I Need to Make a Change

For years, I told myself that I needed to make changes in my life. I needed to be healthier, more physically fit and more mentally aware. In the end, like the New Year’s resolutions that are put out into the universe annually, I made no changes. I continued to operate in my daily life wishing things were different but doing nothing to facilitate even the smallest change.

Roughly a little over five years ago, I grew even more frustrated and began searching the internet for ideas for the betterment of my life. What I landed on, at the time, was piano lessons. There’s something to be said for forcing both sides of the brain to work together in order to rewire and reprogram it. Whatever the piano lessons did to help me in ways I didn’t understand, it was not enough. I was still dealing with the side effects of a traumatic brain injury. 

A year after starting piano lessons, I began art therapy through creative writing, hoping to build on any little bit I had gained from music. I evolved, as a writer and as a person. I began to notice changes but nothing significant enough for me to be celebratory. 

On May 26, 2019, at 12:12 a.m., my oldest daughter passed away. That’s a sentence no parent should ever have to say. I was devastated and lost. I was uncertain if anything would ever get better and I feared things wouldn’t even get back to – what I would have called at the time – a normal life. I struggled for months to find any kind of consistency in my day to day living. I would go from being angry one day to sad the next to angry crying the next, all while trying to see the sun through the clouds. 

I watched my family grieve around me and saw the hope and joy fade from their eyes. Losing Alexis destroyed everyone that knew and loved her. The more I watched this unfold, the more I knew I had to do something to protect and heal my family. 

I sat down in my office and I began writing. I wrote about my daughter. I wrote about the circumstances surrounding her death. I wrote to her and I wrote for her. I took all of the emotions that I had from her death, my injuries and just the general state of the world and let them pour out into my writing. Everything I wrote was written from an angle of healing and understanding, with no intention of ever releasing those writings into public. I found that after a few months, I began to find clarity and peace in small increments. During those moments, I felt like my old self. I just wished I could find that consistency again. While I was sure I was on the right path, the journey itself took a lot longer than I had anticipated. To be transparent, that journey took about another year and a half. 

I started meditating – which is one of those statements I could make to my friends that would usually muster up a good ribbing from them. I started slowly, learning to quiet the mind and just exist while being aware of everything around me. Once I felt confident, I began deeper meditations. I found myself happier and more relaxed the deeper I went. I found answers to questions I didn’t even know I had. I found love in places I didn’t understand. I had conversations with a younger version of myself. So much came from meditation and I found new doorways to walk through to learn more new things. 

I tell you all of this, opening my life like a file folder and laying it all out in front of you to see because many people that I have encountered on my path feel just as I did five years ago. There are a lot of people that have that hopeless or lost feeling that keeps them stagnate in life. I’m here to tell you, there is a way out of that fog. 

My path has been long and full of tragedy and pain, but with each step that I continue on that path, I become lighter, more aware, more conscious and more able to handle what my life lays at my doorstep. I’m not saying that the steps I have taken during my journey will be as rewarding for you in your life. What I’m saying is that there are ways to help you along your journey that aren’t associated with the normal approaches to your problems. I would have never thought that art therapy would be the keystone to my growth, but here we are.

Copyright © 2022 Allen Keith  – All Rights Reserved.