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I sometimes feel as though I am whipsawed between two polar opposites who war in my body, and my mind. The “responsible me” who makes choices based on what is “safe” or “smart” and “dreamer me” that is trying to push past my fear, take risks, be brave and who (if I listen to my gremlins) risks sending us to certain doom.

Truth is I am neither of those people. I am fiercely resilient and a problem solver and someone who can look at any situation and give you best and worst case scenarios in the time it takes to say my name. I am a planner and an implementer and a person who can see all sides of a situation with a clarity that is alarming. I can see into hearts with tenderness and know what frightens and gladdens you without needing to hear your whispers. But, when you do whisper, I cherish what you shared as though it were the secret to everything. I am not religious but I am deeply spiritual, even when (especially when) I seem to lose my faith. I have known deep pain, and real loss, and given myself over to the Universe time and time again, only to find a new way emerge out of what at times felt like an impossible tangle. Several times over I lost sleep desperately afraid that I would lose everything. Indeed, I have lost lots of things (more than I would like) but never myself. No, even though its been very dark at times, and I have stumbled and tripped and turned about in circles, I never lost hold of myself.

Let me tell you a little secret. I am both extraordinarily happy and flat out scared these days. Often both at the exact same time. The happiness and fear–well they stem from the same piece of news in my life. I am, as a single mom, with no other means of support and barely any savings, planning to head back to school to open up a new life that has been calling me.

It is a choice that will mean student debt and a reduced salary and a choice to stop climbing the career ladder that has for so long defined me. It means financial gymnastics and the end to luxuries like bookstores and movie theaters and take out food and new clothes and air conditioning (and who knows what else). It means the end of my own house as I take in a housemate and the end of saying “of course” to Max without thinking about what we give up. Its means thinking about the price of gas before dashing across town. Its a choice that may mean giving up on providing Max a solid chunk of change for college in exchange for teaching him about following his heart and doing what others might say is impossible.

It is also a choice that means embracing something that feels as natural to me as breathing–finally choosing a path that may at times be challenging but never is hard.

The fear shows up sometimes as that exhilarating kind of scared you get right before jumping out of an airplane or riding the latest roller coaster. Sometimes its a dark kind of scared, like you feel when all the lights have gone out and the snow is piled up and you think you might just never get out again. But then, when my mind stops and I can listen to the song of my life, there is a happiness, a contentment, a feeling of relief and peace that comes when I no longer thinking– just doing–taking steps, shuffling one foot in front of the others, knowing that slowly, slowly I am making my own life– not simply making do and dreaming of a way out–but making my own way.

I am making my way as I make my bed and I sit in meditation and take my vitamins and drink my water and eat my breakfast because I know that self-care is fundamental especially when going through transitions.

I am making my way as I make Max’s lunch and discuss what we learn from TV (good and bad), as I drive him to school and help him with homework and put medicine on his feet and read him to sleep because even though he and I are both changing and growing with dizzying speed, my love for him is the North Star, the one true constant in my life.

I am making my way as I make my train, make appointments, make my meetings, make conversation, make eye contact because I know the most important way (perhaps the only way) that I make a difference is simply by showing up.

And yes, I am making (and remaking) budgets, making choices, making phone calls, making proposals, because this forward moving action, however slow or small, is the only way I will welcome in the change I seek.

I write here on this blog to a small circle of friends. Some I know in “real life”, others only by your sweet comments or lovely emails. I never mind the silence here but on the scarier days I need to know that I am not alone. If you come here, tell me so and hold my hand as I keep making way.

20 Responses to “Making way”

  1. Heather Reinertsen Somers Says:

    Meg

    I’ve lurked on your blog for a while and always am inspired by your posts. I get the occasional update when our moms’ paths cross too.

    Best of luck in your new endeavor. I admire your willingness to leap. I made a leap a few years ago by opening my own business but didn’t have the stomach to cut the cord to my current “big girl job” which I love but isn’t as rewarding as being my own boss. I hope some day to have the same faith you seem to possess that up will always be up no matter which position you are looking at it from.

    I look forward to following your journey!

    Regards
    Heather

  2. giftsofthejourney (Elizabeth Harper) Says:

    ” because I know that self-care is fundamental especially when going through transitions. ”

    I’ve been very silent and hard at work, but I’m here still, reading and reaching out now to say how inspiring you are and thank you.

    * This is me giving your hand a big long squeeze of support *

  3. Jena Says:

    More than not alone, you are veritably surrounded by love and support. You had me at “two polar opposites.” Thank you for sharing, Meg–I needed this one.

  4. Karen Maezen Miller Says:

    Cricket.

  5. Meg Says:

    Squeezing your hand.

  6. Theresa Says:

    inspired.
    & holding your hand.
    <3

  7. Flo Says:

    My first visit here and I’m already smitten. I relate to your description of yourself and find inspiration in your courage. Go for it!

  8. Alexis Yael Says:

    I just discovered your blog (via a link on FB from KMM). You had me at: “I know the most important way (perhaps the only way) that I make a difference is simply by showing up.”

    Yes, yes indeed.

    (And oh, how I recognize and deeply see your excitement and fear. Yes. Indeed.)

  9. Sharon Says:

    Hi Meg,
    Karen Maezen Miller shared this post this morning and I just want to send you a virtual hug and say woo-hoo to your great journey. Most of us living in the moment are scared and exhilarated most of the time. It is that energy which propels us.

    Glad that I discovered you and can’t wait to hear more about your journey.

  10. Shawn Says:

    Beautiful — and wonderful — and glorious all at once — just like you. : )

  11. tracy Says:

    ah meg, holding and squeezing your hand (sorry if i get carried away and squeeze too hard, i can be like that). you are a brave chica. i am so sure of your success (whatever that means to you). look at you fly! here’s to leaping, one small step at a time, in each and every moment. a bubbly glass of champagne for “…open(ing) up a new life that has been calling me.” yay! thanks for the inspiration.

  12. Michelle Says:

    I found your blog through Karen Maezen Miller. You are an inspiration & write beautifully. Sending you virtual hugs your way from the Arizona desert.

  13. Virginia Says:

    I’m so grateful that Sharon Martinelli left a comment on Momma Zen’s Facebook page leaving links to lead me here right now. What you’ve written resonates mightily with me. It’s been more than a month since I’ve published anything on my blog or website, though I continue to ‘write the labryinth’ daily … seeking balance between the extremes you so eloquently describe and discovering the ‘truth of who I really am’ as I lean into the fear, confusion, and doubt to release it all. I gladly hold hands with you by leaving this comment and extend my hand to others knowing it’s safer in the world when we travel together … and today perhaps I’ll add a post to my own site 😉
    Hugs and blessings,

  14. DeAnne Says:

    you’re not alone, in meeting you this first time, I am with you holding your hand, and listening, grateful to have a new friend like you, who inspires me.

  15. Jane Says:

    I’m happy to be here for the first time.

  16. Christa Says:

    Oh, Meg. I am in the same place for different reasons and will be happy to hold both your hands and watch your back, too, just for good measure.

    I had dinner with Pamela (Walking On Your Hands) tonight – were your ears burning? Happy to know that you are just over the bridge. Can be there any old time, but for now, just holding space for you to grow in.

    Did you know that you were a big inspiration for me when I was thinking I might like to start a blog? Yep, you.

    Thanks.

  17. Jennifer Says:

    here, holding your hand…one of many in the circle.
    best wishes to you.

  18. Trish Says:

    So proud of YOU. I am holding your hand, hugging your heart, cradling your wishes and savoring your resilient spirit. You make a huge difference in my every day perspective. Lucky me to call you friend in real time.

    Love you and Maxx,
    oxox
    Trish

  19. Hetal Says:

    Meg,
    I’m halfway across the country, but definitely holding your hand, and ready to listen to your song always, fold your laundry when I’m in town, and help with love and re-writing budgets from any place. So glad that you’re brave and loving self is in my world.
    Hetal

  20. Laura Says:

    Meg,
    I happened upon your blog by sheer coincidence today. No. Not coincidence. Because I don’t believe it that. I haven’t read very far but find your experiences similar to several I have had. I love your words and I know how much writing them, seeing them in front of you, will help you on your journey. Best of luck to you and know this…the hand-holding soon turns to high five-ing.