I probably lose my keys at least twice a day. I’m consistently asking myself where I’ve placed my mobile device. Every time I do laundry, there’s always that one sock that magically vanishes into the mystery of that sock-eating machine. And the other day, I misplaced my recipe book filled with recipes I’ve modified and collected over the course of years. It still hasn’t come crawling out of hiding. Imagine the disappointment.
Loss doesn’t always look like what we expect it to, and it always comes at the most inconvenient of times.
It’s a massive crash sometimes, without any fair warning. Your windows are smashed. The entire frame of the driver’s side is folded in like origami. And the car you’ve learned to drive in, that has been yours for over a decade, considered totaled.
Whether intentional or not, you’ve bonded. Maybe it was the early morning sunrises driving up snow-capped mountains. Or, cruising the coast with wind in your hair singing at the top of your lungs, while witnessing the most breathtaking of ocean sunsets. Or, it could have been those late night drives parked on the freeway in traffic, where your flowing rivers of tears were enough to fill the Pacific Ocean.
The strings slowly intertwined. It took years. And now, it’s all gone. Oh how quickly that happened, within a matter of seconds.
Sometimes, loss looks like letting go.
Letting go of that one thing you’ve envisioned for years. You have wanted it to happen so badly for so long, it hurt. It was a hope you’ve spent your whole life fighting for, then getting to a place and realizing, it’s time. It’s time to move forward without it. All the things you’ve built up. The dream. The relationship. The job. Everything you’ve known and worked for. It’s now all counted as loss.
The hardest part about this kind of loss isn’t the disappointment of it not coming into fruition, but rather, the shattering of the hope. Like, life decided it wanted to roundhouse kick that hope in the face, and then proceed to put on a pair of boxing gloves and punch it to the ground until it deeply bled.
And all of a sudden, there it is. Absence. Whatever that thing you’ve held onto, whatever that thing you’ve hoped for or hoped in. It goes absent from the room. And you’re left with this strange feeling of emptiness. You’re lost.
Honest moment: I just want directions.
I wish I could punch in the coordinates to the destination I want to arrive at, into Google Maps. Tell my GPS that I am currently here (Point A) and find the directions to there (Point B). I want to be able to hold down the home button on my iPhone and command Siri, “Directions to ___________” or ask “Where do I go from here?” And Waze could specifically instruct me: take three steps forward in order to reach this goal, turn right and you’ll find this amazing opportunity, go 4.6 miles and you’ll meet this person, traffic on the right in 35.8 miles, accident reported on the left shoulder – be alert. Final destination – approximately 78 minutes. Or, maybe, 5.46 years.
But then I think about how thankful I am to be directionless; how truly grateful I am to have nothing. Because from here, I know the strength sitting inside of me isn’t from myself and I’m not the one strong enough to fight my own battles. War is being waged. Demons need to be faced. Yet, there is something else much stronger carrying me through.
Sometimes you have to get to the bottom of yourselves in order to progress.
You have to lose. Everything. It’s only then that you can restart and breathe in fresh air. Experience newness. Allow your soul to fly again and dream dreams your internal being didn’t even know you were capable of dreaming.