From a fresh night, the breeze sometimes takes a break from rustling the leaves of the trees outside to enter the room unexpectedly, swirling. When traffic quiets down, I can hear the ocean clapping in the lagoon. The elements sound a bit restless, agitated tonight. I’m smiling softly at the thought that it’s mirrorin my inner weather right now, as often.
I am once again starting this essay not knowing where it will take me. Frustrated that I don’t have the clarity I’d like lately. Uncertainty leaves me unsettled. In my family, we don’t do fogginess well. I used to follow those footsteps, only doing things I was certain of and clear on.
Almost twenty years ago though, all of this changed. You see, when you almost die at 16, and have to spend a year relearning how to walk because your spine broke, when you did nothing more than taking a ride home from a friend of a friend, chances are you realize certainty is never a given.
Before this, I knew that people and love weren’t a given already. My heart broke in millions of pieces before that quite a few times. But when mortality gets so much in your face, something deeper is shaken.
After that, I stopped playing by the rules, especially those I never quite understood or couldn’t see the value of. I was a very nice little girl, very much trying to please the adults around me. It started to change during my teen years, and the Accident emphasizes my anger.
From there, I also started to focus on the little I knew, and tried to never forget that people around me talked a lot with certainty about life and such, but didn’t seem to know that much in the end. So I started to experiment more by myself, and see the results it was bringing me. Still, fear was quite a fierce opponent, and brought me down more than once, sometimes for years at the time.
I spent many years not moving in my life. Depression is a heavy anchor, let me tell you. For years, I felt like I was mourning without knowing what exactly. Now I know, I was mourning EVERYTHING in my life.
The loneliness, the broken heart, the anger, the love I was dreaming of, the life I would never have, the people that left, sometimes even without dying or moving, everything.
Retrospectively, I’d say I needed to let all that out so I could breathe again. I wish I knew that during all those dark nights of the soul, when I was feeling all alone, terrified and lost. When it felt like it was never going to stop.
On "whims", after that, I made very bold moves intuitively and spontaneously, like leaving my alma mater to spend a year doing internships to have enough experience to enter another university the year before I graduated. So I could study a psychology I was believing in.
Or leaving my country to leave in London with my favourite person after being with him only for a few months. Another bigger move, 8 years later, with our relationship incredibly shaky, to the other side of the world, to the tiniest island.
In all those instances, I was terrified, full of self doubt, feeling deeply irresponsible.
But I was also running from what felt like death of the soul, while what was expecting me on the other side of those doors were singing to my heart.
I could hear that little calm voice saying “That’s what we need right now. That’s the kind of stuff we always dreamed of.”.
All those intense feelings together have a way of driving us to our tipping point, that moment when fear doesn’t matter as much. Sheer terror and utter ectasy were full on and woven together, always. It taught me that turning points in life are never certain. That this mix of fear, frustration and excitement is what deep, brave and meaningful change is made of.
Think about it, my dear hummingbird, when was the last time one of your biggest moves was easy, fearless and certain?
So if you’re like me, mostly or completely in the dark, lost and/or stuck, follow your curiosity. She’s your heart's best friend, she will always lead you where you need to be if you let her. Trust her. The fear only tells us something important is happening here.