Today is the birthday of my twin boys (now 23!). While I celebrate their births, it’s also a quiet time from me. As some of you know, it was four days after their birth that my mom was diagnosed with brain cancer and died six weeks later. Every year from the boys’ birthday to the 21st of August, I make a point of really listening. I hear the leaves rustle on the trees. I hear the birds chirping. I hear my own breath. I think about life.
Where are you going? That’s the question floating in my brain lately. Love my job (check). Love my family and friends (check). Appreciate my life (check). But am I running away from s***? Why am I always moving so fast? Am I running toward life or away from something?
I bet, if we all dug really deep, we’d see that there are little and big scars that we’re constantly try to hide. To avoid. We don’t feel worthy of … We don’t feel good enough … We move quickly to avoid feeling those feelings.
I was on a marathon training run recently (don’t ask!) and was lamenting my inability to run at my “younger” speed. The guy running next to me said with a smile, “No one gives a shit how you are running today. We care that you’re here.” Wow. Nice.
What are we avoiding? Why can’t we embrace our present place. Why are we always running and where are we going?
I’m not saying love those unpleasant situations and people (that’s unhelpful when someone says that to me).
I guess what I’m saying is think of life like a Rubik’s Cube. You have to turn it over and over again. Even when it doesn’t seem to go together or when it seems like you’ll never get there. Don’t be afraid to look, to uncover. Don’t be afraid to slow down to figure it out. Because when it finally all matches … well, it’s time to leave this place.
I’ve let fear fuel my choices. Worried about being a single mom. Worried I was too worried or not worried enough (pretty sure that’s the Italian in me!). Was I doing an ok job raising them? Was I really solving my client’s issues? Did I have imposter syndrome (answer: yes! – who doesn’t?).
Let’s stop. Let’s not let fear fuel our choices. Let’s not worry about what people think. Be respectful, of course. Leave a good footprint, yes.
But whatever you’re running from, will eventually catch you. So, STOP. Look at it. Be ok with it. Then let it walk side-by-side with you. It’s a part of you and you can’t will it away.
To any of you who are reading this: if you want to get together and share stories. Share fears. Want to talk about where you’re going or running from … reach out. Let’s have a glass of wine. Break bread. Walk with our dogs (well, my daughter’s dog, but ok …). Let’s not (as my Jewish grandma would say) stand on ceremony and do nothing. 🙂
And to my boys – you (and your sister) add color to my life. I love you! Happy Birthday!