It’s been awhile. Been awhile since I sat down to write my weekly post. Been awhile since I began the process of living a wild, free life. It’s been quite the journey since I started writing this blog a year ago (almost exactly!). I have changed my life in numerous ways, thought I had it all figured out (now I know that we never do), only to start again once more. I haven’t written because I’ve been adjusting to my new life, lifestyle, career, home, experiences. I haven’t written because I have had to allow myself the space and time to rediscover how I wish to be in this world.
When I began my journey of aiming to live a wilder, freer life, I opened myself up in a way I never had before. Not only through sharing my experiences here, but also out in the world. I slowly but surely began to break down many walls that I hadn’t even known existed. I shed an old skin and began to fill out a new one, to grow into a different kind of person. Though I was and remain the same at my core, I became a person who forged connections with myself and others, where before I had shied away from them.
I do not regret this transformation, this opening up and expanding; I welcomed it then as a new way to be, and I have much appreciation for it now. My growth allowed me to gain more than I have lost. But now, now that I have experienced the recent and blindsiding experience of losing all that I thought I would have forever, I find that I am retracting slightly.
These past two weeks of not writing, I have found myself once again shifting and changing shape. My arms and mind are open, but I find that my heart is another story. I am not closing myself off from the world like I have been known to do in the past, but I seem to have built a structure around the tenderest part of me. Not necessarily a wall… perhaps more of a partition.
This partition is not to keep people out, but to keep myself protected. I know we get hurt in this life, it’s unavoidable, but I also know now that I can keep some of my heart to myself, for myself. I have bounded from one end of the spectrum to the other, from closed to wide open, and now I seem to be settling somewhere in the middle. It feels… right.
I was so excited about the seemingly endless possibilities that appeared when I started my new way of living that I can see, in hindsight, I got swept up. I didn’t realize that my willingness to be vulnerable would not always be reciprocated by those closest to me. I didn’t embrace the idea that I could and can be in collaboration with the world while still being my sarcastic, skeptical self. I can wish to believe but still question, I can maintain a spiritual practice and still read trashy magazines. I don’t have to become a yoga teacher or go to an ashram for a month to live truthfully.
I can see that the events that have led me to here, to this moment, have coincided to bring me more awareness. While before I thought I was completely aware, I know that I am more conscious now. I have been brought back down to earth. I did not welcome this descension, the thud and the pain that accompanies such a fall, but I am grateful for it now.
I have always considered myself a grounded person, practical and pragmatic, almost to a fault. My practicality limited me in a way for some time, preventing me from believing in alternate routes that I could take. Luckily, when I removed my old blocks from view I started to see that there’s more out there. But somewhere along the way of living with more freedom, more abandon, I got a little lost. I disdained the ideas of having security or stability, I disregarded my intuition, telling myself that everything would work out, that it always does. I felt that to truly live wild and free, I wouldn’t work a “traditional” job or live a “traditional” life. This was an error on my part.
My error led me to being too caught up in potentials, in appearances, than concerning myself with what was and always has been inside. Whether I work a traditional job or not, I am me. Whether I am in a relationship or not, I am me. And me, myself, is someone who deserves to be taken care of, by me and me alone, at least for now. I made the mistake of trusting too much in others. I made the mistake of linking awareness with a path that doesn’t seem to fit.
Don’t get me wrong, I will keep the faith and the trust, but on a more pragmatic scale. I will trust myself first and foremost. I will remember that I can live truthfully and freely while working a 9-5. I will not beat myself up if I say something that Gandhi wouldn’t approve of. I am human, frail but also much stronger than I give myself credit for. Flawed yet determined. Sweet and sour. Bratty and kind. I am not perfect and I never will be.
What matters is that I am trying. Trying to be more than a sleepwalker, someone who just floats through life, who lets life happen to them. Trying to live openly and authentically. Trying to rearrange and realign, to pick myself back up after I stumble. Trying to protect myself while I continue to try making connections. Trying to reach for the stars with my feet planted firmly on the ground. I don’t have it all figured out, but no one does. We figure it out along the way.
I wish you a wild, free life.