Epiphanies are the soul of life. They force us to dig deeper, try harder, and get back up when we’ve been knocked over for the first (or millionth) time.
A person who can’t recall her last epiphany is a stunted soul who chooses the comfort of familiarity and stagnation over imbuing the world with the energy of her true self. And I know that woman well. For so long, that woman was me.
I recalled being a tiny girl with big dreams I relayed to my three imaginary friends while we sat in a corn field.
That little girl’s favorite record was a collection of world music relayed by a kid and a talking bird who flew all over the globe together. She created intricate stories and characters with her Barbies and baby dolls, and she learned to read early to experience a world she desperately wanted to see. She tried to ride her pet cow, got lost for hours in her own imagination, and knew who she wanted to be.
Like most human souls, outside demands of who she should be stifled who she was as she entered school.
Society tells children they need to control themselves. It laughs at their imaginations, tears up their dreams, orders them to color inside the lines. It preaches that creators need to do something useful. Certain paths won’t work because they aren’t lucrative, or they’re embarrassing, or they confront others with things they don’t wish to see.
At thirty-two, I realized I could be who I am, not who everyone expects me to be. I spent almost two decades trying to find that little girl and her imaginary friends. She’s always been me. Decades of concrete and rebar kept her buried under the weight of other people’s opinions and expectations.
Epiphanies make everyone uncomfortable.
I’ve been blissfully and at times very tearfully uncomfortable. Cracking the weight of cement, jackhammering through concrete……well, that’s messy, loud business. Those comfortable with familiarity and stagnation don’t like the noise. Or the mess. Or the reminder that they’re unwilling to challenge themselves or risk anything.
Other’s reactions to your growth reveal their fears and insecurities, but they also help you find your people.
I’ve alienated people and walked away, pissed them off and screwed up more than I can possibly describe. Epiphany-chasers are mirrors. We highlight things many prefer not to see.
I may be the most flawed, imperfect, mistake-ridden soul I know. My past is littered with a billion what was I thinking moments. I messed up, blew up, and screwed up repeatedly, but I finally found that little girl again.