“I’ve had an epiphany!” I said as I opened the front door and dropped the bags at my feet. It was just another way of saying I was home. After the 2.5 hour drive, I had arrived. Physically, yes. But much more alive than I had ever been since January.
The results from the bloodwork hadn’t come back yet, but I had already dismissed whatever they may be. This wasn’t a time for imagining things and projecting thoughts into the future in an attempt to reel back a scenario I can begin preparing for. No, now was not the time. I had far more pressing things making my heart pound.
It was the beat.
The music I had been listening to from Maryland had somehow gotten inside of me, shook me up real good and even got me to sing. Perhaps most impressive was my upper body dancing. You can only move so much behind the wheel, but I made it work. Head bopping. Fist pumping. Shoulder shrugging. (El)bow throwing. Tongue wagging. No, I didn’t to that. But I did point to imaginary fans out my window. They knew what was up. An upper body dance party on the road at 80 mph. I was desperate for some Defying Gravity but Sirius XM was being a bit too serious for me. Didn’t think I could handle the high notes so the Broadway Channel didn’t serve it up. Instead, I switched over to my CDs and that’s when I began drumming on the dashboard.
The last time I journeyed from NJ to Maryland, I wasn’t singing and dancing like this. I was sleeping in my car at some rest stop I would have rather not stopped at. But I had to I was so disoriented with blurry vision and fatigue. Persevering through that on the road can be dangerous, so I decided not to be a champ. All I wanted was to sleep off whatever it was that had been drugging my body for the past two months, fogging up my thoughts and sinching my blood vessels–slowing everything down to a crawl and cripling the volume to a barely audible whisper. I had been living with a spirit crushed by an ill-operating body, with little will or motivation to communicate until I was feeling better.
Words have weight, you know. They’re thought vibrations that need only a breath to be spoken. And when you don’t give them air, you don’t give them a chance to heal whoever hears them, including yourself. And I have been spending an awful lot of time, much too much, trying to determine who I want to be in this new chapter, and being absolutely terrified of repeating the old ones where perception was reality. This time, I wanted to make no mistake in how I communicated, so as to make clear the message that the pen was in my hands. That all of the future stories I have yet to live are mine to tell. But I had been so fiercely definitive of never looking back that I had completely hindered my vision for the future. Literally. Or so it goes.
I never thought about the mind, body, spirit connection in this way before–how it can completely defeat you. Individually, sure. But on all three fronts, I had no idea what I was up against. The brutal blow of unspoken words. It drips like morphine and leaves you empty like the stomach you forgot to feed. Even a sip of water is too much.
But I’ll tell you what. We are more than just our minds, our bodies and our spirits. We are even more than all three. We are the connections we make and the impacts we have. We are the drying Polaroids appearing before our eyes, and the wind chill that disappears through the rustling leaves. A hug for your heartache. We are the lasting imprints that leave watermarks on the coffee table and a lipstick smudge on the window. A kiss for your soul. We are the moments of change that wake us in the morning sunlight and give us the courage to say “Yes” when Life gets down on one knee and asks for our hand. Sure, the ring is important. But you don’t need one to know it’s a circle. A vibration. A drop of water rippling across a pond. A beat echoing across airwaves and blood streams. If we never say Yes to our stories, we’ll never know how far they travel. In this case, 153 miles.
See you tomorrow, Monmouth Regional.