“I have lost and loved and won and cried myself to the person I am today.” — Charlotte Eriksson
A few weeks ago during shvasana at the end of yoga, I was overtaken by the sensation that my mother was with me. I felt her energy swirling around me and settling into my open palms. Suddenly I had a clear picture of her, she was about my age now, and the details her healthy, pre-cancer self were overwhelming.
While tears ran down my cheeks and onto my mat, I thought about everything she missed. This grief-fantasy was less of a pity-party about her missing my milestones and more about her potential, her passions, her life.
When I got home I got right on a call, thankfully a regular phone call and not a zoom- is everyone else just as tired of seeing their own face staring back at them of the screen all day? And, because I struggle to do one thing at a time, I started watering the plants. While watering the fern I could see about a dozen fronds poised to unfurl. Bright green, full of potential and promise for growth.
I imagined being one of those verdant little curled up balls. What must it feel like to unroll? Gentle? Scary? Both, maybe?
I’m writing this from the rooftop of a hotel in Los Angeles, poolside. I’m taking a much needed 20-minute break from working on my pitch deck and I because my breaks also must be productive, I’m writing. I digress.
I’m mentioning LA because it feels like a place, maybe The Place other than the Armington Street house, that’s fundamentally (and unexpectedly) important to my becoming.
From a plane ride here in 2018 on my mother’s death anniversary (the first year I was working on brilliantly full time), I wrote on a Facebook list that I finally felt like I was going to be ok. It took thirteen years, but something was happening in my heart as I flew across the country.
I was here again in 2019 and, while feeling distinctly less vivacious and hopeful when I arrived, a workshop I attended while in town was the single-most healing experience I’ve ever had that didn’t involve a heroic amount of psilocybin.
This time, in my Lyft ride to this hotel where I’m sleeping in a room with bunk beds and three other women (it’s 50 bucks a night and you already heard about the rooftop pool!), I was overcome with a calmness as I entered the city. I am a little more grown up, a tiny bit more confident and poised to level up. I am stretching out and reaching for what’s next like a fern towards the scattered sunbeams dancing through thick trees to the forest floor. I too can’t really see what’s up there, what’s coming next but it’s something good. I can feel it.
It’s impossible to say what would have come from her life, if my mother had more time to realize her potential. I am going to reach extra hard for success because mine has to also be hers.