The moments that ignite life change. You know them. Once in a blue moon they sneak in like a whisper in a dream, but usually they’re an explosion of a big life event.
For me, it was my dog being killed.
As a woman in my mid 30’s who has not yet been into relationships or having a family of my own, my little girl was my whole life. Especially since my friends had all but dumped me for the upgraded version. AKA: marriage and kids.
Before the mental lectures begin about finding grace and love, this being a natural progression of life, some relationships only meant to be in our life for a time, etc., understand that I’ve already heard it. Over and over and over.
I do have a decent amount of that openness and grace in my heart, but there’s more that comes with being such a passionate and loyal person who loves fiercely. I refuse to apologize for believing that it’s important to accept the hurt as well as the acceptance. I will not feel bad about caring enough for it to make a difference.
That loving so fiercely is something I wished wasn’t a part of me when I lost my Layla four days after her tenth birthday. It was also my mother’s birthday and to make that loss even more shattering, my family was the reason, though well-intentioned, that she got out and got hit by a car. Exactly what I had told them not to do countless times before. And they were awful about it.
Before you begin to think badly, understand that these are wonderful people who were also trying to deal with their emotions about such a great loss to our family. Typically, they are loving, nurturing, and giving people. They just don’t happen to react quite so wonderful to me. I guess you could say that we don’t speak the same language. My being eccentric and not having kids doesn’t exactly help my case.
As much as I love them, being around them has always been incredibly painful, harmful, and dangerous in my life.
Let me give you a relating example…
When I recently finished my undergrad 18 years after starting, my dad wanted to give me a celebratory gift. Knowing it was something he could actually do with his illnesses and is currently less pricey, I told him I wanted a family cruise.
He was excited at first, but when my sister no longer wanted to go because of our fight about what happened to my girl, he cancelled it.
It was then that I painfully shot out when asked that I wanted instead, that a one way ticket out of the country.
I was lost in grief and could barely breathe let alone think or feel, but my father’s reaction changed that.
He unexpectedly agreed with a comment about how he would normally be worried, but could tell I wasn’t happy and needed it. I’ll never forget that moment.
Losing my fur-baby absolutely changed my world, but it was that comment from my dad that spun my life off it’s tracks and into a direction I had all but forgotten about.
That moment broke the ties of the reality I had been living. Everything and everyone I had been holding onto were no longer a weight keeping me home in California. I was instantly and unexpectedly free once again to fulfill my dream of leaving to explore the world.
I didn’t end up leaving on that October 6th date of the ticket he had purchased for me, but I’m kind of glad. I’d rather have the beginning of such an important journey start on my own time, terms and from a good place. Not from such a sad loss.
Now, haven’t gotten rid of all of my belongings (such a strange feeling), having connected and made friends in Thailand, researched and said my goodbyes, it’s time to go. I’m overly-ready and very much aware that these windows don’t tend to stay open for too long. It’s an exhilarating feeling that I will be on a plane within days of selling my car.
I suppose you could say third time’s the charm. The real countdown has begun…
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