Sober and emotionless, I hiked to the top of the mountain and sat on the edge of the cliff with the intention of jumping off of it. The ache of emptiness, was too much to bear, and tearless I arrived at the place of contemplation.
"I am dead."
"I am dead on the inside."
Sitting at the precipice, all I could determine was that I didn't want to be dead, not truly dead.
Methodically, I began to take stock of my life, if I didn't want to be walking around dead on the inside, then I must want to be truly living. And if the life I was living made me feel like I wanted to end it all, then I had to make some changes that could make me feel like my life was worth living.
I became resolute to change the feeling of my life. I must start feeling alive, truly alive.
And more so I want to feel like my life has meaning.
Maybe I would go to Paris and fall in love and things would be different.
And so I went... to Paris, to fall in love... then to Peru, to find myself... then to Ireland, to find my why.... then home, to find my roots...
I discovered where I'd lost myself in the first place...
I will tell you, these things that seem random at the time, change us forever.
The places we go, the places we live, the connections we make, the bonds that are created, they may seem completely random at the time. Yet in an instant or a phone call or a night spent in a bar drinking whisky in the arctic circle, your whole life is changes forever.
I didn't find a husband, but I did fall in love, a couple of times.
I fell in love with storytelling and writing, I fell in love with photography, I fell in love with my family, I fell in love with my friends and connections, all over the globe, I fell in love with myself.
As it turns out, I was inextricably changed forever by my experiences and there was no going back to sizing myself into that confining box that made me feel empty to the core.
Not every instance, not every phone call, and certainly not every night I've ever spent in a bar has changed me in this way..... then again maybe they have, maybe they do.
It's true that when you turn inward and fall in love with the truth of who you really are, you become whole, despite the brokenness.
By this time next year, I will have changed again. Things will be different. I will be telling the stories of what I'm going through right now, they will be beautiful stories of some of the most amazing moments of my life.
The moments of darkness will also have been weathered with time into a beautiful patina of memories, backlit by firelight, digested on a full belly, with a nourished soul. By next year, they too will become beautiful stories.
May you have the courage to follow your heart,