My furniture is gone. The acre of national forest does not greet me outside my window. The wolfish coat of my dog no longer tickles my feet as I sit at my desk barefoot. No one is going to cook dinner with me. No one is going to lay next to me in bed. From the outside looking in, I have ruined my life by all accounts. I had it all. I was on the way to living the American Dream. I should have been beaming in domestic bliss.
Yet, I walked away.
I was living in a reality that had no room for who I was.
The loyalty I had given to my artistic vision and career path was not upheld in my personal life. I didn’t believe that I was a gypsy, I convinced myself I only desired the image. I didn’t believe I could be brave enough to live spontaneously no matter how much I dreamt about it. I could never actually apply for a writing residency, I was too vanilla. I began to believe in the words that fell from everyone else’s lips that this was the life I wanted. I fell in line and abandoned who I was. I attached too much responsibility to my job and skipped too many vacations. I stopped indulging myself to pinch pennies for a house that’d never let me have the freedom I craved. I told myself having a grown up life defined the freedom I was missing. I started to grow restless. I detached from my day to day and dreaded coming home.
I felt guilty. I felt guilty that I couldn’t be happy. I threw myself into the idea of being a perfect partner by someone else’s definition. I fought to appreciate what had been accomplished to feel like I was good enough without ever realizing I had created a false sense of self.I was willingly killing my essence and becoming everything I had taken a stand against in my writing. There’s no place for a free spirit in a home full of deadlines and hot meals on the table. There’s no adventure in twilight bed times and practicality. I watched myself wilt and did nothing to change it because I thought there was something wrong with being who I actually was. I was rewarded for this facade and lived off complimentary fumes for a long time. My own rejection of self was reflected in the relationship. My broad, star gazing perspectives were met with disinterest. Love faded from the walls that caged me. My wild heart thrashed inside my body and produced an anxiety I couldn’t understand. I became prickly and withdrew into my daydreams. I tried to vocalize what I was going through without success. I was told everything was fine.
I realized then that nothing would ever change. This was a stagnant life, this was it. I couldn’t bring myself to accept the contentedness my partner had. Not that there was anything wrong with it. Some people crave the comfort you find in complacency. Some people need to have a predictable life. That is completely okay. For someone else. I craved travel. I craved movement, change, constant evolution. I craved to walk outside and connect with the empathic melody of nature. I wanted to look up at the stars all night and laugh into the dawn. I needed the robust freedom one finds on the road, moving to their own song and their own schedule. I wanted a partner that wouldn’t hesitate to create the same life for themselves. Someone who was fearlessly passionate and held the same intensity in their eyes, someone with a vision they weren’t afraid to chase. Someone who could look at me in honesty and not want to fix me. I wanted that or no one at all.
But how could I walk away from a person I’d spent so much of my life with? How could I hurt someone that I still cared so deeply about? How do you tell someone that nothing is wrong with them, they’re just not the one? I still don’t think I have an answer to that. But you do it. One raw and honest step at a time. You walk on eggshells and try to have patience. You try to care for them while shattering their world at the same time. You try to keep your head above water. You try not to judge yourself too harshly when you feel like a terrible liar. Skin is shed. You feel cold. Naked. Some days youwonder how you can even remember how to walk alone.
Then the space is recognized and in the silence she emerges slowly; the woman I see in the mirror every morning. The woman who stares back at me, begging me to take a hard look at the life I am creating. The little ragga-muffin of my childhood who would rather sleep in mountain forts than a comfortable bed. The baby who decided to greet the world two months early because she wasn’t going to let anyone tell her when or how to live her life. The misfit and gentle rebel. The woman who doesn’t fit into neat boxes and white picket fences.
My soul has cried for something else my entire life. Something more vibrant and less structured; a life filled with passion and intensity. For the first time I am fully accepting the ability and opportunity to do that. There is a stillness in me. A knowing that I am becoming. I am stepping forward into the life of personal truth and acceptance. I can feel it emanating from my skin, dancing in my eyes. Slowly I am coming to life layers at a time. I feel the world respond to me in turn and my heart sores.
To live an extraordinary life, we must follow our hearts, even when no one else sees the path we are walking. We must walk through the door when it opens with fearless faith in the unknown and acceptance of our intuitive expression. Live in love with the source of self, whatever that means to you as an individual. The vibrancy of your soul depends on it. Your song will ring out and awaken others and that is what this collective journey is all about anyway.