He asked me how I felt.
I don’t feel anything. I don’t feel happy nor sad. I’m pensive, but also not thinking of anything at all. I just exist throughout my day without attention, stimulation or sensation. It’s the strangest feeling to not feel anything at all.
The last few months have been filled with work, friends, travel, a yoga retreat, concerts and events. There’s not much ‘down time’ generally in my world – but there is a difference between being present and just existing.
I feel like I’m just existing.
I remember vividly sitting at my yoga retreat, surrounded by beautiful strangers – loving the vibe, the vegan food, the incense and the spot where I laid my mat – but I didn’t want to be there. I didn’t want to be home, either. I was imprisoned by thoughts of life, love and loneliness. There’s always been an eternal void and/or perpetual sadness, that visits my soul intermittently throughout my life.
I feel that now.
I’m on the 8th day of a spontaneous European trip and the spirit inside of me wants to make a detour and take a random train, explore a historic city, get lost and eventually, find myself in that journey. I remember doing that often as a new resident in San Francisco in my twenties. I just drove and drove, until I understood my footing and direction. Same thing when I biked around Beijing as a college student. I just rode furiously (and dangerously) down streets amongst cars and large trucks, moving as fast I can going towards nowhere at all – I just wanted to Go, escape, discover.
At 25, while in Hawaii with my first lone trip with my father, I fell in love with snorkeling. One late afternoon, I began to wander further and further out into the ocean. Every time I saw new schools of fishes I’d follow them deeper into the abyss. Hours passed, the sun was already setting and my father who was waiting at the shoreline, was very concerned something bad happened. He would often retell the story of his fears in ‘making that call’ to mom, then suddenly and thankfully see me happily pop out of the ocean, next to hard rocks and sharp coral, where large evening waves pushed my too-curious-for-her-own-good body.
There’s a rebellious energy I haven’t recognized until just now. When I’m scared of a moment, I shake its hand then embrace it like an old friend. When others go right, I go left. This familiar energy has an unpredictable, almost dangerous quality. I see my middle son more clearly now. He’s the first one to dive off a high cliff but also the one who’s broken the most bones. He’s the most quiet amongst peers, but loud and engaging around older souls. He can spend hours drawing, reading and staring at nowhere.
I look at nowhere all the time too.
When the boys were little, I’d put them in my car and exclaim,“today, we are getting lost!” I proceeded to drive anywhere my heart pulled me. These were the best moments… when we didn’t seek to find what we knew, but sought to discover what we didn’t know. So we’d adventurously drive, perhaps to new nearby cities, visit new ice cream shops and see new terrain outside the monotony of their home life. I hoped to instill that nothing is wrong with going (seemingly) nowhere.
For whatever seems true, often isn’t. There are people who think they are growing externally, but not evolving internally. There are those who have expensive things, but have nothing of value at the same time. There are beings surrounded by multiple people, but not have connection with a single spirit. There are souls – like mine today – that is moving constantly, but is still stationed in the stillness that weighs them down, deep inside.
I feel lost right now.
My meditations, something I’ve depended on to anchor me spiritually these last several years – are absent. I feel emotional, like I could cry at any moment. I am lacking safety, solace and serenity.
I don’t like admitting this discomfort but I equally dislike denying it.
I am grateful, however. I always am. As I know this feeling will pass – just like the good ones will pass also. I know that this vulnerable place is necessary for my growth…if it were comfortable, it means I was already here at some point. I’m moving shells. I’m exposed. I know exactly where I am.
I don’t want to repeat past cycles, continue old habits and produce same predictable results. I want to be somewhere else in ten years, so if I want to go where I’ve never been I must do, feel and exist in ways I’ve never experienced.
There’s a faith in being lost. Despite superficial fears, deep within there is a knowingness – that everything is unfolding and moving exactly as it should. It always does. It always has.
It, has never failed me.
Turns out, I do have present feelings, just not ones people usually share.