So many events have happened in my life that I should be content about such as: Finally, having insurance and getting my eyelid retraction surgeries in February; working as a technician at a retina clinic; getting accepted to nursing school; bonding with my brother; joining a grieving group; etc.
Everything that I worked towards is either happening or being set in motion and it scares me that everything we desire may come true one day. It’s said to be careful what you wish for and I’m one of those people who dreams with my heart wide open; ones that are fearless, limitless and hopefully, long-lasting.
Yesterday, at WBEZ’s Global Activism Expo, I attended a session where an organization had the following goals it wanted to instill in children:
“I am a gift, I am surrounded by gifts and I become a gift to my community.”
These are all goals I need to learn to believe in more. I keep telling myself that when I start living my dreams out and when my visions are realized, that’s when I’ll be content; that I’ll think of myself as a gift. Either you need to be really egotistical or a miracle baby or a genius to think you’re a gift. And I only want one of those things.
The idea of thinking you’ll be content in the future if X happens is ridiculous because there’s no guarantee that anything will happen. And yet, I’ve reached some of my dreams and I’m still not content. What does that say about me? that I’m fickle. I’m still working on feeling alive in the present moment and trying to find ways to feel content about my current situations and relationships.
The truth is so much has gradually changed in my life over the past five years that I am shocked that I’m still experiencing grief and loss and attributing my reactions to different situations to it; that ramifications of my family’s deaths and my Graves’ Disease are this long lasting and so rooted in my psyche that I can never escape them. Those chapters will never close and it’s so naïve of me to think I can walk away from these experiences and be able to move forward and learn from them. I will always be learning and drawing conclusions from them at every milestone or struggle in my life. It’s almost as if all these new developments in my life give me the illusion of starting over or moving on but I know, no one can truly start over because your heart goes wherever you go. By starting over, I literally mean moving away, making new friends, having a new career, finding and being in love, etc.
I might be a little stronger because of these experiences but they have shaped my life so deeply that I don’t understand the person I’ve become and how it impacts my relationships. Am I who I am because of these experiences or because I choose to be this way? The classical nature or nurture versus free will debate. I certainly don’t choose to be blindly optimistic and idealistic; it must be an imbalance in my chemical makeup. I don’t choose to feel sad and dejected and then, overwhelmingly happy and rejuvenated in the span of an hour. How much of your experiences define your current affairs and relationships in life? How much of your emotions can you control?
And then, there’s the issue of lacking faith. How does one go from deeply believing in God to feeling so indifferent to faith? In the past, I would look out for red flags in my behavior; today these “red flags” are everywhere whether it’s distancing myself from childhood friends, opening up to new experiences, developing new habits and changing old ones, etc.
I call it becoming open-minded and growing up but I know so many religious people would call it digression. It’s normal for me to do things I would never consider before. Why am I so afraid to acknowledge this different person I’m become publicly?
Mostly, I’m worried about what my parents are thinking, even if they’re not physically in this world, I worry about their opinions of me.
I’m also worried about whether I’m making the right choices; will I look back at my current life and be OK with who I’ve become or will I want to “start over” again?