Tag Archives: self discovery

I’m A Bricklayer Too

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Chateau Laroche, Loveland, OH

I am a bricklayer by trade. I build walls because the act of laying brick by brick gives me a point of focus, a fulfilling purpose. I build walls because they make me feel safe. I build walls to prevent possible threats from the outside, however walls cannot protect me from voices that lie within.

Happiness can only truly be found in the present and yet it is so easy to let our minds live in the past or according to an unseen future. With the same appeal of lacing up an old, beat up pair of converse, our thoughts habitually return to that familiar place of comfort.

Locked safely inside an impenetrable box or free to roam the earth as I please one thing is certain, I will remain. I can no sooner escape from myself whether I’m wearing four inch stiletto heels or footwear suited for running.

I was once under the impression that if I picked up and moved again, started over in a new place by my own hand, I would find happiness. Happiness would spring up out of the greener grass in which I planted my fresh seedlings.

I have come to realize that happiness is not a memory, a destination nor a permanent state of being. It is a choice I make for myself every single moment of every single day. It is a choice to accept who I am and where I am and make peace with the things I can and cannot change.

In theory, building walls can seem like a full-proof plan. I’m sending a reminder that not only will those walls at no time protect you from yourself, but walls are excellent at obscuring goodness. In an effort to anticipate danger, you risk blocking out the sunlight.

I know the dark whispers you keep, for I hear them just as clearly. I can’t intercept the messages reaching your ears, but I can write you a letter confessing that you are not alone in your struggle. I’ll keep writing, if you promise to keep fighting.

-CS

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The Pursuit

How do people measure self worth and the worth of others? Is it measured by how much one has contributed to their community or to society as a whole? Number of friends? The amount of money in a bank account? The number of languages one can speak? The number of beautiful, traveled places one has seen? Perhaps, the amount of love and understanding one has given?

Happiness, success, peace; together these ideas become a framework for greatness. Individually, each have different meanings for different people. Are they something to strive for in a way as to attain an overall state of being when we reach a certain age? Or are they feelings we experience from single moment to moment spanning the timeline that is our life? Combination of both?

What does greatness mean to me? Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed or anxious, I find myself worrying that I’m not doing the right things, or the right things quick enough in order to achieve my greatness; greatness always being a vague concept with no legitimate target at which to aim my arrow. As if one day I’m supposed to wake up and feel like I’ve made it—*Opens eyes, sits up in bed, raises fist in the air, exclaims: I am finally the person I’ve been working my entire life to be! Sounds silly doesn’t it?

The older I get, the more often I feel as if I’m starting over. Like if my life were a novel, as my story progresses, there are increasingly more and more chapters. More beginnings and endings. More answers, but always the uncovering of more questions. I have a very strong sense of self and yet I feel as if I’m destined [or doomed—if you’re a glass half empty guy or gal] to walk a path of self discovery for the remainder of my days. Can greatness be achieved by someone like me? Is it within my wide eyed wandering that I find it?

I have been taught, I have been guided and I have been molded. But I have learned with my head in a book, I have carved my own walking stick and I have picked clay from beneath my finger nails. I cannot be anything other than what I am. I do not choose to be. I choose to grow. Let me be me. Let me be orange and yellow and red, but let me brighten my petals. Let me catch fire. At the end of this life, the only thing I take with me is my soul. Let my soul be vivid.

-CS