It was two degrees below zero when I headed out the door for my 6am yoga class. With the wind chill, it was actually more like 28 below zero, and the air from my first breath froze my lungs. Through my chattered teeth, I asked myself why the hell I still lived here when I could live just about anywhere else.
But, where would I be if I weren’t right here?
Adventures, maybe? Scaling giant mountains or diving to the bottom of the sea?
Spiritual, perhaps? A Bodhisattva teaching others how to be mindful and compassionate? Meditating for hours, sometimes even days?
An artist? Not a visual artist of course, but maybe to the likes of Hemingway or Maya Angelou? Telling my stories and my opinions to an audience growing by the day, both in numbers and devotion?
Surely, I would be a great beauty! With dark fiery eyes that haunt the dreams of men and keep the women awake at night wondering what sort of mythical power I posses.
Sadly, and not-so-sadly, I am none of these things. Or maybe I am a little of all these things? Who is really to say?
While I might not be a household name with a hoard of followers, or a free spirit darting from place to place, there is still something honorable and intriguing in the life I lead.
I have kept a journal since I could write and feel simultaneously, but because no one has seen it, does that make me a writer? Journaling, to me, is a true, pure form of writing because one is not writing for other people. The author is not catering to an audience or trying to cast themselves in the best light possible. It is the true autobiography, but is it necessarily considered art? Some would say, no. However, some of the most moving, raw, and interesting art is seen by very few.
Living in a little, rugged college town in Wyoming has its perks and its obvious downfalls. It’s a place where you fight the wind, snow, and beyond frigid temperatures for eight months just for a blissful four months of paradise.
I live a life where my kids are my best friends, and watching them grow invokes so many feelings, I couldn’t adequately describe it. Feelings like excitement, fear, sadness, elation, and pride all rolled into on big ball of laughter, tears, and sighs of exhaustion. Motherhood introduces feelings stronger than anything we thought ourselves capable, but to many it is just considered commonplace.
Driving up and down the rolling hills of life is crazy enough the first time, but hopping into the back seat of your children’s world for yet another ride along is a whole different kind of adventure.
To my disappointment, I have discovered that I may not be a great beauty. The sort that inspires tortured, twisted words of song or angry paintings, splattered and bloody. But my smile makes others smile, and my children’s eyes, like my own, shine. Often with happiness and other times with fury, like a true magical force from deep within their hearts.
Our beauty is a simple one. Mottled with life’s imperfections, but passionate and lively because that is what sticks when all else fades.
Where would I want to be if I wasn’t right here? Who would I want to be if I wasn’t me? While the question is fun to ponder, the truth is, if I were meant to be somewhere else, I would probably be there.
The best thing I can do in this simple, humble life is try to maintain the integrity in which I live it; teach my children to do the same through my actions more than words, and always keep my mind and heart open to whatever the universe would like to unveil to me.
In this world of “fix your life, your skin, or your soul in 10 steps or less” it is easy to forget the other side of these instructions.
Some things can’t be changed or fixed, permanently.
Some things, perhaps, shouldn’t be fixed at all.
Sometimes, focusing on the color blue or a walk in nature will do wonders for anxiety or depression, and other times it simply won’t. In these moments, when all the tricks in our emotional health toolbox fail, what will we do?
Often times, life’s downfalls and our own personal faults require much more than a quick fix. It is during these times, what we really need is acceptance and a little bit of faith. We are right where we should be, and we are exactly the person we need to be right now.