I love to get there. I love that feeling after a really long drive, of having arrived. It excites me to cross things off a list – I have a deep sense of satisfaction when I accomplish something. I am an achiever. I get a lot of things done because it feels good to get things done. I have always just wanted to get there and not really stop along the way because I always felt that the joy was in the end, not in the journey.
I’m getting older and learning. I don’t think I will ever not be satisfied at the end or driven to get there, but I am learning to enjoy things along the way. My life has been filled with trauma and pain. so really is it any wonder that I would just want to get to the end. When your in pain you just want it to stop, so you just get through it.
Last week I was hurting and in between my sobs I said to myself, feel this. Don’t just get through it, but feel it. My custom has been to clench every muscle and curl up tight while riding the roller coaster and just make it through. The belief is that once you are on the other side it’s over, but that is false. What you went through comes with you, unless you feel it. It’s like these emotions wait and they sneak up on you. Some will never go away – I have pain that will always be with me, but if I feel it at the time it happens, it has less power when it comes back. The more I feel it, the more I acknowledge and process it, the less it can overwhelm me. It’s that simple but not that easy.
If I break life down into moments it is easier. There are good moments and bad ones and you need to live in both. The bad moments are easier to deal with if you think of them as moment. Moments pass. When I think of them as moments I feel as though I can put it in the palm of my hand and look it over. I can examine it from different angles and take it apart. I can see why it hurts or how it came to be. Understanding helps with healing.
Of course we want the good moments to last longer but they are also only moments. I am learning to enjoy them when I have them. I often focus on the big picture – which isn’t bad, but sometimes you miss the beautiful details that only come by taking the moments. Maybe the end isn’t what you want, but don’t miss the moments on the way. Both good and bad make us who we are. We will always have the moments we want to keep stored in our memory.
I’ll never forget jumping on the trampoline with Susan and the babies. Riding my bike as a kid with the wind rushing through my hair and I felt like I could go anywhere. Each of my children being born (including the one who died). Laughing with my best friends, which happens often, but never often enough. Being surrounded by my family and eating tacos. Teaching my kids to read. The moments when I know I have impacted the life of a young person in a positive way. Finishing my degrees. Watching the city lights at night and standing on the edge of the majestic ocean.
These are all my moments. I get to keep them. The good and the bad make up my life.
I want to live it and feel it. All of it.