I'm sitting on my bed, which is sitting in my dad's spare room. My dog is cuddled up against me, belly exposed, breathing deep and slow with contented grunts sprinkled in. I'm 32 years old, and I recently jumped off a cliff. It was metaphorical, although the damage — both physical and mental — feels very real. I had a house, a husband, a plan to start a family. And then this anchor appeared in the pit of my stomach, weighing me down, dragging me back out of my life so I could actually look at it. Some inner voice was calling to me, begging me to listen: I wasn't happy. I wasn't on the path I was supposed to be on, perhaps meant to be on. I kept sacrificing my vision for a vision I thought I was supposed to have. I was a plastic pink figure sitting in a tiny red car, spinning the wheel that really only took me through a limited number of squares in the game of life. I was the right age to be married, to have a house, to try to have babies.
And I walked away.
This decision has caused moments of panic, of terror, of regret. But overwhelmingly, it has also felt right. It has also opened doors to new experiences. It will also force me to reconnect with myself, to ask the question — what do I really want? What is it I'm going to pursue?
In one month, I'll move into an apartment by myself, living alone again for the first time in about eight years. I will decorate lavishly, surround myself in comfort, set up space so I can be creative. I will paint and write and dance and sing in this new place until I know which path I want to travel next.
I will play my favorite music in the apartment, and I will bring a new dog into my life there. I will take work meetings and I will bring friends.
There is no great epiphany here. I'm in the middle of the muck, and while I can see the sun I'm still pretty sticky down here. But one foot in front of the other.