I’ve lost a lot of weight recently. Tons and tons of emotional baggage that I’d gotten used to carrying around with me like a giant metal ball attached to my ankle. A ball that had grown and grown and grown so big – that one day I just couldn’t pull it along with me any longer. Not one more inch. It had become too heavy. I was stuck. Stuck in a place where I could do only one of two things: stay stuck forever or start shrinking that ball, or better yet, unleash myself from it all together.
I few months back I wrote a post on what I would do if I had only six months to live: my no-regret bucket list. It was a list of steps I needed to take to heal relationships that are important to me: with my dad, with my brother and with my ex. Little did I know that the universe was going to conspire and deliver situations to me in no time that would catapult me into resolving them way sooner than I ever thought I would. The delivery was plain brutal in some respects, plain beautiful in others.
My list has caught up with me. I didn’t think I was ready. But life thought I was. Last Monday I got a text from my aunty whom I’ve met only once in my entire life – three years ago, shortly after I first saw my dad again, for the first time after 29 years of no contact whatsoever. Last Monday my aunty told me he’d been brought into hospital and my very first thought was: I need to get there. I need to get there. And way earlier than I ever thought I would I did item number two of my no-regret bucket list…
Some Saturdays are different. Today is one of those. It’s the second Christmas Eve I’m “celebrating” without what used to be my family. I’ve deliberately chosen not to take up an invitation to my best friend’s family party. I just felt like spending the day on my own, enjoying some me-time. As if it was just another Saturday. No different from any other Saturday.
For a very long time I’ve been carrying around the heavy weight of my past, a story of childhood hurts that I kept telling myself over and over again until it defined me. My dented trust in life’s innate beauty, my need to control and improve whatever and whoever was around me, my lack of playfulness, as it turns out, were once needed ways to ring-fence my vulnerable core from the heavy storms of life. I had become resilient, or at least I thought so.