For the past couple of years, I've been sitting on a train watching my life zoom by. Nothing much has changed, nothing bad happened, managed to check a few life goals off the list, and basically just put myself in auto-pilot while each day carried me through.
Each morning, I would wake up, write my blog, drink my coffee, and go about my day doing what I do for my students. Once my work day was over, my life shifted from teacher mode to mommy mode and school activities were the top priority. Once practice or the games were over, I'd drive the kids home, crawl in to bed, and rinse, repeat the next day.
Excitement, over the past few years, has consisted of being able to leave school before dark, getting to sleep in until I woke up rather than having an alarm clock wake me, or every once in a while having a girls' night out with my best friend.
I don't know how many times I thought about it, and decided that I was OK with having a monotonous life. Monotony means little room for trouble, upset, or unneeded problems. I settled on the fact that each day came, each day went... I could tell you exactly how those days would play out, because they all basically looked the same.
But, deep down, there's always been this niggling feeling eating away at me. Where's the excitement? Where's the spontaneity? Is this really it? Do I spend the rest of my days going through the motions like a conveyor belt in a factory?
Then, last summer, that little spark ignited a flame inside of me and I wanted more... I needed more. It sounds stupid, but the first thing I did was buy season passes to Silver Dollar City. Totally random, hadn't ever taken my kids to a theme park, but felt the urge to do something different. I have been terrified of heights for as long as I can remember, and getting a roller-coaster was something that scared the living bejeezus out of me. But, on that first trip to SDC, I left caution in the wind, I let uncertainty guide me, and ended up having one of the most exciting and fun days I've had in many, many years. I rode every single ride I could get on, and I don't think I've ever heard the laugh that escaped from my mouth on that day.
Toward the end of the summer, more uncertainty came in to my life when a conversations sparked up with an old friend. Ha, old friend is quite the understatement. The father of my oldest child, actually. That uncertainty caused me to face some demons that I've kept locked away for 15 years, and face some of the pain and agony I never dealt with back then. It caused me to release some hidden secrets I had kept to myself all those years, and bring light to the fact that I am not as open with my life as some may believe.
Since that time, there's been some ups and downs, but once school got started again, life just calmed down and went back to normal.
Went back to the routines, the schedules, and the plans. Teacher by day, mommy by night.
But, the week before Christmas that all changed once again. Life didn't just throw me a curve ball, it pelted me with the entire team pitching to me at the same time. And since then, I've been swinging with everything inside of me to try and hit one of those balls out of the park. I've had a couple of moments when I've got a good hit in, but for the most part I'm more broken and bruised than anything.
Last night, I had a realization. An epiphany, if you will. Yes, I've been in this cryptic, weird, mood for the past couple of weeks... but in the past couple of weeks, I've felt more alive than I have in YEARS! Not knowing what's going to happen next, or what's in store has been a rush of adrenaline and excitement. My emotions have been smashed in to a million pieces, picked up, glued back together, and then smashed all over again. I have laughed more, cried more, and loved more than I have since I don't know when.
And, last night, while sitting through another outbreak of tears, I realized that no matter how bad I'm hurt, no matter what emotions are flooding through me... I'm feeling that intensity I was looking for. Life is changing, I'm changing, and there is nothing but uncertainty banging on my door. AND I'M OK WITH IT.
As one door closes, another opens. Every wonderful, amazing, brain searing memory I hold on to came as the aftermath of some of my darkest, unhappiest of times. The uncertainty led me in to happiness and clarity. Fear, uncertainty, and the discomfort were my fueling engines in to happiness, excitement, and living life to the fullest.
I am not in pain. I am not hurt. I'm just living with uncertainty. And while up until last night, I was absolutely terrified over it... I have now realized I have nothing to be scared of. Life will play out the way it's supposed to. When I get knocked down, I get up again. I pick up the pieces and take care of what needs to be taken care of. But, uncertainty is a necessity that instills the drive to keep going, keep reaching for the stars, and motivates who I am.
Every day is a gift that I cherish. Another day with my kids, another day with my students, another day to grab the world by the horns and ride out the wild ride that is life. I may not always be able to hold on the full eight seconds, but each time I hit the dirt you can guarantee I'll jump right up again and give it another shot. It's not about how long I can stay on the bull, it's the thrill that takes place during the ride.
It's who I am. It's what I do. And I'm OK with it.
Have a great Tuesday, everyone!!