A friend of mine once told me a lesson I fight everyday to remember. She had read my story, Horizon, and she told me one thing, “Duggy, never sell yourself short!” She told me how great I was. Each day I try to give myself what I deserve and to not throw away the person I really am.
Many times I will look at this picture of myself, 3 years old, and stare deep into my own eyes. And I will think about all the things that I went through after that day as I was growing up.
And I tell myself, “I’m sorry, Duggy. I’m sorry about your mom and dad separating and I’m sorry that Interpol says you are kidnapped and I’m sorry you missed growing up under your mother’s wing when she could have been there. I am sorry for all the days you are going to cry and for all the things that didn’t deserve to happen to you. Including the days you had to run away from home and dropped school for weeks because you had a dream to change your life.”
And every time I say that to myself I always make a promise to make it up to that boy in the old photograph. I say, “I’ll make it up to you. You’ll see! You’ll be an amazing author one day and you’ll live exactly the way you want and nobody will keep you away from your mother anymore. And no one will dare misjudge her and talk negatively about her. Your life will be all that you dreamed it to be. And most of all, you’ll be happy!”
This is me, painting shapes on paper. I remember I loved to paint a lot. I loved colors. I loved to make art. And I never knew I’d write stories too. So I tell myself again, “You’re going to love to write. Your imagination will erase your pain and take you to worlds of a million shapes. Your stories will heal you. So write them. Because you’re also going to learn to write the best books ever! There’s nothing you won’t be able to do. You’ll be great, I know. I’ve seen it happen. Just remember not to give up on the 3rd page of your second attempt to write a story. Because after you cross that page, everything in life will start to get better.”
Today, I finally got my story on Amazon. I’m 19 and I’ve felt all sorts of emotional thunderstorms. I’ve had loss, love, faith and I’ve felt very powerful and also extremely small and insecure. And I recall the words a friend once told me, “Duggy, never sell yourself short!”
And I look back at the photo and promise myself, “I will not sell you short anymore.” That’s the greatest sin to my soul. From now on it’s time I gave myself what I really deserved.
I’m done with having less than what this boy truly deserves. I’m done settling for a life I don’t want to live. I’m going to give that boy the best life ever. Every single day I’m going to dedicate myself to this. To loving myself better. The real me. Not a fake me anymore.
Here’s a picture the night of that day I painted with a friend, 16 years ago. I went to sleep happy and sound. Because I made great art and someone put down the words “The Big Day” on my painting.
And I know that Big Day is coming. It is more near than it has ever been. Every day I believe in my heart that my story, Horizon, will change my life. That is what I truly say and want. This faith puts a smile on my face every time.
I’ve put my heart on the line and my soul is out there. This is my Big Day!