Life and Shoes


Central Park, NYC
10/25/08

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some time, you realize that your feet may have grown accustomed to another pair, and suddenly, that old pair just feels outdated.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.

Dust Clouds

I left for Maryland again yesterday. I come down here to Maryland, back to my family, my friends, my home, so that I can leave New York and all of the stresses and complications that are associated with being there. It’s so relaxing and comforting to be down here, free from drama and tension. I am blanketed here with a sense of warmth and security that I have never been able to feel in New York.
But I’m slowly starting to realize that you never really can escape from your troubles. Troubles are like a poisonous venom that flows through your blood, and no matter where you go or how you try to run from it, it will follow you, and slowly eat at you from the inside.
So now, even Maryland is not far enough away from all that plagues me. The world feels too small, and not nearly big enough to fit both me and my troubles.
I just want to take an ax and amputate that part of my life that is venomous and stop it from oozing into all the little cracks of my existence. I want to be free from that dreadful disease of worry and live with a light heart.
I know I have to let some things go in order for me to move forward. It will be hard because there are still so many little things that spark a bad memory and there are still little fragments of dust leftover from the past that still continue to dirty the present, no matter where I go. So be it there in New York, or here in Maryland, or even in the farthest reaches of the world, the dust clouds follow me and will continue to follow me until I can find a way to completely sweep them out of my life.