When I take a step back and think about it, the last year of my life has been completely insane. It blows my mind that in April 2018, I was five blissfully ignorant weeks away from learning I’d be meeting my birth family. To be honest, over the last twelve months, so much life has been happening that a lot of times, it feels easier to operate on emotional autopilot. Focused on work, focused on the next few days ahead, focused on getting from meeting to meeting, errand to errand, social thing to social thing. Thinking about what the future holds—with my two families, with potential motherhood, with my career—overwhelms.
Recently, I’ve been feeling stuck in a lot of ways, and as I thought about it more, I realized part of the culprit was that I haven’t taken the time to really sit with the events of the last year, and how impactful it’s all been. I’ve been processing piecemeal, but there’s been a bigger shift brewing and I’m not sure what to do with it. I guess you could say when the entire narrative of your life and existence suddenly comes into focus, it feels disconcerting and confusing—albeit empowering. I feel as if for the first time ever, I finally have all the pieces of my identity in front of me, but I’m not sure how those pieces all fit together yet. This experience forces you to examine the parts of you that are still true, and what has changed beyond recognition.
Anyway, I was sharing some of this with friends and my therapist over the last week. One friend wisely told me to stop looking for solutions and just sit with the discomfort—which she’s right, I should (my impetus, as always, is to problem solve and wipe my hands clean of a situation). I brought this topic up in a therapy appointment this week, and said something to the effect of, “I think what I’m realizing is I just need to let everything wash over me, and let the wave hit.”
My therapist smiled then shook her head slightly and said, “I dunno. I actually think you should dive deeper into whatever is happening. Go deeper and underneath the wave. Just because you’re exploring and allowing yourself to feel something doesn’t mean it has to pummel you and take you out.”
I’ve been thinking about that visual a lot since we talked about it. Swimming down deeper into darker, unknown waters, lungs about to burst, but trusting, trusting. If you’ve ever swum underneath a huge wave as it crashed, you’ll know from underneath you can observe its strength, its purpose, the places where it breaks, the beauty of something raw and powerful that you have no control over.
I don’t even know what swimming deep underneath my particular wave will look or feel like, at least not yet. But I do know I liked this visual—really, this challenge—enough that I wanted to share it with you. Just in case you have your own storms you have been swimming in. Maybe now’s the time to dive underneath the next tidal wave, and see the world anew.
“If you obsess over whether you are making the right decision, you are basically assuming that the universe will reward you for one thing and punish you for another.
The universe has no fixed agenda. Once you make any decision, it works around that decision. There is no right or wrong, only a series of possibilities that shift with each thought, feeling, and action that you experience.”
– Attributed to Deepak Chopra, found here