I ached for independence and being my own master.
I can’t say I enjoyed being subordinate to everyone, but that’s how we all start off. We come into the world knowing nothing and wanting everything. We need information, mentors and teachers.
I seemed surrounded by elders and people with varying amounts of knowledge of the world. Nevertheless I was trying to gather as much knowledge as I could and then turn it into a road map for living my own life.
Sometimes I learned more from people’s mistakes than their wisdom.
…And then came the time when I embraced life for myself and made my own way. I don’t think I looked back as I hit the ground running. Running straight at life.
It was both thrilling and daunting. Thirty years later and it’s still daunting, but the thrills are much harder to find and also come at a very real cost.
I have often found myself in search of mentors who could share their insights and wisdoms. I searched for such people for most of my life and maybe, in some ways, I still am.
Especially now, during a period when life is riddled with health issues, questions, anxieties and pain, I would have loved to find someone with ALL the answers to these problems… but there isn’t any out there. And those out there are battling their own personal challenges. And that is the reality of it.
We all have our own experiences and challenges and it is very hard to know who to turn to when times are tough.
Often when loved ones and family have hurt or abandoned us, the lure to turn to complete strangers for help and assistance seems very strong. Sometimes we feel we have no other choices.
I have been especially grateful for the kindness and inspiration from certain strangers in my times of need, but, after all is said and done, they are still strangers and may never know us on a much deeper and meaningful level.
They don’t ever really have a sense of who we are as they have not had years to develop loyalty and understanding of us.
And sometimes it’s very dangerous to overinvest in strangers, especially if we are empowering these strangers with the ability to validate or impact our lives.
I must never expect a stranger to know me or ‘fix’ my challenges. But I am grateful when we can connect and have a shared understanding of a situation or experience.
Sometimes closer friends and family just cannot ever offer us that. Sadly. Painfully. And we must walk some of the hardest roads on our own.
However wonderful it would be to meet that one person who we can pour our hearts to. Who can understand exactly where we are coming from and what we are trying to cope with. Someone who knows us for all our good and difficult points yet accepts and honoured us…And…someone who is loyal and compassionate is a true treasure IF they can be found.
It would be wonderful to find the person who has all the answers to every problem and every difficulty that we encounter with these chronic, progressive and isolating illnesses. Someone who can offer us exactly what we need when we need it.
But it’s been my experience that this just doesn’t exist. And the older I get, the more I realize that that the chances of meeting such a person is so low AND I also believe that it has become less and less important for to me to find them…
As I get older, the more I feel more at peace about carrying my own burdens, my questions, my anxieties and following my own heart and inner voice. I can assure myself when it’s time to put down the heavy load and believe that tomorrow will be another day. I am getting better at just breathing and silencing the noise.
I enjoy solitude far more now. I relish the quiet these days. Sometimes the best friend has been the sunshine, fresh air and a loving fur companion.
Even after a decade of chronic struggles I have found that I have far more unanswered questions than answered ones. But maybe they are meant to be unanswered. Maybe the answer acceptance.
These riddles are beiginng to bother and worry me less and less now.
I have learned how to manage a lot of my pain and anxieties much better. AND I am much better at accepting myself, therefore alleviating the need to find acceptance and validation from ‘others’.
I can feel myself turning more inwards and towards the things I truly trust and enjoy whilst becoming more and more quieter and deaf to the noises ‘out there’.
Life has, and will, become much smaller, but it has slowly become happier, quieter, kinder, more manageable and more supportive… and maybe I can become more like that person I have always been always been looking for. Maybe they have been growing inside me all the time?