My Silver Lining

“A silver lining is a metaphor for optimism in the common English-language which means every negative occurrence has a positive aspect to it” thank you Wikipedia!

I have been back from my cool adventure for a few days and I think I have readjusted to things like the cold and making my own bed and making my own food and wearing pants. I had the most incredible time. I did everything I set out to do and then some. It was truly an Eat, Pray, Love SUCCESS. I made decisions and choices and I added things to my you-ness that need to be added. I lost some things that needed to be lost. I conquered some things and set some goals in order to continue to grow. I will never stop growing: I decided I will never stop moving. This. This of all the things is the most important. I feel empowered and I will not allow myself to stop the movement I have begun. My steps are bigger now, my walk is quicker: I am in motion. I will do what I have to stay excited. I have asked those who know and love me most to catch me if I slip: be harsh and direct if you must. I believe and know they will. I love you for this and so so much more.

I arrived to the airport internally conflicted. I might have been angry but I can’t remember. Actually I was quite pissed off to be honest. It wasn’t really a favorable start. There was some shock and some sadness and urgency to the way I felt. I however, did what I said I would do; exactly what I promised I would do during the last few seconds: I kept my chin up. I smiled. I took a deep breath and I persevered regardless of how I was feeling. I was feeling not great. 5 steps in I was lost. 14 steps later I was overwhelmed. 27 steps forward and 22 back in the direction I came I asked for help. I found my destination. I followed the instructions I was made to repeat. 1896 steps and metal detectors and lovely customs agent (who declined my offer to join me because his wife would not appreciate that) later, I was seated ready for my flight. Headphones in. Shuffle.  Breathe. The first song that played was a song that I hadn’t listened to in years. I downloaded it seconds before I departed on a whim. My Silver Lining by First Aid Kit. look it up. It is very great. A believer of things happening right as they should when they should. This was perfect. The song speaks of finding the good with the bad and moving on and past. It speaks about keeping going when you feel you can’t. Not worrying about what has happened as well as not worrying about what will. It was exactly what I was doing. What I needed when I didn’t know I needed it. Throughout my short time away I listened to this song several times: at least once a day. I kept repeating the words to myself. I wrote a particular phrase in my journal. It became almost a mantra for me.

I’ve woken up in a hotel room, my worries as big as the moon
Having no idea who or what or where I am
Something good comes with the bad
A song’s never just sad
There’s hope, there’s a silver lining.

I saw my silver lining everywhere I looked. The little girl who asked me to play dinosaurs with her while we waited for our plane, erased some anxiety I was feeling: a distraction. The couple I was seated next to on the flight who became my travel companions and shared dinner with one evening. The sunset reflecting off the wing of the plane I was looking out so my seat mates would not see my constant flow of fearful and lonely tears, was a reminder that no matter where I go those that I love are still looking  at that same moon and same sunset. The little bird who landed on the bench I sat on one morning when I was feeling a little sad and lonely. The couple that had a 6 hour long yelling match one night who made up the next morning (lady if you’re reading this: you need to calm your ass down and trust your fella. Jesus!). Emails I got randomly with the flawless encouragement I needed to hear reminded my I am loved and cared for no matter how far away I end up.  The ability to sleep during one difficult night reminded me no matter what  is occurring I can remain in control enough to to know the simplest thing: I need rest when I need rest. Rest: There is hope. There is always a silver lining.

I might be magical. I might be riding a travel high or perhaps its shock and exhaustion; however, I am better. I am feeling more like me again.In that short amount of time I found some of the peace I hoped for and I am better: not entirely not even close, but I am over the hard hump and ready to begin to ascend.  I did not realize how lost I was: how much of myself I had allowed to disappear. How good it felt to laugh for real and smile just because. How good it feels to not be scared. How wonderful it feels to not be waiting for a hypothetical punch that is never actually coming. How good it feels to live again. I feel empowered and strong: stronger than I have ever felt. Going there was difficult and uncomfortable all the time: most every minute was an effort. It was wonderful and amazing and beautiful, and I think I had more fruitless fun than I have ever had before: with a group of people I will never see again. I am immensely proud of myself for doing this. When others say the same to me, I am so appreciative that they can see the effort and the strength this took. To see how important and essential this was for me. That they can see the trip itself wasn’t the crux: this trip, this short journey to the safest place I could have chosen, the sun and the sand and the sea and the fun; were not the point. The point was to help me find the silver lining in all things. I thought that this great reflection would arrive during a moment of meditation on beach watching a sunrise while feeling sand under my toes listening to the sea. I thought it would come with lights and songs from above because that’s how it happens in cartoons. It didn’t. It just showed up quietly. It took me letting words in emails and little girls with dinosaurs and birds and noise and funny people and beautiful sunsets and a song from a mix-tape playlist someone sent me what feels like a million years ago all infused together for me to recognize that a song is never just sad. For something to be sad it had to be happy once upon a time. What was will be again. This I know. That is hope. That is my silver lining.

I am already planning and counting how many weeks it will take to save for my next journey, where I will embark, who I would like as a companion, how long I will go. I will go. It won’t be long I will make sure of this.

sunrise cuba

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