I have been told a few times, by various people, that I am always so positive, so optimistic. I don't really know if this is true, if you lived in my head for a day you might not think so. But I was thinking, what would make people say this to me? How could I, me! be positive, when there is so much stress going on in my life?
I was thinking about this, when my song came on, you know THAT song. Everyone has one, I have a few, but right now there is a specific one. I turned up the volume until I could not hear my thoughts. I let the notes wash over me and through me, and like a sponge I soaked in the harmonies, the instruments, the lyrics. I let myself drift away and just breathe the music in. Once the song was finished I hit repeat and kept turning it up louder when I adjusted to the noise level. Every thought, every worry, every concern disappeared because I was lifted out of myself and left to only the song. I escaped.
And that’s when it hit me. The reason I can be positive, the explanation of why I may seem optimistic to some is that I have escapes. Music is not the only one.
When I pick up a book it does not take long until I am absorbed by it. I no longer have a sense of presence, I do not feel like I am sitting on my couch, I do not even know I exist, because I become the story. The words gently stroke my mind until I am lifted away from myself and I no longer read words, but the words play themselves out into a reality that I enter. I walk the paths of the characters, I feel their emotions, and I cry their tears. Books, like no other tool, have the ability to completely separate me from my own existence. They get to the point of being dangerous for me, because when I have to stop reading I have to take time and remember which person I am. I am no longer that person in the story, but me, in my normal world.
I also have art. I gather my supplies, my tools and I start envisioning. I see the pieces in front of me, but soon I no longer see the individual pieces but how together they can create something new, something beautiful, something tangible and yet surreal. I focus on this vision, I lose myself to this idea and I no longer control my hands, but let the artistic juices surge through my body until it starts to create. It is a glorious process of how a plan piece of paper, an empty page on a sketchpad, a blank card can transform into a little masterpiece. I am taken away from the world of stress and gloom that I know and am plunged into this place of color, light, texture and shadow until the piece is done. Sometimes I could not even describe to you how it was created, as I barely have a memory of it. I just hold onto my escape and marvel at it, and am filled with a true sense of pride.
I started to think of all the escapes I have, like food, how new exciting food involves all my senses and can bring me to a new experience away from my norm. Or hiking, how the scenery of the mountains, hills, plains can steal away my breathe. Or a moment of encounter with God, they are rare these days, but when they happen you forget how to speak, to move and to breathe and the world around you crumbles away as you realize the only thing that matters. Or a belly of a cat, or a movie to be lost in, or a afternoon of cuddles with my husband. I am lucky to have so many of these escapes.
I started thinking that maybe these escapes are not healthy, that leaving life, what it truly is, to be whisked away to new places, heights and realities is running away. It is not how life should be lived. So I began to think of life without my escapes, what it would look like, how it would feel. Right now, without these things, there would not be a lot of smiles and laughter. I would be overcome with my constant need to control, worry and stress. I would be lost in my sadness and it is easy for me to see why people would swallow a bottle of Tylenol.
I am called optimistic because I am able to escape often and so easily. So I can leave my need of control, my stress, my worry, I can take a break and then return with refreshing new attitude. A renewed sense of my life, and myself and I am able to smile during the storm, I am able to laugh amongst the suffering and I am able to love when I feel clouded by hate.
I notice myself reaching out and seeking these tools a lot this week. Possibly because I have now scheduled my second IUI procedure for the week of the 21st. A procedure I am conflicted about, because I so long for the experience of pregnancy, but I know there are children, my wonderful children who will spent more time apart from me if I carry a child. I am desperately trying to leave this in Gods hands. What comes first is meant to be. A control freak giving up control is not an easy thing, and usually fails. I worry about everything that could happen between now and then. Then. What is then? It's everything I suppose.
Then is not really worth worrying about is it? So I think I will escape.