Being Strong

April 16, 2013

I’ve been away writing the final story and editing the manuscript for Charcoal Streets. This is my baby. It’s what I’ve worked for years to create. I’m a bit on edge and have devoted more time to it by neglecting the site and my other writing. I haven’t felt this nervous since I presented my thesis. I feel hyper-vigilant and tense.

This weekend, my family endured another tragedy.

Sometimes it feels like it’s all I do. I remember those who are gone. I look back and the future looks hazy, like a dream I’m trying to remember. Other things happened recently, but I really don’t want to go into them. Suffice to say, it ended with me on the floor, unable to move, and completely numb for the better part of a day.

I’m not a perfect person. I’m not a world-renowned writer. But I want to be. Sometimes, it’s the only thing that keeps me going.

Keep trying. Keep moving. Don’t ever stop.

They’re lessons I learned the hard way. I’ve seen what complacency does to people. I’ve seen what wallowing in the past can do for a psyche. It’s not pretty. I don’t want to live in the past, but at the same time, I want to honor it. I have keepsakes from my uncles, my grandfather, my aunts, friends I’ve lost… I keep them close, but I don’t want them to weigh me down.

It’s that balancing act that’s hardest around days like this.

How do you keep going when the past pulls you and even the thought of changing, of going another day, is enough to make your heart sink?

You just do.

Fear can be a healthy thing, but it should never rule you. Courage is acting in the face of fear. Being strong doesn’t mean not feeling. It means acting despite what you know are irrational, self-destructive feelings.

I’m not a perfect person, but I’m trying to be a better man. I’m not a world-renowned writer, but I’ve never stopped practicing my craft. I’m not even the world’s greatest husband, but I will never not love my wife and stop trying to be better for her.

The world doesn’t stop when bad things happen. We do. Whether or not we eventually catch up and keep moving is up to us. Maybe we’re not as strong as we should be, but we can fake it long enough to actually become as strong as we need to be.

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