This weekend contained some of the most breathtaking moments of my life and the views were amazing. One of the things we do when we come to a crossroad in life is try to, in the words of the musical Goddesses, The Indigo Girls, seek clarity. But the crazy thing is for those of us who have lived among chaos the majority of our lives, when everything starts to become clear, it scares the crap out of us. We don't know what to do - run, hide or melt into the thing we have longed for more than anything else. When everything finally begins to make sense nothing else - no past ghosts, prior bad moves, major screw ups - seems to matter.
What makes this clarity so frightening is that there's a sense of calm in the storm. For me, I understand chaos because even from the time I was a child, I learned to adapt to it. There is a level of comfort that a normal person perhaps couldn't understand, but a small number of us who have come from wild childhoods, nod our heads and say, "yup, I get that." If the choice was always ours, we would prefer to live in a simple, loving life. And really the choice is ours, but we are so used to giving up control, it takes us some time to remember that little fact as adults. We get to choose how we live our lives and with whom we do so.
And so, I went in seeking clarity. I'm closer to fine than I thought. And the scary part is, I've chosen to melt.
This weekend, I had an amazing view of the sunset, High Point monument (for those of you who didn't have Ms. Sanford for 4th grade - High Point Monument marks the highest point in New Jersey at 1803 feet above sea level), and the mountains. Someone was even setting off fireworks at one point as if the evenings weren't already amazing and romantic. There was wine and music and a fire in the fire pit. Conversation that was as serious as it was hilarious. And the randomness of the banter never stopped.
For a moment I sat alone, staring out over the fire sipping on a glass of wine, oblivious that mosquitos were chewing at my bare ankles. I lost my breath. I got that nervous feeling in my stomach like a flock of monarch butterflies were trapped in there. I even started to get a bit teary and verklempt. (I'm ridiculous - stop judging my emotions, dammit!)
This was what wonderful felt like. This was where I wanted to be, right in the pocket of this feeling, except it all got better. The conversation, the warm feeling of comfort. And it was scary for the same reasons it was wonderful, because it was just so perfect and honest.
I found myself all weekend making statements like, "I would love to do that with you" and "Yes WE'RE going to doing that/go there." Rational, level-headed Lauren's voice would be mumbling things in my head like "Who are you? Shut up! You sound like an idiot. Too soon, dummy! That's against the rules." Oh, and my rules. Broken. The rules I unofficially put in place to control my impulsiveness, broken. Not all of them; just enough of them to know I'm heading down a dangerous, albeit exciting path.
I stood a few months ago, not knowing which direction I should travel or which signal to follow. I stood waiting and waiting for the "walk" signal, but what I didn't realize was that I was attempting to travel in the wrong direction this whole time. All I needed to do was look to my right - that signal worked just fine and it wanted to lead me up the hill. A whole new direction. A whole new world, really.
This weekend, I looked to my right. The signal couldn't be more clear. The view couldn't be more stunning. And in the background of my over-active mind, I heard my summer mantra: "make a move, see the light. Make a move, roll the dice. Make a move, it'll be all right....Welcome to your life where you can live if you want to."
The magic of something new is beginning. I'm so happy. I'm terribly frightened. I'm nervous. I'm excited. All the things. And all the things I probably shouldn't say out loud quite yet (and another rule bites the dust). But at least if you see the cheesy smile, you'll know why. Don't ask, because I will be busy making a mix tape for Benjamin.