When your eyes meet mine, what truth can you see?
Can you see every secret hidden deep within me?
Can you see every morsel of pain and regret?
Can you see the lessons I’ve taught myself, the hardships overcome, or my imperfections?
Can you see the scars and the deep, stinging bruises I must carry every day?
I once was a child. I was small, clumsy, shy, unsure, and awkward.
Every experience was new and exciting, unexplored, and scary as hell. Nothing said or done could prepare me for anything I was about to embrace or endure.
Every scrape, every bruise, and every dream not come true was the worst pain I’d known until then.
I grew to expect nothing, fear nearly everything, but refused to care either
I learned to fight for what I believed in,
even if I didn’t expect it, and carry on even when I was afraid.
I also learned I may never master these values, as I still found myself a coward most times.
In time, I grew.
I was not yet a man, but not still a child. My pain, anguish, discomfort, fear, love, compassion, and pride were all very new and embarrassing.
I didn’t knew where to carry them as a grown adult, nor where to leave them behind with the child I once was. Just as every new struggle was unbearable as a child, I found myself unprepared for the road ahead.
I could not gauge the pain, discomfort, and anguish to ignore, or fear worth overcoming.
Is love worth pursuing, compassion worth sacrifice, or pride worth disgrace?
I learned, alone, where to draw the lines between my childish dreams and the honest, heartfelt ambitions of a man.