Richmond, VA 10/24, 722.4

No one jumps out of the woods and screams the answer to me. The sky does not clear to show a universal truth. The woods do not hold any answers and will not help someone who believes it does.

I walked into the woods to escape everything that was jumbled. In the woods, everything is quiet. Despite the constant chatter of red squirrels and birds, the whirr of the wind and the splatter of the rain, the world is quieted. I walk, and I walk. I speak very few words and I would truthfully be content with saying even less.

The answers have been there all along but I was not ready to hear them.

My life has been a trip, so far. I grew up in the same house I sit here typing this in the sense that the walls are constructed of the same bricks and the doors of the same wood. But those walls protect something completely different and represent a family that will never be the same as it was. My dad led me into little league baseball and soccer and coached several of the teams whose colors I wore. My mom cooked me dinner every night and washed my clothes. I went to a public elementary school with many of my neighborhood friends.

But at some point everything became a progression. Everything went from stability to rockiness to change. My diet became unhealthy and my emotional and physical health spiraled away. With the introduction of running to my life, the physical health returned. Soon I found myself winning competitive triathlons and wearing red, white, and blue.

But still yet, the trip continued. Paranoia consumed me and my heart raced from anxiety in addition to the stress of exercise. Soon the anxiety attacks that plagued me as a kid returned. It took my coach telling me I need to take control to realize the disaster consuming my mental state.

The page flipped and sure enough another chapter ensued. This time I dropped everything. With this chapter, everything needed to be realigned. So I have quieted the world around me to listen for the answers that have been in me this entire ride.

But the man we call Cuppa Joe believes he has the answers. He tells me his philosophy and while I agree with him completely, I am not ready to get things right. I do not think I need to be wealthy beyond meaning or poor beyond security or prude or wild, but the test for that has yet to come. Yeah and I bet I will fail a bunch of tests before I get it right. But that is why the trip is so thrilling. Now its time to go get some more things wrong.

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