My Journey: excerpts

I want to live where no one knows
Where I’m not “him” that guy people used to know
Where they only see the good of my soul
I want to feel home again before I go

There are times like these
When my spirit is shaken and on it’s knees
When I’m constantly reminded of who I used to be
Screaming in silence

I want to be free
Free of the memories
Free of the guilt
free of the sadness and tears spilt

Unspeakable, unthinkable, unbelievable for me
They all move on without me
But not this cat out on a limb
Too afraid to leap into life
I’m “him”
There was no blinding light
There were no fires
There were no angels singing
or agonizing cries
No gates were opened
No gates were closed
Because there were no gates
No lines no rows

So what now that I know the truth? That everything I believed in is wrong, a happen chance existence.

And yet I happened by chance

Confusion fueled by loneliness
Confusion fueled by lingering hate
Hate fueled by sadness and the look in her eyes when I heard her say,
“I hate you! You are nothing! Just go away…

I tried to fight with nothing left inside
I tried to end what had no end in sight
I gave up on this life and rode away
Looking for my grand exit

My weakness confused for strength, .
Met with smiles by those who didn’t know why I was there
They heard stories from the road about me
Confused why a stranger would care
And why they see what they see
It’s just sad me

So I listened to their stories of me, from the perspective of other travelers. “He climbed the bluffs on the Mississippi and then caught bass for dinner”, “His back pack is as big as him and I couldn’t even pick it up”. The latter seemed to be the most mentioned and was usually followed by them asking if they could try and pick it up. I loved listening to their stories and reading their blogs. It was good for me to hear and experience the goodness of others, whom I had never met and knew nothing of the pain…the pain my heart was in.
There were a few amazing souls that looked into my eyes, past all of the fun stories of adventure and saw pain and a struggling soul. I cry as I write these memories down for you. I would love to tell you that a pain and sadness this deep, the one that takes you to your end, will never resurface again. However, it will. It is the nature of our souls. You will remember your happiest and your lowest moments.
But as tears fall from a past long gone, they are not just tears of sadness. There is thankfulness and understanding that it could be no other way. I told a good friend on my trip, “Don’t be sorry for me. If I had to go through what I did so you don’t have to, then it is worth it.” Because it is! Each of us has the ability not only to sense the need of another but more so to want to help them. Especially when we understand their strife.
Many stories were shared on my journey. Many tears. Many embraces and night long conversations. Sunrises that brought me to my knees, in awe how it’s beauty flowed through me and filled my soul. Sobbing because I was smiling! I could feel joy. My heart pounded in the morning air as I seemingly floated over the road yelling into the wind, “I AM ALIVE!”
The deepest pain. The fondest memory.
Don’t be sorry for me and don’t be sorry for yourself. It will take time to see it but you have a beauty and goodness in you that shines through and could save a traveler just like me. Because of others, I am alive and in turn, a few folks that will probably never meet those who helped me are alive as well.

An excerpt of a work in progress

“I told those closest to me that I would see them again in three months knowing that I had no intention of returning.”

On May 1, 2010 I began, what was to become, a five and a half month bike trip across the United States. I set out from Yorktown, Virginia heading West to Astoria, Oregon just as thousands of cyclist before me had done. But, My Journey began to unfold two years before when my world and my life had seemingly come to and end….

I have seen and read and watched several accounts of cross country trips that people have undertaken, which have had some measure of success, failure, and personal growth. Some seemed to be just a line on a map without personal or natural exploration. Each seemed to be lacking in emotional depth beyond momentary inspiration, merely feats accomplished to say, “Look what I did”. I do not want this to be another “hey look how cool I am” story. That is not what My Journey was about.

I hope by reading this you will truly accept that I understand. Which ultimately means that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. If by reading about some of the adventures I had on My Journey you are inspired to search for you own, wonderful! I would hope, however, that it would lead you to strive not only for an adventurous story, but more importantly to strive for understanding of self. This was the true gift that My Journey gave to me.

Every step, every climb, every mile I rode had purpose. I was battling my demons and struggling with memories, and a seemingly endless sadness that had me longing for death, that quiet nothingness I was pulled away from not a year earlier. I was searching for the reason behind why I was still breathing. It was about searching for life when all I could see was the ease and peace to my soul that death would bring.

I hope by reading this you realize that there is someone out there that does understand your pain. Everyone has something that will drain their will to go on. It may be the death of a friend or loved one. You may have a debilitating illness or injury. It may be for you as it was for me, heart ache. Whatever it is, You are not alone. 
I know what it is like to doubt your sanity, your entire world is disintegrating in front of you and there is nothing you can do to stop it. You fight defiantly, using every last bit of your essence until there is nothing left. Your will is gone. There is no happiness, no fight left. You are broken, on your knees, exhausted, and wondering why you are still breathing. The pain and sadness is too much to bear and you can not stand another minute of tears.

This is the point I came to. This is the moment when I gave up all hope, the moment I slipped quietly away into darkness. No sound, no more fear, no more anguish, a mind no longer reeling from my circumstances, and grief. So I sat in my chair, bottles empty, one last tear, hoping only for there to be nothing more to feel.

Have you noticed yourself smiling when looking up to the clouds as the cartoon character of your mind float by, or have you wallowed in your informed defeat? I have wallowed and witnessed my world turn grey, dark with doubt and no hope. I have seen the trees whither and die, and the soil dry and crack beneath my knees. I have looked up and had the reflection of a motionless bleak sky slip into my eyes and draw away the color from the world around me. I have lied on the ground, motionless, emotionless, emptied out, no pain, no happiness, no sadness, just a void shell of a once happy man.

Now when I look up at the sky my soul already brimming, overflows with happiness because I understand the T-shirt behind the window,  “Sometimes getting lost is the only way to find yourself.”