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.

Perhaps

I’m in hiding.
It’s true.
I’ve taken my abilities.
My technical skills.
Carefully crafted through decades.
And put them on a shelf.
In a cave.
Where no one can see them.

No one deserves to see them.
The last time I used them.
The last time I put them on display.
The last time they were visible.

I got wounded.
Gods, did I get hurt.
And I still feel that pain.
I suspect I always will.
Kind of like the way
My knees, and ankles ache
Every single day.
From the injuries
They have survived.

But at least I use them.

I don’t use the skills
I carefully crafted
Over 30 years.
I haven’t touched them
Since 2010.

My doctor tells me
Every week.
I need to use those skills.
There’s a marketplace for them.
People everywhere
That could use my help.
That I could share
All the things I know,
All the things I’ve learned.
To help people.

“Start a business of your own.”
That’s what he says to me.
Every single week.

He’s right.
I know.
If I do that.
I’ll use the skills I have.
The things I know.
To help other people.

And the crap.
The politics.
The social environments.
That tore my heart apart
Two years ago.

Those will be gone.
I won’t have to deal with them.
Won’t have to wonder
If I’m doing something wrong
In the land of work.
Every day that I wake up.

My interest is still there.
In the skills I’ve hidden.
I take them out
When no one can see them.
When I’m at home.
Alone.

And I use them.
All the time.
But I keep them to myself.
Because a world I never made.
Ripped my heart
Out of my chest.
And stomped on it.

And made me stand there
And watch
While they did.

That world does not deserve
Access to my skills.

That’s why my skills are hidden.
On a shelf.
In my home.
Where no one can see them.
Save for me.
And my family.

But perhaps.
Perhaps.
Perhaps.
I could be time
For another change.

Perhaps.