Wild Child Flying Free
In one picture this is my kid. Flying free in wings of his own invention. With a mix of physics and magic he soars across the grass barely landing before tweaking the design just a little. Maybe it’s a new curve to the wings or invoking the birds and bats. This is the work of the moment, the look of concentration. This is what he saw when all I saw was boxes to be broken down.
The Invisible Bridge is the way to describe every morning, maybe really every moment- trusting that once I open my eyes and step out into the world that the world isn’t going to come crashing down. That sounds ominous, like I don’t believe in free will or my ability to survive. That isn’t it, is a beautiful scary thing, this trusting in life.
I’ve always been sure of the things that made me whole, or at least as whole as I could be. At some point in the last decade I lost that confidence. Whether that came from becoming a mother and a partner or if it was just from all the other outside influence always telling me what was best for me- my family- my child. At a certain point I forgot that I was more than a response to the people around me. While that can seem selfless and caring, it was really a good way to hide from who I needed to be.
It isn’t that parents can’t find themselves within their families. Just that I was hiding in the role of “good Mama” from all the parts of myself that made me whole. Because not everything that make you whole is easy. Easy is saying yes to doing what other people think you should be doing. Easy is just following along.
Except it isn’t.
I became someone in between. Between what was right for me and what other people expected of me. When you are in between you can’t do anything, not what you know you should or what other people think you should. I lost all confidence.
Drifting between things I once was passionate about without ever caring.
There was always the voice in my head reminding me that I wasn’t doing life right, that I wasn’t being like everyone else. But being like everyone else never fit, even just trying drained me. Left me acting out the small bits of being that I could. I was no use to anyone. I would just string together things over a day that might keep me engaged a little. But mainly I kept moving; walking, driving, I could get lost in the movement.
Friends were a big help. Most of them never knew that I was living in the between. But they were there, in Mama groups in the park, the rhythm of daily coffee with friends, conversation on the porch. But one can’t live in those moments only- everyone has to go home at some point.
The only times I felt awake and whole were camping. Out there life made sense, there was reason and a way. There was space and calm. The sun warmed me and the shadows made me rush to find a sweater or start a fire. Out in the woods were we part of a larger system, one that demanded things of us but also gave back.
Then it stopped making sense. I can’t tell you exactly when or what changed but I just knew I need to wake up. Of course the space between understanding that a change needs to happen and finding the strength is a different sort of in between. Not always a happy one, but it has momentum.
Now I spend everyday stepping out onto the Invisible Bridge, trusting that I know what to do next. Most days it’s okay, most days I have a plan. But there are still moments where I’m not sure I’m heading in a direction, right or wrong. The world can still seem far away and disheartening. But I keep engaging and doing that I will continue to heal to become whole again.