Day Sixty-Eight: Realized
My aunt Sally writes, I only ever knew growing up what I didn't want...I know as an adult that isn't what most children think about.
We have been sharing a steady email exchange since early summer and she has been following my word-a-day writings—my number one fan, we joke. Last week she wrote of our family and she ended by saying that she sensed a sadness in some of my writing. She asked if I missed home. I explained that what she read between my lines was not a sadness for missing home exactly, but a homesickness for something that never existed. I do see the value in it now, though—in not having had what I always wanted.
Growing up with that understanding of what you don't want is a powerful force. It has been the driving force in my adult life. I have used it to create a family of friends and I find myself surrounded by the most beautiful people. What I always wanted and never had. That's not entirely accurate, actually. I had a good family, of which Sally is one, but we suffered some losses and what I really wanted was to know how to deal with it, how to carry on and be ok. I wanted to be transported out of all the sadness and loneliness into a home with brothers and sisters and parents and laughter and ease. What I really wanted was joy, deep and satisfying love, communication, somewhere to be myself, and the courage to do so. I wanted to be good enough, really—just exactly what everyone wants, and I wonder now if that's even something that can be given, or if we must learn it for ourselves.
I have travelled far, outside myself and within, to find that place of Good Enough. Some days I can't even see the shore, or that I'm standing on it, so thick is the fog. Some days it is the tiniest grain of sand. Other days the whole shoreline shines with possibility.
With all of its mistakes and missteps, I am proud of the life I have made for myself. I found love, after all, and I keep finding it in the faces that surround me. I always knew it was out there and it's far brighter and more expansive than I'd imagined. I lost some things when I was young, it's true. But who hasn't? No one gets out of this thing alive, as the expression goes. No one sits back at the end of their days and wonders what hurt feels like, or loss, or pain. So who am I to complain? I have discovered that I am someone I always wanted to be. I have realized my childhood dream.