20 Days

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20 consecutive days ­—the longest I’ve been in any city since November 4th.

20 days and still my roll-aboard remains parked in the corner of my bedroom. A red blanket spills from the main compartment in stark contrast to the white Nike shoelace that peeks out, lying in wait until it’s safe to make their reappearance.

20 days and I’m still hundreds, possibly thousands of miles away. I no longer relish the feel of my bed, the walls of my black-walled, one-time sanctuary. Its scent is different; even the silky sheets are now foreign against my skin.

20 days and I don’t recognize my life. 20 days of going through the motions, 20 days of pretending to care, 20 days of saying, ‘Get me the hell out of here.’

20 days and I still can’t spend most nights here. I crave the chaos of the Sky Clubs, the anonymous rented Benzes and BMWs, my only belongings those that fit within a commercial airline approved roll aboard and my beat up Chanel tote. Some would say it’s isolating, lonely. To me, it’s nomadic, beautiful, freeing. I have the luxury of living in the moment, in the now, while I can, while there’s time.

20 days and I’m still living in a hotel most of the time, finding comfort in its semi-anonymity, solace in crisp white sheets, sanctuary in the quiet of my new bedroom. I live in a world of codes; codes for food, codes for wakeup calls, codes for my car. My world is precise, flawless, almost ironically orchestrated. Deliciously beautiful structured un-structure, I call it.

2 months and 23 days since this new normal was born. Its entrance in to this world was out of my hands. I struggled with this part. If I’m being honest, I struggle still when it’s nearing 3am and I’m alone in my head, alone with the luxury of time and a fetish for symbolism and all things cerebral.

Some of us will spend our entire lifetime figuring out what’s important to us, focusing on tomorrow, reaching for the next big thing.

12 weeks. 2016 hours. 120,960 minutes. 7,257,600 seconds. 2 months and 23 days of forced perspective, focusing only on those who hold the pieces of my heart, while simultaneously letting go of everything I thought I knew.

Nearly 3 months of defying the experts who are of the mindset that one shouldn’t make life-changing decisions in the aftermath of a personal tragedy. 12 weeks of wondering if they’re right. God knows it’s not like I discovered the perfect fallback plan, constructed a genius theory that neatly solves the equation of life.

12 weeks and my career path, my executive goals, the milestones along the way, have evaporated. It’s unlikely you’ll ever see my name in Business Week, next to impossible that I’ll celebrate my rise to CEO of a fortune 500, or brag even about the net of a single new contract.

For better or worse, we’re dying from the moment we’re born. Ashes to dust, first heartbeat to last breath, cradle to grave. How we come in to this world, the circumstance surrounding our exit; it’s all the same in the end. Wealth, poverty, fame, none of it will matter when you have eternity to think inside the box.

My dreams have always involved a pen and paper, dancing across the world with it’s blood and bone, its tragedies and wonders, beauties and horrors up uncovered by PR spins, media and mindless drones. I want to live, discover, explore, drink life in the moment, savor it in retrospect and do so without regrets.

Life goes on. It’s a phrase you hear often when people begin to reach the end of their so-called ‘support’ rope before returning to business as usual. They’re right of course; life does go on. The part they’re missing is that it may go on, but that doesn’t mean it’s the same. People conveniently overlook the fact that you are not the same.

20 days of being in one place; a city that used to feel like home. 3 months since my life changed. Struggling, ultimately failing to be the person I was, the person most people only think they know; the person who tried to fit in to this warped culture; the person they expect me to be.

And I can’t.

The difference between now and then however is that now, I no longer see a need to try.

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.

—Mark Twain

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