Burdens

Today is a special day for me. If you haven’t seen my first YouTube video, you can click the link and be brought right to the front doors of my author channel, where I will be posting things every so often. If you have seen it, then you know that today I will be releasing a brand new spoken word poem that I have worked on tirelessly with my friend Coastal6. (Link to his Soundcloud.) I am so excited about this release because it marks the first of many. I keep telling you that this year will be incredible, I have so many things ready to come out for you and I am impatiently counting down the days to all of the big surprises. I also have something else pretty grand that’s incoming. The information for that starts tomorrow.

“Brace yourselves. Light a lantern. Don’t let them take you. — N.05”

I’ve said it so many times before. Life can be hard. There are thousands of things that snap onto our waistbands and drag us down as we live our lives. That isn’t to say that we are helpless and must be forced to bear that weight for the entirety of our lives. It’s so easy to open a suitcase and dump the contents out of it. We do it all the time. When we go on our next family vacation, or the next road trip, or the next adventure that we have only halfway planned. We do these things because we know how simple it is. We know how important it is to take a change of underwear and socks with us on a trip. We know all of the safety precautions we would take with our valuables as we stow our carry on above us shortly after boarding a plane.

We know these things, yet we don’t ever use them outside of this.

There is likely baggage attached to your soul. Something you can’t drop, you don’t want to let go of, something that weighs on your heart and makes it hard to get out of bed some days. I certainly know I am carrying around my fair share.

So why then, do we skirt around the idea of travel?

If we are stuck with these briefcases and travel packs and suitcases, why must we leave their contents inside to age and grow mildew and bring us an odor we would hate to smell in the real world? We let these past memories haunt us and batter us and we let the smells of our past reach out to others so that they may see a glimpse of our darkest points.

Why?

I’ve recently had a realization. One that I should have had a long time ago. I can empty those bags and cases. I can dump the contents into a ditch for the creatures of the world to steal away from me, and I never have to think of them again. As long as I live.

With this brings so many new opportunities. So many people, myself included, talk about leaving your baggage behind you and forgetting about it, but there is something better you can do.

You know that girl that crushed your heart and made you doubt your future?

You know that guy who once told you that you’d never be a good mother or sister or daughter or friend?

You know the boss who won’t get off your ass no matter how well you perform?

You know that little voice inside your head that screams at you at night. The one that tells you that your world is crumbling down around you and that you will never amount to anything?

You know these things. Some of you know them intimately. You must be like me, you’ve become so attached to your pains that you could describe them without effort. You know every crease in their clothing and every scar that they left on your skin or on your heart or on your mind. You have become acutely aware of their presence in your life and if you do these things, chances are you are even more like me, and you skirt your way around them out of fear. You sidestep constantly, thinking you’ve dodged on bullet after another, but you’ve never been able to see the handles looped through the belt around your waist.

If you’re like me, then I want to share something with you.

If you manage to get up today, ready to conquer the world…

You’ve already won.

If you stand up in the face of pants wetting fright…

If you protect a loved one…

If you show up to the job you hate fifteen minutes early because you need the paycheck…

If you find love in any small nuance around you…

You’ve already won.

There is still one more thing to do. If you empty those containers, you can still see the echoes of the memories. Where it happened. Who it happened with. What you felt afterwards. These tall hallways in your mind that will echo remnants of your broken days for eternity don’t have to last.

If you empty those containers, consider this…

Fill them with something new. Something beautiful. Awe inspiring. It could be an adventure you’ve never gone on before. It could be a friend that you just click with. It could be the smile on the faces of your coworkers. It could be the laughter of your baby sister or your nephew. It could be the look in someone else’s eyes when they have finally overcome a challenge that had been plaguing them for what seems like forever.

Take all of those memories. Hold them next to your heart until you feel their warmth and place them gently inside your newly emptied burdens. Organize them and find them when you feel down. When the weight of the world won’t pick a shoulder, and you’ve become off balance, use those good memories to even you out.

This life is a lot of things. It always will be. There will be worse on the way, as much as I hate to admit that. It’s true.

That doesn’t mean bad is the only thing you will see. Choose your path wisely. Do things for kindness rather than fame. Live for others rather than yourself. Always make sure you are on stable footing, however, because it’s easy to lose your balance with all of these burdens.

Make sure that when you wake up each day you remind yourself that this world is beautiful and exciting and full of new wonderful things to see. Challenge yourself to have a different perspective as often as you can. You will never run out of new ways to look at the world around you.

Take your baggage that you’ve filled with joy and keep walking forward. Don’t look to the side and pass by another struggling traveler. Go to them and help them. Be with them. Assist them in their journey and they will assist you. There are so many layers to the cycle of life. It doesn’t have to end in destruction or pain or sorrow. It ends how you choose to make it end.

Make the final destination on this journey something good. Make sure you lived a life that would get you placed inside someone else’s empty container. Find new ways to adventure and explore and be a part of the world around you, and above all… Always remember.

Life is not meant to be awful.

If you liked this or anything else I’ve done (You can find a ton of it here.) follow me on Twitter (@alvatobiasbooks), Facebook (@alvatobiasbooks), + YouTube (Alva Tobias)!

In the future there will be more links to follow down here, but I will make sure to compact it all into one tiny button to make it easier on you. Until then… please enjoy my spoken word poetry… No One Told Me.

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