The beginning of this story begins with the ending of another.

A story that has been coming to a close for 26 years now. A story that I wouldn’t even be able to fully tell you even if I wanted to. But from I can tell you, is that I have been battling my entire life in a war that partly existed for real and partly existed in my mind.

Throughout the years, there have been scars from events that have defined who I am today. Would I take them back? No. Would I ever want to go through them again? Absolutely not. I wear these wounds proudly today although they do rumble in the depths from time to time and cause great amounts of pain. At times, they rush upon me in meditation and make me shake while I try my best to juts get through them one breath at a time.

But this story is ending.

This story is coming to a close. Not a chapter, not a few pages, but a book it itself.

And with the ending of something that has helped me create everything I have made throughout my entire life thus far, something else is opening up for me that was once upon a time…just a dream. It was just a fantasized thought running through my head…a whisper of freedom and the belief that I could set myself apart from the chains and hooks that pulled me back into the war.

At times I never thought I would escape.

I could feel myself growing and moving in the right direction but I never thought that these hooks would ever come out of me. They were in too deep and if they weren’t carefully handled it would case irreversible amounts of damage. But with the gentle touch of someone who believed in me and saw me for everything I could ever be, they were patiently removed despite any amount of pain that ran through my body.

I don’t talk much about those things. Not that I wouldn’t be willing to share, but some conversations are left for speaking in person. Some of these things don’t need to be written in ink because they would never come out the right way. There is just me and what I feel…and those feelings come out very strongly when evoked.

Just the way it should be.

In a month, I pack my bags and grab my one way ticket to Florence Italy and start a very exciting, fresh, new, and completely unknown chapter of my life. I will be staying in 13 different countries over the course of a year+ and taking everything I’ve ever wanted to do with my life to another place.

This is me becoming free.

Not running away from things, but running towards something that will evoke the greatest aspects of my spirit.

For years, I have been talking about going on a journey within my mind. It was that journey that helped me see who I was and what I stood for. It helped me realize my greatest mistakes, the role that I had to play in this life and what I could do with my life if I stopped thinking about myself as much and started thinking about how I could bring light to other people.

That has been my story for 5 years, and appropriately a few days after I turn 27 years old I will be starting Chapter II of everything. It took me 27 years to find my path…what I felt like I was destined to become…and that same amount of time to build up the courage to actually chase that destiny and paint it into reality day after day.

I have absolutely no idea what’s in store for me.

I am heading completely into the unknown. Right into the fog. But as I had written all of those years ago during that late night when I went out onto the Santa Clara streets covered in fog…all I could ever see were the green lights just barely visible. And that’s exactly how I feel now.

There are no red lights. There’s not even a yellow one saying “be careful.” All there is in this heart of mine right now is this beating passion for adventure and what is waiting for me around a bend I don’t even understand.

This is me putting it all on the line. This is me vowing and promising to myself and to the sky that I am ready to accept something that has been told to me a long long time ago.

Every demon, every reason, every excuse has come out over the past couple of weeks trying to manipulate me into staying. The doubt that crawled into my head whispered lies and turned me around for a brief moment. But eventually I snapped back into place, seeing without my eyes but with my faith, and it led me to doing something that I only dreamed of so many years ago.

There is no way you “should” do something. There is only your path, your dream, your way, and your heart. Never forget your head, but always listen to what your heart is telling you.

There is fear in this heart of mine, but it’s overwhelmed by this deep sense of courage.

It took me everything to get here. Not money. Not material things. Not cheap pleasures or temptations.

But heart.

Heart got me here.

Putting my heart into what I love and backing it all up with the blood and tears.

And that’s why I can do this. That’s why I can finally set myself free. That’s why I can start this journey to show the world just what I’ve had in my mind all these years.

I never toast to the future.

But hell.

To the future.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project