At the end of the day..heck, at the end of an era, or an epic saga, or just on a Monday, we all require one true thing: a reason to keep going.
As my old friend Meg used to say, “Life gets lifey.” Indeed, my friend, indeed. I am weary and the road is long.
Therefore, when the racial tensions in our city feels terrifying, and the brutal pandemic hangs in the air after three full months of limitation and restraint, and I realize I absolutely have to buy more coffee, I sit here in my little studio loft, wondering if I even have it in me to continue what was once a fantastic drive for change, for a new energy, for a need to be fulfilled.
I wonder, what is my purpose now? I sold the house, waved good-bye to the last bird flying, packed up a third of my belongings, left my home town and the career that had sustained me for 30 years. To BE someone else. Or to be someTHING else anyway. And then I boldly situated myself in an unexpected isolation of epic proportions among a sea of strangers in a strange time on strange land.
What the fuck have I done?
Sometimes the pain of the past and the loneliness of the present crashes down so hard, I am certain I will never surface again. I don’t know who I am. I know that I thought I was done being THAT. But now I am not so sure I can be anything else. I am trapped in my own hopeless mind and a solid lack of familial comfort. I cannot keep driving back out there. I have to go further IN.
I must let go of that old blanket now. I must step out into the land of aliens and hope to GOD I am going to find my way. My purpose.
I must decide to stand up and walk like a toddler.
I must decide that I am a warrior goddess and that no one is going to ruin me. I must fight.
My PURPOSE came to me upon a wisp of air, in a thousand little cotton tufts, when I was mowing the lawn and driving my son to work. My purpose was a fleeting image that I had barely considered for years. My purpose was not wrapped up in a pretty box with a golden bow. No one assured me that it was going to be a win. I didn’t have the security of a contract, nor the comfort of a union membership. My purpose was entirely based on an intuition I chose to recognize and raw, messy, blind faith.
I had an idea that maybe I could be someone else. I wasn’t forced into it. I didn’t hate what I was doing. I was not in any way prompted to begin again.
I only knew there was a whisper that could be heard when I trudged in solitude upon a winter street.
“You are more Isa. You are born to create, and you have a voice. You can do the brave thing, and no one needs to approve.”
There were people I loved that were worried. There were people that tried to keep me in the same chalk outline I myself had drawn. There were people who said, “This is great! I am too practical for such a risk, but you go for it!” I knew they meant to say that I would regret it. They had, after all, seen me make mistakes before.
My purpose is not to stay safe and be only what I had once been.
My purpose was to listen to my soulful wailings of loss and decide to journey across a strange land and do uncomfortable things. The greatest risk would have been to stay and to ignore the soft lulling dreams of a woman I might become.