So here I stand on the cusp on 2016. I’ve just woken up in Bangkok, Thailand after a long plane ride with the most difficult passenger I’ve ever encountered. I’m so very tired and sore, but I gotta say… I’m blissfully content.
It’s not a phrase I throw out lightly. It hasn’t come without it’s challenges. But that makes it all the more sweeter. The moments I can feel emotions like this without the underlying sense of emptiness… Well… Let’s just say it doesn’t come without a ridiculous amount of gratitude and appreciation.
It’s taken me a lot to get here. I’ve spent the past two years floating around, completely disconnected and isolated from everything I once knew. To be fair, I’ve never quite felt like I fit in to the world around me anyway. The only place I ever felt like I fit in was with Mike.
I suppose when you’ve been caring for someone for so long, it’s hard to know who you are. You start to lose yourself through all the intent focus on another being. Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. And Mike was still so concerned about me even with all he was going through that it went both ways.
I remember the last time I took him outside. We were sitting underneath the willow tree and after a particularly horrible Christmas, I was assuring him I would be okay. And I meant it. I know it sounds pretty self involved, but he died only days after that. And I think that was also one of the things he needed to hear to be able to move on because he was always so worried about how I would be after he was gone. And so that night he passed, I laid underneath the tree, face pressed on the cold but delightfully earthy ground and whispered into the night that it was time for him to take care of himself, and for me to take care of myself.
And so for the last two years that’s what I’ve been doing. And in order to take care of myself, I needed to find out who I am again. It’s been a series of random and amazing experiences. So much struggle, confusion, doubt and fear. But through all those times, the image I’ve held in my mind’s eye is this… Of me walking directly into the fire, when my past has been predominantly shying away from it. Walking directly into the fear and craziness. Having absolutely no idea what is going on. Not knowing how to make sense of the world anymore. And doing it all anyway. And the metaphorical burns that have been inflicted have only made my spirit stronger. I feel like I am most in line with who I am than ever before.
So here I am now. First stamp in a shiny new Thai passport from a one way ticket. Not really having a place to call home, but feeling the most at home I have ever been. It’s a time of so many unanswered questions. But so very many possibilities.
And I understand this is all rather vague. I promised to catch you up on the past two years and have not yet delivered. It’s a pretty long story. And I’m so very exhausted. Yesterday I traveled on the day that marked two years since Mike’s death. Purely by ‘coincidence’ if I were to believe those actually existed. I wanted to mark the new year in the place where I realised I finally felt complete again. The place I found my inner freedom and joy. So after I welcome the new year, perhaps I’ll let you in on what has led me here ;)
So I wish you all a happy new year. I hope it’s filled with creativity, passion and adventure. And no matter where you are or what you’re going through, I hope you find some peace.