Several years ago, I had a life-changing conversation with a person I cared deeply about. We lived such similar lives and had finally escaped- daring, desperate to a secluded part of nowhere. I didn’t care who saw me, but I did, so I sat quiet, staring out at the ocean and hoping at some point he had something to say other than nothing.
We were awkward, but the same. Ripped up on the inside. He at least knew who Jesus was, but he didn’t at all. I was small, far away from religion, closer to living it up on my terms, but my terms were wearing thin. The sand was still there, but my mind was somewhere at the shore.
The conversation was not so much unexpected, but a moment in time that became defining for me.
“Don’t you want to be more than this, don’t you want to run and be what you wanted to be, not what everyone else wanted you to be?”
“I’ve thought about it,” He said as he gazed over the top of the ocean. He was sitting so close to me, but was so far away. It was if his thoughts were falling out of the side of his head.
“You can. You can do whatever you want. We are free you know, it’s not too late,” I said half believing myself.
He was still gazing out at the ocean, hadn’t moved. Silent. “No, it’s too late. It’s too late for that.”
He like many had gotten washed away in the world. He might as well have thrown himself in the ocean. His words were sad and didn’t impress me. He didn’t impress me. We were two sad people. In the midst of transition, both him and me, I knew he’d choose the path that the world, his parents, everyone else had placed before him, despite the opportunity to leave it all behind and go find what he truly wanted.
A paddleboard, solitude and a long, long book. He was so broken, and so was I.
I didn’t want to be that sad. I didn’t want to end up in the same sad dream. I didn’t want to end up in one of those top of the rung positions. I didn’t want to end up like Him and where He was about to go.
He went on to become the head of a large agency, that was his top-their dream. His life fell apart, in every sense- from work to family. Yet he, still in the midst of that ocean, chose to drown, chose himself. His beginning became his end.
I went on to find God.