a couple of weeks ago, i joked that this upcoming year was going to be a wild ride. and damn. so far, so true. i feel like i’m in the front seat of a roller coaster, with a cart full of friends riding with me. pushing me up the inclines, and screaming in delight with me on the way down. and either direction, i’m hanging on real tight.
recently, a friend of mine described my life as intense, in all the hard and rich ways as life should be. i believe she is right. i am not the type of person that coasts along at a medium pace, staying on an even keel path. i need deep, enriching, authentic experiences. i am mindful that this lifetime isn’t infinite, we are only here for so long, and each day is a gift. living like this can be overwhelming. it can also be magical. the past couple of weeks give a snapshot of these extremes.
the little lady and i were gifted the most amazing trip, an opportunity to visit dear friends across the world, so we are thick in the planning stages of this. between a very busy time at work, being a single parent, issues with my personal life, and just regular life stuff, i was averaging a couple of hours a sleep per night. i had a huge event for work this past weekend in new hampshire. on friday, i was running around, trying to do last minute preparations. i was late getting out of the city, sat in traffic for hours, and got to a grocery store to buy food for 80 college students. i got back in my car, started it up, and it wouldn’t move. confused, i got out of the car, and saw fluid all over the parking lot. i called my friend ali, explained what was going on, and she came to pick me up. we piled an entire car full of groceries, tents, boxes, and supplies into her car. we left my car at the grocery store, went to her house so i could take one of her cars with me to the lodge where all the students were waiting for me. exhausted, i realized i could have broken down at this point. and honestly, in the past, i would have. but now, instead, i thought about how amazing my friends are, how fortunate i am to be surrounded by such generosity and love. meanwhile, i apparently had pink eye. i’ve never had pink eye. ali informs me that breast milk is the best cure but she had stopped breastfeeding a while back, so she wasn’t going to be any help. my phone starts ringing, students are calling, i’m trying to process everything going on, while i’m a little delirious from almost no sleep for over a week. then ali comes into the kitchen, proudly announcing she squeezed some breast milk out, and to tilt my head back. friday night and this is my life: car is broken down in a parking lot, students are waiting for me to arrive for a weekend long event, friends who pick me up (literally and figuratively) and offer to take care of my car so i can go to work, phone is ringing off the hook, and i have breast milk in my eye, and streaming down my face. i could say this is abnormal, but it really isn’t.
the weekend with the students turned out great. then i returned home to deal with an emotional and heart-wrenching situation with a person i love, and has lied to me. and yet, i still feel so loved. friends have sent gifts, just because. i have received post cards from around the world, from women in my self-portraiture class. i walk into the office yesterday, and was handed an envelope containing two beautiful rings for the little lady and i, made by a sweet and thoughtful colleague. last night, i received an email from a women i never have met, but have connected through our online photography world, to let me know she was thinking of me. many of these people have no clue what i am struggling with, and yet, they are showering me with love. the universe is speaking to me. letting me know that despite being betrayed by someone i love, that there is SO MUCH GOODNESS in my world. my desire to live richly, deeply, authentically can get messy, but it also brings such beauty. it’s a beautiful mess. covered in breast milk.