“You are what you believe yourself to be. We all know everything, it’s merely a question of believing.”
-Paulo Coelho, The Witch of Portobello
“Underneath it all, we are wild and we know it.”
-Reggie Ray, Buddhist scholar
The end of the year is a reflective time for me, as I’m sure it is for many of you. Normally I embrace this time of year with open arms, but this December feels a little different. Politically I dread the new year, though personally it’s the year I’ve been waiting for. My book arrives, our lease expires. A new life awaits us, though the road we’ll take out of town remains to be seen. I wish I could talk more openly about this on the blog, but I don’t want to publicly commit to one path and then change my mind and settle on another. Plus, each decision comes with it’s own set of pros and cons, and all with a deep sadness about the road not taken.
There is never one easy decision- every new opportunity comes with the loss of what you sacrifice for the new thing to bloom. But blooming is always the answer, no matter how painful or scary it is to burst forth through the soil and expose your face to the sun.
These nearly two years “back home” have challenged me in ways I knew they would. That’s the thing. I knew they would. And yet, I wanted to come back. But I have also, very desperately, wanted to be gone. Maybe there’s a lesson in here somewhere. Maybe one day Brian and I will look back and say, Ah, I get it now. But not yet. Not quite yet. I have this feeling that it is all leading to something. I feel that very strongly in the marrow of my bones. But what? And when?
I have, my whole life, wished that I could be the kind of person that is fully content with a traditional life. There is a piece of me that is content with it, a piece of me that loves nothing more than a clean and quiet house, dinner cooking in the oven. But of course there is this other, churning piece of me. The best piece of me, I think. The piece that wants to create and explore and discover. The piece that wants to burn, burn, burn. The piece that pushes the boundaries and believes there is absolutely no limit to what is possible. The piece that will never, ever be content. I feel like I exist in the place where two tectonic plates rub up against each other. I am that space in the middle, part of me pushing one way, part of me pulling another. It is hard to sum up this feeling, though you will recognize it if you have it.
The other day I asked myself, what if I just fully accepted who I am? What if I absolved myself of the guilt of disappointing others and embraced, without apology, the life I really want to live? What if I stopped worrying who I would hurt? (Here I must say that of course I want to hurt no one, but when I protect others by sacrificing an essential part of myself I am still hurting someone- I’m hurting me.)
What if our lives are just big experiments in what is possible?
I do not know what 2017 holds but I can promise you one thing. More fire, friends. More fire. More fire. More fire.
I’m wishing you and yours an upcoming year of action, bravery and fire.