Growing up, my bedroom became my sanctuary. It was the place where I could go to hide from the rest of the world, and it was the place where I felt the safest and soundest. It also was the place where I would go to dream while fully awake. At night, I sometimes would gaze out of my bedroom windows and stare at the stars that dotted the sky, wishing on them, longing to be among them, and imploring them to guide me to an unknown destination. This destination did not have a name or an image, as much as it was this feeling of wanting to belong somewhere. To someone. To some place. I used to think that I would find this foreign place when I grew up, but I haven’t. It is a destination that I still find myself seeking.
As another birthday beckons, I find myself in a contemplative mood, and this state of mind has unearthed that childhood memory of wanting something extraordinary for myself and for this life of mine. Although I have never thought or believed that, in and of myself, I am particularly special, in that bedroom of mine, the feeling that I was born to greatness slowly, almost timidly, emerged. It was tough to admit to myself back then, and it truly is tough to share here now, as it sounds rather grandiose and obnoxious, doesn’t it?!
I am not sure what this greatness is, but I know what it is not. This feeling has nothing to do with wanting fame or fortune for myself, and it has nothing to do with material things or a high-profile career. It is something that cannot be seen, heard, tasted, or touched, but it can be felt. This I know is true, for I have felt it for as long as I can remember, even though I don’t know what it is, but in some ways, I do.
As best as I can explain it to myself, this sense of greatness has more to do with creating a life that brings great love, joy, goodness, and light to myself and the rest of the world. For the better part of my existence, I played it safe and small and followed the conventional path of school, career, marriage, and parenthood. Then, everything changed and became decidedly unconventional. Four years ago, when my world imploded under the weight of my divorce and the stranglehold of depression and anxiety, the idea that I was born for greatness was lost, seemingly forever, underneath the emotional rubble. But it wasn’t. It has re-emerged from near oblivion, and its pull is stronger than ever.
In a year that has been littered with great loss, I find this personal quest for greatness has been intensified. With every death, I find myself mourning the person who has died, along with those dreams of mine that have long since passed away and those dreams that seem to be dying on the vine before being brought to fruition. I don’t know how or when I will discover what it will take to live out a life of greatness, but as I prepare to light another candle, I am trusting the glow of the candles and the shining stars above me to guide me to this greatness I was born into at long last. Maybe, I won’t find it this year, but maybe, if I am still, it will find me.
That’s another story . . .
Categories: That's Another Story