When it started to get dark I went for my second run. The first run was shorter, but it was a run nonetheless, and it was a huge deal for me because I haven’t had the energy to run in a really long time. Like years. Mind you, I walk like half the way, but that’s progress for me. There’s not much right now that feels as freeing as putting on my old running shoes, getting out of the house, and jogging with nothing but the ground and the cold air to keep me and my thoughts company.
I think about a lot of things, but this is a different kind of thinking than I do the rest of the time. The other kind of thinking can keep me up at night. It can be 4am and I’m doing nothing but agonizing over what my future could or could not be. Or it’s somewhere between 6 and 7 in the morning and I’m still thinking about what I want to do when I get out of bed. That sort of thinking isn’t always healthy, which is evident in my extended absence from my running shoes. But the sort of thinking I’ve found myself taking part in on these first couple of runs reminds me of when I was younger and so certain that regardless of what career path I ended up choosing, I would have fun doing it and I would help people in need. Those were my core values. Having a good time and making a positive difference in the world.
Tonight’s run allowed me to admit to myself that I really am unsure and, frankly, scared about my future. I still believe in those two core values of my youth, but there’s another part of me that really questions whether or not I am wasting my young adult life. I always hear people saying that your twenties are the best years of your life—that you have the most freedom. You can go wherever you want. You can travel the world. You can party with your friends. You can fall in love. You can live out of your car. All of these wonderful adventures just waiting to be had. But then, here I am, in my twenties, an occasional insomniac struggling to figure out who God is, uncertain about my career path, wrestling with my health, and trying to make the most of my younger years all at the same time. If this is the best time of my life, then a miserable existence awaits me.
See I can’t just stop thinking like other people apparently can. There’s too much for me to imagine. I wonder what it would be like to be healed, to sleep deeply every single night and to be a long distance runner. I think about reliving my high school years with the knowledge I have now. I picture myself on a beach in Hawaii with all the time in the world to just swim and nap in the sun. I imagine what it feels like to fall in love. Would it be any different than when I dream about it? In my dreams I’ve fallen in love with so many girls. These dreams are so vivid and sometimes it takes me years to forget a particular dream like this. So, as you can probably imagine, I spend a lot of my time wondering if, for one, she exists, and secondly, if I am looking at her every time I see someone who makes me look twice. And you can save it because I already know I’m a bit obsessed.
Tonight my mom found a dog on a busy road by our house. It’s a black lab and it looked to be about 4 to 5 months old. She was getting dangerously close to oncoming vehicles, so my mom picked her up and took her home. We made signs and put them up around the street on freshly rained on stop signs and telephone poles. This dog is very sweet and to my surprise looks quite okay with being “lost.” So tonight I wonder what it would feel like to be a lost puppy. Would I actually feel lost? Would I be waiting for my human owners to rescue me from this cruel world? Or would I revel in the reality of being lost, this opportunity to go my own way, to make my own decisions, and to forge my own future? I suppose what being lost has to offer is the rare occasion to choose your own direction with full ownership. You, in a sense, get to create your new home.
After approximately thirty minutes of running in the early night among an orange and red sunset and a crisp autumn breeze, I return to my “real” home, a home that doesn’t seem real so much as it seems in rather desperate need of healing.