I have discussed a couple times with you, my fears of going out. I try to convince my mind that it will be ok, yet my mind doesn’t care. It tries to hold me hostage.
    So yesterday I decided I was going to go see my friend after I dropped my youngest son off at his mothers house. The only problem was that he wouldn’t be home for about an hour and a half after I dropped off my son. I always tell people to face their fears, yet I can never bring myself to do so. I have to do something about this! I had my lacrosse stick with me so I decided to go to a park and practice a little.
    I pull up near a school I used to rollerblade at when I was younger. It’s not exactly a park, but it’ll do. As I park the car, I notice there is a kid playing basketball, and a couple of people running the track. I am quite apprehensive as I disembark from my vehicle and head for the yard.
    The young boy looks at me as I walk towards the handball court that I have spotted. They make the perfect practice area for working on reflexes and catching. I see him looking and think, “He’s staring at you… go away from here!” I mentally slap myself for being an idiot. Who cares if he’s looking. He’s most likely either looking at the lacrosse stick, or just curious as to what I’m doing. I always look at people when they come around.
    I smile at the boy and walk to the area I’m heading. Take off my jacket, (This is something else I never do) and proceed to practice. I have an extreme aversion to not being perfect at things, so I only practice stuff I’m good at. Throw, bounce, catch. This gets boring fast, but I still have over an hour until my friend gets home.
    “Forget it!” I think as I decide to use this time to learn something new. I’ve always wanted to be able to make a behind the back shot. The boy is going about his game, no longer paying attention to me. I try it. It completely misses the wall and I have to go chase the ball down.
    The boys father come over, having finished his run and smiles as I say hello. He starts playing basketball with his son. Neither are very good, and this makes me happy to see because despite not being good at it, they play anyway. I’m starting to think that I should have gone out alone a long time ago.
    I miss another behind the back shot and the ball goes bouncing onto the basketball court. The dad picks it up and throws it back to me. He smiles, and for the first time ever, I don’t feel like I’m being laughed at.
    Over the course of the next hour they leave, and a few other people come by. An older lady walking her dog, who smiles and says hello. A middle aged man who came to jog. A couple in their early twenties walking their little dogs. And two teenage girls came to play on the play structure about a hundred yards away. These teenagers started asking… Well, yelling questions at me from afar. “Hey you. Are you playing a game?” I tell them no, hoping they’ll shut up and leave because they are making me uncomfortable. I’m not ready for talking to strange people. And I really don’t wasn’t to seem like some creepy guy, talking to two girls roughly half my age.
  “Hey. Are you wearing green?” I hold up my bright green John Deer hat. It is a little obvious that I am. “Good, I wouldn’t want to have to come over there and pinch you.” They giggle.
    I am now actually hoping they don’t just shut up, but go away. I don’t want to talk. Mercifully, they leave and I am left alone on the schoolyard. I practice my shots a little while longer and decide to watch the sunset before I go on my way.
    There are a bunch of storm clouds in the air so I don’t think that it will be a very good one, but for the second time today, I am amazed. The sun is just above the mountains but behind the clouds. It lights the edges of the thick clouds on fire with beautiful light. I can actually see the rays of light coming out from behind them. A tear comes to my eye as I think of what I have accomplished for myself today. I know it probably seems like something that is so easy, but for me, it was quite difficult.

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    I feel like the sunset was a gift just for me. Like maybe my father was giving me a gift for a job well done. I know that even though my dad is gone, he is still watching me. And even though he can no longer guide me… I hope he is as proud of me as I am of myself right now. 🙂

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