I had a big important to me meeting today. On the way home I started thinking about the threads that make up my life: how I sort of launch them like I imagine a spider flings a string of web and how some catch and some fall.
Four years ago I was supposed to do yoga teacher training. I was in fantastic physical shape, awful in my head shape. Six weeks before the training was supposed to start I developed an umbilical hernia and had to drop out. I was so sad about this: I’d been waiting for us to have the money and the time for me to do it and then finally been brave enough and waited enough that I was all signed up and then blammo. No dice.
Of course, now I am so grateful that it happened just the way it happened- life has this way of dropping and tying those strings so they actually make sense. That string has been out there waving around, waiting to get caught- and now it has! My class starts in January.
That made me think about all my other strings too: about how strings aren’t really in a big fat hurry most of the time. How they just wave about in the breeze, waiting. I thought about my please let me be sober string that I cast out there time and time again only to discover I’d forgotten to put on the bait. Or I was flinging that string in the wrong direction and could only catch more drinks. Or that I had too many afraid strings out there and not a one was secure enough to grab me a handhold and a help up.
I think about the tightrope of it all: how to make it life there has to be balance and care. How I can’t rampage out into the world and expect any of my strings to make it across, and how if I wear out the same old string that wears it out, and how keeping all my strings to myself keeps me stuck at the ledge.
All of the patience it has taken, all the waiting to see this through: all these four years I waited. I got sober in that time! I found myself again. I learned to wait and see. It makes me know that the time things take could be the most valuable thing of all.
We live in such an instant world. We are taught to zip and hurtle ourselves through life and to be impatient and frustrated when things take time. Sobriety has taught me that strings take time. That I am OK just as I am. That me being the best me I am isn’t something that should happen soon- it is already who I am today, this minute, right now. That the dreams I put out there into the world will come true.
One reason I could never stay sober is because I thought if I wasn’t over it by day three it probably wasn’t working. I always thought I wasn’t doing it right and always said fuck it and tossed my string down in disgust. Two and a half years in I want to always have the mind of a beginner: fresh and open. Awkward, full of questions. Full of hope.
If you aren’t drinking you are doing it right. Period. There are great and awful and in-between days and they are all you being awesome at sobriety if you aren’t drinking alcohol. Some days that’s just what it takes. Tie a string around your finger to remind yourself that you’re sober. Let that string remind you of all the dreams you have out there looking for a place to land. String together days and then years of this then when you step back and look you see a woven well lived life. Rejoice in the time it takes to get here: be grateful for the string of things.