About seven years ago, I was buried.
Buried under responsibilities and change and feeling so not very good at what I was doing and exhaustion that made me slightly insane.
I threw my kids at someone and ran to a place that has helped me in the past, despite not knowing anyone there and never having been there before: a yoga studio. It wasn't too far from our new home (which was both greatly appreciated and also oddly overwhelming to me), and seemed small enough that it might have an actual yogi to instruct the class, rather than an overly peppy kid who still dotted the "i" at the end of her name with a bubble heart.
It was blessedly intimate and smelled of herbs and felt just right.
Everyone had friendly smiles, but remained quiet.
We hit and held our poses, we stretched, we strained, we thought, we cleared our heads, we sweated, we moved as one, then we stopped.
The instructor had us lie in corpse pose, which is flat on our backs, arms by our sides -- a pose I have fallen asleep in on many occasions. Then she walked through a dark room, dabbing a soothing oil on our temples and quietly placing something next to each mat.
Lights back on, packing up, I saw she had put colorful note cards beside each person, and from what I could tell, everyone's had a different message.
I didn't read mine until I got in my car. But when I did, I cried.
I cried because this stranger reminded me to be patient. To raise my kids and keep on moving because there are so many stages in life, so many weeks in our years, so many minutes in our days, that we have to know that not all of them will be on a straight and narrow path to our dreams, our goals, our joys.
I couldn't be everyone's everything all the time. And yes, I include myself in that sentence.
So I let go of the pressures I put on myself, resentments that I now see were frivolous, and disappointment. I was not done yet. I was NOWHERE NEAR done yet. Hopefully there would be time to get where I wanted to be as a person, wife, mother, friend, and so on.
I let things go that weren't good for me, and trusted that what I needed would come when I was ready for it.
Did I still work toward it?
Of course I did.
But I checked my priorities, my wellness, my daily life before I'd do so. I needed to take care of myself before I could take care of others. And those others needed to be taken care of to a certain point before I could release them and move more of a focus onto myself.
Today I turned 40.
My kids are older, more secure in themselves with the lessons I wanted them to learn about life. My husband and I are no longer drowning in parents-of-two-really-young-kidness. They are small people now, funny contributors to household conversation, watching what it takes to make a lasting marriage succeed. We are a family of four personalities in it together, trying and winning and failing and then doing better next time. We're all keeping one another in check while making one another feel loved.
I trusted that what I needed would come, and it has begun -- as promised. I am doing a job I love love love so very much. I do not hesitate to call myself a writer. I can't not write, and now I get paid to do it. It's laughable, how happy I am with what I do, but I work hard to make sure I continue to deserve it.
It took years, but I wrote and finished a novel that is so many pieces of me, and have faith that it will, one day, find its way onto bookshelves and into the hands of the kids, the teenagers, the people who need to get lost in the world that has lived inside my head. This head has spent a lifetime dreaming, creating, escaping, and thriving, and my book is evidence of that. I will be patient, for I believe someday someone will find it as special as I do.
And so I keep moving forward, still, checking my priorities, my wellness, my daily life as I do. Riding the ebb and flow of Life's balance, believing in the treasures small and big that will come my way if I remain patient, give them their time.
So I move within their reach, but let them come to me.
When they get here, I will be ready.