Please note: The travel described here occurred in the past. Today, I do not recommend that anyone who is, or may possibly be, pregnant travel to this state. A miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy cannot be safely treated under this state’s current laws. Please care for yourself and travel to places where your life and health are valued.
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.”