At that moment, it was the hardest thing I’d ever done. As a sheltered girl, I married at age 21 and I divorced him at age 26.
Every single thing in my life pointed toward me not divorcing. Everyday I pictured myself climbing a sheer cliff by myself, hanging on with my fingernails, wind howling and me desperate to get to safety.
I did get past it.
As real as that picture of myself clinging to the side of a cliff, a new picture emerged. I had crested the sheer rock cliff. I was on a flat grassy plain.
I remember lying flat on the grass too exhausted to move, grateful as big as the world that I made it. That I didn’t have to strive for the moment. I could rest.
As the weeks went by, I rolled over and looked up for a path.
It was an obstacle-free swatch of green inviting grass. I didn’t have to go anywhere. I didn’t have to be anywhere.
It was a return-to-Eden feeling of peace, possibility and rest.
My life began to enter time again. Slowly. It took a while.
And while I was recovering, I reveled in the freedom to choose anything.
But I began to choose goals. To have things I held up as requirements. And after time I got really attached to those definitions of security and success.
The mists of time have fogged my memory. I am not sure that time remains the hardest thing I’ve done. A lot of life has happened since.
But I’ve been thinking about that grassy swath at the top of the cliff. How I didn’t have to choose anything.
And whatever I did choose would be the right choice.
I’m coming up with a new idea. That it doesn’t really matter which I choose–in any choice or specialty in my life. The critical factor is to choose a thing and stick with it until it’s complete or it’s clear it is not what I want anymore. In the years that followed, I found myself clinging to sheer cliffs again. And it’s often because I was convinced that no other choice was possible.
The grassy swatch could maybe have been achieved faster in those times if I had stopped clinging to a choice like it was my only hope.
In retrospect, the peaceful place was more about limitless choice than almost any other characteristic.
If I’m looking for the one and only super specific answer or key, that door is going to stay locked
But if I turn around,
Look at the open field,
I can see I have all the options.
I like to keep my options open.