A week ago, I was displaced from my house for five days. The reason: careless mishandling of toxic chemicals by the property management of my apartment. Needless to say, it was an inconvenience. Then, for the cherry on top, I got sick from the stress-induced subsequent lack of sleep. But, life keeps moving.
I probably wouldn’t have made it through last week if it weren’t for the support of my family and friends, many of whom offered their couches, and in one case, floor, to me with absolutely no advance notice. I remember thinking at the time in my sleep-deprived state, that there was something strangely beautiful about being totally displaced, vulnerable, and lost, only to be rescued by the kindness of another.
I always try to find the positives in situations or extract some useful nugget to share. In this particular case, I was reminded just how much I take my house and health for granted. It’s literally the foundation of my life, without which, I wouldn’t be able to do the things I love.
They say the pain of labor is among the most intense in the human library of experiences. While it's safe to say I won't go through this personally, that expression of “PUSH” is a particularly useful metaphor. Pushing is the feeling you get when you know the effort you’re making can’t be sustained long-term, but you’re willing to give it everything you've got for a short burst. Sometimes, it’s the only thing we can do to get past the bad stuff.
The essays I publish are intended to inspire action. I write mostly for myself, to remind me of things I need to be told. But, I’m always thrilled when something I write resonates with other people. As unique as we are, there’s an astonishing percentage of common experiences we all share. Being sick, needing a bed to sleep on, giving birth, among countless others.
It took a while to recover from the anxiety caused by my apartment, and then more time to regain the necessary strength to get back to work. I tend to feel deeply frustrated when I can’t perform at the level of my personal standards, inducing a sort of downward spiral of negative feelings cumulating upon whatever caused the initial derailment. But the key lesson here is patience and to keep moving forward.
I don’t suppose I’m alone in saying that I experience tough moments. We all do. And when we recover, it's possible to come back stronger than before. As rude of an awakening that my displacement was, my hope is that this story will inspire you to take a moment to be thankful for the bed you sleep on, and the vitality of your consciousness.
These simple things, which I normally take for granted are missing from the lives of billions. While I get myself back on track in a matter of weeks, some people never obtain this level of comfort or security. Moving forward, I feel an intrinsic debt to capitalize on the opportunities I’ve been afforded, by adding even more value back to this mysteriously beautiful world.