Impatiently waiting for my body to heal, I don’t think I’ve learned this lesson quite yet.
I wrote that sentiment two injuries ago, last February in another case of misdiagnosed stress-fractures.
I guess you could say my life has been a series of stress-fractures, tectonic plates pushing against each other to make mountains out of my many wanderings. (As my friend Catherine coined recently, mountains are my ‘aesthetic‘).
These stress-fractures – both physical and mental challenges – have always cropped up in my life when I’m hurtling too fast towards an idyllic unknown. Patience is a ‘virtue’ I’ve never embodied, and frankly one I never before considered carefully. In my last twenty years, I’ve applied the underscored mantra of journalists a little too close to heart: Speed over accuracy.
But it takes time to put the jumbled, broken pieces into a new formation. In innumerable moments I have been restless, frenzied, skeptical, doubtful, and fearful in my last four years. I’ve sought a satisfaction I never thought I could achieve in the here-and-now – the summit of a mountain I didn’t want to climb.
Now that I’m descending the ladder of my undergraduate experience, I see myself climbing down to an attainable level of earthly pursuits – with no hard feelings attached.
My grandmother’s passing last year spun my world into a new perspective. I have realized with a painful acuteness the hours that I’ll never spend with her, the memories I’ll never make with her, and the woman she’ll never know I am becoming.
But my life is surrounded and enriched by so much love. My remaining family members are here with me, every step of the way, sending letters in my mailbox and messages in my loneliness. My close friends here in Athens are few but rich in warmth and connection. My education has been stimulating, my mentors have been encouraging, and my prospects are seemingly limitless in capacity.
Coming back down to Earth for an airy Aquarius has been humbling. I was always afraid to ‘aim low’ for fear that I’d have to clip my wings, resign and commit to a life lived in boring exodus from the clouds.
My Redwoods tattoo has served both as a physical reminder and a spiritual anchor in my awakening this year.
Patience is a seed I’m sowing with my newfound stability, and I am learning to take life in stride.
If I’m lucky, I have years ahead of me – years to live out West, years to fly somewhere new, years to learn so much more, and years to make new connections.
If I’m not as lucky, then I hope my journey starting now won’t be for vanity. If I lay down forever on this path I’m on, at least now I hope I’ll appreciate what a lovely view ‘halfway there’ can be.
If I can offer any advice to lingering insecurities: take time to heal yourself, to let choices appear, to let anger dissipate and anxiety escape. Breathe and release, and sit in uncertainty. Contemplate, ruminate, but don’t hesitate to listen to your intuition – you have stopped believing for a reason.
Life is a journey, and life is a climb. Sometimes this means you have to step sideways or backwards to go in the direction of forwards. Don’t forget to look around, and realize how lucky we are to be alive right now. (Thanks, Eliza.)
If life is a story I’ll never finish reading, then I’m learning to revel in the words I’ve already written.