I’m at a crossroads in my life. A major point of transition that has come about because of some much-needed, albeit unexpected, downtime. On April 2, I underwent a surgery to remove two large fibroids and an ovarian cyst. Because of this procedure, I’m out of work for six weeks and I spent much of the first two weeks resting and lying down. I’ve come to realize that when your body is in this position and you are seemingly doing nothing, your natural inclination is to think.
And think is what I did. Thinking is all I’ve done since I came out of my medicated stupor on April 3rd.
I thought about everything, from the things that were bothering me to the things that weren’t bothering me. I was forced to think about the things that I knew I had to think about but hadn’t given the appropriate time for it.
Most surprising to me was that I thought about the things that I didn’t know I had to think about…and I honestly believe this is the reason I’m finding myself at this major crossroad.
For 22 years of my life, I’ve found myself doing things that made other people happy. For the most part, I stayed out of trouble and out of people’s way. I was quiet and I didn’t question directions as they were given to me. This made it easier to manage an otherwise stressful life. Growing up, my family faced many hardships and the ones that have left the biggest print upon my soul are homelessness and the custody battle that my biological parents waged on one another. It was during this time that I began to tell myself, “Just be quiet. It will make life easier.”
And for a while it did.
You see, in being quiet, I convinced myself that it would be selfish to ask to do the things that I knew made me happy. It would be crazy to ask that I be allowed to be a member of a dance troupe. It would be insane to ask that I be allowed to take dance lessons with a studio. But the most damaging message that I told myself was it would be selfish to enjoy my life, or try to figure out what would lead me to enjoy my life, when others around me were miserable.
My family dealt with a lot of grief – much of which we still deal with today. Recognizing this grief early on, I decided that life would be much more fair if I just accepted this and did only what was required of me. From the time that I was 10 years old until today, I did just that. I went to school. I made excellent grades. I did a few activities, but I made sure they were free (or as close to free as possible). Then when it was time to be an adult, I made decisions with my family in mind. I went away to school and majored in something reliable. Once I finished my undergraduate degree, I went on to earn my Master’s in a field that selfless but would also ensure that I could provide for my family when they needed me. I graduated, I moved back home and I got a job. Today I realized that I’m unhappy and it’s my fault.
With this realization and admission of truth, I now find myself at a crossroads.
To be continued…