Lately, more than ever, I’ve had to be painfully truthful with myself.
In the last six months, my mind has been plagued with same onslaught of questions: Where am I going? Where have I been? Who have I met? How have they changed my life? What will I do with my life? Will I be successful? What if he doesn’t call? Why do I feel like ignoring his call when he does?
Some people think best on the toilet. I tend to think best in the shower. There came a time last summer when, taking a cold shower to combat a heat wave, I was content with the way things were going. I was happy to be waiting tables, felt lucky to have the friends I did. I felt proud that I was making it on my own in Philadelphia.
Then something changed. My showers went from a relaxing spot to sing along to my Steely Dan albums to a place that would mask my salty tears. If I cried in the shower, it didn’t count, right? I felt miserable, unhappy. I daydreamed of running away, living in some sort of lean-two in Costa Rica. As I stood under my shower head, letting the water run over my back, I pretended I was in a warm waterfall in South America. I was feeling absolutely trapped.
As time passed and I realized that I’d soon have to leave the east coast to satiate my craving for the weird,unknown world. A shower this past fall gave me another epiphany. Rarely do I speak aloud to myself, but on this occasion it was necessary: “Stop being a pussy. Just do it. Seriously, just do it.” Suddenly my scrub session became a school yard bully berating unto myself. I had to sternly tell myself that my life in Philadelphia just wasn’t working anymore. I had to be honest.
Since then, I’ve become less reluctant to do what I want and what works for me. For a month or two, I feared telling my mom that I’d be traveling abroad to Australia for an extended say. Even my sister said, “Don’t you think mom will be mad?” I thought, “Mad?! Exploration is perfectly natural. It’s not like I’m breaking the news to her that I’m a drug addict.”
In being honest with myself, listening to my intuition and following my dreams, I’ve had to let some people down. I’ve had to quit jobs, say goodbye and move on. I’ve had to surprise people, delight others and certainly disappoint people. But in doing so, I feel like I’m on the path to becoming my best self. That’s something that wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t listened to the voice inside my head constantly echoing to be honest to myself.
Truth is a virtue in my life, perhaps the only driving force in my decision making. Truth is something that cannot be silenced. Try as I might to enjoy the peaceful moments in my shower, when I’m alone, cleaning off, contemplating life and preparing to do what I need to do for the day, the sometimes hard facts creep in. I know now how to differentiate the tears born out of frustration from those resulting from soap in my eyes. That distinction, at one time blurred, is as clear and honest as any shower revelation.