That song has been playing in my head for days because I am actually having the time of my life. Again. At long last and at my own disbelief.
Before leaving for my summer destination, I knew this trip was going to be a decisive one for me. I didn’t know how. What I did know was that I was going to have to face several of the foes who had so weakened me over the past year. After a heavy dozen months, I truly feared this unavoidable encounter. I felt any new attack on my person might bring me to my knees. And so, I entered the lion’s den with my head held high and a smile on my face, and contrary to all my expectations, I found the lions had reverted to the state of cubs. No swords were drawn, no venom spewed. I glided between the hurdles rather than jumping over them and I made my way out safely, gracefully and unscathed. I came out liberated and relieved, yet no battles had been fought and won. There simply had been no battle. Silence and polite smiles, however insincere, rid me of a burden that had been weighing me down for so many months.
Out I came, and on I went to stay with dear friends who took my hand and gave me their support, encouragement and, above all, faith that I could create again. The elusive faith in myself I had had so much of in the past, was slowly coming back. Day after day, we worked on my project for a screenplay, we discussed the storyline, the characters, the music, the atmosphere of the film. Its magical story was born in my mind three years ago, but had never quite taken shape. And with each answered question, with each detail analysed, my life force was coming back to me. Inch by inch, my self-esteem was growing, my posture was changing and my light started shining again. I thus spent precious days and nights on a beautiful island, immersed in a universe I was creating with the help of my friends, encountering exceptional individuals who were adding to the experience. And then on I went again, with the energy of Toy Story’s Buzz Lightyear as he shouts out: “To infinity… and beyond!”
Since then, I have been on an amazing ride, shedding burdens and wrinkles, worries and doubts, with each step I take. Where I had come to feel invisible, hidden under layers of self-doubt, disappointment, hurt and exhaustion, I am coming back to life, and how it shows! People are opening doors for me (both literally and figuratively), men and women alike are smiling at me, friends and acquaintances are showering me with invitations. I could say it feels like I am 27 again, and yet it’s not quite that. This is just as exhilarating, but I have left naivety behind and just kept my undying idealism.
To be sure, this fabulous phase will pass, as have the heavy ones. But I am tasting each drop of this sweet nectar, which I sometimes doubted I would ever taste again. Once more in my life, I am Woman. Not A woman, not ANY woman. Woman. The one I discovered hidden inside me when I moved to Montreal. The one who had sprung from the starry-eyed exuberant little girl I once was. The one who is reconnecting with her intellect, her emotions and her body.
A few months ago, I wrote of the gratitude I knew I should feel, but couldn’t. Today, I can. I am grateful for each person who has been crossing my path these last few weeks and igniting fire after fire, whether in my mind or my soul. I am even more grateful to all who have been with me, walking alongside me, during these heavy months. Today, I don’t only know that I am blessed, I can feel it too.
And so, I end this reflection on a contented note. Whatever Life has thrown my way or gifted me with lately, I have always known the sun would shine on me again. Now it has and it is. And I am oh so grateful.
(Title: Song written by J. De Nicola, D. Markowitz, F. Previte in “Dirty Dancing”)