It takes courage to be willing to meet myself over and over again, seeing in my own face more beauty and grace and ability to love than I had hoped for, more judgment and impatience and need than I had feared. I forget that it does not matter how far or how fast I move, but only how much of myself I take along for the journey.
~Oriah Mountain Dreamer
my friend jamie moved to new york yesterday. this is nothing new. she has moved there and countless other places many times in her young and adventurous life. and yet, this time it is something new. this is the first time she will be taking all of herself along. we spoke on the phone this morning, her forgetting the time difference, waking me early, me being glad for the mistake. with jamie I can always hear it in the timbre of her voice, how she's doing. my gut registers the frequencies of what is joy or sadness, terror or calm -- a strange and motherly gift that I have with those I love dearly. I could hear it in her voice, she was peaceful and she felt good about being there. just yesterday we had discussed the flavorful layer cake of fear she was trying to digest as she was boarding the plane... and then it was morning, and she was drinking tea in her new home and she was present in her new life and she knew that little else mattered. this is no small feat, it took her 29 years to arrive at that knowledge and will surely require endless vigilance in her maintaining such a realization.
we talked about how far we had both journeyed away from ourselves in the process of finding ourselves. like dating someone you don't really want to be with so that you can (hopefully) figure out who you do want to be with. it can be that way with yourself. I've been going steady with myself for nearly 3 decades. that's a long time and yet I'm still getting to know me. and if I'm really living, that's not a process that will ever end. I have both loved and hated myself, known myself deeply and wondered who the fuck was looking back at me as I brushed my teeth. I have vigilantly told others the truth only to realize I was lying to myself. I have been proud to know myself and ashamed to the point of hiding. I'm still figuring myself out, but I am not trying to confront only portions of my truth, I am trying to the best of my ability to live them ALL, ALL the time. it's enough to make me want to take a nap just thinking about the implications. I will surely disappoint a lot of people. not compromising my truth will surely offend, let down, frustrate and hurt others, but after years of feeling like that would be the worst thing I could do, I realize that the worst thing is hiding myself in order to protect others. that's not protection, that's a lie. we all deserve truth. we all need to be strong enough to accept that other's honesty might not be the easiest thing to hear, but that it's the only thing we should want to hear. we are strong enough.
jamie is in new york because she stopped protecting herself from what she really wanted. no matter what happens in new york, she has already succeeded on the only level that really matters, she is there. all of her. and all of me is so proud of her and all the other people in my life who take all of themselves along wherever they may be and wherever they are going. we are strong enough.