We’re approaching the end of the second month of this ongoing Coronavirus lockdown, I guess it’s time for some personal ramblings in a continued effort of opening up to the world after living so many years as a social pariah.

I’ve always been my worst enemy, I’m constantly at odds with what I could’ve been, and what I should’ve done, the paths not taken, and all that stuff. I am the result of a lot of circumstances, some of which escaped my control, and others, such as my deficient education, stemmed from my own lack of foresight and determination in times past, for which I’ve only got myself to blame.

A general lack of self worth, and, I suppose you could add a bit of imposter syndrome when I start to accomplish things (specially as of late, since I’m starting to accomplish great things) are some of the heaviest burdens on my mind, along with all that has happened in the past, and some bad choices taken a decade ago.

I do have a lot of baggage on my mind, and the concept of mental health is something I never paid attention to—the past years have taken a huge toll on it, ya know. I’ve also severely neglected my own physical well-being as well, guess I never valued myself that much as a human being, but now I’m realizing the error of my ways.

The collapse of the country, the inability to save my mother, a series of crumbling plans and bureaucratic nightmares, and the above mentioned mental and physical woes, to name a few. That war within my own doubts and the endless cycle of trying to improve but stumbling each time hasn’t prevented me from moving forward, but it’s hindered the pace for sure—that conflict is, and will always be, part of who I am.

Regardless, a conciliation of those warring elements and a harmonization of what isn’t but can be is what charts the path for what I want to accomplish over the next ten years and beyond.

One of the ways that I’ve managed to keep all that negativity and mental anguish at bay, to the point of making it manageable most of the time, is through one of the things I’m good at: helping others and making them smile.

Finding ways to make others cheer and be happier, helping them with their problems as best as I can, even if there’s only so much I can do or know how to do—there’s a sense of fulfillment that I’ve always treasured that comes as a result of improving others’ lives, even if it’s something minuscule and inconsequential as a chuckle. They certainly reinvigorate me when I’m feeling worn and weathered, they do good to one’s soul, they help me keep going.

And when they’re happy, I’m—

Smiles are often taken for granted, sometimes a simple smile or giggle can cascade into a better day for others, even if they’re complete strangers. You have no idea how important to me is when I see my brother (who is very, very introverted) smile, even if it’s over something so simple as nuggets obtained through your off-market meat supplier.

What I’ve always ignored is helping someone in particular: me. I need to actually help myself so that I can improve, and in turn, be stronger and more capable so that I’m able to help others in better ways.

Even though everything continues to be uncertain, and that uncertainty translates into an unhealthy anxiety that perpetuates the cycle, I do feel better now than ever before. The future is uncertain, yes, but now, unlike past cycles, I have in my hands a foundation, a solid one at it, upon which I’ll build that future I’ve dreamed for so long. Sword just needs a cover and to be properly edited before it gets to the publishing stages, and there’s other great stuff on the way that I’ve been working on as of late—more on those later.

In spite of all that’s happened over the past five+ years of my life, and all the crap going on around this country and the world, I have a confidence that I never had before this time around, to the point that I do see myself breaking the loop at last and finding my place in all of this.

Won’t be easy, won’t be quick, but I have to improve my health so that I can accrue all the strength that I need to carve a future for my brother, and accomplish all of the things I’ve dreamed about—which I can resume in one simple goal: be a force of good in this world.

It’ll be a journey for sure, one that I’m more than glad to share with you all.