The only point to life is love and growth. And what a privilege to be able to pursue these!
I entered the partnership of marriage before the new millennium under the impression that my life was sorted: wifing, kids and growing old. Because sometimes even the closest people around us push us into that story – it’s the only one they know or are comfortable with. So I wifed some, tried hard to “make a home” and had the kid, grew older and … never got around to understanding what the purpose of it all was. Something was missing, big time!
Twelve years into my marriage I kissed a girl and the brain fog lifted instantly: it was never about wifing and kids and growing old. I mean, yeah, sure, those are there too. But it was truly about LOVE! And I could not unrealize this once I did. There was fear, conflict, grief, unknown, but there was never regret for the step I made. The joy in my heart was my compass. Isabelle Allende found new love in her seventies and her partner would tell her he is so happy to be with her, that he feels like a kid going to the circus every morning. I could not have said it better myself.
Two years into my marriage, I entered a working partnership, in a place I thought was small enough, tame enough for me to just slide through life. Because … wifing and kids and growing old takes time, and a career is vanity … especially for a woman. As comfort would put it, isn’t life’s dream to just have a job that provides, a 9 to 5 kind of thing that gets you a place to go to in the morning and come back in the afternoon, in between weekends and holidays? The biggest blessing of my life has been my spirit, on a constant quest for truth and meaning, a nagging voice that never stopped asking the same question: “so, what if there’s more out there?”
My relationship with the place, people and trade I have been so tightly connected to over the past two decades, through growth, loss, a pandemic and a nearby war, was a love story with all ingredients: all encompassing moments when nothing else existed and heartbreaking quarrels that threatened and separated. I became a mother while working there, I met the love of my life and my sister friend there, I fought my most awful demons smiling in the hallways and crying in the bathrooms, I believed, created, felt elated, angry, disappointed, valued and invisible. I did life there. And … the journey has come to an end. We have outgrown each other. We look at each other with friendship and respect (most times) but there is no more love.
And so, I am once again, letting go of safety and the familiar for a sliver of joy in my gut that I have barely preserved. I don’t know what lies ahead but ignoring the nagging voice and myself scare me more than the unknown. For when we are the ones who abandon ourselves, who else could ever save us? So I am taking the leap, hoping that I can catch myself. Just me, what I know and the hope that it will mean something to the world – that is my security net. I feel scared, expansive, nostalgic, giddy, but mostly incredibly grateful that life is giving me yet another chance.
Photo: Erik Karits on Unsplash