It’s the middle of summer already and I find myself eager and anxious at the same time. Nick graduated from high school in June and is getting ready to head off to college. He’s busy enjoying his last summer with his high school friends before they all go their separate ways and I am getting my arms wrapped around my empty nest. It’s an exciting time for Nick and yet, I expect that his excitement is partnered with some anxiety about what it all looks like, how he will do in his new environment and the independence that goes along with leaving home… even when it is to dorm life at Sacramento State.
I also had a graduation of sorts… after three years of participating in, facilitating and coordinating a divorced and separated ministry through my church, the Catholic Community of Pleasanton, I am stepping down from my role and stepping into life after divorce. Of course, I’ve been in life after divorce for a while now.That’s kind of the nature of divorce. You have no choice but to step into it rather quickly. However, this is different- more exciting and hugely scary.
For three years I have been blessed to accompany be accompanied in this journey by some extraordinary folks. These are men and women of all ages whose life on some level fell apart when their marriages ended. For some the choice to end their marriage was of their making… for others the choice was made for us. The amazing thing is, that in spite of the sometimes overwhelming chaos of this time, they found the courage to feel the fear and do it anyway and to find their spring after the harsh winter of divorce. This experience has been not only life changing for me… it has been life giving. Who knew that something that can be so devastating could also be the catalyst for simply amazing insight and growth?
The time has come for both Nick and me to fly solo…. to see how we do with our new wings. I have this burning question constantly running through my head these days… and it is the same for both Nick’s next passage and for the upcoming changes in my life…. Have I done enough?
Nick has been and continues to be a joy in my life. He is an amazing young man who has made my heart sing since day one (and yes… sometimes that singing might have sounded more like a shriek but that’s to be expected). Our relationship over the years has been close and I feel I’ve been a pretty darned good parent for the most part… but now I start wondering… have I been good enough?
For myself… I’ve done a tremendous amount of introspective work to rediscover who I am, what my values are and to align the two the best I can. I’m very pleased with the work I’ve done and the life I have and yet the question still burns inside me… have I done enough? Have I done enough work to know how to navigate gracefully in life when so much about it is changing? Have I done enough work to break free of some of my crippling old tapes and mind chatter or at least notice when the old tapes are running?
I know this… When I can step back (or more accurately stand firmly in the present), I am sure that all is well with the world and that Nick and I will both be fine. In fact, we’ll be better than fine. We will shine! The thing I have to remember is that doing well doesn’t necessarily mean that we won’t stumble- we will. It simply means that when we do, we’ll have to re-ground ourselves, shake off the dust, re-fluff our wings and then be off again. Just like life. Some things will always be the same.
To Carol, Fr. Padraig Greene of CCOP, my family, my D/S friends and Elvis… thank you for being the wind beneath my wings. I will forever be grateful for the blessing of your presence in my life.
So here’s to WINGS… and to taking flight! May we all SOAR!