A year ago today, I made a fateful decision. Though I couldn't have known at the time just how much it would change my life, I do recall how knotted my stomach was as I made it. I wavered for a long time, and almost reversed myself three or four times, before committing to it.
I'd spent a long time fashioning that cage for myself. I fancied it necessary -- to protect myself from the hurts and disappointments I was certain awaited me outside it. Thing is, hurts and disappointments reached me inside it, as well, but they were of the familiar sort, and I took cold comfort in them. I chose to dance a sad, slow dance with the devil I knew. But a devil is still a devil. And it really wasn't better.
Intellectually, I knew that. But it took a very long time for my heart to accept it. And as I sat by myself in a quiet house last Thanksgiving Day, reflecting on my life, where I'd been and where I was versus where I wanted to be, I knew that the time had come to make a significant change. And so I opened the door to my cage and warily stepped out.
It scared me. It made my heart race and my palms sweat, as I was certain it would. But it surprised me, too, how free I suddenly felt. And the more steps I took away from it, the more I realized just how much a prison my cage had been. It really hadn't kept me safe. It had kept me sad.
This being the month we celebrate Thanksgiving, I've seen a lot of people sharing their reasons for being thankful each day on Facebook. It's a lovely idea and tradition, and I thought about joining in, but frankly, got distracted and lazy. I didn't want to let today pass, however, without acknowledging just how thankful I am that last Thanksgiving Day, I finally set myself free of the notion that bittersweet was my destiny and happiness would forever remain just out of reach. Amazing how much easier it was to get to once I left my cage behind.