“None of us can help the things life has done to us. They’re done before you realize it, and once they’re done they make you do other things until at last everything comes between you and what you’d like to be, and you’ve lost your true self forever.” ― Eugene O’Neill, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Sometimes the hardest journeys we take measure the shortest of distances. We need not travel across an ocean to lose ourselves; we’re capable of doing that in the confines of our living room. We’re can lose our way walking down the most familiar of streets. And you say to yourself, how is that I’ve navigated this street, know every inch of it — from the sidewalk to the pavement to the grass that grows next to my feet — and now I need a compass, a map and seeing glasses to make my way home? Fear settles in, cradles you, and you start to wonder if vertigo is a constant state. When, you ask, will I be able to find my way home?
Then I had a thought. What if getting lost wasn’t such a bad thing? What if it was your heart quietly nudging you along a new path? What if it was your mind telling you that everything you know has brought you to this point, but now there’s a whole new terrain worth navigating, and you have a choice to leap or keeping circling the familiar, run only to stand still. It’s the difference between being a phoenix or a crow — rising anew or feasting on the remains of things.
I had a tough week: a few projects I’d banked on before I left for Dublin fell through, a few friends I’d invited to my housewarming party suddenly went M.I.A., I received a staggering tax bill, and nothing seemed to fit. Instead of skirting this sorrow, I breathed through it, and hurtled into it so hard that I hoped my movement through this state of entropy would propel me to the other side. Suddenly, I think of physics: force = mass x acceleration, and this puts me to thinking that maybe it’s easier to move through sadness if you have another body helping you push your way through.