It’s been months since the day he lit the match and watched it all burn down. Months since he left the safety of that harbor. He knew he would never forget that anxiety in his stomach as he was leaving that place – that place that had made him into what he was – exiting on the journey of a lifetime. He saw a different way and trusted himself to go. He saw the man he could be and scorched the earth of what had kept him safe all those years.

Even though he traveled through new waters, saw new lands, and experienced new things, from time to time his stomach felt that all to familiar feeling of desiring that safety. But every time it appears, he remembers yelling at the top of his lungs to his crew “no more old ways! no more old ways!” He remembers the look on their faces when the city behind burned down to the ground – the flickers of flames in their eyes.

He never looked back though.

He would never look back again.

In truth, it was fear that held a steady grip on him most of his days, but it was fearlessness that caused him to act. He wasn’t immortal. He wasn’t perfect. He was just a man. A man looking to leave the old and usher in a new world for himself, one that he had seen time and time again in his dreams. A man looking to stand for something greater than himself. But just a man.

That fear…that black wolf of fear seething and dripping at the teeth chased him endlessly. It nipped at his hands and heels when he remembered that safe place. It fed upon his doubts and worries. It ravaged his heart when he fell scared to its howl. It was only when he turned and faced that black wolf did he ever see it for what it actually was. And though his hands trembled, he got down to the beasts level and stared it straight into its eyes.

My old friend, I will not die with regret in this heart.

You can temporarily abuse this flesh and mind of mine, but you will never take me whole. You will never swallow me into the black as I requested upon you all those years ago. No…I remember that time all too well. You will not take me. You will not have me.

He brushed his hand smoothly across the side of the wolf’s face and turned back to the helm. His hands gripped the wood wheel with vigor and squeezed the handles.

I will not die an un-lived life.

I refuse.

What I have seen in this mind and what I have felt in this heart I know are possible. The dreams I have seen can be as real as day. They are real. This fear is real, but outweighed by fearlessness. This black wolf that follows me will never yield, but this faith in me shall always keep it one step behind.

Onward we go.

Farther into the unknown.

Onward we go.

No regrets.



Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project