I Left the House and Ran

Vincent Van Patten

In a moment of hurt, the kindness of a stranger put a smile on my face


Photo by Sophie on Unsplash

I don’t know what I’m doing.

This is the most at peace I’ve felt in a while, looking out into the pale ocean, listening to the faint squawk of birds and the sound of water breaking on the rocks below.

The gentle breeze against my skin and the smell of salt in the wind restore life into my soul.

Sometimes, I feel lost inside my own body, like the path to healing doesn’t exist. I tell myself this pain in my back and my hips is temporary, because I have to.

I’m young, twenty-five. When I go to receive medical help, they say I’m too young to be going through this.

I smile and nod my head; they don’t know how many times I’ve heard that. Yet nothing has eradicated the pain; I know it’s up to me to find the long-term solution.

Every day, how my body feels underlies everything else I do. If I don’t be strong, it’ll take over, and I can’t, I won’t let that happen. This injury isn’t who I am, and it won’t break me.

Despite the pain, I left the house and ran to this little spot on the cliff. I felt too much emotion and I had to let it out. It was the first time I’ve run in many months.

I couldn’t think anymore; it felt like a pressure was building and was going to burst inside of me. It felt so good to run, to feel that rush of freedom again that I miss more than anything.

Now I’m here, listening to the lulling sea with adrenaline and emotion coursing through my spirit. I feel like I’ve given my all, and now all I can do is stand, unmovable, unshakable. I just have to stand.

Writing — writing is survival.

Just being here, letting out these thoughts is healing. We’re stronger than we think.

A ranger just walked by picking up trash. A man and his wife approached at the same time and asked her when the whales would be coming through town. I guess they’re coming in March.

The man thanked the ranger for picking up the trash with sincerity in his voice. The man looks like Robert Frost in one of those old, sepia film photos.

I told him he’s a nice man for thanking the ranger. He smiled and said to his wife, “this is my new friend Vinny.”

“That’s nice, hello there,” she said.

Now I’m sitting here, smiling. I didn’t know how bad I needed this.

Writing will always be here.

Write, write when you don’t feel like it; when you can’t face the world. Write when you don’t feel like fighting anymore.

We can get through anything, for tomorrow is another day.

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My name is Vincent Van Patten. This is my home, a place to share who I am and what lights my soul on fire. I’m a writer, media creator, and co-host of The Dare to Dream Podcast. Most importantly, I’m an inspired citizen of our ever-changing world. I strive to learn all that I can about how we’ve progressed to where we are today as individual cultures and as a planet. It’s my passion to fill every day with exploration and creativity no matter where I am, whether in California crafting my latest project or on my way to discover someplace new. By writing about my experiences, connecting with people and the earth, and remaining present, I always feel at home. I write to express my perspective of daily living, from the thoughts in my head to the relationships we share as human beings. I write about travel, culture, books, life, philosophy, spirituality, health, self-improvement, and history. I also write poetry and short stories  —  doing so soothes the soul. I believe we’re here to challenge ourselves by questioning all we think we know. When we do, we open our minds to a way of living we could never have imagined. This life is a journey with no finish line in sight. I hope to leave a positive impact with every step I take.

Del Mar, CA

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