“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different…” – C.S. Lewis
A friend of mine posted these words on her Facebook page yesterday. The words struck me. I couldn’t help but think how absolutely perfect this powerful quote was as we close out the old year and welcome a new one.
As I then began to reflect on 2014, I thought about how I don’t really feel any different that I did a year ago. Except, that I do. I KNOW that I am a different person. You cannot go through a year of dancing and not emerge a different soul. It’s impossible. Even though I am sitting on the same sofa, probably in the same jammies, doing the same thing I did last January 1, my life is so completely different now that it would take days to explain. For me, 2014 was the year of the dance–the one of joy and grief. Old paths intersecting with new ones as the journey of life danced on. . . whether I was ready for it or not.
As I was reflecting, I remembered a blog post, (one of way too many that I had started and never finished in 2014) one that sheds some light on the dance.
It is like a dance really. . .
The one of joy and grief.
Some days, it’s like a lively Irish jig–the back and forth of emotions moving as quickly as a river dancers feet. Joy and grief simultaneously morph into something so mind-blowing that I have yet to find the words to adequately describe.
Then some days, the dance, well, it’s more like a graceful waltz. Joy and grief moving together as beautifully as they possibly could given the circumstances that brought these two emotions together in the first place.
And still other days, it’s like the mosh pit of a punk rock concert. Out of control and coming at you full force, like the beat of a thousand drums pounding at you until you just want to run away forever. But you can’t. You can’t escape a mosh pit. You are stuck until music ends.
And that’s the dance of joy and grief.
When you are missing people who you loved like crazy, the dance is always there.
But, life goes on–it doesn’t stop because we are grieving. Joyful moments intersecting with painful ones. One unable to exist without the other. And just as you are beginning to find a familiar groove, a new dance suddenly begins. Jigging, waltzing, moshing. The dance is there waiting to remind you that even though life is good–so very good-–there is a hole in your heart so big that it’s impossible to fill. Those days are mosh pit days. And I am not a fan.
And so it went. And so it goes. Raw becomes real. As the numbness of the first year after loss began to fade, year two slowly became a dance. A very painful one. My old life constantly intersecting with the new. Well worn paths and new ones forged–colliding, over and over and over. The dance became one of clinging ever so tightly while slowly letting go–like you are hanging onto the edge of a cliff and one by one your fingers are slowly slipping. . .
It’s almost like a cha-cha now.
And instead of dancing in the rain. . .
I dance through tears–the ones of joy and grief.
Somewhere along the line, I learned that you make the choice to stay and dance or you choose to leave the party. You choose to jig, waltz, and cha-cha through the ups and downs of life, or you choose to stay stuck in the mosh pit, even after the music has ended and the crowd has gone home.
I choose to stay and dance–sometimes, like no one is watching.
And I’m glad.
Because even though the dance is exhausting, and painful, and messy, it’s also beautiful and joyous, and worth every crazy, aching moment.
To all of my friends and family that have danced with me in 2014. . .
I thank you and I love you.
Good-bye 2014 and hello 2015.
I can only imagine the new dance steps I will learn.
Happy New Year to all.
May 2015 be all that you hope it to be.