A ship in harbor is safe -- but that is not what ships are built for.
John A. Shedd
John A. Shedd
The quote above was given to me by a former mentor of mine early in my career. It has always remained one of my favorite quotes, and an often needed reminder that life isn't about sitting still and being safe--it is for living--for doing whatever you are "built for"--or meant to do.
Beginning last August, I took what I thought were some fantastic, beautiful risks. I trusted my heart, believed in fate and love, and leaped...only to get so terribly deceived and hurt, that I doubted everything I knew about myself, life, and the whole business of that ship leaving the harbor.
Since then it seemed as if things kept happening-- my life has honestly seemed like a ride on a rickety roller coaster, with no assurances that the track was complete, or that I would survive the ride at all. Even if I did survive, I wondered if I had already lost so much of who I am, that I would be unrecognizable once the ride stopped...even to myself.
Even just within the last month, I have suffered so many setbacks and struggles that I have questioned everything--EVERYTHING. There have been days I haven't eaten because I literally had no money. My car was repossessed, and I am behind on my rent, waiting for my landlords, who have been so incredibly patient with me, to finally decide that they have had enough of my roller coaster ride.
I have had to decide just how much a person, an employer, an insurance company, or a nagging creditor can take away from you before you sink into something you can't crawl out of.
I have compared lives with countless people (which is something I always tell my friends NOT to do), telling myself that in the scheme of things, I had it much better than those battling cancer, the loss of a loved one, or those who had no home at all. But, in the end, your own pain and struggle are still as painful, still as horrible to you, no matter how much better off you are than anyone else.
I have wondered what my purpose in life really is, as I have watched things tumbling around me. I have examined every choice, mistake, success and failure. And the truth is, I have no answers.
In the last week, I was at a rock bottom, and by the end of the week, felt myself afloat again and turned around by the love and giving hearts of friends that are like family to me. It scares me more than I can write to think of where I would be without this nonjudgmental love, without their support and belief in me. Knowing I only have to make phone calls to two different houses and find my most ardent supporters at either number has literally saved me.
So, back to my quote, and why I started this post with it. The truth is, the ship isn't entirely, without a doubt, safe in that harbor. There is no safe place in life where we can corner ourselves and not take risks and guarantee all will be well.
All the more reason to pull out of that harbor, and keep moving...find your purpose. I don't have a clue what mine is yet. And as scared as I am of what has happened recently, I am still out to find it.
Tomorrow is the first step.