It's been 5 years since I gave up on college.

5 years.

If I were to have made something of myself, put in the time and paid my dues, it should have been in those 5 years. I was meant for college, I was meant to go to school and succeed. I was meant for straight A's, late night study sessions and early morning lectures. I started at Boise State University feeling confident and excited for whatever challenges were ahead of me. 

But life happened...and it happened hard.

5 years ago, my life changed. It changed fast, it changed without my permission and there was nothing I could do about it. In one day, my success in the future became a worry of my past. 5 years ago, my best friend died...and it was painful. It was a kind of pain that never dies. It lingers, mercilessly hanging onto a broken heart, making sure that it never fully heals. 

That pain was devastating for me. It tore me apart and made me question everything about myself, about my existence. Instead of choosing a path of healing, I chose a path of self-destruction with little regard for all of the hard work that had been put into getting me to where I was. I said goodbye to sanity, to responsibility and to my future. I just didn't care anymore. I was frustrated and angry and ashamed of myself. I knew that my decisions had let a lot of people down and that my actions had hurt a lot of people who loved me. But I didn't know how to fix that...I didn't know how to pull myself out of the depression that had flooded every inch of my life.

One day, when I most likely should have been in one of my classes, I decided to take a hike up to a place called Tablerock. It overlooks the entire city of Boise, Idaho and it was one of the quietest places I could think of, where I could get away from everyone and everything. The hike was a little difficult for me, but once I was up there, I took a few minutes to look around and I was glad I had made the trip. It was overcast that day, but not cold, not warm. Just...dark. And gloomy. And peaceful. And perfect.

I walked to the edge of the ridge at the top of Tablerock and I sat down. I sat still and I just looked, and listened. I took in the silence, I took in the beauty and for the first time in a long time...I felt safe.

I sat in the silence, in the perfect silence, and I just cried.

A single tear streamed down my face, and then another, and another...and soon I was an uncontrollable, inconsolable sobbing mess. As I sat there crying a stream of tears into my lap, I had a conversation with God. I gave Him all I had to give...all of my questions, all of my anger, all of my hurt. I asked Him for help, I told Him I couldn't do it anymore. I told Him that I needed Him.
And then, it was over. I had said my piece. I had cried my tears.

As much as I cannot help anyone understand the loss of a friend, I cannot describe the peace that only God can give. I left that mountain a different person. There was still a big, sad world down below with a lot of pain, a lot of questions and a lot of mistakes that I needed to make right. But the relief I felt, the overwhelming sense of peace that I felt, and that I still feel every time I look at this picture, was no less than a miracle.

A photo truly is worth a thousand words. And for me, this photo holds great meaning. I took it so that I would always remember the pain, always remember the silence, always remember the relief in knowing that everything would be ok.

For me, photos mean more than a pose, more than a look, more than the lighting or the props. It's the memories, the emotions and the stories they come with that make a photo worth taking.

This entry was posted on Friday, December 21, 2012. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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