I’ll Swim

I wake up in the bed my mother slept in, surrounded by the things that were hers.  It’s almost exactly as it was the day she died two years ago.  Sunlight has been streaming through the windows for hours and I am getting out of bed.  I tell myself I have to, I will myself to move because if I don’t I fear I could get stuck here forever in the fantasy and horror of my dream world, leaving the tangible world altogether.  Sometimes that seems all too easy.  My head throbs, my eyes burn and my throat feels like I ate drywall for dinner last night.  What I really had for dinner was a bottle of Pinot Noir pilfered from my dads collection piled in his closet, washed down with a couple vodka sodas.  What am I doing?  What have I been doing?  I don’t know if I’m coming or going, leaving or staying, thriving or flailing.  There is nothing I feel sure of anymore. I’m at a crossroads and I have been standing here for a while.  I think I have options, I can choose who I want to be and take the steps to define that path but what do I leave behind.

We think we add on all this complexity and wisdom and layers of experience as we age but to me it seems like regressing, loosing layers.  Moving through life requires the constant shedding of every possibility, every opportunity to be someone new, do something different, go somewhere unexplored.  You wake up one day in the house that you bought and filled with furniture, put on the clothes that reflect you whether you want to admit that they do or not, to go to the career that you hopefully chose, to support the family you have built and dinner parties with the friends you have cultivated.  What if you wake up one morning screaming, drowning in a stagnant life, not even sure how you got there.  One decision exponentially leads to more, like offshoots on a well pruned rosebush, until you are so far down the rabbit hole it’s impossible to go back to the beginning and start again.

…Or is it?

I emerge from the bedroom and wander out into the backyard in the shorts and sports bra I slept in.  The midday heat is merciless and without thought I dive into the deep blue swimming pool.  I pull a couple of long strokes and resurface at the opposite end; resurface from my dream state and breathe in aliveness.  It becomes clear that I am the collection of everything I have done and thought before this moment, everything I have not done or thought before this moment and yet there are still infinite possibilities that lay in front of me.  The adventure into the unknown is a risk worth taking for a life worth living.

Make a choice.  Make a change.

I choose adventure.