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About a year and a half ago I died inside. No matter what I was doing I couldn't feel it. I could barely talk as I didn't even know where my words were coming from. I honesty lost my mind and didn't think I would ever feel anything again. I was dead inside, and was now just flesh in this world where it was immoral to give up on life. I'm not gonna hide it, I wanted out bad but that decision, in my mind, was not even a "choice". I could not do that in a way where I would take myself out of something when I still wasn't even sure of what it was. I questioned everything and had no answers. I stopped taking care of myself, and when I say that, I mean it. I didn't brush my teeth or do any maintinence to my body at all. It got to the point where I wasn't even allowed to be on my own. For days, I was away from my own house and basically being nourished by my parents. They would rotate days of staying home from work, even in their demanding jobs, and would stay right by my side as I would just sit with my head down for the entire day. I had no desire to eat, drink, or communicate to anyone at all. It was a very bad place.
My parents would have to hand feed me as I barely had a care to do anything to keep me alive. They would walk me outside to sit me down where I could see the absolute beauty of what was the back of their property. And I would look down at the ground. I couldn't even lift my head and had no desire to see what the world had anymore.
This is very hard for me to share because it was a different time and I was a different person. But I feel like it was the rock bottom. I had no feelings inside of me and no desires. And thinking back I do think there was hope in me, but it was such a small dose that I felt like I was a fly in a galaxy trying to find a rice grain.
At that moment in my life, I still had the world before me. I still had a job waiting for me to return to. And not just waiting, but wanting to have me back as soon as possible. The guys I worked with and for loved me and my work ethic. I was always a go getter and had a good attitude. I was great with my money and had a budget tracking system recording all my spending. I would chart it every month to see where every penny would go and what I would save. I had a nice house that I lived in alone with nice furniture and stuff in it that was a nice "home" to me. My credit score was over 700 and I had all my toys that were clean and well maintained. And my bank account was comfortable.
All this stuff was sitting somewhere just waiting for me to take it and live with it. But I was empty inside my flesh. I couldn't even find enough of myself to think about what I had. I was dead and all those things were no longer mine. That is when I gave all of that up. I already knew that I was not going to call those things mine anymore. The job, the house, the money, the credit, the toys. It was now all garbage to me. I only had enough hope inside me to recover my spirit. Everything else was dust in the wind and I had already kissed it goodbye. Ya, I could have woken up the next day and continued that life. But I would have been chancing death every day. I know that is hard to understand, but in my mind it was how it was. My life was fragile and I was only doing the minimum I could handle to stay alive.
So now I'm out here in the middle of the country. I'm about to hit the biggest challenge of my life. I'm not put here to see the country. I'm not out here enjoying this "walk". Not to sound ungrateful, but I really don't care much to see what is along this route. I appreciate things I come across, but that's not why I'm out here. I don't care much for traveling. I don't enjoy walking. And I would be perfectly happy in my home town. But I'm out here to bring back the life in me. I'm out here to feel again. I want to live where I don't just feel like a body doing things to fit into the system because that how its "supposed" to be.
This journey is to restore me. I lost myself and all I had. Now I'm out here to just get myself back. I don't like sleeping with my face in the dirt. I don't enjoy eating leftover food that is a day old. I don't want to get up every day and drag my ass out of the filth and keep walking down a long road. This is not fun for me. But when I feel the feeling of adrenaline and goosebumps, or my hair standing up when I find a new level of strength I didn't know I had that brings my spirit back little by little. Even though some days I feel like just staying in the ground and not standing up and pushing on, I drag myself up and keep going. Because if I don't, I'm just giving up. And to me, if I give up now, I die. Maybe not physically, but my spirit dies.
I have found that god is right here with me. All I do is powered through him. I'm not fooled by that. I know I am only given what he provides. And maybe I'm still lost. But I still have hope, and that is something that can grow like a raging fire from once being a small spark. I continue with the hope I have and keep moving to rebirth my spirit and my life.
When I woke up on day 73 I felt the sun warming my skin. I sat up and I felt something on my head. I touched my hair and something moved. I grabbed it and pulled it out along with some hair. It was a beetle. I tossed it to the grass and flicked the hair off my fingers.
I got up slow and packed my things. It was my first morning in Texas. I went to the front of the church and spotted an outlet. I plugged in and brushed my teeth and stuff while I waited.
I went down the road a few hundred yards to a gas station. I couldn't find a hose or spicket, so I went into the restroom in there to fill my waters. I filled up and then left there walking.
I headed down the highway and was tracking some ground. It was hot so I was keeping my towel wet over my head and drinking plenty of water. I came across a van parked on the side of the road. I noticed some guys sitting in it and wondered if they were broken down. But as I passed I saw a guy in the driver seat looking into a binder. They looked to be ok so I continued.
About a mile down I saw the van pass by. Then I kept going. Then another ways up I saw the van pulled off again. As I came up to it the man came out and brought me an orange. He said his son and his grandson were walking across the country. I was shocked! What were the odds I would come across someone else's journey across America. He said they were taking a break in the van when I passed earlier and would be coming up behind me shortly.
As they came up I got to visit with them. It was pretty wild and they were out here trying to "wake up America" which was cool and I heard some of their stories. They were documenting the journey to make a film also. So it was nice to exchange feelings that we share that were similar. They had a conversion van that followed them with the grandfather driving. And they bunk up where they can in the van each night. I visited them a while and then moved along.
I walked a long hard day and didn't stop for about 14 miles. I finally got to a gas station east of Marshall TX. I stopped there and sat out front in the shade to take a small break. A guy walked out of the gas station and it was the same guy in the SUV the day before. He said what's up and that I made it pretty far. Then he saw a Mexican guy and yelled at him. He walked up to the guy and they had a full blown argument on a drug deal that went bad. It was nuts! I thought they were gonna brawl. So that was pretty random!
I continued on. I walked to about 3 miles from Marshall and all of a sudden it went from hot and sun, to storm cloud racing over the sky and raining. It quickly turned to pouring. I pulled over next to a big tree off the highway. There was nothing else around so I just stood under it. I still got wet but not as much as I would have in the open.
I waited it out and when it let up I quickly walked down the highway again. I wanted to get to Marshall to find cover as the storm was coming in and just getting started. I walked a mile when suddenly it started again! Lightning started striking around me close by and it was all of a sudden a down pour!! I hurried but saw nothing ahead to use as cover. Then quickly I was soaked! Then I just slowed down and said screw it. When I let go of worrying I felt so free. I just let it pour on me. I covered my cart with my jacket and just walked through the heart of the storm. It was an awesome 20 minutes! I was so soaked I really thought my iPod would be wet and may not work. That's how much I just didn't care in that moment. It was possibly the best 20 minutes of walking out of the entire trip so far.
So I finally got to a church. It was still coming down. I pulled off my soaking shirt and threw it away. My feet were wet. My shorts soaked, my under garmet was soaked. But when I pulled my iPod out it was dry! So I lucked out. I laid down at about 6 at the church in Marshall under the overhang and watched the storm.
I fell asleep around 9. At about 11 I was woken up to a jingle noise. I sat up fast and saw a silhouette of a man standing 10 ft from me. I sat up and said "can I help you?". He said no. Just saw something over here when I walked by. I said "I'm just resting here". And he said "ok, go ahead and rest". And he walked away. I was a little freaked by it so I grabbed my knife and held it while I laid there. I kept thinking he and maybe some friends would come back. So I laid there awake a couple hours and thought about moving. But I might not find another spot and would risk losing sleep that night. Plus the weather was not good. So after a couple hours I just said a prayer to give me the awareness to hear anyone approaching if they were going to, and to let me defend myself. And ultimately prayed not to be bothered at all. After I said the prayer I slept great all night.
at 5:21 PM