The day to day adventures of a girl who refused to give up her dream!
Saturday, January 9, 2016
Wherever you go, there you are
I've been thinking a lot about fear and survival lately. Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear of change. And this is probably the biggest one. Fear of trying something I am afraid of and ending up disappointed. I've been thinking a lot about where I have come from and where I am now. People have called me fearless. I'm not. I have a lot of fear.
But much bigger than that has always been my desire. My desires have always been greater than my fears. I never desired to jump out of a plane but I did desire to jump on a stage and in a way that was just as large a fear as jumping out of a plane. And I always begin with "I am terrified but I am going to do it anyway."
And yes, regrets. But mostly not.
When I was a kid, my parents had an agenda that I am pretty sure was not ever about me. My mom wanted to go and live in England for a year, so we went with her. I know she liked showing me stuff. Castles, museums, cemeteries, plays, cool moats and bodies of water but I am sure at this point we went mostly because she wanted to go there. Along the way if I enjoyed myself or tolerated what we were doing or if I hated it, it was incidental. This is not to suggest that I did not get a whole lot out of these experiences. I totally did. This is not to say that she did not take me specifically to places I asked to go. When we were in New York, she took me to the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building because I asked to go. She had been there, done that, she just wanted to go to the Opera.
But now in this reflection, I realize that the situations she put me in gave me lots of survival skills. At least part of every calendar year, we went to live somewhere else for two or three months. Pack up and go.
It was never the same location in England, always a different rental location. So, there I was. I had to navigate a completely new place and completely new people. Sometimes I never made a single friend and spent the summer reading books, writing stories and playing by myself. I thank her for the gift of solitude. It made me crave books and stories. And I had choices. I could complain and be miserable or I could find something about the place that I liked. I could usually tolerate a great deal for a period of time. Being lonely was hard sometimes but it was not the end of the world.
Once in a while, I would make a friend for the entire summer only to have to leave the friendship and face the reality that I may never see that friend again.
That was hard. But it taught me to value and cherish friendship and not take it for granted.
I was always in a new place and sometimes got lost, so I learned to search for a stranger's friendly face to help me if things became hopelessly confusing. But before that I learned to watch for landmarks and look at street signs to find my way.
When I had a child, for the first time in my life, I felt truly caged in. I couldn't run away from this and it became a lot to navigate. I had never felt quite so helpless. There were a lot of people telling me what I should do and I found that I was not able to just ignore them all and do what I thought I should. This did not feel like a temporary thing I had to survive for a little while. Even though, weirdly, in a way, it was.
Perhaps I had always thought that my dreams lived somewhere else and in the pursuit of getting there, that future that I dreamt of would happen. And my fear of that not happening or my fear of making those choices for someone else kept me from going anywhere permanently. Funny thing about that, though, wherever you go, there you are, even if you stay right here. There was no better version of me waiting somewhere else. There have been plenty of somewhere elses that I have been over the years. Plenty of those places I adored. And I return to them again and again.
But I realize now that my happiness is not ever going to be rooted in the destination that I am going to arrive next. My happiness is actually right here with me. I create it wherever I am. I create it in what I am doing. I create-- yes, I create--- and it makes me happy. My happiness is not dependent upon a person or a place but more I choose to be happy in different places. I'm going to make a conscious choice to find something awesome about where I am or what I am doing and find the joy in discovering that I can choose to be happy where I am by what I create. Not even necessarily tangibly but in each moment, I have made the decision to find something. I have chosen to not be miserable and to allow something to be opened up to me, and inside me.
Yes, wherever you go, there you are. It is the one thing that time and place and circumstance cannot escape.