The way through…

There are moments in life when we’re taking our time, creating things, and something from our past rears its ugly head.

This happened the other day.

I’ve written since middle school. It’s only been in the last five years I decided to take my writing seriously. The main reason I decided to pursue my writing full-time is that of my wife’s encouragement.

Before that time I’d only done it on the side and never considered my writing worthy of publication.

Then, something happened. Someone told me I’d never be a writer.  That I’d never do what I love doing. It was a hard blow. Afterward, I contemplated a lot of things, suicide one of them.

Then, I realized something. That person didn’t know who I was and had no interest in discovering the person I was.

It wasn’t that they said those words, it was more that I took it to heart. I believed them. I felt like they were right about me.

Today, life is different. I understand that person didn’t know me and never cared to.

Without my wife’s encouragement, I’m not sure I would have continued to write.

I’m at a crossroads with my writing. Do I keep going, take a chance, and struggle a little more or do I quit?

After all, I’ve done in my life I only have a couple of things I’m proud of: My wife, my kids, and my writing.

I’ve written seven novels, over a hundred short stories but I haven’t published any of them. Maybe that person’s words influenced my thinking for a few years afterward. Now, I don’t feel that way.

The road used to be cluttered with doubt and fear. Today, I that same road is full of possibilities.

I’ve found the way through. I found it on my own and now it’s time to crush it.

Be Brave and Enjoy the Sunlight.

I wonder often about the life I’ve lead.

It comes to me at night. I’ll ponder the things I’ve done. People I’ve wronged and consider whether the life I have has been worth the things I’ve been through.

Those moments are surrounded by others.

These others are filled with the laughter of my kids, my wife’s kiss, and my morning writing.

For the first time in a while, I feel like my life is going in the correct direction.

Yes, I write fervently. I get my word count on a new WiP every day.  I work on revisions and edits every day on another story or novel.

But all the tired nights, exhausted mornings and cups of coffee are worth it for what I’m attempting.

Each person reaches a point where they want to stop. I have a couple of times.

When this point is reached, we have to look around and think about how far we’ve come. And all we’ve done to reach this current state.

That moment may come while we’re in the shower or it may come in a flash of fireworks erupting over our heads as we look at our wife and kids.

Today, I’m in a good place. I know they aren’t all good so I’m going to recognize this one. Have a good rest of your day.

Becoming…

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There are days when life strikes, and writing becomes secondary.

When these moments happen, I close my eyes and take care of it.

A few years ago, I wasn’t as bold. When confronted by adversity, I would hide away.

I wouldn’t discuss what was going on with me. I didn’t want the world to know I couldn’t handle life.

As a male, this is what we’re taught.

I was never told not to cry by my parents, but when something went wrong, I would have to “grow up.”

The majority of this came from my father.

He’d use words he thought were motivating when in fact they were emasculating. As a teenager, I had poor self-esteem because of the things he said.

I didn’t understand that a father behaving that way wasn’t normal. Until I had my own son and realized the harm words like, skinny, wimp, and many others were.

A few years ago, I was stuck. I hated who I was. I hated how I treated my wife, kids, and myself.

I woke up one day and realized the horrible person I was to my wife and decided to change.

I knew it would be difficult, but I had to do it.

I couldn’t turn into my father.

I didn’t want my kids to look at me the way I looked at my father.

I grew up in fear of him.

Now, nearly twenty years after we went our separate ways. I’m a better man and a better husband and father for not having him in our lives.

At the beginning of my choice to change, I had to think through every interaction with people.

I had to consciously acknowledge my failings.

Becoming aware of who you are, how you’ve reacted to situations and people, makes you hate yourself.

It also is an eye-opening experience that shatters all the notions of self.

You realize you’re not a wonderful person. You think about all the times you screwed up and blamed others.

The offender stares at you every morning when you look in the mirror. Even today, I see him.

I know that person is still there. It will always be there and I’ll always fight it.

Change is difficult.

Understanding who you are and what needs to change makes all the difference.

The sudden realization that you’re not the good person you show the rest of the world changes you.

Today, I’m a better person than I was a few years ago because I decided to change who I am.

Its been a difficult road, but every day I look in the mirror I feel more confident in who I’ve become.