An original journal entry by Dutybound author, Mark A. Alvarez II.
You know, I’ve thought about this for a long time. Placing my actual thoughts to this page. I tried vlogging, but in all honesty, it never provided me with the sense of peace I always longed for. Not like my journals have. My journals for years have provided me with the solace I so desperately needed, the shelter my thoughts required to process the various events that would ultimately lead me to this place. Within the highs and the lows, my journal has always been my sanctuary, but those words…
For years, they lay dormant within the bindings of my forgotten thoughts. I look back over these entries, some from years past… And it’s astonishing seeing how much I’ve changed. But what surprises me the most is how much wisdom the words hold. Almost as if it’s always been there, innate and part of who I am.
It’s funny looking back wondering “How could a 15-year-old think like that?” How could I have been so sure, so mature, of what I wanted? I suppose that’s one thing that hasn’t changed throughout the many years of my life. I always remained devoted, dedicated to seeing this journey through to the end, and committed to making the most of this gift of life.
“I survived for a reason…” I tell myself this often, attempting to reinforce the idea that there are no coincidences. Luck was a never a factor. Not when it comes to me. I find my way. I define my own fate. I choose the path I will follow. That has always been… me.
But in recent days, I find myself on the edge of something difference, watching as my mind shifts perspectives, as my heart changes emotions. I don’t feel like I use to. Not since this, not since Dutybound came into existence.
Light Wings is my dream. It is my legacy. It is the story I want to be known for, beyond the darkness of my past or whatever path that society, my peers, or my colleagues attempt to conform me into.
In the end, I know where I stand. And quite frankly, that’ll always be where I want to be. This is the path I have to take. There is no other place for me. I’m coming to see that now…
I see how Light Wings has shaped me. I understand how it has shielded me from the corruption of my family, how it’s kept me grounded and focused, and away from places I ought not be.
There is so much going on inside my head as I go through this process. As the launch of my novel approaches, I grow more anxious, eager, but anxious too. Not because I’m afraid of what people will think of my somber story, but more so of what it could potentially become.
After everything I’ve been through, this is past the peak of what I imagined my life could be. In some ways, I wonder if I even deserve it. All of this. The book. The company. After everything I’ve seen and done, after what I come from, how could there be even the slightest bit of grace? How could I have made it here a month away from my book’s debut?
I still remember the day I sat on the floor of my mother’s bedroom, at the base of her window where I lay reading, when I told myself “One day I will write my own book. A book better than this.” And now, holding my book in my hands, reading its pages, I finally realize how life does indeed come full circle.
If one believes in something, it can be done. So, I’m going to breathe, relax and enjoy the rest of this month because in the end, I know that it was I who brought this all together. There should be some sort of satisfaction in that, right? In knowing that writing and publishing this book says a lot more about who I am as a person than my past or where I came from.
This is something I have to come to terms with, especially as I prepare to watch my father return to prison shortly after my first book’s publication. Four years… I mean, it’s not like I haven’t been here before, but still I can’t imagine how much will change in that span of time. I can’t tell my father who I will be, nor could I ever know if he will change the next time he leaves.
Why does this always have to happen? It’s as if there is always a price to pay for every conviction I follow. I must lose in order to gain… It sucks, but that’s reality for you. Life isn’t always fair. No one ever gets handed the same cards, but we do have the choice in how we play them.
I have to remember that as I go into this next month, as I move closer towards this launch. I’ve got to be happy, despite not being able to share this happiness with those I wish could be here. Greif is something I’m all too familiar with, but with it I know that something better does exist, because for every painful emotion that exist there is one that is good and just as powerful.
I can’t forget that. I won’t forget that. Because my fate is not to be determined by the cards I’ve been dealt, but rather by how I choose to play this hand.
I won’t succumb to doubt or fear. I won’t work against myself. Because, after all, there is no point in dwelling on things we cannot change.