Naked

It’s 4:09 am on December 2nd, 2020. I’m in Flagstaff Arizona. I’m sitting on bed hotel bed mostly naked.

The cold air hitting my skin is about the only thing grounding me to reality right now. I wish it wasn’t. I wish I could turn it all off.

Not like I have to be awake in six hours to drive to my next destination.

I’ve sat on this same bed for three nights now, and it’s not until the prospect of leaving that I feel stuck.

We all leave things sometimes.

Everything from something meaningful to meaningless.

This is just another meaningless thing to leave, and yet, I cannot bear the thought of leaving. But the important thing is that I know I cannot stay.

I’ve been staring at the wall for hours. I’m trying to tether every string together. The ones that connected from my childhood to this very moment. Because it is all connected in some way. It always is.

Running barefoot as a child and feeling the dirt on my feet, the strenuous training in all my years of soccer, the arduous hours of dividing my time in college, the miles I’ve traveled to get from point A to here. Whatever point this is.

It’s all connected.

Somehow.

Someway.

And I may have not figured it out yet, but I know I will, and I know I need to.

I need to for myself. For past me, present me, and future me.

They’re all crying, begging for me to figure it out. To understand it. To unravel the knotted up pieces and bring them whole.

My flesh is a roadmap of everything I have endured. The cuts, the scars, the bruises. Every goose bump I’ve ever had leads onward to some highway of undiscovered and unrealized thing. Every time I’ve sweat, every time I’ve shivered. The times I welcomed touch, and the times I didn’t.

I sit here staring at this screen and try to make sense of what it all means.

And I can’t.

And that hurts.

Because I know that it’s important.

I know that it is life altering.

I know that I will never forgive myself for making the slightest error in judgment.

And I know what some will say to me: “To err is human.” And I know that. I know that more than anyone. I know that my mistakes have molded me into the person that I am, and I would never change any of those things.

But that is the talk of a future version of myself to my past self.

My present self wants everything to be perfect. Or as close as I can get to it.

And that’s part of being human right?

Existing in this multitude of knowing you can’t be too hard on yourself when you falter and fall and also mentally slapping yourself for having done so.

I find myself most days wanting to crawl into the lap of my mother while she strokes my hair and just lets me cry. Wanting to hold off on decisions. To stop time and space itself. To crawl into the enigma that is myself and just implode.

But I am where I am today because I always pushed forward, even in uncertainty.

Then the words dawn on me as the always do. The famous words of John Green:

“The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.”

So I forgive my body. The wretched thing that holds all my beauty. The thing that has carried me through triumph and sorrow. The thing that remained glued to the floor in heartache, and the thing that picked its ownself back up.

I forgive my body for carrying me through decisions I regret, and I forgive my body for undoubtedly dragging me through more that I inevitably will.

And I can already see some eye rolls.

Your body doesn’t carry you through your choices. Your heart and your mind does.

But that’s the thing. You can’t have a heart or a mind without your body. And while it’s true that your heart and mind are the big decision makers, people see to forget about the body.

How it remembers.

How it forgets.

How it breathes.

How it dies.

How it forgives.

For now, my body wishes to sink into this mattress and sink into an endless hole.

But I know I will be stronger than that. Maybe not this minute, this hour, or this day. But someday.

And that counts for something.

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