In the not so distant past, I had what Oprah would call an “aha moment.” It all stemmed from an unexpected announcement that left me reeling. Hurt and angered by the news, I was bewildered by the injustice of it all. I felt like I’d been sucker-punched.
Several days later, I sat down with a friend and revealed my plight and feelings of frustration. I’d been backed into the corner and didn’t know how to fight my way out. Whereas I was emotional, my friend was rational. The advice, perspective and plan for action this friend gifted to me led me on my way to having that aha moment.
See, I’d always been a determined lady growing up. By the time I was 15, I knew what I wanted to do, what I wanted to be. I had dreams and goals. While some of my fellow high school classmates selected colleges because they offered a wide range of studies for the undecideds, I searched for universities that would let me pursue my two loves: writing and acting.
That laser focus grew blurry in my 20s following graduation. By 23, the disappointment in myself was not only growing stronger, it was planting deep roots. Truthfully, I always thought I’d be living a different life than the one I was living. I wasn’t entirely at peace with the one I had.
Fast forward to today and my 30s and, after some bumps along the road, I’m certain that I’m getting back on track. Life doesn’t look like how I pictured it as a teenager, but deep down, I sense that when I finally come to the end of my story, it’s going to be better than how I imagined it would be.
I came home that night after the conversation with the friend, buoyed by the advice and the plan I’d be putting into action. Before I could do so, however, I had to release all of that emotion pent up inside me. The rage, anger, frustration, disappointment and whatever the heck else was locked up needed to go away. Far away.
So, my living room became the stage and I came striding out into the middle of it, the sole performer. I delivered a monologue to the universe and to myself. My husband John and two intrigued, lounging cats were the unsuspecting audience members who listened as I let the words flow. I also let the tears flow when they did, and I didn’t hold them back. I continued my impromptu speech and cried as I spoke.
What did I say? Well, I stopped apologizing for myself, my past and the choices I made up until this point. I embraced those choices because who was I to say what could have been right or what might have been wrong? The truth was, if I made a few different choices here or there, then I wouldn’t have other things in my life. It was time to come to terms with that.
From now on, I was moving forward. And then I thought of water – a stream, a river.
I am the stream, the river, always moving forward, I said, loud and clear.
I might feel like I’m stuck in the river rock, churning and bubbling with rage like the rapids. But no more.
Every experience moves me forward, forward and I glide with ease over every rock, past any rapid. I cannot, will not, be contained.
My river moves me forward, forward. My will was as strong as ever.
I was ready to stand up for myself, reclaim my determination and take back my power. I refused to be an observer in my own life and I’d never be held back again.
I am the stream, the river.
I am always moving forward.