Dying to Be Me
I’ve been reading Dying to be Me by ANITA MOORJANI. I had first heard of her several years ago when I went to a conference in Atlanta. Wayne Dyer, somewhere between thanking everyone for buying his home in Maui and plugging his daughter’s recycled-plastic purses (awesome idea, by the way) and bringing the woman who invented Spanx on stage, he talked about Moorjani’s memoir.
Long story short: she had terminal cancer, went into a coma, experienced universal consciousness, woke up from the coma, and her cancer spontaneously began to heal.
That’s a really simplistic outline. I heartily recommend the book. It does seem to get a little repetitive, like she’s explaining the same thing over and over again, but then again, I can’t really critique someone for doing that. (Ahem). Even more heartily, though, I would recommend the Q & A at the end. It cleared up some questions I had while reading it.
She talks of the new perspective she had after coming back. During the coma, she had experienced the feeling of leaving her body, of a universe of unconditional love, of no longer being afraid to be herself, or more accurately, perhaps–of the state of being fearlessly herself. She also speaks about feeling out of sync, of not adhering to cultural and gender norms simply because her being wasn’t all that conforming to cultural and gender norms. She spoke of synchronicity and authenticity.
And she spoke of being fearless. Fearless in the face of death, fearless in the face of fear and in the face of daily challenges.
Parts of the book really resonated with me.
It made me long for my fearless days.
Those times when I didn’t care what people thought: I would wear fluorescent parachute pants and a lime green t-shirt because I wanted to, dammit.
Those times when I wasn’t afraid of speaking out or standing up. Over the years, I’ve gotten some of that back, so yay.
Also, I’ve managed to avoid the fearlessly shitty driving record of my youth. So double-yay.
Which reminds me…
When I was a teenager, I had once borrowed my father’s truck to practice my newly not-so-acquired skill of driving. The truck was shit-brown and had running boards down the sides. [this is important]
And I banged it up.
Not wrecked it, exactly, but I turned a little too close to a concrete-enclosed flower bed, in front of the old Delchamps and Big B Drugs in Long Beach, Mississippi. I bent the running boards to the point that I couldn’t get out of the truck when I returned home.
According to my mom, I pulled up, slid out the passenger side door, and pretended like nothing happened.
When they asked me how I did it, I pretended to have no idea. “Geez, I don’t know how that could have happened!”
Now I’m hearing Gomer Pyle’s voice, only he’s saying, “Deny! Deny! Deny!”
God, I was a such a shit.
But now that I’m well into middle age, and I find myself longing for a little more of that fearlessness back.
It’s too easy to get buried under fears about finances, about health, about this or that.
Sometimes I feel so lost in the chaos of life that I feel that I am forgetting to live it.
I’m still trying to figure out how to shuffle around priorities so that I am living while still doing the boring but necessary parts of life. Like balancing leisure (whaat?) in ways that push a little beyond my comfort level AND making sure I that I have at least somewhat clean clothes. Or taking in a sunrise or meeting a friend for dinner or taking a day trip while balancing the job and geriatric cat care and remembering to pay bills or to even go through mail or show up to the job that pays my house note and air conditioning.
I’m in the South, y’all. We need air conditioning even though it’s December. Sometimes the heater too. It’s not unusual to use both in the same day.
Even if I do manage to re-prioritize, how do I hold onto that order in the midst of the chaos of crises: health, financial, whatever that so aggravatingly tends to shove me off course?
I really, really don’t know.
A first step, I think, is my complete divorcing of my employment from my work. It has led to my realizing that I’m really not as bound to—or trapped by—a job as I’d thought for so long.
Now I just have to remember that. After all, a job’s purpose is to support a life. A life’s purpose is not to support a job.