The moment someone confirms that you are on a journey that few will ever travel, you want that journey to begin now. And while I am perfectly able to see the parallels in the famous quote from the Harry and Sally movie the sentiment still applies. You are given a glimpse into exactly what the world has to offer someone like you, and yet there is so many working parts that must compliment each other, that you are stuck in a reality that has existed since you were born.
We all know that change doesn’t come either quickly or with smooth sailing. I am beginning the journey to fundamentally change who I am in my soul, so the reality of the dishes waiting for you sucks. Life has a way of not only interrupting the greatest moments of our life, but the actual life it is representing – say that fast three times.
Most people who go to therapy work very hard to learn to cope with the vagaries of life. Death, hatred, life, taxes. Everything that each of us must be able to cope with is often much harder to handle than our parents taught us. Being parents they couldn’t teach us everything, and when it came to teaching us math or what to do when a man beats the hell out of us, unfortunately the lesson were based on assumptions. It is the fundamental flaw in motherhood – you can’t teach your children what they need to know.
So most people go to therapy to learn how to don socially acceptable masks. The kind that hides from the nurses and doctors in that emergency room what you are really feeling seeing your child in that large bed. The kind of mask that allows you to face your boss and speak to him on a level that shows no real disgust. The kind of mask that shows the world that you are functioning, at least until you are able to finally sneak off to bed and cry your eyes out. These masks are a learned trait, and while it may seem that some come by it naturally, the truth often is that they came by this trait because they had no choice.
I think I have had the ability to cope from a very young age. My life, like everyone else’s, has never been a smooth ride on a merry-go-round (I like the blue and white horse). It has been a series of incredible highs and in the next turn almost overwhelming lows. There have been disappointments, excitement, fear, happiness, ecstasy, and even loneliness that felt so perfect it scared me. This is life. We accept this as life. And the learning to don a mask is a part of it.
Some in my life, on the periphery and right in front of me, swear they know what my masks look like and when it is I am wearing them. My response has always been to agree with them, but one of the things this journey has already taught me is that I am a brilliant strategist, I am an incredible liar, and I have learned to hide in plain sight so well that even mentioning this talent leads to shaking their heads. They are so convinced that they know the truth of me, even the idea that they could be wrong is like eating a lemon when you thought you were getting a piece of bread. It doesn’t cross as possible. Because then the next truth comes: I am a manipulative and oftentimes selfish young lady who is simply trying to survive in a world my parents forgot to teach me about.
Most of my therapists would agree that the one and truly great talent I have is my ability to cope; to apply the right mask for the right situation and never allow others to see any more. My therapist will tell you I don’t need to learn about coping or even the bottom of that deep fathomless feelings that can only be felt by those who know how to hold their breath. No, my journey, the one that started in April of 2013 is one I have been silently waiting for; the journey that has been in my soul longer than my breath and has simply waited for me. Whether it has waited for me to grow up or to be prepared for the loss and the tragedy of this journey, I don’t know. And I don’t want to ask.
So if I don’t need a therapist to learn to cope like most, what question is my soul waiting for? What answer does my soul need to finally figure out the ways to go beyond the truth and finally see, and finally be, all that I think that I can be. At what point does my soul finally find the sense of contentment that it has been searching for its whole existence and probably much, much longer.
So here I am, the journey has been confirmed, the tickets have been purchased, the bags packed, I am ready to start. But what no one reminds you, even those therapists with their nasty and inane homework that keeps one up at night, is that there is still reality. For most of us, we can’t put on our lives on hold so that we can figure these large and oftentimes painful steps. We still have dishes to do, air conditions to repair, blogs to write, and the usual cleaning up after three of the most undisciplined Pig Pens someone thought would be funny to stick me with.
So here I am ready to explore the new horizons that will show me the possibility of what I can be. Here I am ready to embark on a full tour of my psyche to put the pieces together that have lived inside of me since I was eleven. The butterfly inducing belief that finally the answers that I have asked for decades may now be answered. Those secrets that only a soul can reveal are waiting. And despite the fact I know that they will wait in this life and the next for me, I am desperate to simply and finally have a sight of them.
No matter how I wish differently, this journey will go its own course. I can’t hurry it along any more than I can stop it once a new chapter begins. While Harry might truly believe that once you make a realization you should begin to live with that realization, it doesn’t work that way on soulful journeys. These kind of journeys are not in your control and your soul will not let you forget this.