Soul Shell

Hope Abandonded

Soul Shell

Author: ELW

Life, lies, living, lessons, the pursuit of happiness and the truth.

 I wake up every morning, stretching across bed feeling the cold emptiness and reality of being by myself. I check my phone for a message I know will probably never come. I check the date as the time doesn’t really matter. I stumble out of bed making to the bathroom while pausing momentarily to turn on the coffee maker before taking care of the mornings pressing necessities. With the fog clearing, starter the coffee and stare at the stream of the hot dark liquid and is fills the cup that brings back the memories of a happier time. I open the drawer and pull out another candle, lighting it sending out my perpetual message to the universe of hope and love. Setting it down on my tiny alter of hope I pick up the stone given to me on that wonderful afternoon on the beach in Ventura. I hold it gently in my palm stroking its smooth surface gently with my thumb and feeling the love that it was given with bringing a tiny smile to lips. I sit but in front of my computer pulling up the news to see what that fucking moron of a president we have, has lied about or what new chaos he has created for today. I still having difficulty with why I even check on it because it’s always depressing. The fool is such an embarrassment to the country. I can’t decide which I am more appalled at, him and his actions or the people amount of people who actually believe in and support him.

After getting my fill spiked coffee, cigarettes and depression of world events, I get dressed, check the battery and storage on my camera and phone and head out. I start up my Pokémon game wander around looking for something new to photograph and share with those who follow me on Instagram or to sell online. Then it’s time to head off to work for a few hours to support my feeble existence and my interact with others of my species before heading back to my space. Now it’s time to go through and cull and edit as my collection images while indulging in my beverage of choice as the end of another day comes to an end.  Wash, rinse repeat…

So, what’s with the title you my ask? Or not. Well I will lay it out from my opinion, perspective and experiences. Yes, I very definitively stated the word “MY”. It in no way is meant to suggest it’s how it is for anyone other than me. You may or may not agree but that’s the benefit of being the sole contributor to my site. If you after reading the following and you have any comments, feel free to reply. I would really be interested in an outside opinion and it would also let me know if anyone ever reads my posts.

I can’t say exactly when I ever started looking for a meaning or purpose of life. Of course, a long time ago I wondered what I wanted in life or maybe from it, but not necessarily the meaning of it. I wanted all the things we were taught to want that would by design bring the happiness and satisfaction of living a normal life. Happiness, a loving family of my own, a loving home and a rewarding job that supported it all while preparing me for my golden years with the person I loved and loved me by my side. The catch… no one tells or can tell how to accomplish that. There’s plenty of those who can tell you what or what hasn’t work for them and are will you sell you an idea or a plan. So sometimes you listen to them in your pursuit of happiness as they explain it. The thing is, they are not you. Being inexperienced in life you don’t comprehend that, and you start pursuing what others say is what you want. And for a while it may appear to be working. After a while it stops working and the original happiness fades, so you struggle trying to figure out what you’re doing wrong and you try and fix it until it’s no longer repairable and you look for another way. Wash, rinse and repeat.

I was for a long time locked into the cycle. I finished high school and joined the military because I couldn’t afford college and honestly, I was afraid that I wasn’t smart enough to succeed and didn’t was to face failure. So, I had a job and a purpose, to serve and support my country. Good start and at first, I was happy and content. I was somewhat successful at my job, getting promoted and enjoying what I was doing. I was happy, or at least what I know now was that I was content. I was traveling the world, having new and exciting experiences, meeting a wide variety of people and cultures and making friends, what I know now was just making acquaintances. After a while it seemed all my “friends” were getting transferred, getting out or getting married. I started feeling more and more alone or abandoned. I wanted the dream.  I wanted a family because that what you’re supposed to want so at the first opportunity I got married and had a couple of kids. Again, at first it was wonderful. I had a stable job, a wife, kids and a house. The it began to go south. No matter how much work I put into it I couldn’t fix it. So she left and I got the kids. I am happy that I have children, make no mistake about that. I have absolutely no regrets at all with regards to them. Now I am a single dad with a job but being a single military parent is a very difficult position to be in. Being deployed and being a good father and role model is a real challenge to put it mildly. The best thing I could do I felt at the time was to find them a mom. So, I took the first opportunity to do so and got married again out of the desire to do what was best for my kids. She knew this and we made a contract that was beneficial to all of us. For a longer time, things went well, very well as far I was concerned. My kids were being taken care of, I got along with my wife and we even had kid together.  We had a home and I had a job I enjoyed and supported us all. Looking back, I realize that probably the reason things were working so well was because I was deployed most of the time. When I finally retired from the military, I got a local job and was home all the time. The money was not the best, so I ended up working two jobs in order to fulfill my obligations. I had never really bonded with the kids and we were not close. As kids get older, a greater financial need occurs which caused the need for my wife to get a job because I could not meet my contractual obligations. This in turn caused the bliss of our relationship to diminish. I was offered a new job from a former colleague of mine which brought in a good paycheck and put be back to being gone again. Being deep in debt with maxed out credit cards, a mortgage and a second mortgage, no savings in the bank, no kind of retirement plan and living in a cold and dysfunctional relationship I jumped at the opportunity.  I spent some time in working in South America a fair bit more money and was able to hack away at my debt for a while and things at home mellowed out a bit and home life became platonic and neutral. Life was doable again. After a year or so, make a good professional reputation I was offered a more lucrative job in the middle east, so I move on. Living conditions were miserable but the money was good, and it was better than having to be at home, yes it may be sad but it’s just the way it was. I was getting out of debt, two of the 3 kids moved out of the house and life was grand and I was happy again.

Destiney intervenes when you and where you least expect it.

While working in remote places in the world you don’t have a lot of access to social opportunities. My social life was limited to internet chat rooms and online games. The major misconception with those in my opinion is that you really don’t mentally accept that the individuals a real living people. That any interaction is just a fantasy you indulge in. Well that’s the farthest thing from the truth. For me that bazillion to one chance happened. Why or how our paths crossed in my opinion is nothing other than fate, destiny or just pure magic. I met someone online that introduced me to the purpose of life. Love. It was the one impossible thing I could not imagine or knew existed. It was so bizarre to my mind I could not believe in it or trust it for the longest time. The greatest part about it is that it was true and pure but the greatest travesty about it was that I only found it because I lied to get there and the ultimate price of that lie cost me in the end and the devastation that it caused to a loving caring soul. I was given something unimaginable to me, pure almost unconditional love. It took me the longest time to honestly believe it was true. It was to perfect and I was intimidated by it. I was so afraid and feeling unworthy of it in the beginning and then it turned around on me and I was so afraid of losing it that I could never tell the truth. I knew it would be taken away. I want so bad to be honest and I tried so many times to do so but I just couldn’t. I tried in all my actions to show how I really cared hoping that someday, knowing the truth would finally come out that my actions would be enough to make up for the lie. But no, it was not and now, years later I am left with the greatest of all memories and lessons about life, its meaning and its purpose.


Life is simply a span of time that one gets to have experiences. Lies are what humans use to cope and manipulate life with. We lie to ourselves or to others for both good and bad reasons. Sometime with the intention of malice or with the intent to protect and preserve. For ourselves, we say yes, I am happy or doing my best to be happy because we hide ourselves from the truth. Living is how we choose to deal with our experiences. Where we choose to let our minds and our thoughts reside despite our actual momentary status. Lessons are what we are given to experience and retain from them. The pursuit of happiness is for most of our lives is looking for truth of the heart. It’s journey with a map that has a destination very little written on it and you are expected to fill it in as you go. The truth… it resides deep within the heart. Sometimes so deep you can’t see it, recognize it or even feel you can trust in it. But when and if you ever do you will know it. What it not is the words you say or don’t say, it’s not the action you do or don’t do. Truth is from the center of your soul. For me it’s the hardest thing I ever had to face.

So where am I today? I exist in the present doing what I have to order to get to tomorrow. I dream about what could have been because that is where I want my journey to take me regardless of the possibility of success. The moment I give up on that possibility is the moment I cease to exist. I live in the past. The place where I was and can be happy again. I do all the things that I wanted and planned to do with the one that I would have taken into our golden years. Why? Because I believe in her and that she wants me to be as happy as I can be, whether or not she is physically here or just in my imagination. Once you have been touched by that kind of love you can never let it go any more than you can change the color of your skin. I long ago told her we could never have a normal friendship and I never would want that. Ours is magical and nothing less and never will be as long I am her in this world or the next. I will forever be here for that love until the day I pass.

I have known love.  A love worth waiting for, to the moon and back, forever and a day beyond. The door is always open even if it’s just to borrow a cup of sugar.

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