The beginning of a song I wrote a lifetime ago.
I have seen this place before, I recognize it all too well, standing on the edge of life I look into the depths of hell…No one here is gonna save me from my self…
I don’t know why this song has reared its head. I think I wrote this about 25 years ago as I tried to figure out my course, my path, my true north. I had just come out to the world (and to myself) and begun to realize the wonders of the world at my fingertips. It’s still a little personal to share with my diverse group of friends and readers. Suffice to say, I felt alive but scared shitless. I knew then that my life (as I knew it) was destined to be changed forever. I want to reach back to that younger self and say, don’t sweat the small stuff, and remember, it’s all small…except for the big stuff. But that will be too obvious to miss.
So the song was about facing fears, (about the small stuff) and embracing imperfections which, as it turns out, are imperfectly perfect.
So I sit here tonight, in early August, without the angst of impending back to school too early doom. Dreading the end of summer and returning to school only to get older and become a teacher…that irony is not lost on me. As I walked away from my (short in comparison to many) teaching career last spring/early summer, I have only briefly experienced regret when paying full price for my prescriptions necessary to prevent further possible strokes. Beyond that I have mostly been living joyfully.
Part of that joy rests fully on the unbelievable opportunity to consult for Harley-Davidson as a trainer. I am humbly cognizant of the fact that I get to do what I do purely as a result of being at the right place at the right time. I refuse to diminish my further my skills as a facilitator however. I may have lucked into the opportunity but my abilities and talents kept me moving forward. In either case, I am humbly grateful that I get to travel the country, meeting new people, seeing new places, and creating ripples in the lives of others and in the world. Very grateful.
This past weekend, as I sat in airports waiting for connecting flights and rehashing the last days of training, I realized for the 155th time (give or take a hundred) that I was living a fantasy life where I get to see the world (okay, I’ll count the flatlands of Indian) and stay in great hotels, eat outstanding meals on someone else’s dime. And there are hundreds lined up to take my place. Not today suckers!!!
There are other things I realize too. When I first started training, I would be consumed by sadness when the trainings were over. I know now that I fell in love with the people I met, over and over and saying goodbye was hard. I still fall in love with people. Not romantically (in general) but platonically in love because we’re living the same experience. I have learned to embrace the sweetness of the leaving though. I know I will see my tribe again, and if I don’t, it wasn’t meant to continue. How can I explain the shared journey? If you have experienced this personally, I don’t need to explain. There are fellow travelers that come in and out of our lives. Some will stay longer than others. The length of time we travel together is not as important as the experiences shared along the way.
Perhaps I am missing the company of my Kiehl’s family. Even as I write this they are riding as a family through the mid section of the country, raising money and holy hell no doubt. The Universe gifted me with the chance to become as one with people I would otherwise not ever have broken bread with. Of course, me being me, I fell in love with all of this group of marvelous people out to rid the world of bad. I love them still and have pangs of sorrow and envy as they spend sacred time together on another ride through life. Yet I am with them as they have been with me despite separation of time and distance. And I confess unabashedly, I have loved.
Most likely my current melancholy is rooted in feeling as if I have missed out on loving as of late. That, my reader/friends, is a blatant lie. I continue to fall in love with the souls I meet, the strangers I cross paths with, and that love encourages me, sustains me and, tonight, as I sit pondering the vastness of it all (philosophical over achiever that I am) I want nothing more than to reach out and love more.
I thank the universe that love rather than dread is what I contemplate on this beautiful late summer night, the cacophony of summer resonating around me. I am not going back to school!!! I can embrace the onset of fall and the impending changing of seasons. I can anticipate, enjoy and slide happily into the next season.
No one here has got to save me from myself.