As the sunlight creeps into the sky this morning I realize the most important thing I’ve learned in my life is that you can’t take away someone else’s hurt, or anger. There really is nothing you can do to make things better for them. They have to find their own way. This is the hardest part about being a mother, lover, or friend. When the one’s you care for most are hurting, you can comfort them, but only superficially. Any real comfort can only come from change, and has to come from them, in their time, when they are ready.
I’ve been blessed this go around with a propensity to be able to let go of the larger things fairly easily, by some standards. I have had many lives during this lifetime: Student/waitress, F-16 mechanic, Mother, professional Belly Dancer, Event Promoter, Graphic Artist/Stylist, Teacher, and now Accountant. When each stage of my life was over, I was able to shed it like a snake skin and move on. Always leaving the people behind, though. I know even now that my current skin has a time limit. And while it is a little ways away, I can feel it already starting to peel at the corners. One day I will be called to shed it as well. And I will do so gladly. I only pray, I don’t leave behind the ones that I love so much now. Maybe that part is over.
Not everyone is so lucky. Some find the idea of change so difficult that it takes extreme discomfort, sometimes abject humiliation to give them the courage to move on. Somehow this is heartbreaking to me. Mostly because I know the other side of change can be beautiful, free. Not the terrifying monster we are taught to believe it is. The fear of letting go of the known, and a lack of faith is so foreign to me that I have trouble even understanding it.
Very recently, I’ve been greatly inspired by the blog of Jon Katz (http://www.bedlamfarm.com/). The PF turned me on to him in the earlier days of farm searching. He speaks often about the state of the world, his choice to remove himself from the constant stream of media (I’ve done this as well for the past couple of years), his choice to disconnect from main stream “health” care, and the idea that we make our own personal economy, our own personal news each day. He’s a man who loves his life and who does not live in a constant state of fear, at least not any more. Jon, who is not a young man, has found this at a time in his life when everyone around him likely thinks he’s crazy. A time when he should feel bound to society and its ideas about what is “expected” and “safe” for someone his age. You don’t get divorced and find new love at this age. You don’t move to a farm and start a new life at this age. You don’t get to abandon your career and start doing something you love at this age. You don’t get to abandon your medication that protects you from something that “might” happen, to find that you are healthy as anyone else.
But Jon did, and he is my hero. He knows it is never too late to make a change, and live the life YOU want. Go Jon. I’m right behind you.