The words landed in her inbox, subject line reading “all the desires and questions.” Naturally, it was quite jumbled, as most of my life is these days. In the midst of work and travel and marriage and housekeeping and to do lists, the pot of desires and questions is chilling out on the back burner next to the pan of passion and mystery, and I’m beginning to realize that all these roadblocks are just souped up excuses.
So needless to say, I’ve been reading a lot. I’ve picked up books about happiness and desire and prayer and devoured page after page of how they did it. You know, the people who are so confident about putting themselves out there that they land speaking gigs and international standard book numbers, so radical that they quit jobs that never fulfilled them to start nonprofits or move overseas. You’re probably thinking of a name right now. I know I’m thinking of several.
Three of my favorite stories have this thread in common: they had to fall apart in order to come together. One woman built a company from the ground up, only to be told by her colleagues that she was being let go. A movement of love grew from the depths of someone else’s depression and loneliness.
I have never relished the thought of falling apart. Try as I might, I will probably never be one of those people who wakes up on a Thursday morning saying “I should really be messier.” But sometimes, we have to be willing to get out of ourselves, out of our own way.
In order to grow, something has to die.
Back in November, my heart nearly beat right out of my chest. I had gone to the doctor with a sore throat and left feeling like a walking episode of House, MD. After they measured my height and weight, they took down numbers for my heart rate and blood pressure.
They weren’t good. Not the worst, but not as good as they could have been. I could tell they were worrisome at best, because of the way the charming doctor furrowed his forehead. There was no apparent cause, no easily explained reason as to why the numbers were so poor.
Eventually, with antibiotics, everything cleared up. They chalked it up to a virus that had made me much sicker than what I actually felt.
That’s always been me — teetering on the edge of not the worst, but not as good as it could be.
I know that I am blessed beyond what I deserve, but I feel as though I’ve been walking around my life in a fog, much sicker than I think I am. I’ve talked a big talk about building something meaningful, but the only thing I’ve built is a wall around myself.
Talk about a Fred-baby kind of revelation.
I don’t just want my heart to beat hard and fast, I want it to beat hard and fast for something. And that means getting into the nitty gritty mess of discovering what exactly I want. How do I want to feel, what do I want to accomplish, who do I want to touch?
It all boils down to what kind of story I want my life to tell.
I can feel a change coming. I feel a death coming. And as with any death, there is grieving. I must grieve what I am losing, which is control. But she who tries to save her life will lose it in the long run anyway.
And whoever loses her control, her best laid plans, her idea of what the picture should look like, her insistence on her own way, will find her life.
So yeah, there’s going to be a death. But I don’t need anybody to leave flowers at my grave. I just need someone who is willing to hold me to it.
And more than anything else, I need to be that person for myself.