I will not ask you to love me to the moon and back, just stay a little closer when the stars pull us apart. -Uzma Khan
If a tree falls in the woods and nobody is there to hear it, does it still make a sound? Let me ask, if you experience a day so incredible, but have nobody to share it with, was it worth it?
I’ve never been very public with my romantic relationships. It was never because I was ashamed of her, or even that she chose not to be announced. Instead, I was too much of a coward to tell the world someone else made me happy.
Why was that even a perception I held within? Was it because growing up, struggle and hardship was a rite of passage, and happiness was a fairy tale? Was it because the shame of my wrongdoings in life governed, and happiness wasn’t something I deserved? Was it even the fact that I feared the stigma of being in an interracial relationship? Whatever it was, if keeping myself in pain and shame was the goal, it worked, because I lost, yet again. And, again, hurting a beautiful soul along the way.
This ‘trip around the sun’ led me right back to my self-inflicted cycle of sorrow, shame and regret.
Another cycle of recognizing far too late that the person who smiled back at you every waking morning wanted to be there and wasn’t doing you a favor. Another cycle of adding another chapter of shame and regret to this so-called life, the life that nobody else sees but oneself.
The life everyone else saw was one highlighted by a prevailing “blue-check.” Life was methodical, scheduled and controlled, instead of spontaneous, free and enjoyed. I’m quite certain I didn’t make the cut in theater class, so why was this role being acted out. For a person so introverted, I sure did reach for a lot of unfulfilling, surface leveled attention, attention that never filled my cup.
This life isn’t meant to be lived alone. Life is difficult, leaving us to navigate blindly, hence why we are given partners to help charge forward. Just as God wants to walk side by side with us through life, He wants us to walk side by side with the given souls in our life. It’s no accident you ran into this special person, because that would be considered a mistake, and God doesn’t make mistakes.
Lessons learned during our various trips around the sun aren’t meant to punish but enable growth. We must allow that growth to take place and release control over everything we have, or at least everything we think we have. I’m praying to no longer live a life for others, but rather the one in front, alongside, and within me. I’m praying to seize this perceived control, and let life come to me.
I'm left to wonder that had this not happen, would there have been any change in my character? I was stuck in a trance, no thoughts on future plans, no recollection on past ideals. However, with this pain, can I say that my heart has been finally jump-started? With this pain, can I say that I am finally awake? With this pain, can I say that I am changed? I have never been so certain about what I want now in life; never so certain about what the soul silently speaks on. It is just unfortunate that it may have been too late for such complete, healthy and abundant happiness.
All I wanted was to have ice cream with my best-friend on my birthday. That wish has faded, and possibly this soul of mine.
People are attracted to my heart… Not in ways of desire or lust, but in ways of purity and luminescence. They see something of grandeur and respectability. Such a shame to not be one of those attracted to one’s own light…. Blinded by my own shame that the eyes gaze elsewhere for clarity.
Don’t lose your moon by counting the stars
**If you haven’t noticed a theme, I must take time away from social media so to focus this gaze on what’s important. I served it and allowed it to control me. I will get back to journal writing without restraint, because my writing has suffered severely; an outlet needed for my mind and heart to come together. I must strip down the unnecessary so that I can see the necessary.
Jeremy Dodson is a Track & Field Olympian who struggles with the idea of perfection, hoping to break the barrier we place on ourselves so that genuine living can take place for everyone.