I was watching Grey’s Anatomy last night (now wait right there, don’t you judge me…have YOU actually watched it????) Anyway, the whole episode was told from Dr. Christina Yang’s point of view. She’s a hard nosed, driven, career-first, take-no-prisoners surgeon that wants to be the best because she knows she can be…heck, she knows she is. Minus the whole “surgeon part”, Yang and I have a lot in common…or at least we did.
In the episode, we get to see three paths that Yang’s life could have gone down had she made some slight alternations in her priorities. I love these “what if” scenarios because they always make me think about my own life and different intersections that could have resulted in an entirely different life….or would it?
The show ended with Yang accepting a prestigious award (a Harper Avery award for fellow fans) for her advancement in medicine by saying: “It only takes one person…one patient…one moment to change your life forever. To change your perspective, color your thinking. To force you to reevaluate everything you know. To make you ask yourself the toughest questions. Do you know who you are? Do you know what’s happened to you? Do you want to live this way?” Those are three really big questions that I’ve been pondering today….
Do I know who I am? I think so. Well….maybe. For waaaay too long the first words out of my mouth would have been associated with what I did. “I’m a GM. I’m a VP. I’m blah blah blah at work.” That’s not the case now. So, who am I? I’m a daughter….grand daughter…niece…aunt…cousin. A friend…a confidant…a coach. A yogini and a crossfitter. An animal lover. A writer. A dreamer. A traveler. A retiree.
Do I know what happened to me? Yep. I opened my heart…well, technically yoga opened my heart…but the point is that once it opened, there was no closing it. I fell in love with life…with myself…with that “taste” that escaped me (see Day 1 post on March 27th for background). Nothing that I had been doing made sense anymore. It was like waking up in someone else’s body. I wanted all these things that I hadn’t wanted before – or maybe more simply, that I hand’t allowed myself to want before. I wanted love. The right love. I wanted to give it. Receive it. Roll around in it. I wanted to make a difference in the world, not just where I worked…but in.the.world. I felt trapped in someone else’s existence and I desperately needed to break free. So I did.
Do I want to live this way? I don’t think I can answer that yet. I know I don’t want to live like I was. But this new life is still soooo fresh that the new car smell is overpowering. I think I’m heading in the right direction. I have 361 days left to document, discover, discern, and decipher my way through it. One thing I do know is that I’m going to get off track – that’s inevitable when you’re charting a new course. There isn’t a path cut for me to follow. But I plan to do my best to ask these three questions each day, and if I don’t like the answers then I’ll make a course correction. Regardless of what I’m doing or not doing, I know that I will live as my heart desires. I will throw caution to the wind and trust. I will give myself goosebumps because I’m speaking (and writing) my truth. I will love.
We should all be asking ourselves — and our loved ones — these questions on the regs. We should expect the answers to change as we meet new people and experience new moments. The ultimate goal, though, is to be with a partner and friends that support us as we evolve. That as we walk our path – whatever path it is – we are surrounded by love.
Now go on, ask yourself. Do you like what you hear? Feel free to share….