I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t happy with my job. I wasn’t happy in my marriage. I no longer felt secure in my home and I could no longer tell my kids that everything would be okay with a sparkle in my eyes.
See, I used to carry the desire for adventure in my back pocket. I wanted to see the world, do something important…I wanted to help people and nothing was going to stop me. Steve Jobs once said that the people who believe they will change the world are the ones that actually do…or something like that. I’m typing this in notes on my iPhone while traveling surrounded by nothing but clouds. Honestly, it’s the only place that I find peaceful nowadays.
Life is funny like that…once your worst nightmare happens in your safe place, everything else is fair game. I lost my fear of flying or being bit by a shark. Oh yeah, about that…I met a guy on my travel assignment that survived a shark attack. Maybe it was then that I realized I’m my only limit. I learned that I invested way too much of my energy into caring what others thought about me. I don’t do that anymore. We’ve all had our own shark bites. We all deal with trauma in our own way and I’m still learning to deal with mine. What I do know is that I no longer expect people to understand. As a matter of fact, I hardly have expectations anymore. Life is better that way.
I’m no longer bitter. I no longer hold resentment towards the people who treated me unfairly. No matter how much I wanted them to be, they weren’t my people. I’m special. So are you. I care. Too much. And I’ve learned to love that about myself. I feel this way when I fly. Who are you without any labels? I don’t want to know if you’re a mother, what you do for a living, or what kind of car you drive.
Who ARE Y O U? Maybe that’s why flying does this to me…because I’m above all the pain, the labels, the responsibilities. I have time to think about who I am and what I want out of life without all the other distractions. I’m a better person when I take the time to reset. Aren’t we all? Give yourself some grace…some time. And realize that time doesn’t heal all wounds. Learn that it’s okay to be a little broken. But put yourself back together in a way that matters. PTSD and trauma never completely go away, but I’ll be damned if I let it destroy me. I will rise above it. I’ll fly in the clouds as many times as it takes without offering an apology to anyone for how I choose to reconfigure the broken parts of me. I’ll swim in the middle of the ocean in a country I’ve never been, hike a mountain in a new state, and say hi to a stranger even though it makes me uncomfortable. Because being comfortable is boring anyway and I want to feel alive again.