Come Up For Air

Miracle Mile

Twenty Fourteen blurs, even in its recent history.  If life is viewed as a poker tournament, the fates dealt me a pretty lousy hand.  The only pair I saw was two slovenly roommates.  My jack-high described the activity of my car mechanic, not my opening bid.  More often than not I held a hand full of red cards; rarely did I live in the black.  And the one time that I thought I had a truly winning hand, the wager for which I went all-in, the deck was stacked against me and it turned out I held a flush – the kind that sent me spiraling downward in a swirl of, well, you get the metaphor.

As Cold War Kids sing, “I was supposed to do great things.  I cut my ties, I sold my rings; I wanted none of this.”  Now I was buried in a black hole of simple survival, pretending anything mattered, when in fact nothing did.  For seven months, grueling and empty, I crawled back, “breathing one breath at a time.”  I met a few passing faces, some kind, most stymied by their own dead ends, and even though I felt unable to fight my way into the life raft, I knew I did not want to drown waiting for a rescue that might never arrive.  I believed in little, some days in nothing at all, but the oddest thing provided me with sustenance I needed to keep breathing: my work ethic.  But going through the motions, I knew I was working my rebound job in my rebound life, “Put your head down and breathe one breath at a time.”  I hunkered down until the right moment, encouraging myself with a single thought that I typed on my screen saver: NOT NOW, JUST WAIT.  “Where does it lead to?”

“I’ll Be Alright”

I wondered if the darkness that surrounded me this year blinded me.  If I really landed the career I had believed I wanted to have for so many years, would I find the wellspring of happiness I had convinced myself awaited me in a new career, in new surroundings, and in a new part of the United States?  Maybe life just appeared greener on the other side of the Mississippi.  Now opportunity knocks and I swing the door open wide and it feels exponentially more fabulous than I expected.  Dreams coming true fill me with the intoxicating fragrance of outstanding reality and crisp pine trees.  I have finally, “Come up for air, come up for air.”

I receive the one good inhalation I need, scented of success and sage, of triumph and wildflowers, and I fill my lungs with its life-giving oxygen and I take the plunge.  Sure it looks like another career shift, and a temporary one at that, but for the first time this year, I feel the pulsing of my blood in the right direction.  I awake refreshed, unafraid, inspired, and ignited, and not just each morning as I face the day’s joys, but greeting a new life and what may lie ahead in the coming weeks.  I may not have a plan for the coming months, but this feeling of being alive as, “I feel the air upon my face,” both literally and figuratively rejuvenates me and confirms that I am on the road I have always wanted to travel and the drive is exactly what I wanted It to be.  “If you start from scratch, you have to sing, just for the fun of it.”

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