Monday, September 21, 2015

Hello, and What Have You Done With My Life?

Wow. It’s been a while. I’m not even sure I know myself anymore because I hardly recognize anything in my life. Not only have I exchanged the peach trees of Georgia for the palm trees of Florida, I’m surrounded by different people, and the routine that had been my life for the past couple years is… well, it’s just not there anymore. I’m lost, but not necessarily in a bad way. Sometimes you have to get lost to find yourself. I should know this, because I’ve experienced it more times than I can count… and I can count pretty high.

I was talking to a dear friend of mine the other day and something very profound struck me. I discovered I have been trying so hard to hold on to a part of me that no longer existed. I’m not even sure of who I am anymore, even after these last few years of self-discovery. Facing death changes a person in ways it’s hard to comprehend. That change is so deep that the consequences, the effects, and the transformation are sometimes so subtle we miss them and wander around in a sense of perplexity, without realizing we’re not realizing. Make sense? I ‘used to be’ a writer, a mother, a wife, a leader, a business owner, a boss, an employee, a sister, a daughter, an adventurer, a romantic, a pragmatic, a dreamer, etc. While I may discover some of these attributes again in my life, I can’t go back to who I ‘used’ to be, no matter my history, my career, my accomplishments, my failures, my wants, or my experiences. When I faced mortality, again …the old me, the person I used to be, died – yet, I still live. I often say to myself, “Hello, and what have you done with my life?”

I’m a new person. Much the same way as expressed in the Christian faith, I’ve been reborn, made new, transformed into a new creature. Now I just have to figure out who that person happens to be. While I may wear familiar skin, the soul inside has been drastically changed. When I try to hold onto something that no longer exists, that’s when I get frustrated and lost, because this new person isn’t the same. Perhaps there are similarities, but the old me - the other me, no longer exists. I’ve been grieving her, and like the death of someone lost, I’ve tried extremely hard to hold onto her. But, I must. I must move forward. I must live in the here, in the now, and I need to start figuring out who I am – NOW. I can’t answer that question at the moment. While a lot of things from my old life are present, I have to work through them, deal with them, and resolve them in my new life, in the manner my new self decides.

So, who am I? What do I want? What can I do? What do I like? What are my fears? What are my desires? What are my dreams? The answers to these questions will determine the direction I take. I find myself this morning standing at a crossroads with many, many, many roads to choose, and I don’t have a fucking clue which one to take. But, you know what – I don’t have to know. I may choose a path I’ve taken before, or I may choose a new one altogether.

What I’ve learned from facing death is that life is the journey, not the destination, nor the past. Live in the now. Seize the day – Carpe Diem. As Jesus said, “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Love, today. Don’t be afraid to tell the people who are important in your life that you appreciate them, love them, care for them, and adore them… today, while you still have the chance. Take a chance on life, on love, on happiness. Quit fighting to be perfect and love yourself in all your beautiful imperfections, because we are ALL imperfect, messed-up freaks.

I deeply love an imperfect asshole, but I don’t regret it, not for one second. He’s beautiful to me, especially within his imperfections. I’ve tried so hard to walk away from him, but my soul literally soars at his mere presence and withers at his absence. I hate that, yet love it at the same time. I adore a great friend who has shown me such love, such comfort, such wisdom, such patience, and such beauty in these very, very, stressful last couple of months. I couldn’t have survived without him. He has helped me down this revertant path. His soul is so beautiful, he has restored my faith in humanity and the capable goodness we all possess. I hope he will always be in my life. I appreciate and love my best friend who opened her home and her heart to the mess of me. She’ll never know how much I truly love her, because I can’t possibly express it. Maybe one day I’ll figure out how.

Well, wish me luck. I’ve got some exploring to do today, and for the first time in a long, long, long time, I’m excited about it.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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