This was a journal entry I wrote the morning of the day that I realized I hadn’t really committed to my goals. This was the first day of my new life!


What a week!

Im having trouble with my conviction.
Im scared… I think, although it doesn’t feel like fear. More of just a looming uncertainty, an anxiety that is tearing through my skin. I feel ok most of the time, but lately I’ve had this doubt growing in my head. Not all at once, but steady!
This voice screaming far away, barely audible. Then slightly louder, but still, in spite of straining my ears, incoherent.
Is it an animal? A creature pleading for help in the distant forest of my mind?
Maybe its someone who needs help.

Im distracted. My attention is pulled away from the voice, yes I’m sure its a voice now. I forget, only briefly, that there is anguish near by.

Cover it up with drink, with weed.
Smile and be proud of your insignificant triumph. No tobacco, good for you, stupid fool.

The time wasted believing you are, “ok,” that you can let up, that you can possibly afford to go buy drinks for your friends, if they are your friends.

This time wasted has let the voice get closer. Its made you soft! As you smile and relax, taking comfort in the thought of a contract…What a mistake!
One contract and a good sales pitch and you let it all fall back down to the ground, your silly house of cards.


Your lack of hunger is dangerous, reckless even!

your pleasant dreams are interrupted by the growl of that once distant creature and the smell of complacency!

It has found you! OPEN YOUR EYES!

Rise from your bed of leaves and start sprinting through the blackness of this night.

This night, your eternal struggle to find the sun and an exit from this menacing black expanse of forest. Or maybe just a clearing would do. Somewhere to rest, a sanctuary, before charging back into the thick darkness of the trees.

You hear the beast behind you and you can tell, it’s enormous. You look back as you crest a small hill and catch a flash of fire from its eyes. Red!

Red flames with a deep blackness from a bottomless pit, as if the eyes cast out shadows and darkness instead of light.

Don’t look back!

You are not fast enough. It will catch you! Your only chance is to focus all of your senses forward.

The screams and the growls are deafening.

They mock you!

“The hubris you have,” said almost with a chuckle, if such a thing can laugh. The voice isn’t human, more of a combination of a beast and a demon, changing in an attempt to find the most unnerving tone.

“You will never outrun me! You will never make it! You are not special. You think you can just start working for yourself and just be ok? You are an ignoramus, an idiot. If it was so easy, then so many others would do the same. You have no education, no special skills you can use. You are pathetic. No one will take you seriously. NO ONE WILL JUST GIVE IT TO YOU!”

The creatures footsteps shake the earth and the sound of the breaking tree trunks dominate the darkness between the devilish shrieks.

As I sprint blindly through the darkness, my mind begins to clear. My thoughts are my own once again. The bruises on my shoulders and the gashes on my forehead from full speed collisions with trees sting in the crisp night air. Blood is flowing into my eyes, making them burn, but the pain brings clarity.

My beast is right, partially.

It WILL catch me if I relax, if I stop to rest before I reach a clearing with some light. And even then, the sunlight in the clearing is not impervious. The darkness can swallow that place if I am idle too long, it will claim me. I don’t know where this clearing is or how long I must run, but I will not stop until I’m there, and then only to catch my breath.

You made a mistake, Monster.

You should have ended me when you had the chance. I left my resting place in a hurry and left my bottles.

I am faster now…

Your foot steps and your growls are still very close, but I do not see your vacuumed darkness cast on the trees ahead of me.

I can do this! I CAN BEAT YOU!

Remember my scent beast, because I am awake now and your presence makes me faster!


One Comment Add yours

  1. Sometimes, we need to show ourselves some tough love, and gives ourselves the best half-time pep talk ever. Well-written, Zack! Thank you for sharing.


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