Regardless, this is the decision that was made. I will continue to grieve as is the process. For how long? No idea. Whose to say? What I can do is choose how to ride the tidal wave of change. Starting new is an opportunity not many folks are afforded. And here I am presented with this gift. I choose to ride this wave as long as feasibly possible without getting knocked of my board. I have decided to not settle into my old ways. Yes, I may stray. I've always been terrible at quitting cold turkey. But, I will strive to live the life that I was meant to live.
What does this mean? The life I was meant to live. When experiencing a monumental shift in lifestyle, one thinks back to the ways things were. For me, I thought of my childhood. I was a truly, happy child. I enjoyed my childhood. What changed between then and now, outside of my mom's home cooking and my dad pitching wiffle balls? After much thought and conferring with close, childhood friends (which to this day remain my closest comrades), I have realized I was an explorer back then. I was a leader as well. I've always had a tough time conforming to rules if I felt there was a better way. Well, that led to a lot of trouble. Ask Steph and Matthew about the time I convinced them to drag our bicycles through 100 yards of mud (Matthew broke his bike). Ask Andrea how I convinced her to skip Girl Scout chores to explore the woods and find new trails while at camp (We got in huge trouble with extra chores). Ask Shannon, if she remembers, how I convinced her I knew where the Fountain of Youth was (We ended up grounded because our parents couldn't find us). Ask my mom about all of times I came home covered in poison ivy, but I just kept going back into the woods determined to find a new adventure.
Now, quickly approaching 32, I observe my nephew and niece as they embark on their lives. They are 4 and 2, respectively, untouched and unscathed by the influence of school, media, and others around them. They are simply true to there genetic make up. They are who they are. Who they are meant to be. Emma talks to ants and lives in her own happy world. Independent and confident. Colby, loves to learn. He will question everything. And he's an amazing athlete. I envy them. I have realized that I need to get back to my essential being. Who I am, and who I was meant to be. I've tried to fit a mold. Huh. Not a good fit, perhaps, currently. Although getting there. I need to go back and remember who I am.
This finally leads me to the reason behind the title of this blog. I have a book, Wise Women, by Joyce Tenneson. It was given to me over a year ago for attending a business women's networking event. It's a coffee table book with pictures of women aged 65+ sharing memoirs or advice on life. Last night, was the first time I chose to actually open the book. Fate, or whatever you may choose to call it, had me turn to pages 24-25. Evelyn Lauder's message on page 25 resonated with me so strongly it brought me to tears. And I quote, "I've always believed that whatever you are when you are young, as you age, you become more so." I found the closest pen, and I wrote, "I am an explorer."