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We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."

Six weeks ago I decided to run away from home. Wanting to leave the crappy job I had and escape all the drama and chaos of family situations was not the initial thought that led me to the decision, but those things were most definitely deciding factors.

So, having put the original plan in motion and feeling like the change would lead to unimagined possibilities, I quit my job, sold/gave away 90% of everything I owned, put the rest in storage in Texas, packed the essentials in my car (clothes, electronic devices, a small bit of jewelry, makeup and personal care items), fueled up my Pontiac G6 and hit the road back to California.  This was I believe the 3rd time in 4.5 years of accumulating and then disposing of pretty much everything. So, I have learned by necessity how to not become attached to material things or places.

I did of course have a “plan” when I started the ball rolling with the intention of winding up closer to my granddaughter in Hawaii, but as it turns out, the original “plan” has included several revisions – I think I am at Rev. 6.2 currently. This most recent revision has me landed in Santa Cruz, Ca. where I currently reside in a tent on the back deck of my friend MiMi’s house. 

Santa Cruz is the place I lived before jettisoning everything and moving back to Texas to marry Paul. I felt a yearning to be back here again, to see old friends and to see the Pacific Ocean again. This is the place where Paul and I spent much time together before my move back to Texas. This couch on the deck and the spot that I am sitting in at this very moment is the place we both looked at my engagement ring together, turning it at different angles to see it sparkle in the sun with the possibilities of our new life together seeming endless like the sparkles of the ring.

This moment I am sitting here surveying the proud redwoods in the distance and enjoying the cool and sunny weather as I watch the grosbeaks, blue jays, finches and hummingbirds jockey for position at the feeders. It is a lovely place. Tranquil and calming. This environment is welcomed and appreciated. And when I am here all alone at this moment everything seems alright.

But I have had moments of panic and instability. (Oh God, what have I done!) Granted, making any huge change can always bring on feelings of doubt and indecision and even regret and remorse. I did not plan appropriately, and have put myself into a very precarious situation which lends itself to worry and panic. Yet I have promised myself and others that I will “stay in the moment” when gripped by these fears and insecurities.  The main reason I made the final decision to leave was that I wanted to create possibilities for myself. I felt stuck in Texas – as if I were the main character in the movie “Groundhog Day” – reliving the same day over and over again with no variation. I note with significant emphasis, that the main character in the movie (portrayed by Bill Murray) is not able to change what happens with the other people in the recurring day, but he changes HIMSELF in order to have a different experience.

I think there is a lesson here for me. 

The possibilities are still out there. But I am going to have to change my perspective from fear to faith in order to see them. I think the actual “physical” place I am at has little to do with this. It is my attitude that will have the most profound impact on what does or does not happen for me. Certainly there are financial realities to be dealt with and there basic needs that must be met, however, what  I must remember is that there is some kind of guiding force here at work. Too many times in my life, and undoubtedly during this grief journey there have been what I thought were “coincidences” or some kind of synchronism at work that is only understood in hindsight. So this leads me to believe that “something” is brewing in the multidimensional universe (Wow, that sounded really California like! What it is I have no earthly idea. But it’s something good for me. Because every other time I have felt this way (like there’s no way forward) something shifts, things change and I find a new hope and a new experience that unfolds. (Yes Dianne West, Hope DOES matter!)

So having made this bold declaration that I am not at all sure I can live up to, I commit to changing my perspective so that I can see the possibilities for my future. Stay in California and work?  Find a previously unknown source of income and hit the road to travel? Go to a different state and settle in for a bit?  Work a little and move on to Hawaii?  Who knows?  I sure don’t. But I know I am not giving up. I’ve got a bit more fight left in me. I just needed a round break. 

Ok Universe, give me my options.  I’m listening.

Peace Out.


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Comment by Lakelady on July 16, 2014 at 3:31am
Ali, I am humbled by your courage. Sometimes we do need a break between rounds-and I know you will come out fighting. Hang in there, have faith, and know what you will land on your feet.
Comment by AEDforever (Ali) on July 14, 2014 at 1:50pm

Thank you peeps.  It helps to get some "atta girl" pats and acknowledgement for being brave.  Because most of the time I am thinking "what the hell were you thinking?"  But I know this, no risk means no gain. No courage means staying stuck.  I trudge on, no matter the consequences.  I. just. keep. going.

Comment by Seeking peace in VA on July 13, 2014 at 7:13am
I am completely awed by your post. I thought I was brave painting our bedroom! I can't imagine doing what you're doing. We moved into this house in May of 1978 and I can't imagine not living here. It's like my haven and it's where my husband died suddenly 5/27. I hold on to the "something is brewing in the multidimensional universe" with both hands because it keeps me focused on the fact that nothing is random and there is a purpose to all this- much as I think that purpose sucks right now- mine is a product of being in college in the early '70's and some middle eastern thinking my daughter and I have talked about. You are one brave lady . I hope I can be as strong on this journey!
Comment by Choosing life on July 8, 2014 at 4:15pm
Ali -- for the last 2 days out of the blue, I have been attacked by the uncertainty looming before me. You described it perfectly -- like there is no way forward. Much anxiety and crying at odd times. Today I told God that I did have faith that He had a plan for me. Such a scarey thing to keep walking when you can't see the road ahead of you. But like you every time there seemed to be an "end" there was a new beginning beyond what I had hoped for. Sounds like you are in the right place for a new beginning. I wish you peace and a happy heart.

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