Tuesday, 12 May 2015

137 Days

The journey we take makes up what our life becomes. It could be long, short, happy, sad, adventurous or bordering on the mundane. From the first breath we take, it begins, first being led by those who love us. At some point, we veer off the path of our loved ones and start carving out our own, making the journey of our life relevant to who we are. It is along our journey that we meet obstacles, fall in love, deal with grief and sometimes stop because there is a gaping hole in front of us. These holes represent the catalyst to change and growth.

I faced this hole many times in my life but I never realized what they meant or what I had to do.  This abrupt stop in my journey happened recently, in fact 137 days ago. It happened right after I wrote my last post. I experienced a profound sadness after losing someone who had been such an important part of my whole life. 

At first I felt the overwhelming desire to do nothing; to get lost in the everyday minutiae that was safe and secure, like a favourite plush toy that gives you comfort in the dark. I allowed myself to just be and not do. I sat there, staring at the nothingness in front of me; my ever moving mind battled between sitting still or getting off my ass and doing something. I knew that in my current spot I would whither away but what I didn't know was what my desired spot was. My life is good, I am surrounded by wonderful people, have an amazing family and have done some incredibly fantastic things in life and some insanely stupid things. So what is it that I need to rise like a Phoenix from the ashes?

In the 137 days, I have set myself up to build a bridge between my current spot and where I want to be. It is funny how when you start seeing life this way, things begin to fall into place. These periods of transition help catapult us to the next level. But it's how you build these bridges that determine if you achieve your goal or not. I identified that happiness had to stay with me on the other side, as did the love I have for my family and friends. They are, afterall, the pillars in my life. I needed a new space, one that was larger and brighter, with new energy and soul, that could accommodate the growth I'd experience in this crossing. But what was my ultimate goal? I had many ideas, some lofty, some more modest, some that helped build courage and others that solidified my strength. I needed to move forward and hone in on what my goal was. 

To feel good about myself. 

Writing. Writing was the one thing that fell off the radar. It was the easiest thing to forget about since it didn't rely on me to feed it, drive it to swimming lessons or create strategies to make the year's numbers but it was the one thing that I felt breathed life into me. No wonder I became so listless and walked around with a heaviness that would crush a diamond. You see, writing isn't something I want to do, it's something I need to do. It allows me to free my psyche from the constraints of all the "must dos" that I face daily. It has always been my reprieve. I always felt better when I wrote, even as a young girl. It could be a journal entry, a university paper, a short story or one line with which I painstakingly grappled for hours. That act of creating fills me with purpose, contentment and power. 

The bridge I built that took me from where I was to where I am is made up of fellow writers who encourage me and challenge me. They helped me battle the self-imposed obstacles, aka excuses, I overcame.  Over the past 137 days, I have seen one friend publish her book and another is half way done editing his third novel. I watch them in awe, envious of the focus they have, forever making excuses for my laziness. "I am too busy, too tired, have no inspiration". All excuses, all obstacles. My end game just didn't make sense anymore and then a good friend gave me a great piece of advice. Just write. Don't think. Just write. 

Life changing words. 

So I started again, one word at a time. A note to my child, a letter to a friend, a poem, a writing exercise. It was my first step to building that bridge. 

Next was carving out time for writing. My schedule over the past few months has been insane and at then end of all the craziness, when I would sit down to write, I found myself falling asleep. I had to establish a routine. Not only for writing but for everything. That constant feeling of being rushed was not conducive to my well being.

My calendar now looks ridiculous. I found that scheduling for every hour of my time makes me accountable. Accountability and organization, believe it or not, are giving me freedom to do all that I need to do and want to do. It's a little thing but it makes a huge difference. 

The next thing I am starting to do is to let things go. I tend to let the things I can't control take over and it affects me mentally and physically. Stress is a hateful enemy that, if allowed, will drain the life from your veins. I need to become my own defence shield  in this war and counter attack. I am learning to breathe deeply, become mindful and relax. This is by far the hardest part of the bridge. High octane fuel runs through this body and after years of constant acceleration you can't make a hard stop. I have faith that slowing down can be learned before I am forced to against my own will. 

My bridge is slowly being built and I feel better. It's my healing process, my reset button in the here and now. It isn't the first I've built and I'm certain it won't be the last but it's the one I feel I have actively identified and am managing. It took me 137 to start building this and I don't know how long before it's done but I have surrounded myself with people and strategies that help construct the road I am travelling. 

And I'm travelling with a smile on my face. 

Talk to me! How do you build the bridges in your life? 

4 comments:

  1. Keep building, keep writing. You're wording your way out of the darkness and back into the light. I'm glad :)

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    1. thanks for your encouragement Lizzi! You are a ROCK!

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  2. It sounds like you have made some healthy decisions for yourself. I think that is so important. I know exactly what you mean about the need to write. It's part of who I am and I would be lost without it. Even if I don't have time to do it as often as I would like, I do make the time to do it because when I don't I start to feel lost. I wish you well on your new journey and hope I get to read more of your writing.

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    1. Thanks Sandy! Funny how writing fills our souls, isn't it? I think we just need to carve out time, whether it be 30 mins, an hour or a day, to actually sit and write. Good luck to you!

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