Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Wakeup Call

The transition from ordinary to extraordinary doesn't happen overnight. It is a gradual transition that requires growth and change within yourself in addition to your exterior components. At times, you doubt and question your decisions and your will to follow through with your plans falter temporarily. You ask God for some sign, a confirmation of some sort. I received a bitter sweet confirmation, one that resonated in my mind loud and clear: Life is too short.

It is one thing, to experience a grandparent toddle dangerously towards passing and even more jarring to see death threaten a parent. If those close calls weren't enough with the conclusion of 2011, 2012 brought the reality that at 28 I was not too young to be threatened either. While I am blessed to have  my health and that of both my grandmother and mother, my friend and classmate wasn't as fortunate. I received news that a fellow mother of young children who was also a sister and daughter suffered a seizure and her life was ended at 28. 

This call came as a reinforcement that any of us at any time could be called from this life. Now this is something I already knew, but the reality of it hit me so hard it knocked the wind from my chest. We spend so much time planning and worrying concerned about tomorrow, next month and the next five years. We waste so much time in these thoughts that we don't enjoy enough of the time we do have. Looking at my young son, I wondered if I had spent enough time being happy rather than planning for and pursuing it. 

I must say that this is not the confirmation I asked for, regardless it is the message I needed. Sheding the identity of my old life, one filed with stress and worries, careers and finances, consumerism and commercialism was indeed the right choice. Blinded and preoccupied by so many unimportant distractions like keeping up with the Joneses, was keeping me from experiencing true happiness. The happiness I seek cannot be bought, it can only be lived and experienced. 

After a month of living in my own home, albeit a motor home, I have felt a sense of peace like never before. It is so much more that not worring about rent, or about what others think about me. It is a realization that I am headed in the right directions. Now that I am no longer tied to the world with greed and desire, I am free to experience the treasures given to us freely by nature. Now I have the time and sense to appreciate sunsets, the movement of water, the colors of Spring...the list endless and ever changing. Even though I've just begun, I've had more beautiful sunsets in the past month than in the past 10 years, more smiles in the past month than in the past year and for that I'm thankful.

It would be great if nomadic life were for us all, then I wouldn't be as weird. I know that everyone who reads this blog life isn't out there on the open road, but take my wake up call as your own. Don't wait for life to slap you in the face to see that real life is calling you. That is, look past the illusion of your job title, your position in your community, your wealth or debt, or your past and see who you really are inside. Don't wait for some cosmic confirmation from the universe to determine that you should live life to the fullest potential. Tell the people in your life that you love them, take time to smell the flowers, laugh at your child's knock knock joke and don't hesitate to be the you that you dreamed of. Let go and live! Good luck on your journey, I hope our paths cross soon!

I leave you with this inspiration that was shared with me on FB:

"The void. It's that place in our lives where what we've been hanging onto, clinging to for dear life, is stripped away. It's that place in us where we let go of what we know, what we think we know, and what we want and surrender to the unknown. It is the place of saying and meaning, 'I don't know.' It means standing there with our hands empty for a while, sometimes watching everything we wanted disappear; our self image, our definition of who we thought we should be, the clones we've created of ourselves, the people we thought we had to have, the things we thought were so important to collect and surround ourselves with, the job we were certain was ours, the place we thought we'd live in all our lives. Step into the void with courage. Learn to say, I don't know. Allow your spirit to lead you wherever your soul wants and needs to go."

- Melody Beattie 

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