This is my reality.
Friday nights on a bench at the corner of Bishop and Eighth Street.
I find myself there quite often.
Between the sounds of the street and the sounds of people talking,
The shuffling of feet and the laughter among the group of friends that sit inside the restaurant behind me,
I realize that most of who I am and who I was is based on the people that surround or once surrounded me.
I never gave myself the chance of becoming someone outside of somebody else.
It’s actually kind of scary.
Wait, it’s actually really scary.
You might look at me and I look like your average hispanic.
Short in stature, brown eyes, brown skin.
Nothing that really meets the eye except for the ever-changing colors of my hair.
Today gray and tomorrow pink.
Who’s to say what color is next.
But aside from that, I don’t particularly stand out.
As time has passed I have lost parts of me in places I felt the safest.
It didn’t feel like anger.
It felt more like betrayal.
I lost relationships.
I lost safety nets.
I lost my mind.
And a deep rooted sadness was awakened.
I had breakdowns night after night alone in my bedroom.
Those closest to me could not understand.
I couldn’t look broken.
I sit at coffee shops and watch people enjoy the company of others while I look at the seat in front of me.
I drive home at night with the windows rolled down and the music loud enough to drown the sounds of sadness and hurt coming from the depths of my chest.
How could a heart so big feel so unloved?
I often wonder why I was made to feel so deeply.
Why do I desire intimacy?
I didn’t quite understand.
I beat myself up everyday for feeling so hard.
Every wishing I was as happy as they all looked.
I want to smile and laugh and glow.
But I cry and drown and burn in the sounds of pain.
It took a large amount of strength to even leave my bed some days.
Everything started to look gray and I reverted to my old ways of riding the wave while everything and everyone around me drew close while I pushed away.
My heart fixated on never feeling again.
The blade and the desire for feeling something other than emotional pain rose higher.
4 years, 9 months and 22 days.
That alone was another wave of emotion added to the already raging seas.
It was no longer just sadness and betrayal, but disappointment and regret.
I was drowning.
“How could I lose again?”
“Why wasn’t I strong enough?”
“Where were you when I needed you the most?”
And while I was angry at you for not being there when I felt I needed you most, I knew better.
I blamed your silence for the fresh pink wounds that cried red all the way down my leg.
I did this to myself.
But this is also reality,
Sunday morning coffee with my closest friends filled with conversation, laughter and sporadic yawns.
The shared look between two friends who haven’t slept but 3 hours.
Church services filled with the joy and peace of God.
A God who loves unconditionally and relentlessly despite my mistakes.
His acceptance despite all of my flaws.
His pursuit within my deepest doubt.
A God that no matter how hard I push away remains near.
A God whom I can call , regardless of time and place.
Who’s reassurance is “I will be found by you.”
A God who makes no demands.
A God who is always waiting for me to draw near so that He too may draw near to me.
The one who can do the impossible.
The maker of heaven and earth.
Creator of all things.
Stabilizer of the raging sea.
The alpha and the Omega.
Beginning and the end.
Sunday night dinners with family and friends.
Goodnight kisses and “I made it home” texts.
Spontaneous road trips for coffee and random trips to gas stations for junk food we will immediately regret.
Going to Chili’s so often the waiters know you by name.
This is also my reality.
Going to bed past 2am because running the streets with cameras is more thrilling than sleep.
Climbing ladders and jumping rooftops for that perfect shot.
Doing things for the “instapics” and laughing about it later.
Sharing stories and jokes during game nights because sometimes staying in is better than going out.
Being too broke to afford popcorn at the movies and telling all of your friends to bring their biggest bags so you can sneak in the snacks.
Binge watching TV shows alone or with friends.
Movie nights and really dim lights.
That is also reality.
Yet somehow, it is so much easier to sulk on the
first reality than to enjoy the second.
It isn’t easy to overlook what hurts.
It isn’t easy to shut out pain.
But nothing worthwhile is.
So you tell me,
Which reality will you pick?
Until next time my friends,
your average human