Holding on to the past
“Two monks were on a pilgrimage. One day, they came to a deep river. At the edge of the river, a young woman sat weeping because she was afraid to cross the river without help. She begged the two monks to help her. The younger monk turned his back. The members of their order were forbidden to touch a woman.
But the older monk picked up the woman without a word and carried her across the river. He put her down on the far side and continued his journey. The younger monk came after him, scolding him and berating him for breaking his vows. He went on this way for a long time.
Finally, at the end of the day the older monk turned to the younger one. “I only carried her across the river. You have been carrying her all day.”
There have been plenty of times in the middle of my worst days that I have unintentionally carried the past. Sometimes dealing with the issue will hold you back less than avoiding it.
Back to school. Three words that will always bring a stir of memories. The first quarter of an average life most people spend in school, and its become such a center point that the new quarter life crisis term was coined. A common way to summarize the stress, of that life changing transition. So here I stand in my rear view mirror I see a 16 year marriage on the verge of fading into the distance. Six months ago I couldn’t see past the settling dust of ruins to even imagine myself going back to school. Six tiny months, you can’t even create life in six months, yet I’ve set out on the naive mission to change mine. Reinvent I like to say. Single mother, new student, spider killer, toilet fixer, toddler toter, bill payer, dinner maker. So far the best part is the deep breath I take when I walk through the front door. In the six months I’ve lived here, I’ve never once, walked in with dread. That alone has been known to reverse the signs of forehead wrinkles. The worst part is, it’s a lot. Different stress, the kind’ve buck stops here stress. I’m not lonely in the way my 14 yr old ask if I am, it’s more like I can’t let down my guard not once, never. I want my children be confident that I can handle anything. So the worse day, I don’t cry! Sometimes I wonder if I were to let go, to just have a good, bad day cry. Would the tears ever stop? The build up from the last six months has to be some sort of dramatic tending female sign of super power. Every single day the good out ways the hard. I’ve learned to sleep in the middle of the bed, I have both night stands! I get the entire closet, sweetness! I can buy anything, and I only have to explain it to myself, and I never ever have to explain why I took it back two days later, because myself already knows. I can make anything for dinner. A notable highlight came this week when a friend called to say that for her upcoming milestone birthday she was going to a condo with some friends for the weekend, could I come? Hold on, let me ask…..myself!!! Why yes, I can go. Defiantly a highlight, particularly for me given my highly controlled history. This new invention is like what my Humanities professor explained today as a relief, it’s carved outta something. The original is still there, but the new creation sorta seems to step out. Chipping off the old, I think that’s the hard parts. Once they’re gone all you can see is the new creation, whatever it once was, whatever was holding it back, now serves as a “pop” for the relief. I’ll take that, turn my old poop in to my “pop” factor..any day!