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Embracing My Story: How One Song Became My Lifeline

Updated: at 05:45 AM

I’m Mark. As Kid Rock said, I’m just a man sitting here, trying to find myself, wading through the labyrinth of my mind. It feels like I’m constantly playing catch-up. “I get behind myself, I need to rewind myself,” as the song goes. These words echo through my soul, stirring feelings I often can’t define.

At the stroke of midnight, I often find myself glued to a computer screen, wrists draped over the keyboard, lost in the world of Ragnarok M: Eternal Love. I am playing side by side with Arlene, the love of my life. This alternate reality gives me a strange sense of peace, a temporary sanctuary from the storm inside me.

In the daylight, the ‘chatter of my kids’, their innocent laughs, and the constant bickering bring a warm sense of normalcy. I watch them, my heart filled with love, yet the emptiness seldom leaves. “I watch my youngest son, and it helps to pass the time…” I sometimes wonder if they notice their dad crumbling beneath the laughter amid the chaos.

As the weight of my battles surges, I often turn to an old friend – something Arlene doesn’t quite understand. The company of countless strangers who know my name, yet not my story. I bet there’s a lot of “folks fuck with me, it’s hard to hang out in crowds”, to quote my trusted melodic friend. I guess that’s the price I pay – one that only I understand and one which only God knows why I have to pay.

It’s ironic. I have hundreds of friends in my virtual world, yet the loneliness doesn’t diminish. “People don’t know about the things I say and do; They don’t understand about the shit I’ve been through,” Kid sings it, and I love it. My life is a canvas painted with bright colors on the surface, hiding layer upon layer of grey, much like that old weathered wall in Antipolo Street.

My childhood memories are framed in the heart of ‘Basey, Samar’, where my mom still lives - a humble public school teacher with a heart more significant than this Universe. “It’s been so long since I’ve been home…” Every annual trip to Basey is a breath of fresh air, a fleeting pause from my daily struggles. Yet, it also brings back an echo of something I yearn for – a feeling that I have forgotten or, perhaps, learned to live without. I suppose one could call it inner peace.

”And when your walls come tumbling down, I will always be around” - these powerful lines from Kid’s song strike a chord within me every single time. The lyrics remind me that I have a reservoir of strength despite the ‘challenges I face’. An assurance that even when faced with the darkest days, I will endure - for myself, Arlene, and the kids.

It’s strange, you know, walking this tightrope between normalcy and despair, holding my head high as an endless storm rages within. “So I think I’ll keep walkin’ with my head held high,” Yet despite these ‘sobering challenges’, I persist, I continue on this journey “and only God knows why… Only God, Only God, Only God knows why.”

Life is a complex web of realities. My reality isn’t one that you might consider ordinary, but it’s one that I live every day. As my fingers dance across the keyboard in the late hours of the night, riding high on the adrenaline rush of a game or two, I wonder if tomorrow might be different.

But until then, Kid Rock’s soulful melody serenades my solitude, reminding me that my weary spirit isn’t alone in its struggles. A peculiar strength resides in the depth of my being, and only God knows why. Only God knows why we journey through the darkest valleys, what we’re meant to discover, or when the sun will shine again.

Mount Pulag Buscalan Village

For now, I’ll continue to find tranquility in the surrounding tumult, embrace life’s challenges, and shoulder the burdens that come my way. I hope to understand someday why life has cast these trials upon ‘my journey’ and what secrets the Universe may reveal upon lifting the veil of night. As I steer my vessel through these turbulent seas, I find resonance and comfort in Kid Rock’s lyrics, “Take me to the river, ey… Won’t you take me to the river, hey, hey, yeah…”