Every step I take from now on is for self improvement, being as considerate as I can to those around me without pushing my own needs to the end of the line again.
Every step I take from now on is for self improvement, being as considerate as I can to those around me without pushing my own needs to the end of the line again.
The same thought keep on resonating in my mind, the same words over and over again. That even though things get rough sometimes there’s always beauty to be seen, always happiness to be found no matter how dark things may look. Most times it isn’t that obvious, it’s in the little things that most of us overlook while living our busy lives, walking past them as we hurry along to get where we want to be, rather than stopping at where we need to be, to take a break from what we must to see what we want, what we really need. Not to just live but to feel alive, not to just work but to make it work and not to just have but to cherish. And for some of us it is a long road to finally get to where we feel good, feel comfortable and allowed to be ourselves. Some may never find that place due to pressure or the ease of just following the crowds in their routines. To just get dragged away by the stream that is society, with its rules on how to behave and its standards on how to be to be accepted even when that doesn’t align with our personalities or goals. It is easier to adapt most of the times to seem perfect in the eyes of total strangers, colleagues and even friends. But in the end you will not be the best person you could be, you will never reach that full potential that is within every single one of us, buried deep and waiting to be uncovered, to see the light and to grow into something majestic.
I am still on the road to finding out for myself but every step I take, I try to take it with purpose, with a goal towards a future that I want, a future I didn’t know I wanted a year ago, when I too thought all was lost, that my story would evolve no further and all hope seemed lost. I am passed that way of thinking now, I once again believe that I can do something and I owe a lot of it to certain people that never stopped believing, even when I did. They gave me the tools to escape from that dark place and I took the opportunity to traverse back into the light. Started to make plans for the future again and I tend to fulfill them, one at a time. Setting higher goals as I complete one. Going back to school is the first step, just thinking about it gives me a lot of confidence and even though it will be time consuming it gives me energy and motivation. It has brought back my will to live life and to not let life live me. To grab hold of the reigns again and to head into the future at full speed.
There is a lot I still have to learn but I know I’ll get there, to that point in life where I can finally confidently say that I am happy with my life and more importantly, myself.
A mild breeze made the fallen leaves rustle, the trees were trading their lush green colored garments for red, yellow and brown. Most of the flora was making preparations for the season to come. Mushrooms started sprouting in large numbers and all kinds of hibernating creatures were making sure their winter stash was sufficient to last them through the winter that would not hold back for much longer. The forest was buzzing with activity and even the weather became more restless. It had been raining a whole lot and it made several of the small creeks overflow turning parts of the forest into a soggy swamp like environment. Most of the birds that preferred a warmer climate had already departed south and only the species that could withstand the dropping temperatures filled the forest with their songs. In the distance you could hear the hard work of a lumberjack, who was gathering firewood for the people of his settlement. This settlement had rooted in a large clearing surrounded by ancient trees and once had the purpose of being a traders outpost for fur traders. The area surrounding the settlement was rich in wildlife; including deer, rabbits, foxes and the occasional pack of wolves. Most of the men there made a living of hunting down and skinning animals to then sell them to the passing merchants, who would in turn bring other goods that were useful for the small but thriving community. That was the case until a war broke out and the roads leading up to the settlement were getting too dangerous for the merchants to travel. Most of them got caught up in skirmishes or were executed suspected of being spies for the opposing side. The settlement itself had not yet faced any troubles regarding the war because of their secluded location.
The life of the inhabitants had changed tremendously when the trade came to an end, now only very rarely a brave, and lucky, trader would come by but there was a limit on the amount of furs he could afford to take back to civilization. The settlement that was once pretty wealthy and thriving came to a standstill. They had to make the best out of what they had while keeping a close eye on the progress of the war. The hunters had the responsibility to keep an eye out for marauding bands of soldiers and deserters coming too close to the small village. They did have a wooden palisade around the village center in case of a emergency but that would hardly stop an army. Many of the villagers had already left for what they thought was a safer place to live but none of them had been heard of ever since. Since the war started the small makeshift chapel had been busier than ever and most of the villagers turned devout in hopes that God would spare them from the war and praying for the souls of those who chose to leave. The priest had to take three times as many confessions as he had since the settlement was founded and he had to call upon some of his most devout followers to assist him with his holy duties. He was getting old. He had already passed his fiftieth year and his body was starting to fail on him. He had to use a walking stick to keep his balance and his eyes had gone dark. Some disease had stricken him which had made him blind in a matter of weeks. The people in the village were sure he was going to die at that point since during his illness he had high fevers and he could not leave his bed for at least six weeks. He had already prepared a successor as best he could and he was his biggest help. They lived in the same wooden house, neighboring the chapel and he knew that soon, the old man would pass away and he would have to carry the burden of providing the holy services that God required of him and on which the people of the village had grown dependent. And little did they know, their faith would soon be the only light in their lives.
A few months later, winter had a strong grip on the lands surrounding the town. The forest had succumb to the freezing winds and snowfall, the entire forest was covered in a white blanket. Temperatures had dropped so low most of the slow flowing streams in the area had a thick layer of ice covering their clear water. The well they had dug out near the edge of town was also unusable. They had to resort to melting snow over their fireplaces. Firewood was still plentiful since the lumberjacks had been working on the supply since last winter. Most of the people in the town spent most of their days indoors and kept themselves busy with whatever tasks they could. The hunters had it the hardest. They had a hard time finding prey in the usually teeming forest. They had trouble finding any deer or wild boars at all, even the wolves that roamed these parts hadn’t been seen for a while. It was almost like all of the wildlife had vanished. The animals they did found were mostly sick or crippled and even those were sparse. There had been no word on the war either; not a single merchant had made his way into their village for a few months now. It started to worry some of the villagers, the chapel was buzzing with activity from early in the morning until late at night. The old priest and his young apprentice barely had any time to themselves. They had to reassure the people that this time of doubt would soon pass and that they would soon go back to their old lifestyle. This went on for a few more weeks, until one of the hunters came back with even more disturbing news. While out hunting he had seen that most of the trees were dying, he nearly got crushed by a rotten branch falling from a great oak, upon closer inspection he discovered that the entire tree was dead and that most of the surrounding trees were also showing signs of decay, he told them that every single tree surrounding their village for many miles was sick. The word spread quickly around town and people were starting to panic, most of them sought out the priests for an answer, though they knew little themselves. They had never heard of something like this and they had no clear explanation. They managed to put at least a bit of comfort into the villagers hearts but they remained fearful. The food stocks were almost halfway gone and they still had to go through a big chunk of winter. That night, no-one slept easy. A blizzard was laying siege upon the village and all of the wooden cabins trembled in the strong winds. The sound of the storm was deafening, the whistling of the wind along with the creaking of the wooden structures. Along with those natural sounds something else could be heard. A high pitched scream, coming from the forest edge. Only a few villagers heard it but they confused it with the wind and payed no notice, except for one of the hunters, the same hunter that had noticed the dying forest. When he looked out through the crack in his door he noticed something strange on the forest’s edge. He saw several shapes, the snow prevented him to make out any details but he was sure that the screaming came from these. Against his instincts he went outside, telling his wife to bolt the door shut behind him. She begged him not to go outside in this weather but he ignored her pleas, donned a woolen mantle and went outside, towards the shapes.
We all need them, the few people in our lives which we can lean on. People that’ll never give up on you no matter how you act or how you change. People that’ll always see that one thing in you that made them your friends in the first place. They’ll always find a way to once again make that spark light up and enlighten them, enlighten yourself. Even the darkest of times can’t hold them back and they would go to hell and back for you. They would give you their all without requiring anything in return. They are the ones that’ll pick you up when you fall down or that’ll wait until you are ready to get back up yourself. They will carry your burdens and you will carry theirs as if they were your own. You will find a solution for the hardest of life’s challenges or find a compromise that at that time is the better option.
I have recently discovered those people in my life. Even though I have felt alone for so long, surrounding myself with people I thought were my friends but in fact were just people who happened to be there, who happened to be available. I have neglected the people who really mattered for a long time, drowning myself in sorrow and self-pity. I felt “good” on my own, I didn’t have the urge to talk to anyone. I got used to being alone. Have always been the worse at talking to strangers and I would rather avoid it than to engage in a conversation. But some how, these people dug their way into my life, patiently chipping away at the walls I had put up around myself and breached into my comfort zone, taking up a special place in my heart. These are people I would never want to lose again and I would give my life for them. I am very grateful for their patience and for them to see the light in me I had never noticed myself. At the same time I feel bad for shutting myself off from the outside world a few months ago, falling back into my bad habit of being alone and being perfectly comfortable with it. Not willing to bother anyone with my problems, not wanting to add to their own burdens by sharing my own. But even then, they stood there. Waiting for me to emerge again, as if nothing had ever happened. As if I didn’t turn my back on them for my own selfish need to be alone. Never again I say. Never again will I abandon the ones that matter, the ones I should cherish and hold close. The ones that’ll always have a place in my heart, and I in theirs.
I’m back again for some more writing about the every day joys that life has to offer. I can only say that I had a great day of from work. I stayed in bed for way too long but I can’t feel guilty about that. There isn’t much that beats reading a book in a overly relaxed state. I kept on turning pages after I woke up and before I knew it half the day had passed me by. I didn’t even notice how beautiful the weather was outside, which is surprising since we’re well into October now. The sun was shining, there were barely any clouds and temperatures were good enough to leave the house without a jacket. So I grabbed the necessities and made way towards my mother’s house for a little family visit.
When I got there I noticed my aunt, who has a lovely little house on Sao Tomé, a small island off the coast of central Africa, stopped by for a visit. As usual she had some wonderful stories to share with us from her experiences spending time amidst an entirely different culture. It all sounds wonderful and I marked a new destination on my “places I must visit” list; which by this time is getting longer and longer. I am pretty sure that if I would one day win the lottery that I would use a lot of that money to see the world and experience as many different cultures and lifestyles as possible. The country I live in has a big variety of people and cultures and I love it. I love learning their habits and most of all, taste their traditional types of food. If anything makes me a happy camper it is a battle between an amazing book or an amazing meal. A battle that could be won by either side easily.
I also came to the realization that I am more out of shape than ever, I spent the majority of the afternoon running around the backyard with my little brother. He just kept on going tirelessly while I tried to keep up his pace. Even as I am writing this I feel sour in muscles that I didn’t even know I had but honestly, it feels great. It makes me feel alive.
I hope that the upcoming days, weeks, months and years will bring me as much joy as these last weeks have provided, I know that I am capable of facing the challenges life will throw at me, it is just the way you cope with them that makes the difference, and I have finally found a way to do so.
Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed reading this. The short story I am working on is about half way done and should be released soon! Keep looking out for that one.
Today, nothing but praise. Praise for that one person that managed to get me back on the right track.
You, so very far away, were the one that made me smile again. You were the one that made me experience joy again in a way I did not deem possible. You were the one that lighted my fire again and you made it spread throughout my body, my mind, my soul. There was a connection from the very beginning, something that made me feel comfortable around you without doubting any of it, you made me forget about all that was bad and all I could focus on was the time I spent with you. You motivated me and you revived my creativity, you were the one that made me write, draw and dream again. The only one responsible for the fact that I once again have clear feelings in my life and a purpose. I don’t know what but something about you made me enjoy life again and to not let it rule me any longer, I started to have hope again, that I too, am worth something in this world. You made it possible for me to start building my own future, be it one brick at a time. You were the one that provided me with the foundations. The fact that we don’t speak that much anymore doesn’t stop me from feeling this way. Your name echoes through my head with everything I do, everything I create and every single dream I have is not complete without you in it. I hope, with all my heart that I will be able to meet you one day in the near future and that is not too late. I am willing to devote every single free moment I have to you and I hope that by then you will still be able to do the same.
Another day, another attempt at putting my thoughts to writing.
Since a few days I have decided upon something I’m very excited about, I’m picking up school again in the form of home schooling and I’ll be learning a brand new language while freshening up the ones I already know. There’ll be some mandatory classes on the side I’ll have to take but they’re all part of the diploma I’ll have in my hands in the end and they’ll all open doors for me to step up in my life. The languages included in this class are German, French, English and Dutch. It’ll be a though nut to crack but I am motivated enough to pull this off. Languages have always been my thing and I’ve been set on learning as many as I can. So far the past events in my life had put a brake on my will to put time into anything at all but I’ve come on a crossroads in my life that made me realise it was now or never.
I am pretty happy to once again have a real and managable goal in life and I am going to commit to that with everything I have.
I hope to end all of my future blogs on a positive note from now on!