I spent yesterday morning wandering around downtown Winnipeg, weaving in and out of streets with no real destination. Just needing to focus on placing one foot in front of the other. One foot. Then the other. Repeat. Repeat. The crisp air made my cheeks rosy but kept my head clear. When thoughts would creep in I pushed them out "Whoosh". Focusing on one foot. Left. Then right. Left. Right. And that was exactly what I needed.
I spent the evening thinking, sleeping, and dazed. And I think that's what I needed as well. I kept coming back to, "what's the point?" Why get close to people, develop relationships with people, if this is the kind of pain you feel when they are no longer there. Why? I thought about locking up all my loved ones, my nearest and dearest, in a room so that they couldn't get hurt. So I wouldn't have to hurt. I thought about cutting ties with everyone I know and love so that I never have to go through this again, and so they don't have to go through it if I were to get hurt, or die.
This morning I went to CrossFit and got a little bit of perspective. I was humbled by how far I have come, and how much further I have to go. Gasping for air putting one foot in front of the other, huffing and puffing, not letting myself stop or give up but still struggling the entire time. Nothing like getting physically destroyed to give you a little perspective and feel relatively small and insignificant.
When I got back to my apartment I turned on the radio and heard "Connection is the true state of being." As though Jian was speaking only to me. "We might not always remember that. We may feel powerless in the face of a world of problems but really we need to give our share to humanity the awareness the attention it deserves in order to start seeing things clearly. Surely that is the least we can do." And that was exactly what I needed to hear, was exactly the sign I needed to make today a new day. To get to work and put one foot in front of the other, again and again, until today is tomorrow. And until this gets easier.
Life is hard. It's tough. In one moment you can have all the air pulled out of your lungs, scared to take another breath, feeling like the stars are falling down all around you. When people leave us it reminds us of the horribleness that exists in every day. It reminds us that life is fleeting and short, which is something we don't always like to admit. It reminds us of all the times we've said angry words out of desperation and frustration and all the days in which we haven't laughed, or loved with our full and open hearts. And that is a sobering feeling.
But life is also stunningly beautiful and marvelous. It truly is an amazing experience sharing the world, sharing your life with others whom you grow to know, connect with, and who become a part of your life. I do have many wonderful, inspiring, and amazing people in my life and as Jian reminded me "connection is the true state of being." It's why we find so much satisfaction in our lives, in our jobs, in our relationships...all that connecting. Feeling as though you are a part of something, being aware, and attentive, and giving it all we've got. Life is much more beautiful, meaningful and satisfying when its shared. And that's why I can't get rid of all the people I care for, can't ask them to live in a box so that I never have to feel loss or pain again. Because we are made to connect. To share our lives, and our love with each other.
It will be hard. I'm scared. I'm worried. For my friends and family that are also feeling this loss. But I know that it will get easier, whether we want it to or not. Our hearts will heal. We will have each other. As long as we keep moving our feet, one after another. Left, right, left right.
With an open heart,