Cue up the main theme from Superman. Get up. Knock the dirt off your clothes. Look at your scars–the pain has gone, the cuts and bruises have healed, all that’s left is the memory of the battle and the pride of a man still standing. Standing tall.
For the first time in a long time I see a break in the weather. The dark clouds that have followed me around for the past few years are dissipating. The sun dispatches itself through the cloud cover in long, lonely fingers of white light. The shadows retreat. And I stand on the mountaintop, in awe at the beauty of it. Proud that the words “quit,” “give up,” and “surrender” do not fit in my creed. Have never fit in my creed.
For the first time in a long time I am happy.
I have forgotten how to operate under the blanket of contentment. I have been fighting for so long that happiness is disconcerting, even scary. (What if everything I’m content with is suddenly stolen from me? What if The Bad comes back?) But to live in fear is to already be dead. I’ve felt dead for too long to let my imagination get the best of me now. I will enjoy this time for however long it may last. That is the only way to do this peace justice.
My child is almost here. My future is being pursued. And those that have an opinion on the way I live my life one way or the other outside my family hold no bearing; because the only people that truly know what I’ve been though have been my family. I do not give a second thought in shunning the ignorant notions of others who have no clue to the realities of my life. If anything, they should be cautious. Today, and from this day forward, I have nothing to prove to anyone. I challenge myself for me and me alone. Today I am a lion. Without arrogance I say that I am a man and more man than most if only because the pain and humility of learning does not dissuade me, it strengthens me.
I have been beaten. But I have not been broken. I will hold my child high. I will love my girlfriend with all that I am. I will take the best from the ebbs and flows of life as much as I am able. When I die, I will die with love in my heart. Unbroken. Proud. Regardless of the circumstances thrust upon me or the opinions of others.
In the esteemed words of LL: “Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years, rocking my peers, puttin’ suckas in fear.” It feels good to feel alive. What a lovely adventure to climb from the pit of despair and scale the mountain of hope.
I’ll be around…