A Writer's Journey - Part 2
I think I cried the most I ever have in 2017. As a man, I'm not afraid to admit to this because there were times I bottled in my emotions and hid behind anger while I drowned myself in alcohol. It took a long time for me to realize the path I was heading towards was going to hurt me more than I would ever know. I came from the ashes of day to day menial work to heal myself, to find my voice. A move that most people wouldn't understand or agree with. I knew, however, that if I didn't make that choice to walk away from guaranteed income that it would kill me. That was three years ago. Since then I have poured myself into my work here at OPUS my second book and into finding myself. I never expected the journey to be easy but I never realized that it would become so hard. Last year an all too familiar emptiness crept deep inside of me, I yearned for my friends, for positivity, for love. I tried to collaborate with my peers in an effort to reach new heights. Little did I know that things would slowly fall apart around me.
Maybe it was love that kept my eyes closed to reality, maybe it was fear. For a while, I felt like a coward because I never could quite attack things as boldly as I wanted to, even when I was in need. Still, I was not able to see what uncertainty had fallen upon me. All of my goals faltered one after the other and I was blindsided by mild depression and heartache. I felt myself spiraling and with nothing to hold onto I keep tumbling into the abyss. It is dark here, cold and lonely. My friends kept telling me to write, write it down, document your emotions, but for a long time, I couldn't find the words or even the story to tell. So instead of telling someone else's story, I decided to once again tell mine. I am a high school educated writer, who would love to find his way into the professional writing world. I love to create and tell stories and I do a damn good job at doing so. I have a voice that needs to be heard and I know my value to this world. For a long time, I stifled myself behind jobs that I never loved, working for people that I would soon forget in places I wouldn't return to. I found a home and a platform with OPUS magazine and the experiences I have had during my time here has shaped my ideas and views on the world. I write more often and think more carefully than I ever have but when I got silent when the thoughts and ideas wouldn't come, it is because I was dealing with the pressure of the world. Al told me that, "the light at the end of the tunnel will show your reflection". At first, I had no idea what he was trying to tell me but then I thought about what it means to have a reflection. To really look inside yourself and peer into your soul to find a deeper meaning.
In this dark place, in these quiet times, I have seen what I want out of life and that is freedom. To be free to create and work and build not only for me but for my community. The freedom to give black men and black women a place to come and sit a while and share and express themselves. To bring my art to life, to bring my words to the eyes, ears, and hearts of the people a million times over. I'd like to personally thank everyone during this troublesome time in my life that reminded me to write. This is what saved me three years ago and I will never forget it again.
Author Andrew L. Case