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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dancing with Shadows


"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy. For what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves. We must die to one life before we can enter another." Anatole France

I never thought that at 33 years old with 3 children I would be where I am right now. In a trailer in my parent's backyard typing this blog on my laptop.

Have you ever reached a place in your life where you look around and wonder who's life you're living anyways? I am in that place right now. Even my shadow seems to be mocking me, challenging my ideas about who I thought myself to be.

So it's January. A new year. A new start. A new life. But death is not an easy process. To let my old life die, to walk away from all my worldly possessions and start over, to let go of my illusions, this nearly broke my heart. It nearly broke me.

And yet, here I am, listening to music while my sick almost-4-year-old snuggles up next to me and sleeps. I type. I try to understand. I decide what my new life will look like.

I'm still working through it, but here's what I think so far. When the road we're traveling no longer takes us in the direction we wish to go, we have three choices. We can continue on it, disheartened, disillusioned and depressed. Knowing with every step we are straying further and further from our true purpose.

We can sit down on the nearest rock and give up.

Or, we can make the hardest choice possible. We can search the horizon for the life we truly desire, put on our hiking boots, and blaze our own trail straight to that life.

I sat on that rock for a long time. After walking in the wrong direction for an even longer time. I was tired, frustrated, beaten down and in a lot of pain, both physical and emotional. But at the end of the day I knew I couldn't give up. And I knew I'd hate myself if I kept down the road of my own destruction. So, here I am, letting go of one life in order to embrace another.

It's not an easy path, and I'm collecting my share of scars along the way, but it's the only choice I could have made. Any other choice would have ultimately robbed my soul of all hope for happiness and joy. And I in turn would have robbed my children of that happiness and joy.

It is my time to rise to the challenge of my own life and do what I know is in me to do. No more excuses, no more waiting.

I challenge you this year to join me in blazing a trail to your dreams. Get off the rock. Stop taking the easy way out. I'm done dancing with my shadow. I'm ready to embrace the life of my own creation. Are you?

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