer feels like a bloodbath. My entire life lies beneath my feet, and this moment is one I choose to be connected to. In order to thrive in this world, I had to find my place in it. I had to find a purpose that I don’t want to give up, something that carries meaning and love. Life will happen however it happens, I have given up the idea that I control any of it, and ever since my life has been beyond comprehension. By relinquishing control of the world I find a new control within myself, a power and purpose that pushes me to live a life that I see fit. I know that life is difficult, it isn’t always comfortable and sometimes it’s altogether exhausting. I am finally a part of this world and I have every intention of enjoying this life, no matter what it throws my way.

I am committed to living a certain way because it brings forth the most positivity and meaning I can offer to the world and to those around me. I have found value and purpose in life, easily overwhelming any desire to escape; I am no longer fighting, I am living. So on Friday, when life happens, I will be ok with it. I will be able to continue the life that I lead because I know it carries value, more value than I have ever had. My life means something not only to myself but to others. I have been put in a place where my strength and desire to live a life of happiness can inspire others to continue fighting until it no longer feels like a bloodbath. My entire life lies beneath my feet, and this moment is one I choose to be connected to. In order to thrive in this world, I had to find my place in it. I had to find a purpose that I don’t want to give up, something that carries meaning and love. Life will happen however it happens, I have given up the idea that I control any of it, and ever since my life has been beyond comprehension. By relinquishing control of the world I find a new control within myself, a power and purpose that pushes me to live a life that I see fit. I know that life is difficult, it isn’t always comfortable and sometimes it’s altogether exhausting. I am finally a part of this world and I have every intention of enjoying this life, no matter what it throws my way.

Life lies beneath my feet, and this moment is one I choose to be connected to. In order to thrive in this world, I had to find my place in it. I had to find a purpose that I don’t want to give up, something that carries meaning and love. Life will happen however it happens, I have given up the idea that I control any of it, and since my life has been beyond comprehension. I had always felt a need to control every aspect of my life, lest I collapse in on myself, wasting chunks of my life in fear and worry over things that have nothing to do with me. The instant I released my grip and let go of a desire to control I felt harmony as though for the first time. I am finally a part of this world and I have every intention of enjoying this life, no matter what.

Now is When the Sun Shines Brightest

Essays, MY PERSPECTIVE | MY STORIES

“Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.” – Fyodor Dostoevsky 

Lately, things have been going well. I am turning 32 sometime this afternoon, and I have no idea what to say. I have no idea where I am going and no news on tomorrow. What fascinates me is that even though I have no certainties in my life, I am completely calm. I write, and I do volunteer work – I am not ashamed of my life today, nor should I be. What I have found interesting is that throughout my entire life I always presented myself as someone I was not. I would be anyone I thought you wanted me to be, albeit nobody ever told me to be a certain way. But I was so uncomfortable, so full of self-doubt that I thought if I just played the role of somebody significant I would, at some point, become someone significant.

The difference in my life today is that I do not live in fear – for I have nothing to fear. I can fall asleep without worry and am no longer tethered to the anxieties of my past. This lack of fear is not based in any knowledge of the future of course. What I have instead is understanding of the present. I know, for the first time in my life, who I am. What I once believed to be spectacular now pales in comparison to what I think my life has turned into.

I find only joy in the embrace of others and the eyes of strangers. I find myself in stages of passion that I never knew existed. The gift of life is only realized when one believes life can be fulfilling. A life that was once wildly confusing and based in a mental delusion is now lived with a fixed intensity on the day, letting go of my grip find my footing. The pathway to fulfillment and happiness is not found in magazines as I once believed. I have lived a life that has taught me precisely what does not bring me any satisfaction, and I have no room for them any longer.

I do not need to be known as anyone in particular. I only wish to be a source of light for those that need me and a place of compassion for those that do not understand me. I do not want to judge any longer – I have no room for it in my heart. I wish to grab the day with vigor and an unyielding passion for life in whatever form it comes. I would like to be present in the hearts of others, not as a burden but as a light.

I know who I want to be for the first time in my life, and it is not specific. I wish to be an impactful person, if only for brief moments in the lives of others. I would like to be a positive presence so that when I part company people will feel better than when I arrived. I hope to make an impression on you, to let you know that there is brightness deeper than you ever imagined inside of you. That you have the capacity to become more than you ever thought possible. I hope to instill in others the notion that we find no progress in comparing ourselves to others, rather we find progress in becoming better than we were yesterday.

I hope to trigger the emotion that leads others to see the benefits of reflection and honest introspection. That we have nothing to feel ashamed of so long as we continue breathing life into each moment. I hope to be this person because I have found a way to live a life beyond my expectations. At once I found that a life of fear, anger and pity is a life that is empty – a life that I do not wish to entertain.

I hope that you can feel the passion with which I type these words – the relentless pursuit of fulfillment and progress that comes with this life. I do not wish to bend your views to my opinion; I wish for you to build your energy into what you wish. I can face the world eye to eye and be the person I had always hoped to become – I sense the urgency each morning to prove to myself that I have what it takes to be better than I was yesterday.

Everything in my life lies one step in front of me. I do not rush life; I do not try to push it around. I do not wish the world to accept me; I would like to accept the world. I see the universe unleash its beauty in your smile – I see the sun shining fiercely in the eyes of those I love. I can accept the embrace of others – I can give more than I take. Each moment brings forth the bricks that I shall build my path with. Life is waiting for us to grab it – it is waiting for us to take hold of each other and carry love and compassion throughout the day instead of forcing ourselves upon others, smashing the dreams of those around us. I rise to meet the world eye to eye for the first time in my life. My happiness is not bound to anything in particular – it is found in the words I share with you and the smile I see in your eyes. Go out and take your life back and I will do the same – For the world will be whatever it will be, and I will be myself!