a piece I wrote for Match-Up Magazine in March 2016:
I was so scared to let him go. I knew letting go of him really meant letting go of me— the idea of what “me” had become. But I also knew it was the only chance I had of getting myself back. The me I had given up. Sometimes the only option left is to leave your home. He had been my home, “we” had been my home. And yet, I had abandoned the home of my heart and I knew I had to find my way back. I was homesick for myself. So I let it all go. I dove into the abyss. I began again. Unfettered and afraid, I went in search of what had been lost, in search of the life I had yet to give birth to.
I want children. I wanted children with him, but I had become a woman in waiting. I tried to be patient, I tried to be ok with the wait. But the body does not abide by the lies of the mind. My body is a clock and time is moving forward. I was holding myself back. So I left, feeling so afraid that I would not have enough time to find my way to that wished for future. I do not say that lightly. I feel the weight of my whole life in that sentence. But I knew I could not fight anymore what all of me knew, that despite that fear, I had to go, I had to release an idea and ride on the raw hope of finding out in time what no one could tell me. I had to go and find out for myself…
And here I am, across an ocean. Adrift in a sea of unknowing, I am trying to find grace in the floating. Some days I dance on air. Other days I am like a two-legged grizzly bear trying to climb a tree in a mall parking lot. Awkward. Confused. So very unsure of what I am doing. By the time you read this, I will be somewhere that at the moment of writing it, I do not yet know. I will be sleeping in a bed I have not yet met. I will be relying on the kindness of strangers, the credit of my master card. I will be carried by my devotion to possibility. Possibility, this is what keeps me going, this is my religion. The possibility of somehow figuring it out, finding a way, finding a home. This is what I ache for when I am exhausted from all the wandering and wondering. This is what I am grasping at sleepless in the dark— a conclusion, an end point, a familiar place of belonging. But the truth that has gotten me here is that I am more interested in unwrapping the mystery of each moment than figuring out where they are all leading. The choice I made was to surrender to uncertainty. It was a choice, a decision. My choice, my decision. I am having a love affair with the unknown.
My voice is born repeatedly in the fields of uncertainty. -Terry Tempest Williams
With him I had become silent, invisible. I lost my voice. I disappeared.
With my words, I give birth to myself. I am my own child. I am a newborn despite my age. Over three decades on earth, still naked and in need of care. I am learning to live on a different continent where every decision I make becomes a birth in and of itself. Each turn I take down an unfamiliar street. Each foreign word I need to speak. I long to communicate, but the words I once used no longer serve me so I must learn language all over again. What I say to you now has more weight because I do not say it carelessly. We can be so careless with a trained tongue. But when in learning anew how to give voice to our deepest fears and desires, every thing that comes out quivers with life and hopes desperately to be heard. Each sentence somehow begs the question, “Will I survive this?” This communication is its own kind of infancy in need of love and protection, in need of help being carried into life. Help me. I am asking. These are words I am just learning to speak.
I know that is why I push myself into these new worlds. I know that is why this is not the first time I have turned my life upside down. I know this will not be my last. I am teaching myself how to ask. I am learning to trust. To trust others, to trust life, and ultimately, to trust myself. With the wide eyes and innocent heart of a child, I begin. I ask for directions, for a place to rest, for answers to all of these new questions the unexpected presents. What I have known in the past does not serve me now. I must let go of what I once knew in order to make room for what is possible. This moment, this bursting seed, this aching blossom, it grows as I grow. Does the seed worry that the rains will not come? Do the flowers lose sleep doubting the daily ambrosia of the sun? Why should I doubt life’s promise to hold me while I am here, to carry me from one day to the next? I have made it so far. I am so proud of the distance. Baby steps with big feet. I start over, and I keep going. I stumble, I doubt. I ask for help. I am heard. With my words, I give birth to myself.