A seedling is such a fragile thing. So is a newly sober person. And then, sixty days go by. You start to get really really really great ideas about your life. You start to get unafraid. Suddenly there are chances to be taken. Dances to be danced. Hair to be let down. How cool.
I started thinking about how I want to spend my life. How to earn money since I need to work unless we want to live in the car. What will satisfy the bill collectors and my soul. Before I would have immediately told that little self to shut up, none of that "pie in the sky" stuff for you. Plod along. Make decent money. Good benefits. Give your soul to the "man". Be a minion. A playing it safe sycophant. Please- don't rock the boat.
But I started thinking about what I could do that would make me feel "real" on the inside. I got really brave and thought things like "go back to school" and "master's degree". I told my parents about it and they acted like I'd said I was abandoning my husband and children and going to join the circus with the bearded lady.
Things were said like "Too old" and "Children! Responsibilities!" There was crying. Yelling. Leaving.
I'm forty one years old. I know I don't need their approval. I was looking for encouragement and found quite the opposite. (Giant life clue: This could be part of my problem. Stop trying to get everyone to like you and what you do. Approve of self.)
So I left and didn't call. My mom wrote me and said sorry. We talked and I stood up for myself. I didn't try to soothe her, and it hurt to hear her cry over the phone, but I said my truth. Mine.
What surprised me the most of how strongly I felt that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. That I don't have to be afraid anymore. Life doesn't have to be this grand ship I'm waving to from shore. I don't have to wonder about all those lucky people, I can be one of them. Or I can be a total fucking failure at something and then hop on another ship. People on boats are especially friendly.
God. Sobriety is such a magical place. I can compare it to this: I have been a seed in a packet. You know a seed is just a seed. It can roll around in the bottom of the drawer just being a little round seed. Until you give it some love. Until you plant it with intention. You put it in the ground and grow it. You grow. You don't ask all the other seeds if you're doing it right. You don't try to be like all the other seeds. You don't settle. You push your tiny seed-y self towards the sun as hard as you can. You grow.
You grow. Up.