I listen to a lot of folks for a living. As recent as today someone called me to help pull them in from being deep in ocean. Listening is not even a job anymore but something I do naturally even though I am not so sure I hear self as well. It’s so natural I even hear the girl crying as her mom brisk her pass me off to class late. Somedays as I’m listening to others I have to work hard at hearing the lyrics in their story as separate from my own song. Somedays it seems like all of our stories are like wet tangled hair easily meshed together. I dance between joy and wonderment. I find myself starting out in one emotion and dancing through a rainbow of emotions. And so life is a prism of experiences. It is not as clear to me anymore as I juggle many balls while walking on a tight rope where I am or what I am doing.
But there are these invitations, that sometimes find me, that invite me to step outside of me. By stepping outside of me, I mean the me that is bombarded with to do list, errands, and obligations. By stepping outside of me, I mean the person who has my family and friends in categories to call on different days of the weeks. By steeping outside of me, I mean the person who balances listening with responding and being many things to many people that I care and love and knowing that some days I am not what they wanted me to be. By stepping outside of me, I mean the person with two jobs, a blended family, family and friends, and unfulfilled personal aspirations. By stepping outside of me, I mean the person who wants to go crazy sometimes but instead holds it all together because it’s what’s expected of people like me. All of this is the me that I sometimes need to escape.
And so the latest of invitations, that I remember with a chuckle, is my son’s challenge to a race to the car. Seeing as how we were less than 50 feet from the car, it was a surmountable distance but not something I was expected to do inside of me. Somewhere a yes erupted from my mouth and it was on. We both got to the car at the same time. I believe this only to be true because my boots were unzipped slowing my movement down (lol). But when we both arrived at the car we looked at each other and laughed. I wonder if this is the joy of play. We were both breathing a little harder, smiling a lot more and basking in exhilaration. And in that moment I realized my son had invited me outside of myself. Outside of me was beautiful, carefree and light.