A pair of doves and two red breasted robins are sitting on the back fence. I can only assume they all know one another. The doves stare at me, the robins are engulfed in their own conversation, and I’m wondering what the five of us are doing up so early. It’s looking like rain.
I missed an anniversary this month. Hell, let’s stamp some truth on it, I just forgot. I suppose that says something but for the life of me I can’t decipher what. Why do I feel as if mornings like these need to run with some baseline cathartic current? Maybe it’s the birds, all of which have now deserted me in favor of more enthusiastic company.
August 3rd, 2017. Early morning on a Thursday, I walked out of the hospital where I had worked nearly twelve years. A holder of multiple, respectable degrees. A pursuer of a career that I never wanted. A cog in a sick little machine. I seem cynical. Maybe I’m just bitter that I didn’t start sooner. Even though the date has has came and went the memory of everything is still fresh and juicy, tucked away safe in the back of my brain. This is the same set of keys my fingers were licking that very morning. This is the same screen where I poured out the words of what I was feeling while I was standing at the edge. Jesus. That was over four years ago.
My thoughts are growing misty. I know there should be a well-seasoned dose of wisdom that I could offer you by this point, but there isn’t. After all the miles and all the skies and all the wins and all the losses you would think that somehow I’d be able to see a little farther, a little more clearly or at the very least paint a picture with brighter colors, but I can’t.
Four years of unspeakable beauty and freedom. Four years of loss and heartbreak and uncertainty. You have to take the good with the bad when you sign up for this kind of ride, and these kinds of rides are always one way.
I am not the same man who walked out the doors and into the wet August air four years ago. These experiences force a weird metamorphosis, inescapable and direct mutation that leads to the next big jump. Heraclitus would say something about wading through rivers….
I wish there was something more I could give you; some bit of knowledge I’ve gained that might help tip you to one side of the boat or the other should you be considering sailing out into the same water I’m treading. There’s just not much there.
But one thing is certain, dear reader, should you be struggling with making a decision about whether or not you’re “ready” to do something, then you’re not. And if you think that a blind faith in your own abilities will save you and make everything alright…then that means you’re not ready either. Venturing this far off the map is never something that you simply choose to do, it’s something that HAS to happen so you can breathe. The true line to salvation is always drawn along the edge between terror and absolution, along that sickening peak where desperation suddenly gives way to quiet calm and when you get there, you’ll know. Deep water is deep water no matter if you can see the bottom or not.
The doves are back.