I Don’t Want To Be Anywhere Else

If you cannot find peace within yourself, you will never find it anywhere else. Marvin Gaye

I don’t want to be anywhere else but in this bright, sunny house with too many windows, not enough wall space and a funky floor plan.

I don’t want to be anywhere else but married to this man I’ve known since were both 17 years old. The one who was older than his years even then, responsible and loving in a way that has kept me safe for more than 40 years. The one who stood shoulder to shoulder with me as we protected, defended and fought for our sweet boy. The one who makes me laugh, often just by laughing himself.

I don’t want to be anywhere else but parenting this girl of mine who teaches me more than I have ever taught her. Born spirited and fiery, she has been her own person always. Seeing the world full of light and color. Unafraid to say what needs to be said, to do what needs to be done, to go her own way even if she has to walk alone.

I don’t want to be anywhere else but surrounded by the ghosts of my beloved parents and first-born son. Daughter of older parents who poured their best into me. Mother of a college student whose shiny life was cut short by brain cancer. As deeply as I grieve and long for them, I wouldn’t choose a different life, another set of parents, any other child.

I don’t want to be anywhere else but doing this work that feeds my soul but no longer overwhelms or intimidates me. Even my most horrific client has become the life lesson it always was about an insecure, bitter, incompetent executive who traded in gossip and lies and wielded power over others by using what he knew and should never have shared. It’s taken far too long for me to realize he has no power over me anymore. He never really did. Most people didn’t believe his lies, and those who did weren’t going to hire me anyway.

I don’t want to be anywhere else but sitting in Jimmy’s room surrounded by penguins and the books he loved, writing what needs to be written. Finding the limits of what’s okay to share and what resonates with other people. Looking for the universal, searching for connection. Healing myself while reaching out to other grieving souls. Grateful for those who held my hand in the early days, trying to do the same for those who come after me.

I don’t want to be anywhere else but navigating life with this body. Still strong and healthy. Less flexible with knees and hips that like to bark at me, I am grateful to still be here. Too many others have died at ages far younger than mine while others live with disease, illness and misery I have been lucky enough to avoid. I do not need to lose weight to be happier, lighter, faster or okay. As Anne Lamott likes to say, there is no reason to wear pants that have an opinion about my waistline.

I don’t want to be anywhere else …

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