It's been a while. Days. Weeks. Months. Years in other dimensions. At least, that's what it feels like.
I was recently asked when was the last time I felt fully rested. I thought back, and I knew almost instantly. A grave sadness hovered over me, because it was three years ago.
Life, was different back then. I lived in a small world, with a small room, a small pond, and an even smaller creek behind my house. I had a small job, in a small town, and... Life was great. It was the one time in my life when my mind quieted down, and sang softly. The one time the sadness was mine, rather than the opposite. It was a lot of firsts and a lot of lasts.
But it was also alone, desolate, and unaware of the pain all around me. During that time there were no wars, except those I wrote about, and Police Brutality did not exist. Sexism, Racism, Islamophobia, Ableism, Homophobia, and so many others were not a part of my world. Sure, they were there, out there somewhere, some named, and others yet to be named in my mind, but they weren't in my world. There was no shame. There was work, books, writing, food, and sleep. There was a friend or two, but there were no commitments, no weekend plans, just me, the bike I borrowed, and the roads. The world was my own, and yet I wasn't truly a part of the world.
This image makes me incredibly happy, and incredibly sad. There's beauty in the simple, and there's beauty in the chaos. I can not go back to that way of life if I wanted to. I can not turn my back on the world that I have learned to be a part of. Sure, that means my mind is on fire, quite literally most days. It means sleepless nights. It means appetite instability. It means being overwhelmed more often than not. But it also means that there's room for solutions to these things. I've always wanted to be one with the world, who knew that that'd mean setting myself on fire?
I've struggled recently with the path I take from here. Do I forget the fire, and ignore it? Or become one with it?
Ahmad Abojaradeh is the Co-Founder of Muslim Community Link, An Engineer, a world traveler, a Peer Support Specialist, a Novelist and the founder and editor of Life in My Days. He hopes to spread awareness of living a life of wellness through his writing, workshops and speaker events. Follow Ahmad on twitter or facebook.