Artist: Daniela Alfieri

Life is made up of a ridiculous amount of experiences and encounters. Many of those encounters just flow right through us. Not giving us another glance. Others may require us to look back for a moment and then there’s those encounters, those experiences that just stay with us.

Sometimes it cradles you and leaves a smile on your face when the memory conjures itself again. It’s soul food for the heart. It relaxes the mind, body and soul. It’s the first time you fall in love, the first time you hold your baby, it’s dancing in the kitchen in an oversized tshirt with your brothers and parents, its belly laughing with your cousins.

Then there’s the memory that when it forms the bubble above your head and plays itself out your pulse quickens, tears fall, your belly hurts. It’s in the loss of life, love, the grieving of a picture that will never be.

To take a couple lines from the Untethered Soul…

“You have to understand that it is your attempt to get special experiences from life that makes you miss the actual experience of life.”

“The most important thing in life is your inner energy. … But if you’re always inspired and filled with energy, then every minute of every day is an exciting experience.’’

I am a daydreamer. Fantasizer. Romanticizer. An escaper. It is my strength and also my weakness. There’s no balance. It’s one extreme or the other. For someone who needs to keep her feet planted on the ground when turbulence is expected, it’s my downfall.

Let me explain. 

I reference my divorce as it was a turning point in my life. Monomentous in my perception of reality and the encounters and experiences that had made me who I am. It is also the time that I started to be more aware. Aware of myself outside of the picture I painted. It is the experience that has stayed with me. My reaction to the memory different now. It doesn’t tip my scales. Doesn’t make me smile, nor does it make me sad.

My ex husband and I were never suppose to be together. Not for as long as we were together. Yes, our paths were meant to cross. I learned from him, and I hope he too learned from me. Even if that lesson was only, what not to do. But I dragged it out for far too long. When things got difficult instead of planting myself firmly in the present. Seeing what was right in front of me, I drifted. Daydreaming.

I found an alternate reality to live in. I would escape to a new place, filled with all good things. I only replayed the sweet memories. Life was amazing. So when I would be jolted back into the present. My feet forced back on solid ground. I brought back my warped perception of a timeline that didn’t exist in the present and hunkered down. If I stayed long enough, we could be that.

Imagine the old movies playing. Couples laughing, children playing, chocolate cake. Even in black and white it was the best movie you ever did see.

So when it was over, I grieved my old picture film longer than I ever did the reality. I knew it was over. But the picture, that was a keepsake. I couldn’t imagine losing it. A teddy bear.

When it burned in flames, I was devastated. 

Being fully aware of this now, I go back and forth between trusting myself. I still daydream. I am still failing forward. 

So when it feels too good and sweet around me, I bite my lips. It hurts. This is real. 

When it hurts though, my first instinct is not to bite my lips. I do not want to know this is real. I go into my head. I create different scenarios. All of them soothing my ego.

Ya, don’t do that. That defeats the purpose of being aware and present. 

So not too long ago, I found myself justifying my actions in a way that didn’t resemble reality. Yeah, sure, it could be a possibility but what was in front of me was not it. Bites lip. Ouch.

I let it go. I put the picture in the bottle and tossed it out to sea. 

If I ever find it washed up on a beach one day, I hope it makes me smile. I hope it flows through me and reminds me of the first time I daydreamed and planted my feet on the ground.

Signed: Someone with her feet on the ground and head in the clouds

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