Part 7: Because of or Despite - Final piece
I shared this story in brief with my friend Rob recently. He asked me, do you think it is BECAUSE of this happening or DESPITE this that you are who you are now.
Good question I said. There is no way to tell. All I know is that ’s exactly how it had to go. My opinion is that it is the life journey I chose before coming into this world. There is of course a whole argument about free will, autonomy, who dictates the path, etc. But I am not going there for now. All I know for sure, is that this is what happened. Or my closest recollection of it.
Now, to catch you up to the present, I want to share what I have gotten from the journey. For nearly ten years after running away, I continued to live life according to what I thought I “should” do. Picture this...
I get my Bachelor’s. I work as a social worker. I go to a PhD program, because school is easy for me and people encourage it. I get married. I buy a house and some cars. I get a job making a lot of money. Inside the shell of the externally perfect life, I am very unhappy inside.
Then one day about two years ago, the facade starts to crumble. Read my first post to get more.
Over the last two years I have been doing lots of personal discovery and have found so much about what I decided at 15. I felt that the freedom I had tasted on that trip to California could never be mine again. That there was no possible way to live the life I really wanted. That I would be punished for pursuing what I really desired. That there was something wrong with me.
And with these beliefs running the show, I took the path of the life I “should” live. The one that is a safe next best second option. I can see now those are just the the decisions of a stoned 15 year old. Decisions made as a reaction to some intense circumstances. And once I got to see these beliefs for what they are, I got freedom to take on finding my personal expression. Finding the way to a live that life I love.
And now I am on that path. That discovery. My mom recently shared that she has such joy to see me pursuing the question about what brings me happiness in life. What brings me joy. What my vocation is. That my actions align with that quest and though there is no ultimate answer, she sees me hunting on this trail.
What have I found so far?
I have found an expression in the world that allows me to travel. I have found a way to operate that I get surprised and delighted by the small joys life brings me each day. I have found ways to create adventure every day. I have allowed myself to be imperfect and to be honest about being imperfect and inauthentic. I have found that simulating my senses keeps me alive. I have found love. For myself, for people around me, and for my family.
On this trip currently in Romania with my dad and my sister, I am finding who I am as a woman. Who I was as a child and a girl is no more. I am finding my voice. I am finding my insecurities.
I am finding that sharing this story now is an act of reconciliation. Of reconciling the past me and the present me. Reconciling the past of my family and our current family. I am finding that ANYTHING can be resolved in communication. I am finding that when I relate to others as who they are in the present moment I am delighted and surprised and they are freed up too.
Anything is possible. Believe.