Not as a visitor. a tourist, checking off the sights in my green guide. But here, every day, savoring a new life that I cling to with precious hope to sustain.
Here ... working hard ... learning a new language and culture ... meeting new friends ... straining to adapt and integrate. Profoundly shocked and pinching myself.
I don't believe in God. I believe in me. but if there is some sort of universal reconcilement, a balancing of the virtual scales of justice ... I suppose I can find reason to deserve the good fortune the universe has bestowed upon me.
I'm not certain how I made it to this point. From the age of 10 through the age of ... hmmm, say 35, I toyed with all of the various means of not continuing existence. Having been physically, sexually and emotionally abused in every conceivable fashion from the start, I was a cutter. a secret self-abuser. Having been raised in a cult, I learned quickly the value of suppressing my true existence from the general population. I went along to get along. And then secretly tried to find ways not to be along anymore.
I married early and to a much older man. Halfway into a pregnancy, he was killed. So in my early 20s, I was alone with a baby, having already lived more life than many folks in their 40s have experienced. Within 3 years, I had my second child.
These two beautiful people are undoubtedly the reason I am still alive today. Somehow I retained enough sanity to know I could not possibly pass on the madness of my early existence to my beloved daughter and son.
I spent the next 10 or 15 years avoiding my true self and the emotions involved with my compacted life. I discarded more men than I can count like last year's fashions and simultaneously drove my way to higher rungs on the corporate ladder of success. Primarily through sheer will, determination and a modicum of talent. All the while, plotting various exits from planet earth, but managing not to take the trip.
In my mid to late-30s, I took a hiatus from the dating merry-go-round. I did meet and love a very good person, I suppose just not the very best person for me. Nor I for him. I've really been about as emotionally alone as one could be for the past many years.
Somewhere along the line, I developed a dream. A dream of a different life. This newly imagined life became my pet project. My justification for continuing the corporate climb and grind. Which everyday killed a little bit of my soul.
I honestly never thought I would be able to pull it off. Somewhere deep inside, I believed that this dream was more like a balm. An over-the-counter sedative designed to sustain me through the doldrums of my life. Another placebo to avoid taking real action.
And yet, like a bolt of lightning, six months ago I conceived of a plan. A plan which for me was revolution in the making. A leap into the black hole of the unknown. My own personal "On the Road" experience, fifty years late in the making. Scared shitless, I closed my eyes and jumped.
And here I am. unable to envision any other possibility for myself. whatever drastic measure is required. believing in karma. well believing in my own, non-god version of karma. I like this version: through the law of karma, the effects of all deeds actively create past, present, and future experiences, thus making one responsible for one's own life, and the pain and joy it brings to him/her and others.
I also like the idea of karmic scales, wherein hopefully by the point of death, all the occurrences in one's life, with some conscious effort, have somehow "weighed-out" in due measure and one can pass over in a balanced fashion to whatever the next experience will be.
Now that I've lulled you close to a nap-like state, let me just again proffer, in extremely insufficient terms, the fact that I am unbelievably, indescribably, undeservedly, most humbly grateful. in a continuous state of unsettled awe and random periods of joy. alternated with unfounded though lessening periods of worry!
(I might also point out that I believe I owe this latest state of clarity to the remarkably good night's sleep I enjoyed yesterday. In fact, when Jean-Yves arrived at 8:30 a.m., I was still blissfully unconscious. Sleep is amazing, no?!)
(photo from goodkarmaland.com)