When I was around age 20, my life exploded. My entire world literally blew out from its center.
Looking back, I suppose it was destined to detonate at some point or another.
I oscillate between feeling sadness that it did not happen sooner and gratitude that it did not take longer to happen.
Spiritually-evolved and wise people would say that it happened “right on time. ”
I say “Bite me.”
(OK, I got that out of my system. Sometimes I feel sorry for myself. Maybe we all do. We all have our crosses to bear in this life, right?)
No, seriously, I guess it did have to happen sooner or later.
At that point, I had been away from home for several years…the deep truths that had been bubbling molten hot at my core had had time to gain strength unencumbered by parental presence.
I was also living a breakneck speed: I was a full-time acting student, working a part time job and stage managing productions for the acting company associated with my acting school. I was busy 24/7 and running on fumes.
And then, one day in a bookstore, I was drawn like a magnet to a particular book. (This is the book that was to teach me that I do not chose books but rather they choose me.) It was Alice Miller’s The Drama of the Gifted Child.
I bought it and read it as quickly as I could, and shortly thereafter, the volcano of my psyche erupted.
This book seemed to be explaining things about my experience growing up that I had long since hid from myself. It was as if in reading each chapter, carefully placed barriers were loosed around the nucleus of my being.
In the days following reading it, I felt like the ground I was walking on was constantly shifting and moving underneath my feet. It was unsettling.
Pressure within me began to build, until one day, one Sunday shift in the restaurant where I worked, my internal world just exploded.
Shards of self flew from my core, and in an instant, a horrific revelation from within flew up through my body from my gut into my consciousness in a searing flash and the fairy tale fantasy that I had been living inside my own mind of a perfect family and a perfect childhood turned to ashes.
And, just like that, I was forever changed.
From that day to this one, it has been a whirlwind, rollercoaster ride filled with astonishing kindness, loss, addiction, danger, self-abuse, despair, hope, comedy, tragedy, loneliness, desperation, shock, torment, friendship, mentorship, recovery, love, joy, bliss, confusion, celebration, emptiness, wholeness, perversion, goodness, synchronicity, luck, terror, horror, wonder, adventure, growth, overwhelming gratitude and grace, forgiveness, miraculousness, passion, sexuality, understanding, caring, shifting, healing, working, giving, taking, receiving, being lost and being found, again and again and again.
(I suppose that is simply a life being lived.)
I would not change one moment because if I did I would not be right where I am today.
Don’t get me wrong. Right where I am today is not puppy dogs and moonbeams.
In some ways, I feel like I am only now rising, like a phoenix, out of the ashes of that apocalyptic day.
And as uncomfortable, often terrifying and unsettling as that feels, to be in totally unfamiliar territory in my own surroundings once again, I know that I am indeed in the process of rising, like a phoenix, out of those ashes, and that knowing, in and of itself, is pretty amazing.
I don’t know where I will land, or even if I will. But I know that this is my journey, meant just for me, and I am rising to the occasion.