My heart beat faster and my head spun a little. I think Captain might have felt the earth move as well, but he held on strong and stayed true to keep me from swaying too much. He knows my earth is shaking these days, and I think part of him feels helpless to do anything. The same can be said for me.
I spent the majority of the past twenty years focusing on my family. I turned in towards them, giving them the best of me, and sometimes the worst. I poured my heart, grew connections, and taught chemistry. I wouldn't have done the majority of that time differently. And there were times when my focus was wholly on myself as well, I am no martyr. I did what I wanted to do. I wanted to be the mom. I wanted to foster those relationship. I wanted to grow our family on a daily moment by moment basis. That was what I wanted, and that was what I was able to do.
And now I am on the other side of that time, and the family still needs attention and devotion, but there is so much more time in my day when I can't do that. Even though youngest has not headed out for his future yet, I already feel the open days. I already feel the giant expanse of horizon in which every possibility exists, but I also feel the pressure of finding the right opportunity for myself.
I think back to my four years of college in which nothing stuck. I think back to my over 100 hours of credits in which no major was ever declared. I felt as if I was there again trying to decide what it was I wanted to do "for the rest of my life." And my ideas didn't swirl, no it was more as if I found myself in a vacuum. Every thought of what I wanted to do, or something I might like to pursue vanished from the brain that sits inside my head. I am not a stupid woman, but websites were confusing and information made no sense. I was discombobulated and confused and unsure and doubting. And in that moment last night panic enveloped me as if nothing else existed.
I tried to breathe.
And then I let it all go and spent some time reading inspirational quotes, asking for prayers, and considering life. Through that process I came upon this quote:
which I promptly showed Captain and said, "This is where I am."
The poor man, he really is such a pillar of strength for me, but I'm not sure he knew what to do with this quote. Honestly, I'm not sure I knew either, except that last night I felt a mess. I felt as if everything had come to a crashing halt and that I had failed because I couldn't make the decisions I needed to make about this next stage of my life. Even though nothing needed to be decided last night, I felt frustrated that my mind would go blank when I asked myself, "What is it you want to do?" I felt like finding a Hobbit Hole and hiding away until everything had passed and the decisions were made and I could breathe again.
Of course, as you are assuredly thinking right now, that will never happen. I have to be the one to make the decisions. I don't want to miss out on what is to come. And breathing... well, even when I think I'm not I really am.
This morning I woke with that quote still on my mind. Would you like to know what I saw when I read through it this time? Hope. And that helps me breathe deep. Yes, things seem crazy and I still don't have all the answers, but if I can relate to that quote then it means I know I am growing. I know this is not the end. I know that this will all work out somehow, in some way. I know that I am on my way to my greatest expression.
What I know:
There are certain things I refuse to give up. When I calm and listen, I can feel things I am interested in doing and continuing. I trust that everything will work out in the end. I believe that this open expanse of opportunity will be filled with a multitude of experiences in which I will grow, learn, and live the life I want to live. And even though I don't know all the details, I do know that the panic I felt last night does not need to engulf me in any way. And I will claim that as a victory for the day.