I look at life as a series of moments and tunnels. Some are very short and fleeting, while others are long and cumbersome. Regardless of which road you take, both are necessary to move you past a particular period of time.
I’ve always been the kind of person who needed to know exactly what my tunnels and moments looked like. Why they came to me and most importantly, where they were leading me. I don’t always do well with the unknown. In fact, I hate the unknown. The fear of it has literally driven me mad and led to unbearable consequences a few times in my life – or so I led myself to believe. It is because of this fact that I am a list maker, a daily agenda-keeping person, and not the risk-taker type. Always wanting my moments to start and stop at my will, in short periods of time, because they are easier to manage. I prefer short tunnels for fear that the long ones will cause me too much pain.
Playing it safe has always been my style. I was groomed that way since childhood. My parents never took risks, nor did their parents, and so on. They went on to lead decent, wholesome lives that they worked hard for and were proud of, so it shouldn't be wrong for me. And yet, it is. But, I have always been at war with my psyche. At war with what my parents taught me to be like and who I really was.
My teenage years were rebellious as hell. I lived life by my own terms, regardless of consequences. I was unapologetically me and gave a rat’s ass who liked me or hated me. You weren’t my problem either way. This way of living didn’t mean that I loved or cared for others less, I just needed to nurture my wants, needs and desires - to keep my fire burning. That all stopped when I entered adulthood. Now, I go through life with my "super-ego" mindset, always making decisions by choosing what is safe. It is what my parents have always done, what they taught me to do. Although my every impulse always screams "NO" I do it because choosing the other way is now foreign and will only cause me to feel guilty or remorseful, should things go wrong. In doing this, my fire burned out and I conformed. My scare of my parents "I told you so's" mixed in with society's "you don't fit in here" have kept me fearfully in check for a lifetime.
In spite of all this, I feel myself changing.
Over a month ago, a new moment and tunnel began for me. It wasn’t at all planned, written about or thought through and it literally scared the shit out of me. This tunnel was a complete surprise and one that would test every fear that I’ve ever known. It all happened in the blink of an eye and the outcome of what would be - unknown. My every impulse was to flee the scene. Run as fast as I could and just hide. But, that’s the glory of destiny. When your life is shifting and taking on the change of a lifetime, there’s no planning, no notice, nowhere to run. All you can do is walk toward it – like it or not! Then, something cosmic happened, almost magical. That’s just the best way to explain it. Beneath the utter fear I was feeling, the sheer panic of what was happening, I felt my spirit almost cry out. There was such a calmness, a happiness, a peacefulness that I’d never felt before. Not since I was a child. It was the bare essence of me, my soul that was speaking. I took the deepest breath I ever had in my existence and I knew that no matter what, everything was going to be alright.
Ever since then, another part of me has taken over. This tunnel in my life is going to be a long one. I am not sure what will happen and it’s OK. The entire moment has brought me such peace and a drive that I haven’t felt in years. It doesn’t mean that the fear is gone entirely, or that the thoughts of failure and negativity have stopped, but they have lessened. In this moment, who I am being prepared to become outweighs anything and everything else. I am being taught that patience and resilience are key components to this journey and I will need them in abundance to make it through. That part is not always easy but, I’ve been working at it every day. Because I now stand at the start of the tunnel, I see no real end to it. No bright light down the way, shining and guiding me to the finish line. But, the important thing to remember is that I know there is one. This journey, like so many others in life, cannot always be attained in my time – but in God’s time.
Although there are times that the fear still creeps in, the peace inside me now burns deep. They exist in each other’s worlds now and balance my life. I am changing. Everything is shifting. Morphing me into something different, and yet a bit familiar. Perhaps this new tunnel and moment was always meant to happen, almost like a cocoon. Weaving a strong web around me, until it is done with me. Cracking open and giving birth to something new. Maybe these caterpillar days are numbered and soon a butterfly will emerge, fiery, fierce, strong and gentle – all in one.
Moments and tunnels. Long ones, short ones, easy ones, hard ones – all necessary to our existence. Without them, who on earth would we be?