I spent a large portion of my early life being vigilant. Avoiding or being afraid of heartache and pain. At least when I was sober. When I drank, I threw caution to the wind, and frankly had some of the best experiences of my life. Not that I’m advocating alcohol as a route to freedom.
My dad was almost 50 when I was born and my mom 41, so when I reached my twenties, I felt that it was only a matter of time before I lost them. I tried to prepare myself for their passing. Build up a bit of a cushion so that it wouldn’t hurt so much when it happened. And here’s the thing. All of that so-called preparation did not make an iota of difference to the actual experience. Which makes sense. How can you prepare yourself for something you have never done before? For something you have never experienced before?
My parent’s illnesses and eventual deaths taught me big lessons.
Stop trying to control everything because it doesn’t work. Control is just an illusion. Move past your fear. Jump into your life. Or at least stick your toe in. Try something new. Now I’m not advocating jumping out of an airplane without a parachute, nor even jumping out with one, unless of course it’s something you’ve always wanted to do. But find out what it is that floats your boat. At first it’s scary, and awkward. Surrendering to the flow of life may even feel unnatural. But eventually you find out things about yourself that you didn’t know before, like just because you love the movie Roman Holiday doesn’t mean that you will love riding a scooter. (Wanna buy a Vespa?)
And as you continue on this path of trial and error, you start to discover the things that you really do love. You find the experiences that fit like a glove. And along the way, you find your tribe. And you find yourself. Which is just so much better don’t you think?