It is official. After just a few months on the road, I had my first moments of second-guessing.
No. Let’s be honest: What I experienced was sheer, unadulterated terror and choking panic.
WHAT HAVE I DONE?
These are my top-earning years, I should be out there working for chissake, before I get to the point where I have to nap after lunch every day (wait, I already want to nap after lunch — OMG OMG OMG!!!!!!!). What kind of person does this sort of rash, irresponsible thing at the very moment when the maturity and probity of adulthood should be kicking in at full-throttle?
I don’t know what triggered it. Nominally, it was the dirty floor in the hotel we checked into when we arrived in Spain (my poor husband; I will never forget the look on his face as I blubbered over the dirt on the bottom of my bare feet). Maybe I was upset about leaving my daughter behind in Australia (we were having such a good time; I wasn’t really ready to go). Maybe it was that I turned 52 the day after we arrived (52????? Where did that come from?). Or maybe it was the hole I discovered in my favorite Athleta yoga pants (which haven’t been used much for yoga lately).
Whatever the trigger (logical or not) I suddenly found myself smack in the middle of thermo-nuclear meltdown, followed by despondency (Michael Buble singing “I wanna go home” in my head), followed by the well-rehearsed story lines that always seem to pop into my mind at moments of distress: “I’ve made a mess of things AGAIN, I’m selfish, I’m a failure, I’m out of shape and getting fatter by the second…” blah blah blah. I bore myself with my predictability sometimes.
I’m working on self-reflection, so as soon as I could breathe again I started asking myself what I’m feeling exactly (I’m scared, dumb-ass; not much self-reflection needed to figure that out). But more important than the feelings themselves, what is the story I’m telling myself about these feelings? I’m not sure, but I think my story might be that I’m not capable — or maybe deserving? — of figuring out a new life/new kind of work for myself. Perhaps the crushing rebukes that reverberate through my brain are simply a way of talking myself out of wanting/desiring something that might be hard to attain or that I might fail to achieve?
And yet….maybe the point of what I’m doing, and the purpose, has nothing to do with reaching some arbitrary finish line of “inventing a new life for myself”. Maybe the very act of doing things differently each day is the only important thing here. Maybe as long as I’m working on “finding my purpose, connecting with the world, asking the big questions”, etc. (all the things in the wonderful Second Lives Club Manifesto), I’ve already succeeded.
So, for now, I’m just going to breathe and keep going, and try to remember the lines of a wonderful quote I found today on my friend Susan’s Facebook page:
“Let what comes, come and let what goes, go. Find out what remains.” ~ Shri Ramana Maharaj.SHARE THIS ARTICLE