Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to talk to an old friend. Haven’t really talked to him in 11 years, not since I first met you. And as I had in college and in my early 20’s I once again learned something from this friend. He reminded me that it is okay to be soft with myself, that expectations I place on who I am ~ need not be. But posed a question ~ not one to be answered but one to think about. “What do you think your purpose would be if it was not to be Pat’s voice and spread him? As it seems that this is what you have been doing.” I was blown away as I did not think this was my purpose or path, but with closer examination maybe that is what I have been doing these past 7 months. Maybe I have been working so hard to beg others to hold on to what they have, to appreciate what I saw them so easily taking for granted, to dance in the moments life has given them~ that maybe, just maybe I forgot what MY purpose, MY path might be.
The more I pondered this, the more I knew deep in the quiet depths of my soul that YOU would hate anyone spending their lives, their energy, their dreams in pursuit of who you were and what you gave. You never wanted to leave footprints for others to follow, no not you. You wanted everyone to be authentic, to follow their own path~ map out their own journeys~ learn from their own adventures. So now I take a step back and realize that our love story might inspire others. Your endless love of toys and playing might encourage others see the child within themselves. Our simple view of happiness might motivate others to enjoy the modest intricacies of life. But, my purpose is mine to find out. I do not know what it is yet. This dear friend reminded me that it is okay not to know. The more I let myself contemplate what it is I am to learn, I am to do, I am to be~ the more I KNOW that it is MY journey I should be on. As hard as it is to think of venturing on in a world without you, I know you are ready for me to do just that. I fear I am not sure if I am ready, but who is ever really prepared for the greatest opportunities of growth in life? I said to this dear friend that my role is to be a giver and that I get that. His voice softened (just as yours always did when you wanted to tell me something important and hard to hear) and he reminded me that it is all right to be a receiver.
So receive I am ready to do. I am ready to shut up, open up, listen up! I am ready to learn from others, these great teachers found in friendship. I am ready to be lost and be okay with having a lack of control or direction. I am ready to shut up the voice that wants to TELL everyone to be thankful for what they have. I am ready to open up my EYES to new experiences that might be hard but needed for me to be authentically me. I am ready to listen up with my one working EAR to advice, questions, and stories from others who luckly cross my path. I am going to work towards opening my heart to others and not building this brick wall of holding on to just the past. I am going to work towards listening to the voice inside myself and not the voice of what I think is expected of me. I am going to work towards shutting up and learning from the silence ~ as silence is a wonderful teacher.
In order to honor you, I guess you would want me to honor myself. I am not saying this expedition will be easy. I am sure it will require some agony. But I am ready to venture into the unknown, ready to listen, ready to be listened to when it is from a true place of self, and ready to find my purpose ~ my purpose without you. You already filled yours. Each of us lucky enough to walk for but a moment on your road of life has been touched, I need not share it, it has already been shared. Thank you for sending this old friend back into my life. Thank you for giving me the strength to be OK with who I am. Thank you for demanding in the hush of the wind, that I find my own purpose in the new life I am leading.
Around the world and back again~