This time will be different because I am different. I am no longer content to be numbed out. Molly Wizenberg writes in A Handmade Life: “My father woke up each morning wanting that day.” When I read that sentence for the first time, I froze for a moment and knew that I would have to write about that sentiment – even if only for my own benefit – because it’s the kind of thing I’d like someone to say about me when I die: She woke up each morning wanting that day. Wouldn’t that be great on a headstone?
Far too often, however, I have approached each new day with a sense of trepidation, reservation, or even resignation, rather than with a sense of enthusiasm, anticipation, or joy. I live a gray life, and have for most of my 45 years. Oh, there have been moments of wild excitement and genuine grief, but mostly I’ve just been coasting along. The days and weeks have become months and years, and I’ve somehow managed to not be a part of my own life.
This is not the first time I’ve recognized this aspect of myself, but I’ve never before done anything about it. I’ve never, quite frankly, known what to do; I’m not exactly sure where this comes from. Usually, I blame it on the medication that I take to stabilize my bipolar mind, and I do think that’s part of the problem. But I also think resting on that answer is taking the easy way out. It’s a little too pat, a little too convenient. Other people take medication for mood stabilization and still manage to live authentic lives.
I’ve recognized this aspect of myself before, but I’ve never confronted it. I’ve always let the fear of what my life may become keep me from making any real change. I’ve always let the fear of who I may become keep me from really looking at who I am. I think, however, I’m at a point where I can no longer set myself aside as I go through life.
I’m looking at where I am, and life is good. But I want more. I’m hungry for joy and authenticity. I’m even hungry for pain and tears, if that’s what is there. I want to be truly present in my life, and experience it wholly. Too much time goes by between my glimpses of delight -- and there is much in my life to delight in.
This time will be different because I am different. I am no longer content to sit on the sidelines of my own journey. I am no longer content to let the fear in my life outweigh the joy in my life. I am no longer content to feel numb and un-alive.
She woke up each morning wanting that day. I’m not sure how to get to the place where that sentence describes my journey, but I intend to find out! It is my dominant intention to live a jubilant, joy-filled, exciting, authentic life.
Any ideas on what I do next?