And so the journey began…the journey to find me. When a path closes, it feels like we’re dying because our identities are threatened. When it happened to me, the stories about how I saw myself didn’t fit anymore; but I didn’t have any new ones to replace them. I thought of myself as a mom, a wife, a daughter, a business owner. Those words described my relationship with others, but who was I, not defined by anyone else? I had become what I thought everyone wanted me to be and during that process, I lost me. I realized I had submerged many parts of myself and I had no idea where they were. I felt paralyzed, like a deer in the headlights – I knew something was coming, but I couldn’t get out of the way.
Path to Passion
When a path closes and one stage of our lives is complete, we come to a crossroads. Approaching the crossroads, the inner stirrings begin. Something doesn’t feel quite right. You can’t put your finger on it, but you have a sense of impending change. During this time of uneasiness, you might have feelings of boredom, flights of fantasy (running away), anxiety, depression, or even physical disease. Then one day, you don’t even know who you are. You used to know, but now you’re not so sure. It was over twenty years ago when I came to that crossroads.
On the surface, everything in my life looked fine. I was married to a good man, my two sons were out of high school, and I owned my own business. Everyone around me thought I was crazy for feeling so lost, but I was experiencing a profound shift in how I viewed the world. I knew going forward my life would look very different. I had no idea how it would look, but I felt driven to find out why I was here and what I was supposed to do.
When we’re at the crossroads, what was falls apart…and what will be has not yet emerged. I was about to step into the void. I remember it so clearly. I felt like I was stepping off the edge of a mountain into thin air. I had no idea where I would land or even if I would land. I went into solitude, exploring “what was”…“what is”…“what could be.” I believe we always have choices and I had to choose. Did I want to stay in the rut, believing that I must be who I always had been? It was my choice – to stay in the pain of procrastination or to move into the possibilities of passion. I knew what I had to do, but couldn’t imagine how I would ever do it. I also knew that if I stayed where I was, I would get sick, probably cancer, and die. Finally, I got the courage and stepped off the edge of the mountain, believing the wind would support me. My path to passion began!