Can I Ever Change?

I stopped looking for a job
To replace the one that’’s gone
In January of 2012.

I haven’’t looked since then.

My doctor has tried
To convince me to start
A small business
Of my own.
Since January of 2011.

I haven’’t.

I ask people
All the time.
“What are you afraid of?”
Because I know.
I can see the fear in them.
The way they try
To avoid pain.
Of any kind.
Of every kind.

And yet,
I wonder.
Why am I still here?
Motionless.
Doing nothing.
No longer looking.
No longer planning.
Just here.

Sometimes, I remember.
I remember the hurt.
The pain.
How I felt betrayed.
By everyone I worked with.
Everyone.

I remember the anger.
How I spent weeks.
Walking.
Miles and miles.
Day after day.
Blistered heels.
Blistered toes.

Hell,
I lost three toenails.
Three.

I remember the countless times
I pulled off my shoes
And saw blood
On my socks.

My blood.

I remember
How it never hurt.
Not even once.
How I never felt the pain
In my toes.
In my heels.

All I felt
Was the pain
In my heart and soul.

And I know.
I know.
Why I have stopped looking
For a job.

Sometimes I ask,
“If the last job you had
Drove railroad spikes
Through your hands and feet,
Ripped your fingernails
Off your fingers
With pliers,
Used a barbed whip
On you back
Until you felt nothing at all,
No pain.
If your last job
Did that to you,
Would you ever
Try again?”

I know why I stopped looking.
Why I may never look again.

I know too
Why I haven’’t struck out
On my own.
Why I keep saying,
“Someday.
Someday I’’ll start a business.
Of my own.
Someday.”

I look at all the things
I’’d have to do.
Have to learn.
And I’’m not sure at all
I want to.

And yes.
I am afraid.
Afraid to even try.
But there’’s so much more than that.
I could fail.
Could fall on my sword.
But that’s not what’’s stopping me.
There’’s something more.

I’’ve always been a failure.
In my eyes.
Never once believed in me
In my life.
Hell,
I don’’t even believe
I can write.

And if I’’m worthless.
If I’’m the failure
I believe I am.

How can I even try?

I know what I’’m afraid of.

And I wonder.
Every single day.
Can I ever change?

Can I ever change?

It’s Time For Me To Change

I walked tonight.
I really needed to.
Then,
I wrote.
I wrote nothing.
Every word,
Wasted.
Useless.

In the end,
I looked at my reflection
On the screen.
The image of myself.
And I heard a voice.
Speaking.
Asking me something.

I didn’t know what.
I couldn’t hear.

I looked at my work life.
And wound up looking
Once again.
Through the job listing
At Career Builder.

What I look for
Has become more open
Than it’s ever been.
Heck,
I even looked
At entry-level
Security jobs.
Walk the halls.
Guard the front door.
Log everything in books.

I felt a lot of things.
And for the first time
I tried to identify,
And understand,
What I felt.

Apathy.
I felt as if I didn’t care.
I’d never really paid attention
To that before.
That feeling
That I didn’t care
If I ever have a full-time job
Again.

But there was more.
Apathy couldn’t explain it all.
So I looked deeper
Into my heart and soul.
And noticed.

Pain.

That says so much
Doesn’t it.
That single word.
But it’s so true.
That’s what I remember.
That’s what I associate
With work.
With a full-time job.
With being
Just like everyone.

Pain.

I wish I could explain.
But I lack the words.
How do you explain
What it feels like
To have your heart
Ripped apart?
To have your soul
Burned at the stake?
To realize
That everyone you know
Betrayed your trust
In them?

How do you explain
That kind of pain?

But I wasn’t done
Looking yet.
I knew
There was more.
More I hadn’t seen
Before.

So,
I closed my eyes.
And I breathed in.
And out.
I breathed in my pain.
And when I exhaled
I filled my breath
With concern.
And caring.
For myself.

For I knew.
I knew.
It was long past time
I cared for me.
Long past time
To heal my wounds.

And admitting that
Let me move past the pain.
To the next layer.
The next feeling
That I had.

Fear.

Complete and total
Fear.
Terror of the kind
I’ve never once admitted,
Never once faced
In all my days.

The fear I could be hurt
The same way
Once again.
And worse.
I was afraid
To even try.
To even risk
More pain.

By now,
Someone else
Might have gone on.
Might have rebuilt.
Might have returned
To a job
Like they’d had before.

By now,
Someone else
Might have moved on.
Found another life.
Another career.
Doing something
Different and new.

By now,
Someone else
Might have done so many things
That I haven’t done.
That I haven’t tried.

And as I sit here
On this night.
I know.
It’s time.
Time for me
To look into the face
Of the fear I have.
And say the words
I’ve learned.

I know I’m hurt.
And I’m afraid.
And I don’t want
To hurt that way
Again.

I know that.

And I’ll take care
Of my fear.
Of the wounded
Frightened
Child
I am inside.

I also know
I can’t let my fear
Stand in my way
Anymore.

I remember all the times
I asked others,
People that I know.
People I have never met.
“What are you afraid of?”

I remember all the times
I shared the thought
Of reaching for a dream.
Of setting fear aside.
And trying to bring their dreams
To life.

But I’ve never
Said those words
To me.

And it’s time I did.

I’ll take care of you,
My fears.
I’ll show you
There’s no reason
For me to be
Afraid.

There are some dreams I have.
Dreams I’ve always had.
It’s time.
Time I stepped beyond
Being afraid.

And finally tried
To bring those dreams
To life.

It’s time for me
To change.