Image Credits: Samuel Zeller —

A short story

by Jonas Ellison

Before boarding the train, I check in with Fear. A casual, unwanted guest who’s followed me along my journey and sits in my back left pocket.

I know from experience that if I ignore him, he grows bitter. And when he grows bitter, he’s that much more of a prick when he speaks.

Fear doesn’t handle neglect well.

But when I check in with him on regular, conscious intervals, he respects the fact that I haven’t completely ignored him and merely mutters a few choice words, which I acknowledge but have grown to discredit.

As is the trend of late, I’ve started this adventure without a destination. Without a plan. And without a safety net.

All I know is that every step, every stumble of the way has lead me to this very space. This space that’s so full of unexpected potential. I stand in awe of its unfoldment.

Right now, this space happens to be the platform of a slow-moving, warm, and inviting train I’m about to board which will take me to yet another unfamiliar destination.

It hasn’t always been this way. I once sacrificed my life at the altar of the false god of safety. I was sedated under the illusion of certainty.

But soon, the god of safety failed to show up.

I was blindsided.

After enough of these instances, I began to wonder — is this really what it’s about? Forcing the direction of life? Demanding promises out of it? Requesting a road map of a path that hasn’t even been travelled yet?

Coming back to the present moment, I check in with Soul.

She operates differently than my fear. The more I check in with her, the more I feel her presence.

She offers me a glance back at my journey that now makes perfect sense and reminds me of how wrong my fear was at the start. She makes no false promises and constantly repeats the mantra, “It’s okay.”

When I ask her what my future is going to be like, she sweetly smiles and comforts me by reminding me that where I stand right now… Is home. Always.

This is the cycle. Fear growing quieter. Soul growing louder.

It’s nice to be home.

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