It was tiny.
It held one bathroom, two bedrooms, a living room, and a kitchen/dining area. There was one window that peered above the bed, it nearly two feet tall and it was the only source of sunlight in the entire building. The carpet was thin, and was anchored directly the concrete slab that had been poured. The kitchen had a fake plastic cover along the floor, there was a partially operating air conditioning window unit that also doubled as a heater in the winter. All the rooms were covered in artificial wood paneling easily from the ’70’s area.
It was tiny.
I never slept well during the night in this small living compartment. Most night I would spend online in the second bedroom that had been turned into an ‘office’. I’d work on applications for high school teaching positions, and randomly Skype individuals who were also up at that time at night. At the same time my wife at the time would sleep in the bedroom. I’d crawl into bed around 3:00 AM, and try to sleep through the distractions until she got up for the day (usually around 6:00 AM), and then I’d sleep until noon or 1:00 PM in the afternoon. My life revolved around that small apartment. I didn’t see sunlight very often for the first six months, and frequently slept on the couch.
It’s startling to believe that, that experience was nearly four years ago. I remember the sheer joy I felt the day I left that apartment for good, packed up with MC and Jim, I was released from a prison that I had created for myself.
I’m not really sure why I’m reflecting on the memory, aside from the fact that some of the medicine I’m taking for this recent bug has caused me to be extremely restless for about thirty minutes after ingesting the pill (who knew). Darco is quietly sleeping in our bedroom as she’ll be getting up around 4:00 AM to get ready for work, and I’ll head back in after finishing this and get a good nights rest prior to heading back to work tomorrow. I still probably won’t enter the track again until Friday, just one day in the real world again is enough to drain me, I’ve learned this from previous experiences.
Something about being sick causes you to reflect. I contribute that to the drugs and the insane amount of free time that you find yourself having in the middle of the afternoon, sweat pouring off your face, and wondering if the world is still moving without you. It’s one of the first times in quite some time that I’ve taken time to just reflect and overall compartmentalize life as I know it. As I frequently joke with Darco, I’ve already lived three lifetimes already, so that’s a lot of memories that have to be sorted through, compared, and analyzed.
I’m peering out my living room window, watching the night pass, as I write this. I think back to quick engagements, steady faith, marriage, and everything that’s accumulated to the point that brings us to now. Darco and I had a very, very unique conversation today; tying back into “XXXI”, and some of the goals that we’re striving for. From cooking at home to other more extreme discussions, we’ve had several of them as of lately. We’ve grown weary and tired of the town that we’re currently living in, I’m pushing myself harder each day physically, and life is just changing. I’m noticing in the realm of, “I want to do this, this, and this…” no longer appropriately describes my existence.
My life is less cluttered and more structured:
That’s it. I’m no longer interested in obtaining five million different ideas, concepts, or creations. I love my job, I love getting lost in cyberspace, and I love producing results. I’m growing more and more in love with the church that Darco and I attend, we’re part of a weekly church planting group that meets on Thursday nights, and I can’t express how much of a blessing they’ve already been. MC and Jim continue to churn through their own lives, while ensuring that we survive ours as well. Jim was recently offered a full time job at a local school district, and that in itself brought a lot of ease to the family. Some days I firmly believe that Darco is a bigger blessing to me compared to myself with her. I learn something new about her each and every day, and how she isn’t afraid to try new things. Just because an individual lived a sheltered life, doesn’t mean that they fear adventure.
Finally, there’s something about those shoes. A pair of shorts, a pair of shoes, my sunglasses, and I”m good to go. Whether it’s a few miles, a mile, a time trial, sprints, or whatever the case may be…I’m not even close to perfect, but nothing feels greater compared to moving in stride with my soul.
Faith, family, work, and running…they’re all connected to one another. Each is required to ensure that the other remains. Those are all four things I was drastically missing inside that small apartment four years ago. They are all four things that I’ll forever cherish close to my heart.