Friday, November 1, 2019
I met a young man the other day. At first he seemed to have lost something I’ve taught myself to regain each morning. For financial reasons, an uncertain writing future, and at moments fear, I sometimes wake up in doubt. I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression since I was a kid. I’m not ashamed of it, it’s just the way things have been for me. Fortunately, I do much better with it today.
The mornings can be dreadful. As the minutes pass by each moment is a reminder the worst can happen. But I know it’s not true.
The young man I met at the dog park let my ears have it with his problems. He’s an undocumented immigrant who can’t get a job, injured from his last job and without health insurance, has two very young kids, a wife who works stressed out daily, and the safest thing for him to do is lay low.
He didn’t choose the baggage; it sounded as if it’s been an unfolding lifestyle since the age of five. He said change is coming but didn’t know how and when.
I simply told him to keep doing what he’s doing; helping his wife with the kids, taking care of the dog and house, and staying out of trouble. He fears losing the little he has, and his only hope is to sell drugs for money. I told him that path will get his ass deported after one mess up – don’t do that. Lastly he told me, “it’s rough man, but I know things will get better soon…”
I didn’t know what else to say, otherwise I’d been repeating him and myself…
Though listening to his problems, I found he had what I seek each morning. It often flies away at the drop of a stagnant breath — hope that is.
I wake up daily in efforts to fly pass my morning depression. I feed my dog, walk her, stretch, plan tasks for the day, and write. Being stagnant is risky. Eventually I find a sense of hope.
However, hope has an essence of expectations.
I manage my anxiety through several natural remedies and if you follow my writing you’ll know meditation is one. It allows me to exit the uncertain future, leave the irrelevant past, and enjoy moments such as the one with the young man at the park. Where I found hope, I missed an opportunity to tell the young man something more important.
He wasn’t afraid to speak the truth about his life, nor be ashamed about it. He made me hold my tongue, but also made me realize that I’m stuck in hope with him. What I should’ve told him was this, “have faith young man…”
Hope is a wishful future; faith is a grateful now. This had finally come to me on the run home from the dog park, wishing I had better progressive advice for him. My anxiety also wanting to tell him this — be careful what random people you tell your problems to, they’ll be grateful it’s not them.
Although I’m not kidding, if I see him again I’ll thank him; for reminding me I should be waking up flying in faith instead of grounded in hope.
And faith comes by taking off with the next breath.