Wavering back and forth between going forward and turning back for 24 months has worn down a section of my path so deep that I’m on the verge of being too short to climb out of it. This ditch in the middle of my path resembles the shape of a grave.
I’m surrounded by cold air that has settled into my very core, leaving me bitter and angry. The darkness creeps down the sides of the grave like fingers reaching towards me as I huddle at its center. Rocking back and forth now, unable to pace any longer, I gasp for air and feel the void surrounding me grow closer and closer. It’s happening and I can’t escape; it’s taking over me from the inside and I can’t seem to push it out any longer. Screaming, I curl into myself and cover my head with my hands as if I can block out what’s coming. But just as the shadows brush up against the base of my spine I sense something — warmth. Peering through my fingers, I see a tiny glimmer of light. Slowly, I uncurl from the fetal position and make my way to standing fully erect. Standing, for the first time in a long time.
I can see the light of the rising sun cresting on the horizon before me, and I stretch out my hand towards its warm rays. The heat resonates through my pores and brings the color back to my cheeks. I glance over my shoulder at my self-made grave and feel the shadows begin to creep toward me. But this time, I won’t give up trying to climb out. So I dig my nails into the soil and start scrambling, heaving my body up out of the pit I’ve been living in for 24 months.
With every ounce of strength I can muster, I pull myself up out of the shadows and cold, emerging from my tomb with dirt streaks down my face and mud caked under my nails. For the first time in a long time, I breathe without choking, smile without crying, and stretch out my limbs without bondage buckling.
I push myself up off of the ground and begin limping away from the darkness. I glance back to the hole I’ve just emerged from only long enough to see it get smaller and smaller as I start running, and then sprinting. The air rushes past me (or is it me rushing past it?) as my feet pound on the firm ground beneath me. For the first time in 24 months I feel something I didn’t think still existed: peace.