Are you waiting for life to “get back to normal” in order to start “living” once again?
In the meantime, you are just going through the motions?
Waiting for that moment to come?
That was me for 10 years!
Yes, I waited for 10 years, for life to “get back to normal.”
Waiting for things to be different. Back to what it used to be. Living like a zombie, asleep, pretending that what was happening was not real, hoping that this was just a bad dream, I will soon wake up from.
For 10 years, I just went through the motions of living. Do what I have to do. Do some more. Get busier. Avoid facing the reality that this was my life.
This all started when I moved from my home country, Ecuador, to the United States.
We call familiar the things we know, the things that we are used to. I was uprooted and taken away from everything that was familiar to me; my home, my family, my friends, my language, my comfort, life as I knew it. I grew up so close to my family, aunts, uncles and cousins and friends from school, whom I have known since kindergarten. I would spend most of my afternoons after school at my friends house, and my weekends at my Grandma’s, where my cousins lived. I had my tribe. I knew exactly where I belonged.
When I moved I was so lost. Nothing was familiar, everything was different. The language, family, friends, cultural background, even Spanish speaking friends had different ways of saying things, the weather! It took me such a long time to really learn how to dress appropriately for the season, nor did I know how to properly match clothing outfits, I was so used to wearing uniforms. Even the school system was so different moving from class to class, instead of having your desk and your classroom for the whole school year! Ugh… it was hard to say the least.
I simply felt like I didn't belong.
I remember every night looking at the sky wishing to be able to be back home or yearning for the future to come so that I could go back home.
That is when I stopped living in the present moment and I started waiting for things to "go back to normal."
I would go back to Ecuador every summer vacation. I was holding on to the illusion for things to have stayed the same. Even though, year after year, I would face the reality that things were shifting, all my friends, and family members were moving on with life. But I was still stuck in the past wanting things to be as they were before. It was as if I was captured in a time box, and life was passing me by, I was not present. I was lost in my suffering. I lost myself, I didn't know who I was anymore. I was just doing what I needed to do. Do some more. Get busier. Avoid facing the reality that this was my life. I was stuck in the past and wanting to go back to a life that NO LONGER EXISTED.
I couldn't face the fact,
that it no longer existed,
it was way too painful to face!
Having the illusion of the past
was easier for my mind to bear,
RATHER THAN FACING REALITY.
Then, I had a life changing experience. I decided to study abroad in Italy!
Once again everything was so new, so different, the people, the language, the surroundings, the food. But this time I was was seeing through the eyes of beauty and possibility, something hadn't done in a long time. For the first time, I could not fade to the background of the hallways of a big high school or on the seat of an auditorium sized class in college. I was living with them, cooking with them, going out with them. For the first time in a long time I felt seen, I felt loved, accepted. I didn't feel different or separate, as I always felt since living in the U.S.
It felt like me again.
That joyous, fun, adventurous, loving friend that I was.
I came back with renewed energy, yet so confused. I had experienced something that perhaps I hadn't felt in 8 years. I felt completely FREE. For that period of time nothing else mattered. I didn't think about going back to Ecuador, or longing to be there or thinking when I will be back. No, I was fully there.
I finally realized there is so much more to life than wishing to “go back.”
This experience brought back the spark of living life, ignited my interest in traveling, food and cooking. This experience woke me up from that bad dream/nightmare I was living in. And the awakening shook things off, I could no longer just go through the motions. I needed to start living!
At first it was hard because being in the present was painful. Accepting the fact that I was wishing for a life that no longer existed was a hard pill to swallow. There was grief, sadness, and discomfort and everything in between. And of course that is not what I wanted to feel, but it was the first step of accepting my life as it was. I could no longer hide from the present.
Then little by little my heart was healing and I was inviting myself to enjoy the ride, the highs and the lows. I found ways to make peace with things that perhaps I didn't enjoy. I learned to make peace with the seasons. I no longer dreaded winter, the darkness, the cold. Now I literally enjoy every season of my life and I have finally learned how to dress appropriately for every season.
I made a promise to never settle again,
to just going through the motions of life.
I chose to live life in the NOW
and make the best of every moment.
I promised myself to live life FULLY!
Recently, our life has abruptly changed. And I keep hearing, when will be "going back to normal"?
I am choosing not to wait for things to "get back to normal" to live my life. That is just an illusion. To me "going back to normal” would mean that we have missed the opportunity to learn and grow out of this experience. If things do not change we have not learned the lesson.
And instead of thinking what will you do differently after all of this passes. How can you start doing those things now?
I am choosing to live now FULLY with whatever I have got.
Will you join me and make the best of this situation?
Can you see this as an opportunity to re-examined your life and see where you want to make changes?
How can you gently lean in to this experience through different lenses?
How can you make the best of this moment right now, as it is?
Life is happening whether we want it or not.
Which will you choose?
Sending you so much love and compassion through this time!
Love and light,