I’m fast approaching my 48th birthday. I’m not sure what that means to me, if anything. But I feel a sense of restlessness deep within me, like I’m searching for something.
I look back on the past 47 plus years of my life and feel a sense of wonder. My life is nothing like I expected but in many ways, it is perfect and I can’t imagine it being any different. Sometimes, sometimes I think my experiences have honed me into a very unique individual and there are places in me, parts of me, that very few people can understand. And sometimes that is a very solitary place to be, even lonely.
I have learned to find solace, joy even, with inanimate objects and pastimes: writing, books, music, movies, reading and solo athletic endeavors like running where I can decompress and revel in the adrenalin pumping through my body and I can stretch my body to its limits.
My writing frees me, heart, mind, and soul. When I place my fingers on the keyboard, I feel like I am tapping into a limitless realm, and the words pour forth. Writing feeds and, at the same time, soothes my restless soul.
I chanced upon the following: “My soul is impatient with itself, as with a bothersome child; its restlessness keeps growing and is forever the same. Everything interests me, but nothing holds me. I attend to everything, dreaming all the while.” Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet.
I feel like I am at a point in my life where every cell in my body is holding its collective breath. Let me explain.
I am a Survivor. Of chronic illness. Of bullying. Of verbal abuse. Of morbid obesity. Of ridicule. And I have learned to protect myself. I have carefully constructed the ramparts that safeguard my head, heart, and soul. My salvation has been my fierce, White Russian nature: I am determined, outspoken, assertive, and proud. I am strong and have always believed in myself. But I’ve let few people in. As I developed more socially, I drew more friends and many more acquaintances. But truly letting my guard down has been a challenge for me. The cost was too great.
But I feel like, in this 48th year, that I’ve reached a turning point. I have remarkable, wonderfully close friends who have taught me what it is to trust and love, and what it is like to hang in for the long haul. I have a family that has evolved through significant challenges and who loves and supports me. And I have learned to love, trust, and support them all back.
So what about this restlessness I am feeling? What is driving it? I feel like I am about to surge forward with something, about to make a big change.
I think there are things that I have been holding onto, that I have let define me and that have comforted me because of their familiarity. And maybe it is time to let them go.
Letting go scares me. And saying something scares me, scares me. I don’t like admitting to fear, it makes me feel like I am admitting to a chink in my carefully built facade. Like the ground beneath my feet has suddenly become unsteady and I reach out for balance, for equilibrium.
But the air is sweet and the breeze is cool on my face outside of my fortress. The possibilities are endless.
And then it strikes me that maybe this state of unquiet awareness is good. That I will be open to opportunities, that my heart will be open to prospects that Life chances my way. That maybe a bit more risk-taking in this 48th year is my birthday present to myself. And that this will be a very good year indeed.