This was a difficult summer. In my mind, I was in a good place, ready to take on new challenges, excited to start a year off from full-time teaching. I prepared myself for a year of studying for and finally completing my final exam in Applied Linguistics, finally earning my Master’s degree; of testing the waters of freelance writing; of recording and creating more songs; of freedom.
I had my best laid plans in front of me. And then my mom died.
The waves of grief in the beginning stages were calm. Though immensely sad, I was cool-headed and persistent, knowing that a lot had to be taken care of before I could officially let myself fall apart. There were funeral arrangements to be sorted, a house to be cleaned through, family and friends to tell and subsequently console, food to make, bills to pay. I couldn’t let myself fall apart. If I had, would anything get done?
Now the waves of grief are hitting me like an angry, relentless storm; I am in the eye of the hurricane. At first, there is deafening silence. A quietness that does not comfort; it merely warns me of the impending doom to come. I can feel the wave before I see it, and once it is on the horizon, once I can see it growing taller, a mountain of water, coming at me with a powerful and terrifying intensity, I succumb to my fate. The waves crash down and fill my lungs as the force plunges me deeper and deeper into despair. There is no respite. There is no refuge. There is only ice-cold, unforgiving water, tossing my body about like a tiny rag doll, stabbing my skin with frozen needles, shocking my body into submission.
Then I resurface, barely catch my breath and wait for the next wave to come. I am lost. I have no more plans.
This was a hopeful summer as well. In my faith, in my family, in myself. When something big is snatched away, when a part of you dies away, what else is there to do but hope for something better someday? Yes, the waves are still coming, they are overwhelming, but I know I won’t drown. So I will give into despair when I need to, but at some point, I have to try and swim to safety, to peace. A place where I can find answers again. A place where I can have a plan. A place where my faith and hope can revive and live and move forward.
So, with that, I have decided to do an experiment. One in which I hope to reach a new path in life that will take me where I need to go and lead me to the things I need to do before I reach my own end. I do not encourage anyone to follow in my footsteps. This is not a self-help guide to anyone’s life but my own. I do not promise to have all of the answers when the experiment is all said and done. The only hope I have is that, at the end of it, I will have reached some kind of positive change and purpose. Throughout this experiment, I will continue to live my normal life. There will be no drastic life changes during this process. I’ve had enough of that this summer. I just want to see what happens when I keep my mind truly open to possibility, when I test my faith in new ways and when I truly let go of fear.
The experiment will begin tomorrow. Stay tuned.