Two years ago, I was a mess.
My mom was very sick and I remember the first time I realized she was probably going to die. The loss of hope is a very dark emotion. I got a tattoo that May. I drank probably more than I should’ve. I listened to a lot of sad music. I cried daily. I felt alone, worried and very unsure of what the future held.
Last year at this time, I felt numb. I felt nothing. I’d given up on joy.
I feel so much good and some bad, but I appreciate all of it.
This very moment I’m sitting on my porch in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. It’s a breezy 74 degrees outside and Van Morrison is crooning. I ran a little over 5 miles this afternoon after a solid day at work, an amazing lunch date and getting my eyebrows waxed. All extremely rewarding activities.
Life really is one long path ahead of us.
On that path, we hit rocks, roots, sticks and stones.
But we also see flowers, butterflies and sunsets.
We get lost.
But we get up.
We find our way
The path can loom or the path can gleam. It’s our choice, I’ve learned.
I’ve realized I can’t control what other people do or think. I’ve learned that worrying about others’ judgments of me is futile and wastes time I could be reading or laughing. I’ve learned playing a board game with my boys is my new favorite evening activity. I’ve learned I can push my body athletically more than I ever realized. I’ve learned God is my best friend.
When my mom died at the same time my marriage was failing, I thought I would never feel “happy” again, but life is full of surprises. It’s taken me 38 years to love me for who I am and to realize I can embrace my strengths and my flaws.
And so now, I may have a beer to celebrate an amazing bike ride. I may listen to sad music because I appreciate the musician. I may get a tattoo just because I have a gypsy soul and I love creative expression.
I am the same person I’ve always been, but my path has changed.
My path no longer looms.