I distinctly remember sitting on the warm wooden floor of my favorite yoga studio with the sun barely slipping through the flowing white curtains into the center of the room of women who were there to start our movement and meditation class, and feeling like I was completely alone. Not alone in a lonely sense, but quite the opposite. You see, at the beginning of class, our teacher asked us to pick a single word that best embodied us at that moment, she asked me to share my word first. I gleefully said vibrant. The woman next to me picked overwhelmed. The woman next to her picked struggling. And it went on from there. I quickly realized I was the only happy person in that room. I actually felt a bit embarrassed for choosing the word I did, I felt like I didn’t belong.
When I had my “spiritual awakening” last year, or whatever the fuck you want to call it, I started encountering more moments like that day at the yoga studio. I realized many people seek this path because they are fixing something that is broken. They are healing a deep and painful wound. That was not the case for me. I had gone through a weird journey of my discombobulated 20s, to quickly becoming a mother, to a job that took over my life, to finally reaching my breaking point of not being able to balance it all any longer. I wanted to just be, and breathe for the first time, so I started to explore this path of peace and self growth. Yes, I changed course because the one I was on was no longer working for me, but it certainly was not because I needed to overcome a deep tragedy in my life, I did not have any wounds to heal.
The only thing close to despair I had were my parent’s messy divorce and losing my spleen in a car wreck. Were those situations tough? Of course. But were they profound tragedies? No. As I journeyed on, I thought I was the exception. I thought it was possible to reach true self discovery without ever having to experience the other side. I thought I had unlocked the secret, I thought I had slipped through the backdoor without anyone noticing. Then winter came. Winter came without warning. Winter came strong. And winter came unforgivingly. If I was back in that yoga room, my word would have been loss. Or guilt. Or devastation. Or shattered. Or complete utter fucking sadness. I was now one of them, I now belonged. They say tragedies happens in threes, but mine was only in twos. I do not think there is any grief left inside me for a third.
This journey I was on was not the start of the next chapter of my life, but instead was the prelude. I am grateful for the preparation that I had because frankly without it, I do not know if I would have come out to the other side. To be honest, I’m not sure if I will ever reach the other side. It is mind blowing how a single moment can change your life forever. A life I grew for 31 years that changed in an instant. Although ice still covers the ground each morning, and the air is sharp at night, spring will come. It always does. It has to. The bare branches will bud new life, and a new season will begin.
You get one life, and you are living it right now. You have to move forward. You have to make it count. I wholeheartedly believe everything happens for a reason. Why did these things happen? I do not know. I am still searching. However, I am comforted by the knowingness that it was meant to be part of my journey, and I have fully embraced that, despite the darkness it holds. I am not here for sympathy or to delve in the details, instead I am here to say you have a choice, you can choose your destiny. Sometimes really fucking horrible things happen. Things that you never dreamed of, things you wish you could change. But you have a choice in terms of how you move forward and where you go from here. Be truly grateful of every single minute of the day, be grateful that you get to see the sun another morning, and the moon another night. Be good to others, be good to the world. And most importantly, be good to yourself. You just never know what tomorrow will bring.