Coming Back to Myself
My college’s motto is “The journey is as important as the destination” – there’s nothing in there that promises the journey will be enjoyable or that you won’t get lost along the way or, in my case, become completely unsure of where you’re headed. It’s taken me a long time to come to the realization that while I thought I knew where I was going, who I was, I actually have no clue. And, that’s okay.
My path to breakdown/spiritual awakening/big o’ existential crisis started when my journey took some hard turns. Loss of my beloved canine companion (for those of you with kids, please don’t try and belittle this loss). Loss of my best friend, my father and a few short weeks later, my mother. Cross country move. Cancer for me (good times!). And then the unease set in, crawled in, found its way through cracks that I didn’t know I had. Like water that finds its way under concrete, seeping in through fissures you can’t see, but once the freeze sets in, the cracks start and eventually the stone blasts apart. That stone is me and it’s taken some hard, hard months to notice (admit) that I’m in pieces.
I’m still coming to terms with the journey I’ve found myself on, one with no clear end point. For someone who has lived her life driven by goals and a clear objective (get a job, do good there, get the next one, take care of those around me, execute on that flawlessly, do the next thing I’m “supposed” to do), facing a crisis of self is excruciating. My goal is to figure out what I want. Who I am. Answers that only come from within and through lots of hard, uncomfortable work. With the scary reality that I can’t see the final objective. I don’t know where I’ll end up. I’ve always known before. And, I thought that was because I knew myself. I was so, so wrong. That’s not a judgement on myself. Just a fact I’m comfortable stating. I haven’t known myself. And I’m blessed to be able to be at this place now, at a near half life point, where the knowledge of the past is behind me and the promise of many, many years is in front of me (I hope). All I know now is I am steadfast in my determination to not do an end run around this discomfort and just find another concrete goal as I am far more terrified of looking back with regrets at a self unknown and thus a life not well lived than I am of making some stupid decisions and ending up with no money, no home, no professional reputation. If that were to happen, I’d have my self – my true self which ultimately, is all we leave this world with. I want to be friends with it, have it guide the rest of my life so I can walk off the final path with firm faith that I made the most of my time and did what was best for me.
I’m both terrified and excited for what’s in front of me.
For whatever reason (probably in the spirit of risk taking and self honesty), I’ve decided to make the focus of this blog be on this journey. To toss out there comments on the process as I go through it. Excerpts of some of the exercises I will use to do the work. Musings. Railings. Hopefully some amusing anecdotes. Nuggets of the discovery process to get to the heart of myself.
Let’s see where this ride takes me. All aboard!