I had a dream last night that I was about to bungee jump into dark, cold, shark-infested waters. I knew that when I hit the water I'd be in complete darkness. I was fearful that a shark would be near and I wouldn't be able to see him to try and get away before he attacked. When I woke I realized the dream symbolized how I'm feeling about life. I'm diving into the unknown. I can't see the future and this little voice in the back of my brain likes to chat about failure. I believe this fear of what might happen is what holds us back in life. When I first moved to California I was in a long-term relationship, living in an apartment I hated, and focused on a partnership where I felt I was third in importance. Though I loved the man I was with, I felt I was living his life instead of the one I desired. I was lonely without friends, I couldn't sleep because of the stress of hating my life, and the spirit inside me felt stuffed into a box.
For five years, I contemplated leaving. I loved this man with everything I was, but I wasn't happy. Each time I went to take the step to leave, fear roared: you will end up alone and broke; Christmas will be horrible without him; you'll be in your late thirties without the chance of marriage or kids; you'll never be loved again; the pain of losing him will be too much.
Two years ago today, I chose to pack my stuff and leave. The break-up ripped me apart. I had given my entire spirit to this man and I believed his love made me worthwhile.
I look back at the woman who lived in that apartment and I don't recognize her. While I was in the relationship I struggled with weight. I fought day and night to diet and exercise to take off the layer of padding. No matter what I did, the weight wouldn't come off. This morning I woke and weight loss wasn't on my mind. In going after my dreams I live an active life that keeps my body in great shape.
There was a time that I dreaded Mondays because I didn't want to face another week of stress, loneliness, and hurt. This week started with going to church and getting hugged by amazing people. Then I went to a hockey game with friends. I'll skate, ski, dance, go rock-climbing, get together for a writer's group, plan a trip to S. America, trade massages with my girlfriend, and have a girl's night out by week's end.
Do I still fear? Yes. The biggest one being that I'm waiting too long to have children. Is it scary to do this on my own without a partner to support me? Absolutely, but it also gives me the freedom to live for myself.
Two years ago I jumped into dark, cold waters that were shark-infested. I went through pain, I was alone, and yet out of it came the greatest life I could imagine.
I could've stayed down and said, "Woe is me, my life is horrible." I could've ran to the next relationship to fill the void, but I would've ended up being the same person. Instead, I chose up. I decided I wanted everything from this life. I guess that's why at the end of last night's dream I overcame my fears and jumped.