NOTE: This was written several weeks ago, and while still all true, some of the turns since then have had me wondering whether or not to share something so close, so personal… but I have decided that this is who I am and I really refuse to be anyone less for anyone, under any circumstances. Change is still on the horizon, but still appears to just beyond that next hill…
Once again, I’m on a plane… why does it still, after all these years, all the trips, all the miles… why do I still do all of my best thinking up here? Removed from my life, but not quite “there” (wherever there might be this time) yet either. Hanging thousands of feet above the world in limbo…
I guess it’s because this is the closest I can come to truly being “in” the world, but not “of” the world. It is from this place that I am pondering my life. From here I can see my past, my present, and possibly my future across the vista. And today, at this moment, the view looks pretty good. Today, I am on a flight to SFO, with Silicon Valley as my destination. Today, I am preparing myself for a half day of interviewing at Google tomorrow. Yes, Google wants to meet me, to talk to me, to see what I can bring to their team. This is a trip that could change my life… like so many trips before. Many of those simply changed my inner life… this trip may change everything.
How did I get here? I look backwards and I can see every stepping stone that bore my weight and led me to this moment. I see all of the people since I was two years old who told me that it was ok to be me, to be everything that I am, in my entirety. Sure, there were those that would’ve rather I’d have played it safe and conformed, just have flown under the radar… but even as much as I tried, I was never completely able to hide my light under a bucket. Somehow it always seeped through the seams, under the cracks and come pouring out. It’s only been in recent years that I have worked to live from that place all the time… to shine all of my light, all of the time. This has proven to be more difficult that I imagined. A simple decision is all it should take, right? Not quite. It has been a study in what it means to be whole, to be authentic, to truly shine with every bit of the stardust that the Universe made me out of.
You may be asking yourself, “What’s so tough about that?” Well, a couple of things actually… first off, there are many people that simply do not want to see that. That find it a personal affront to them for you to be as you as you can be. WTF?? How can that be? Why would they care? Even more so, shouldn’t they applaud the risk? The audacity? The brilliance? The freedom? Well, apparently not. It took me a long time to understand this… Because if you are free to be you, then they are free to be themselves too. Except there’s the rub…they don’t want that freedom, because they don’t know what to do with it. They don’t know how to be themselves, because they don’t even know who they are… and they are pretty sure that they don’t want to find out. Even the looking sounds terrifying. And there it is… you can’t be you, because it scares the crap out of them who they might actually be. And you and your brilliant light are just reminding them of that every single time they see you!
This is where the programming comes in… and where the work to debug that code and create workarounds becomes necessary. And that, my friend, takes some time. Because that programming is buried deep… in your parents’ fear and desire to keep their newborn safe. In your siblings’ jealousy and resentment at your very existence. Not to mention the well-meaning teachers that admonished you to “stay within the lines” of your coloring book, or temper your enthusiasm and not sing quite so loudly, or dance quite so wildly. In all of those people’s words that told you to play it safe, be practical, be realistic, grow up.
These are the things that I have chafed against for as absolutely long as I can remember. Mister Rodgers and the gang on Sesame Street told me that I was amazing, and wonderful, and lovable just the way I was… and I believed them with my whole heart, with every fiber of my being, with every spark of my spirit. My mother may have wanted me to stay small, but the Snuffleupagus said I could do anything that I could imagine… and so I have.
I have beat (for the last 30 years at least) a disease that thinks it can kill me and keep on living. I have shrugged off a family of dysfunction, of people that do not want to know who they are and have met my desire to with barely veiled contempt. I have survived the fall from an amazing educational experience off the cliff into the abyss that has been public education… and somehow, beyond all of my own ability to understand, I was able to build wings on the way down that have given me the opportunity, the willingness, and the joy to soar. And there are a multitude of other, big and little things that have brought me to this time and space in my life… but the biggest one of all is simply grace. I have been given grace beyond all measure and comprehension for what seems like no other reason except the willingness to accept it.
I’ve been writing for a while now, and I am still unable to put into words the space and the amazement I find myself in… all for simply showing up… all for leading with my cotton-candy fluff, repeatedly shattered heart. But at this moment, I have no doubt that I could not live or be any other way. Who I am has brought me here. Who I was made to be brought me to this moment, to this now, to every possibility, to everything this trip will and won’t be, to everything I will become as a result.
Yes, and even to the recent, now ex, bf that is still on my heart, in my mind, and part of my spirit. All that pain, everything I fought for, and against. The parts of me that I would not compromise and the ones I learned that it was time to let go… without ALL of that, I would not be moving into this space, this next phase of my life, as the me that I am right now. And I wouldn’t be able to even comprehend or meet these possibilities if I was anyone less.