A Crisis is a Terrible Thing to Waste

I heard those words spoken in the first yoga workshop I ever attended.

For someone like me that tends to collapse under the weight of a crisis, it seemed crazy to think of a crisis as something of value.

It’s only been in the last 11 months of my new life, my second life, that I’ve re-examined the idea of embracing chaos, crisis, and confusion. Basically, I was given no choice. If I were going to survive this new way of living and being, then I would have to cozy up quickly to each and every crisis.

I’ve written a little about what propelled me to leap off that cliff and quit my old life.

I’ve shared small glimpses of how defeating it can feel to not know what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and whether or not it will work.

I’ve riffed about how choosing an unconventional life at 33 can make you seem crazy to others, and at times you even believe that you must be as crazy as everyone thinks.

It’s been the writing that I’ve done over the last 11 months that has brought me some clarity in the midst of the chaos. A lot of that writing is never shared. A lot of the experiences and the moments, both the good and the bad ones, are experiences that I’ve selfishly hid away for myself.

I felt that it wasn’t fair to share my day-to-day fluctuations from success to struggle, from pain to love, and from crazy to a different kind of crazy.

Why would anyone want to hear these stories and why would they care? How would anyone be able to understand or sympathize with a struggle so foreign from their own.

But as I come to the end of my time here in Lisbon and prepare to move on to another chapter I feel that there have been so many moments and stories that have gone untold.  

Those unspoken moments are the ones that make up the blog posts and social media rants that I carefully select for the outside world.

And while those posts that I share are true and brutally honest, what happens to all the other juicy moments of crisis that give life and craft my musings?

Those moments live and die in my mind, on the notes page in my phone, and in my journals, and that’s a damn shame.

I don’t think I’m the greatest writer. I don’t think I have the most fascinating stories. I don’t particularly think that my day-to-day life is all that interesting.

Then I remember that there is only one other person in the world that I know that is doing what I’m doing and he happens to live with me.

So I decided it’s time to start really sharing what this journey has been and continues to be about.

And when I think about who’s going to care, and who’s going to read it, I realize it doesn’t matter.  

I’m writing these stories for my future self.

I’m writing for my niece and my one-day children and grandchildren.

I’m writing for my sister, my girlfriends, my students, and my teachers.

I’m writing them for Jorge and for our relationship.

I’m writing for anyone I’ve ever known who’s wanted to share his or her story but didn’t know how to do it.

But mostly, I’m writing this for myself; because a tragedy, a triumph, a crusade, a moment, an act of courage, faith, or love is a terrible thing to waste.