I wish I could have taken you with me. But solo journeys are that way.
When I packed up all my things to leave, to go on a new adventure, to take this leap of faith, I didn’t realize I would be going without you. I wish you could see things the way I have been newly seeing them. I wish I could lend you my heart, my mind, and my eyes, even if only for a few minutes or maybe even a few hours.
When we don’t talk I can feel myself slipping away from you. And when we do talk I can see how far apart we’ve already gone. Isn’t that strange?
One day, about four years ago, after several weeks of failed attempts at connecting with so many of the women around me — because women are the biggest deal, in my estimation — Hubby and I were supposed to be getting dressed to go out. My outfit was hung, shoes were waiting on the floor nearby. All that needed doing was for me to walk to the closet and start getting dressed. But on that morning, a lump had been forming in my throat and my eyes had begun to sting. After much procrastination, I turned to Hubby and whispered, can we just not go? So we stayed home on that day and he let me bawl in his arms like a tired toddler.
And even as I tried to explain through the sobs, tried to talk through the hiccups, and the miserable retching, and even as Hubby nodded sympathetically, I am fairly certain that he never really understood just what in the world had brought all that on. And yet, Hubby was good enough to simply hold me and act as if every word I choked out made logical sense. Always my angel, that man.
From that day forward, I grew more quiet in the company of others.
And bit by bit, in small, measured steps — reluctantly at first — I began the journey towards my true self. It never occurred to me that in taking such a journey, I’d be leaving many of my love-people behind. I just knew I was dying inside: it felt as if I couldn’t breathe. For years, we had all been talking and smiling, eating and laughing, watching and promising, until none of it made much sense to me anymore. I merely smiled so I wouldn’t look crazy (not realizing how strange a smile can look on a face that wants to scream) and then I would lean in for a hug with someone until I could blink back the inconvenient tears.
Those days are done. Nowadays I am living a more authentic life.
I am gone. And yet, I keep looking back to find that you’re not with me. It occurs to me, you probably won’t be along anytime soon. That’s a tough one, a hard pill I didn’t know I would have to swallow.
Life, right? Our journeys can take different turns, at different times, and in different seasons. How can I make you see the way I now see or feel what I am feeling anew? I can’t. It’s like this: As the night approaches, one of us laments the day’s end, while the other is excited for a night sky peppered with stars. And as a new day dawns, one of us is thinking about time while another languishes in a moment. I am gone. And I have no plans to return. I didn’t think this through when I was packing up everything in my heart to take that leap.
That leap of faith. The journey. I lept without looking. And now I am gone.
I can think of no encouraging words to offer. I can make no promises about our tomorrows. All I can say is, I wish you peace and happiness because that’s what I finally have. When I think about those situations I once felt so tied to, they made me weep, I give thanks for being in this place today. Connected to the ether, the energy, the Source all around us, never to be disconnected from anyone or anything ever again, never to feel lost, dislodged or confused. I have only to close my eyes for seconds or moments to remember all that I already have and all that I will never again be without.
And yet, I am still startled to find us standing apart. Another explanation missing from the invisible book of life— what to do when we take journeys which lead us away from loved ones, our blood-ties, and our friends. How to move along the uncommon ground upon which we stand. How to agree to disagree, how to continue to love one another deeply whilst swerving around and swirling along the underbelly of newly divergent outlooks. Awkward silences, stolen glances, lingering looks.
However, intuition tells me, it’s not the end of the world for any of us. Like the rush of a strong river, we flow, we digress, breaking off into separate streams, and then again, converging for the gentle, meandering slosh into larger bodies. A lake or an ocean. If the Earth is okay with this then who are we to question such natural order? We go on. We love harder. We reach higher. And if we can believe, we all get our chance to win.
I used to panic and flail in some relationships, gripping until anyone of us faced the threat of drowning. I’m not that woman anymore. I used to say, wait! Don’t grow so fast. I’m not ready, I must catch up. Or I’d make a silent promise to stay put, slow my own growing to a crawl or even shrink to make myself fit into someone else’s mold. Sisters forever, loyal daughter, dutiful mother, best friends for life, a new community home for good– failing to understand that no matter what, change must come. Nothing lasts for ever.
One day something beautiful happened. I stopped living steeped in shame and I stopped being consumed with fear. I took a deep breath and emerged, face tilted to the sun, blessed, smiling and bathed in loving light.
So let’s let go of each other so we can fly. Let’s stop dragging each other down. It’s not enough for just one of us to let go. If I let go, you have to let go too. Be who you are. Be the amazing person you were born to be. The world is spinning without a pause button, so we may as well enjoy this ride.
I’m already gone. And life feels really good.