There are moments when my world shifts on its axis. There are moments when I no longer know which way is up anymore, and when I have to adjust to a new version of ‘normal’. There have been moments when my world has shifted as a result of something happy, and moments when the something has been about as welcome as a football in the face.
I’m in one of those moments. I am officially discombobulated. I am bemused and insightful. I am alternately completely fine, and weary beyond measure.
But I am also alive in the most spine tingly of ways. I am in touch with truths and realities and realisations I could never come into contact with had my world never shifted on its axis. I have again faced the inevitability that my world is going to shift on its axis from time to time – that life is going to throw stuff my way. And when it does (precisely when I’m not expecting it to) I am also forced to remember that everyone’s world shifts on its axis from time to time.
It’s impossibly tempting to focus on the unfairness of my world shifting in the way it has, and to believe that mine is the only world that appears to be sitting at a wonky, discombobulated angle while everyone around me is pootling along quite merrily. In the past, I’ve been pretty darn good at seeing my struggles through that lens. It’s far harder to remember in these moments that it’s just my turn. It’s my moment for it all to go a bit wonky – to get thrown off course in one way or another. That in many ways these wonky times are the most human of moments I’ll ever have. These are the raw, rattling, confusing times. These are the moments when something shifts so fundamentally that I am changed whether I want to be changed or not. And change is uncomfortable. And growth hurts. But when growth starts, there’s no stopping it. It’s happening. I’m on the journey, whether I want to be on it or not.
And right now, I’m on the journey. The journey that starts when the universe decides to start it for me. Not when I’m ready, and I’ve got all my shit in order, and I’m all prepared. Never then. The journey, in my experience, always seems to start suddenly. By surprise. It crashes into me, leaving me swaying, and trying to regain my balance. Like the Weeble that wobbles but doesn’t fall down.
But boy does the wobbling take some energy. And boy does the wobbling force me to use emotional muscles I’ve not used in a while. These are those moments when having a strong core really matters, in the way it matters in Pilates, Yoga or just about any form of physical activity. Because when your core is in good nick, there’s less chance of injury. When your core is strong you can exercise better, and more effectively. You can build the muscles you need or want to build, from a solid and steady place.
And for me, writing, and reflecting, and the people I trust to turn to while I’m busy wobbling – that’s what builds my core. That’s what provides me with the structural support I need while the wobbling, and the uncomfortable growth happens. That’s what stops me from ripping muscles and hurting myself while I lurch from side to side in pursuit of my balance, or at least some semblance of solid ground.
And the beautiful truth that always comes into focus when my world shifts on its axis, is that the people I choose to turn to – they’ve been here too. They know what it is to wobble perilously in the face of a life event. They know what it is to fling their arms out as they try to stop themselves falling. And as obvious as that is, it’s never more beautiful than the moment when I am reminded once again that this is the truth. That I am not alone, because these moments are about as human as they come.