Life and Shoes

Central Park, NYC

I walked around the UES Saturday afternoon in an attempt to do some soul-searching. Some may disagree, but I find it easier to think when I’m in the heart of the city, amidst the crowds and the sounds of life and bustle. Ironically, I used to retreat to the peace and quiet of the Maryland suburbs to sort out my thoughts. Lately, however, I have realized that the energy and vitality of New York City is where I feel most at home, and where I can feel alive and inspired.

Most of the people who love me and care about me are in Maryland. I have a strong support system down there. My past is all there.
This past month, I tried to reconnect with my past, and re-establish myself back in Maryland. I made myself go back to my old routines: giving up my weekends to go back to early Saturday morning kung fu workouts, and hanging out with old friends.
It felt good at first, warm and comfortable. Like an old shoe that is worn and molded to your foot. When you first slip it on, it feels great, maybe even soothing to your feet. But after walking around in it for some time, you realize that your feet may have grown accustomed to another pair, and suddenly, that old pair just feels outdated. And old. You realize, sadly, that you’ve outgrown that pair, and you put back on your new pair. The new pair is cleaner and more modern. More like the you that you are now. The new pair fits you just right. Not worn in or out. It just feels right.

I tend to hang on to old shoes for long periods of time. I stick them in a back closet or in storage, and wait for a time and season when they may be appropriate to wear again.

But at this time in my life, I enjoy wearing my new shoes. They’re hip, fun and they make me feel young and alive – as if I have a future. Wearing my old shoes make me feel like I haven’t progressed or that I haven’t been anywhere. My old shoes are only meant to be worn there and nowhere else. They are not tough enough to withstand all that I have experienced in the last few years.

They were good and they served their purpose when I needed them. But it’s time for a new pair – ones that fit me, now and for the near future.

But that doesn’t mean that I will ever stop loving my old pair, for they have brought me to where I am now.

Wolf Love

It has been a rough few weeks, and I’ve come so close to just throwing in the towel. I’ve worked so hard for everything in my life, and in these past few weeks, I have felt as though I have sunk to an all-time low.

I have been inconsolable, and have been trying to burn off negative energy by spending most of my free time at the gym. With my already busy schedule and increased depressed state, I have been neglecting my wolf.

She has been whining and whimpering incessantly. I check to make sure she has food and water, and I regularly take her outside to make sure she gets exercise. After I’ve gone through my mental checklist of what could be wrong with her, she still whines. I get annoyed and usher her away or yell at her to shut up.

She is relentless, though, and despite my repeated reprimands, she comes even closer, sits in front of me, and whines. Non-stop.

It was 7:30 this morning, and I was already running a bit late. As I am getting dressed, she comes into my room, and starts whining. I had just checked her food and water bowls, and we already had our long morning walk.

“What is it now?” I ask her, frustrated and about to cry.

She whines a response.

I was about to yell at her again to leave me alone and let me get ready to go to work, when I catch myself.

“Come here,” I say gently.

She moves towards me and nuzzles her nose into my neck. I sit on the floor with her for a few minutes, and we lock eyes. At that moment, there was no time deadline more important than me spending a few minutes with my beloved wolf.

“I’m sorry,” I say, as I run my fingers through her fur. “I know I’ve been neglecting you. Tonight, when I get home from work, it’s just gonna be you and me, kid. Just like the old days.”

After a few more kisses, she seems satisfied. She jumps on the bed and lies down. She stops whining.

All she had wanted this whole time was just a little love and attention. I had been so busy nursing my own emotions that I had completely forgotten that even wolves need love too.

“Wolf is the Grand Teacher. Wolf is the sage, who after many winters upon the sacred path and seeking the ways of wisdom, returns to share new knowledge with the tribe. Wolf is both the radical and the traditional in the same breath. When the Wolf walks by you – you will remember.” ~ Robert Ghost Wolf