The world is becoming increasingly complex with every passing minute and along with that complexity, comes a growing list of complications and opportunities.
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” ~ Mary Oliver
I mean, you may have lived a hundred before and you may come back again as a cat, or a tulip. Or something close to – but not quite – who you are now, as you work out the kinks of your former existence and burn through your karma while searching for your purpose.
Have you ever ran from someone, some place, or something, thinking that you’d end up somewhere better – only to find that your new destination came with its own set of complexities and obstacles and ended up being more trouble than it was worth? And that perhaps where you were previously was the better option for you? Sometimes we buy into the idea that the grass is greener on the other side, only to realize that our lawn was actually pretty fab. What we want doesn’t always balance with what we need.
I’ve been saying for years that I’ve wanted to publish a book. As satisfying as it was to have the proof copy of my book in my hands, when people asked me about it, I found that while I would talk about the end product – the meat of that book of personal struggles and reflections – more often than not, I talked about the process. I talked about how it began as a series of random thoughts in my journal, scribbled as I sat on a beach in Jamaica during my vacation back in February. And how these thoughts began to take form when, one day as I was taking my typical wander around the city on a sunny Sunday morning with a coffee in hand, I was hit with a clear message that I needed to park my butt on my rooftop and write. And that when I listened to that pull to tune out of the world and tune into my writing, things just flowed.
While reaching the end goal was certainly satisfying and offered a colossal sense of achievement, there was something far more magical in the movement of getting to that end goal. There was more magic in the discoveries, unfolding, discomfort, and realizations along the way. And that’s often what we take for granted.
Never mind the years of experiences leading up to the point where I could reflect on the last 38 years of my life – the experiences that made me who I am today and infused my writing. Had it not been for learning tough lessons in life, love, and about myself, there would be no book.
There’s nothing wrong with being ambitious and being proud of our accomplishments but accomplishments are truly only sweeter when we learn and grow along the way. Checking those big goals off our lists might be what we really want in life but sometimes when we get there, we’re faced with “what’s next?” and “now what?” Reaching the goal marks the end of the process – and the process is where the beauty lies.
It’s been a month since I sat down at my laptop to write and two weeks since you passed.
My journal is full of handwritten scribbles and reflections, punctuated with the roller coaster of emotions I’ve been experiencing as I sort through my thoughts.
I faced every day knowing this wouldn’t be easy. I faced every moment knowing it could all end without notice. I faced every minute hoping it would all move through me.
And somehow, I feel like I should be over it all. That the thought of seeing you slowly slip away before us would be healed quickly because ‘it was time’. It was like I gave myself the permission to grieve for, like, a week. Because, you know – as they say – life goes on.
But I’ve dreamt of you for the past two nights and I struggle with the contrasting feelings that come along with losing a parent – someone tied to me by blood – and at the same time, someone I barely knew. Someone I only became reacquainted with at the end.
Because it was only at the end that I was able to see you again for what we all are – souls traveling in human bodies craving connection, acceptance, worthiness, purpose, and love.
I asked you at one point if you were scared and I could tell you meant it when you said you weren’t. I could tell you knew it was time. I could tell you were ready to go.
And so for now, I live with the slowly receding memories of the smell of your hospital room, of us listening to The Beatles while I feed you vanilla pudding, of you leaning in to ask me when you would be leaving, and your face the morning you took your last breaths. Knowing that time heals. Knowing that time is all we have. Knowing that time flies. Knowing that it’s our job to make the most of this life.
Until I see you again, xoxo