Once Upon A Time…

Before you read any further, please click here so this song plays in the background. It’s perfect accompaniment for this post.

(The lyrics will follow. I’ve got 4 minutes and counting to hammer this out before the song ends.)

Imagine this: a group of girls, in University, early 20s, sitting on couches in a cozy living room one wintery evening. An idea transpires. Suddenly, there are paper and pens flying around. Questions are agreed upon about each other’s futures, including marriage, children, homes, cars, residences, colour schemes, honeymoons, etc. (You get the point.) They put their crystal-ball answers into a time capsule to be opened at a later date. No official date, just later. Maybe when they’re 40. Maybe longer. Maybe sooner.

Then, imagine opening this time capsule. A bit earlier than noted, but it’s opened nonetheless. With excitement and intrigue. Imagine you, (yes, me) are most often selected as the first person to get married and live happily ever. Imagine. The hopeless romantic. The whimsical dreamer. The one with the long pale pink high school graduation gown that looked more like a wedding gown. (I still love that dress.)

And now, fourteen or so years later, you will undoubtedly be the last. Imagine that.

One by one by one by one, you’ve watched them all walk down the aisle misty-eyed, often as a proud bridesmaid. Every engagement and wedding that went by you wondered if you’d be next.

“Nope, not this time. Maybe next!” (2005)

“Nope, not this time. Maybe next?” (2006)

“Uh-huh. Not this time. Maybe soon?” (2008)

“Ok, I’ve gotta be close. SOON.” (2009)

And here we are, 2013. Another engagement to note, soon to be followed by a happy wedding.

These girls are like my sisters. They each exude happiness and are leading very inspiring lives. I love them all. But this isn’t about their stories. It’s about owning mine.

Part of me enters a dark space as I patiently wait it out. I feel doubt, sadness, remorse, jealousy, anger, pity. I question my choices and my path by comparison. I feel this is only a natural response. Then it passes as I sit with gratitude.

Looking back, I never thought I’d be the odd one out of the bunch. The extraordinary soul that went on a different journey. I’m not even sure where or why or when this shift happened. Was it after I got a taste of how it felt to fall in love with different parts of the world? Was it after my first serious boyfriend moved out? Was it when I started to work all over the map? Was it the unfaithfulness? Was it because I sacrificed too much in so many relationships? Was it me? Or maybe this is just how it’s meant to be. I’m leaning toward the later.

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I started realizing that I don’t fit in anymore. Because my passionate uniqueness is all I have, I firmly relish and lean into this place and want to keep pushing the envelope further and further open. The box in which I live isn’t big enough anymore. I’ve outgrown ‘outside the box’. I’m outside, around the corner, and then outside the box. That’s where you’ll find me.

The further I get from normalcy, the more I seem to gain strength and momentum. Freedom. Meltdowns are few and far between, knowing that my true self and soul is finally being unearthed. I’m fighting with all my might against mediocracy. It can be tiring but it’s all I have to hold on to right now. This warrior isn’t giving up. She’s in the arena.

being beautifulThe other gift this questioning and darkness has given me is endless love and gratitude for the world that is. The truth cuts me open, time and time again, to give and receive love more deeply. Joy (and pain) flows through me as I sit still, watching and wide-eyed. Never fail, there’s always a next test of my ability to be compassionately grateful, even in the most confusing and heartbreaking times. My rawness and vulnerability is my greatest asset. With faith in all, I let people in and look for the good and the wisdom in each step of the journey. Everything is meaningful.

“To be a spiritual warrior, one must have a broken heart; without a broken heart and the sense of tenderness and vulnerability that is in one’s self and all others, your warriorship is untrustworthy.” ~Chogyam Trungpa, Shambhala

[Song playing: Wait it Out by Imogen Heap]

Where do we go from here?
How do we carry on?
I can’t get beyond the questions.
Clambering for the scraps
In the shatter of us collapsed.
It cuts me with every could-have-been.

Pain on pain on play, repeating
With the backup makeshift life in waiting.

Everybody says that time heals everything.
But what of the wretched hollow?
The endless in-between?
Are we just going to wait it out?

There’s nothing to see here now,
Turning the sign around;
We’re closed to the Earth ’til further notice.
Clambering for the scraps,
Clambering in the light.
We’re closed to the Earth ’til further…

An all-out one, only one street-level miracle.
I’ll be a an out-and-out, born again from none more cynical.

Everybody says that time heals everything.
But what of the wretched hollow?
The endless in-between?
Are we just going to wait it out?

And sit here cold?
Look, you’ll be long gone by then.
And lackluster in dust we lay
’round old magazines.
Fluorescent lighting sets the scene
For all we could and should being
In the one life that we’ve got.

Everybody says that time heals everything.
But what of the wretched hollow?
The endless in-between?

Are we just going to wait it out?
Just going to sweat it out?
Just going to sweat it out?
Wait it out.

2 thoughts on “Once Upon A Time…

  1. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing something so personal. I resonated with much of what you wrote and I love how you referred to yourself as a warrior, I call myself that too. 🙂 I love Imogen Heap – great song!
    Namaste.

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