Go ahead and cry now, just give in to the madness. The only way to feel your joy is first to feel the sadness…It’s that time of year again. The first page on the calendar that prompts us to climb our unresolved mountains before we come sliding back down at our self-imposed December deadline. I’ve never been into resolutions, yet never work well without a finite date to loom over me.
Having stumbled past the ultimate deadline that I thought Destiny had placed on me, I’m in a bit of a free fall at the moment. We’ve all been posed the philosophical question “How would you spend your time if you knew when you were going to die?” Been there, spent the time as wisely as I thought best. I lived every emotion; joy, sadness, laughter and melancholy. I’ve cried a hundred tears, a hundred thousand times. It turned out to be some sort of twisted cosmic joke when I didn’t die as prophesized. Either I had misread the roadmap or Destiny moved the finish line on me.Am I to find the answer at the top of my mountain? Because here at ground level, the question remained – where do I go from here?
I felt that death would be a gift; an ending to a life that had gone on too long. I was tired. I still feel twinges of it some days. People ask me how I’m doing and when I respond with “okay,” they almost always return with “just okay?” They don’t understand – “okay” means I’m not having that twinge. It’s funny how we can see negatives and positives so differently from one another.There are things in our lives that we have different names for but they all amount to the same; gifts, blessings, good luck or fortunes. What many consider to be a blessing would be a sunny day. For me, that would be a curse because of severe and rare health risks. To everyone else, Kryptonite is just a pretty green glowing crystal.
It’s all about perception.I’ve always known I was different from most. I have been the outsider to my own life, feeling the need to justify or defend my existence and its variables. It was a linear way to the top of my mountain. What I have learned to be my footholds are things intangible. Love as it means to me, the meaning of life and my purpose in its evolution. I say that I’m in a freefall, but it only feels that way because my deadline is no longer as obvious as the summit above me. Where challenges and chaos have defined my path, I now feel there is reason. It no longer has to be justified to anyone. It only needs to make sense to me.
Living each day as a lifetime is often a fleeting thing that falls away with the drudgery of an obligated existence. Not for me; it is in me all of the time. It’s a lot to carry, but and because the weight is not mine alone. There have always been lessons, but over time the consequences weigh more. While my life has always felt like I was climbing to nowhere, suddenly I understood that I’ll never get anywhere if I continue to carry so much dead weight. The hard part has been figuring what or who am I going to need later and what is best to cut loose now?My friends have always been the most significant treasures. They made up for the family I wanted little part of. They’ve all had their place and time, though it’s taken me a long time to realize that. Not everything is meant to last, and that includes relationships. We think loyalty is defined by forever and feel betrayed when everlasting comes to an end, but we aren’t replacing the people in our journey, we are replenishing our souls.
In the past calendar run, I have been called many things from bitter and spiteful to kindhearted and a superhero. I’ve been advised way more than I am comfortable with. I’m quite surprised I still have a tongue left after having bitten it so often. In conversation with someone last month, I alluded to a 25-year friendship that I’d severed last summer and he asked quietly, “do you have any friends you haven’t had a falling out with?” I was hurt by that because it proved he wasn’t understanding things I’d been saying, which had become the common theme with most of my friends, hence the falling outs. It has become important to me to stop giving more to everyone than I was getting in return. And it isn’t a quid pro quo thing. It’s a harsh learning that I am not a superhero, and that I am vulnerable.It’s still a long way to the top, and Kryptonite hides in the darkest of places.
Someone asked me today “why is every story so negative?” Stuart was laughing as he asked, but there was a nugget of truth. I was starting to tell him a story and finished with “See? It’s not negative, it’s interesting. And if I were on a stage telling it, it would be comedy gold.” In the same conversation, he commiserated about my physical disabilities and conveyed a brief sadness when he asked “Have you ever looked death in the face?” and I said that I had. “You’ve had a lot of challenge in your life.” That’s okay, I said. It’s given me a different point of view.Life is all about perception.
It’s not so much about having survived my life. It’s the view that it’s given me. Have you ever stood at the top of the world and looked up at a clear night sky? Not all peaks are found at the top of a mountain. Sometimes they are on a sandy beach, an isolated field of dry grass, in a clearing or at the top of a city hill.I may be falling free, but that landing is just a hundred tears away.
Sometimes we want to give up but fools like us, we keep trying. You’re a long way from someplace you feel safe but peace of mind, it comes from just one place…
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