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It’s hard to make it home when you’re always on the wrong road

As we drove deeper into Brooklyn and away from the madness in Manhattan I asked the driver to drop me several avenues away from my building. I decided I wanted to walk a bit – walking often brings me clarity.

As I continued down the sidewalk a smile grew across my face. It was the kind of smile you get when you have just parted ways with the girl you can’t stop thinking about. I felt the rush of the year pass through me and I paused to look up, glancing slowly toward the moon. My mind raced as I thought about the year gone by – I can’t come close to understanding everything that has happened. What I can grasp is the level of comfort I feel in this world, the level of gratitude I have for the person I have become. The appreciation for the innumerable faces that helped me along the way – the countless phone numbers, hugs and handshakes. The compassionate glances, the understanding look in people’s eyes – I feel it all.

In 2006 I wrote a poem with the line “The things that once held me are now the things I must carry around.” Those things were the lies that I had told, the false pride and the pretentious nature within me. They propped me up for much of my adult life and at once they became a burden. Today I carry no burden – I am without senseless fear. The things that prop me up are the connections I have built with others through honesty – the connection I have built with myself through genuine introspection. I am no longer connected to the life I once called home. I do not feel guilt and shame the way I once did, when it consumed my every waking moment.

Today I have no New Years resolution, I believe my life to be a resolution of sorts. Each day is a new year, a new lifetime for me. Today I am in love – I am smitten with this world. I hold this feeling each moment as the time passes by without worry. I know to stay in this moment, to stay in each moment as they jump from here to there. I am not trying to take any shortcuts, I don’t want the easy way out. I want to breathe because I earned the right to breathe. I have earned my seat in this life, in this year and in this moment.

I have seen the strength that others are capable of. I need the people for inspiration, for I know I cannot do this alone. Today I accept my limitations and I keep my thoughts on the present. All that I know today is how I do not want to live my life, and that is more than enough to point me in the right direction.

I pull back from trying to understand beauty in this world, I just allow myself to live within it. The world has not changed, the people will not change, it is I that had to change. I am persistent in this new life, always satisfied but always moving. I am able to see what I once thought was a hallucination of the mind. My eyes have been restored and beauty has returned.

I tell you that I love you with passion in my heart. I am not wrong, I cannot feign feelings this powerful. My love does not need to be returned, for I am always moving. I want you to move with me though, I want you to realize your life to be whatever you wish it to be. I want to shutter my mouth and prove my thoughts through my actions. I want you to know that I have never felt this before and this feeling cannot be mistaken for any false hope.

I pull myself back from trying to make you fit into my world, rather I see now that it is I that has to compromise to you. This life is not a sacrifice, I only give up the things that hold me back. I let go of control and plunge myself into the day, forever putting my hand out first so that we may connect. Today I am able to cope with life knowing that it always returns to me brighter than when it left. I am a constant work in progress, forever putting myself in the throes of action and reflection so that I may be of service to you.

Today I want to give you the best version of myself. I want to be a constant source of inspiration and proof that life beyond the bar exists. I want you to feel me when I walk into a room, to know that something bright is coming. I want you to wonder what makes me smile in the face of fire. I want to be these things because that is what you are for me. You are where I go when I need to feel safe. Your embrace is what reminds me that this is forever worth the fight. You make me believe that the struggle is no struggle at all, it is life.

You are the one that understands me, that doesn’t judge me because of my past. You can rest on my chest and feel safe – you don’t have to feel alone anymore. I want to let you run wild with passion and see beauty in this world. I work with you everyday, understanding the path to fulfillment is never found in taking what I want but rather found in giving all I can. I need this life and I am not concerned with anyone else’s approval. I do not wish to control the outcome – I don’t believe my will can push things in the direction I want. I want the world to find me when it will and see me focused on each step.

I want to be a part of this world, I no longer want to create my own universe. My only desires are love, passion and beauty. I do not worry which way they will be delivered – I worry about this step in front of me. I want you to come with me, forever with me along this road. You are my everything – I know that I have finally found my way home.

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Rhett Burch is a writer & mental health advocate/board member with the North American Mental Illness organization in NYC. Through personal essays he shares his story of recovery and the different processes that have relieved him from many years of self-destructive behavior, depression, anxiety, and at times outright misery. His insight into the human struggle comes from personal experience and the subsequent relationship he has developed with those who still suffer. Rhett believes that by connecting with others through love and compassion, he can continually develop a clearer understanding of himself. Rhett approaches those that ask for help and does not force his views upon anyone. He practices a non-judgmental stance in all of his affairs and hopes that his experience, courage, and compassion will resonate with those that read it. ​

2 thoughts on “Home

  1. I am speechless, because what you wrote is exactly how I feel. What I overcame to actually be alive. and after I woke up from surgery, as close as one can get without dying, it became clear to me who I was and what I needed to do, what I needed to change. Everything was so clear. It has been hard watching people close to me go through life like a robot with no appreciation that they are even alive. Every moment of my day is spent in some way that progresses who I am. Lately I have been angry because people just don’t “get me”, and the passion I have for my life scares them away because they can’t talk any deeper than talking about the weather. I am learning that I shouldn’t respond to their negativity, but to on focus my energy on them to be happy. I’m going to follow you. I want to get to know you. I have 2 blogs. One is on Jamie and the prison system and the other one has more variety. If you want to see it go to
    http://watchandwhirl.wordpress.com. I will be back and read everything you write.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words. I hope to get to know you as well and I believe I am following both of your blogs, though admittedly I haven’t been able to read much as of late.

      One thing I was taught, concerning your anger towards others, was to always keep my side of the street clean and not worry how others live. When I worry about others I take attention away from what I should be doing to continually improve myself. When I waste energy trying to convince others I let another day go by when I have done nothing to better myself. I focus on my own issues and the people who are meant to be around, the ones who will “get me,” will find themselves to me. It takes patience and admitting my mistakes, but it makes life easier and actually attracts the people that I want in my life! Just a thought…

      I look forward to reading your blogs and thank you again!

      Rhett Burch

      Like

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