It was 20 years ago today that I died and 20 years ago today that I was born.
As laid out in my post from January 25, today was the day I escaped my personal prison and started a new chapter in Northeast Philly; a new chapter that would lead to a new me.
20 years ago today I was dragging trash bags filled with my belongings through this archway at 1302 Pine Street into my father's van ... and that night I found myself sleeping on a couch in the far reaches of the city's Bridesburg section, overlooking the forgotten wastelands surrounding chemical plants and refineries.
I had cut ties with everyone I knew as well as the life I had lived since becoming an adult.
At the time that experience was nothing but exhausting and filled with sadness -- however, looking back it was probably the best move I've ever made in this game called life.
Since that moment, I've slowly learned how to handle life in a simpler way - I've detatched myself from much of the bullshit that people seem happy to swim in ... and I've allowed myself the room to just grow as a human being and to appreciate the gifts I've been given by a higher power.
I no longer worry about finding love or wealth. I find happiness in the most simpliest of things and do my best to show others how to let go and just enjoy the ride. I pride myself on not owning a cell phone or a wristwatch. I love the feeling of being unreachable - the freedom one feels when alone with their thoughts in such a busy world is quite soothing. I've learned how to reduce the ingredients in my life that cause stress - thus living an fairly stress-free life.
By learning how to detach from things, it has given me the room to develop a strong calming aura. I never yell or raise my voice in anger - I haven't in years. In fact, I rarely get angry anymore. When something begins to cause me stress - I step back, focus on the situation and either find a solution or find peace in the fact that I have no answer, and move on.
I think this skill I've developed over the past decade, along with my other gifts, have acted as a beacon for those lost and frustrated. I was telling a friend yesterday about my shoebox; a collection of letters, notes and memories that I received from people over the past two decades ... all with a similar theme: thanking me for being there at just the 'right' moment. Helping them find their path. Bringing calm and light onto a dark and confusing situation.
As I have developed an inner peace, I have also created a strong energy that many feel - especially those in need.
I have countless experiences where I will be in a public place and zero in on the one lost soul - many times before they have even spoken a word. I simply sense it within and I know that it is part of the responsibility that I have accepted by learning the art of understanding. These strangers change into close friends - sharing stories with me that haven't seen the light of day in some time - many times within the first 24 hours of our meeting each other.
In their world I go from a stranger to someone they couldn't live without in an amazingly fast time ... I help them clear a path, ignite a flame and find an exit from their darkness. During this process, which can last anywhere from a few weeks to a year or so, they always express life-long commitment to me (friends til the end); although I know better, since I am not emotionally connected.
I know my role in this process and I know that, once they are free from their constraints, they will continue forward in life - and I will move to the next lost soul.
This doesn't upset me - it doesn't cause any real emotion, quite frankly. I am at peace with this process and understand that this is part of my mission here on this plane of life. At the root of it, the process is fulfilling. And, although I enjoy being alone - there are moments when I feel lonely. But life deals a new hand -- a new distraction -- and I direct my focus on the next page of life.
It's quite a story.