News flash to self: I am not at the wheel of control.
Age has provided me the perspective to say that sentence with absolute conviction and carefree joy. And I’ve given the chatty, know-it-all control freak forever riding shotgun with me a big, thick coloring book to keep her busy. She’s so focused on trying to stay inside the lines—or popping her head up to say “I told you so” after every epic face plant of mine—that she misses out on the swirling magic happening all around.
And fear? I know she’s always going to be part of me, too, stretched out on the back seat with her eyes squeezed shut. Now I just stop and let her walk it off every now and then, wringing her hands and ticking off the failures. Once she’s settled back down I can actually look at her list as proof I’m still moving forward, hitting walls that simply sent me bumping along down a new path. There may be a few scratches and dented fenders, but the places I’ve ended up and the experiences I’ve had are beyond my wildest dreams.
When I started wandering down this part of my life after folding the magazine almost seven years ago—and what felt like the evaporation of my whole identity—the only things I knew for certain were what I didn’t want. Those things were easy to spot, since experience gifted them with not-so-subtle flashing lights and screaming sirens. Now I just pull over and let them pass, wishing them well as they go by.
The beauty in accepting that it’s all a fantastic ride when I’m simply true to myself, fully present and open to where things might take me is so apparent now. And what my life has turned into is a wonderful extension of all the good things that came before: producing workshops with artists who’ve been friends of mine for over 20 years; songwriting retreats at a villa in Tuscany that now feels like home; and a new workshop adventure at a castle in Scotland. Who gets to do this?? This degree of happiness and fulfillment is not on a map or something I could have planned.
And so ever onward I go. Running off the road here and there, but laughing and filled with amazement across every mile. This stretch of life is most definitely a lovely and magical ride.
Category: Note From Lydia