Truth be told, there is nothing ‘idle’ about me. I feel most at home in my body when I’m on the go, embracing the fluidity I have been blessed with. What’s even better is when I’m able to move in harmony with another, my favorite being a horse. My mind seems to follow my body’s lead in congruence, reliably mulling over one thing or another. Chipping away at a goal, even if the goal must be creatively dreamt up. I am pretty certain my spirit animal is the Energizer Bunny. The beat of my metaphorical drum sounding its predictable melody day after day.
It was so much easier to feel at home in my mind and body before my world got turned on its head.
My paths to busy were smooth from years of trekking. My mindfully preoccupying outlets were secure and oh-so-comfortable. I practically purred from contentment.
I had the security of a textbook, the support of superior supervising professionals, and the joy of my horse I felt soulfully connected to.
The noise of my contentment drowned out the fact time was marching forward. Subtle, and then all at once, I was met with the consequence of growing up.
I’m left looking around my world, lost in the aftermath of a chapter of a good time.
Clutching a halter with no horse to catch, entering a barn with no whinny to welcome.
The letters following my name signal my expertise, however lonely it may be.
Grief has become a heavy brick I tote around during my days. I have mastered the art of neatly tucking it away as I pull on my ‘therapist-mask’ to disguise the sadness pooled behind my eyes. I admit, I leave this mask on after I exit the therapy room on days the brick is too rough to sit with. It creates distance not only from myself, but from my longing for the mane I so desperately want to bury my face in.
Yet, despite this brick, I have also begun to feel joy again. At first, it came out of nowhere; the laughter bubbled up from my chest, clearing out the cobwebs as it sounded from my soul. The reason was just as equally ridiculous. I was watching a short clip of people parkouring onto foam, yelling from the top of their lungs. Something in me clicked into place, as if a cogwheel within my heart became unstuck. For whatever reason, something about the ridiculousness of these men flinging themselves off of high places to land dramatically in a pile of foam was deeply relatable. A perfect example of what it has felt like to move through this past year. Suddenly, I was peeling with laughter, the sound startling all occupants of my home. For those few moments my soul leaned into joy and I relished in the lightness. As if I had rubbed the fog off a cloudy mirror and caught a glimpse of the girl who had gone into hibernation the moment she kissed her beloved horse goodbye.
Since then, I’ve been mindful about my body and mind’s propensity for both. During my days, I take note of the heaviness of my evolving grief, and yet the beginnings of other sensations like passion and enjoyment. Feelings I had all but given up on. Feelings I soulfully believed were buried alongside Sadie. I traveled through life for a long time believing she was the keeper of my happy.
While Sadie took such good care of my heart, it’s time for me to take back ownership. It was never Sadie’s burden to bear the responsibility of my joy, and I realize this now. She blessed me with innumerable gifts, and the ability to grow up with the guarantee of my happy being tangible out in the world was one of them. No matter the obstacle, she was there. No problem could outweigh the promise and security I knew from the love of that creature. It’s the kind of fierce love that knows no limits, even after one soul is gone. I feel her all around me, and I feel her in the preservation of my joy.
Sometimes sadness can bear an overpowering brunt on us. Anger can flow through our veins and ignite us with rage. But I want to recognize that these times are guaranteed temporary. Our range of emotion and the rhythm of the ocean have something in common in that is they flow. Emotions and the ocean waters are never stagnant. There is a promise in our abilities to feel more than one emotion at any given time. Just as we can be brimming with sorrow, we can also peel with laughter than warms our bones and hurts our cheeks. We can feel deeply, and many things at a time, and this is a good thing. This is our ticket to healing.
Lean into the space where the comfortable and uncomfortable exist.
This is authenticity in its rawest form.