the unbearable weight of nothing
Last winter, on the cusp of turning forty, I decided I wanted to create some meaningful project to mark my 40th year. I turned over many ideas, making a monthly memory quilt, compiling a 365 art journal, setting weekly intentions for better living and writing about integrating them into my life, but nothing really felt right and I didn't want to simply throw myself into a project just for the sake of doing something. My birthday came and went.
Since then I have been watching with humbled awe and inspiration my friend Maya manifest her own life-changing dream to mark her fortieth, feeling the depth and breadth of her undertaking as nothing short of transcendent. With the year almost halfway gone, in the back of my mind I begun to feel the letting go of my own commemorative opus and began seeing the year materialize as one that would mark more deliberate steps towards my own writing and art, good honest work and progress.
I can't say it was any one thing or another, certain life events I came to face coupled with simply going further on my own path, but a quiet seismic shift was happening beneath the surface, little earthquakes I've been feeling for the past couple of years each leaving the landscape a little different, exposing and clarifying more of my need for my own truth.
So it seems perfectly logical that I would come to this crossroad now, unplanned but impeccably timed. I've wondered my entire life if I would ever arrive here. I think I've always told myself the fable that I didn't need to know, that having a loving, happy, and wonderful family and life meant there was no need for me to know my birth story, that it was irrelevant, even irreverent to the blessings I have been given if I wondered about my beginning.
At ten months old I was adopted into the family I know and love and I never looked back, but truthfully, it is the weight I have carried for over forty years. The weight of emptiness, of not knowing, the missing piece of my life that has been, as it turns out, the heaviest burden of all.
I've come to a point in my life in which I understand that this void is the one thing stands between me and my own actualization, that it is in fact impossible for me to ignore if I want to truly embrace who I am and be a whole person. It's so much more complex than simply being happy. I am happy. I have had an amazing life thus far, filled with so much abundance and love. It is more about a reconciliation, a deep longing for integration and understanding somewhere in my core.
Yesterday I began. I decidedly voiced my desire to search for my biological family to my mom and dad, my husband, the universe, and not surprisingly was graciously met with support in every way possible. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done, to cross that threshold launching myself headfirst into the unknown. I know this entire process will be about staring into my darkest fears and insecurities looking at my life through the lens of this one event, and I am trying to not give those thoughts too much amplitude because in every other way this next part of the journey feels absolutely necessary and utterly ripe.
On this blog I will share the honest account of my search, partly because it's simply what I do but also because the outpouring of love and support from this community has always been sustenance and an integral part of my learning and healing. Thank you, dear readers. In tandem I am writing and creating a full memoir to document the experience which has already begun spilling forth with it's own life-force and velocity. It will take me through much of my life, every step forward echoed in moments from the past. The story is coming through me with such intuitive strength and purpose, I barely can capture it all. I know all I have to do is receive it and I have utter faith in the process, which right now consists mainly of writing and letting the tears fall.
I lay in bed last night talking quietly with my husband. "The dam has broken. I can't hold the words in. I'll need to write every day I think." "I figured so much." he says, his words holding me and making space for what's to come. "I can't stop crying, I'm not really sure why."
The answers are coming, of that I am certain, and with it will come what I know will be my life's most important work.
on May 28, 2012