• Nukhet Hendricks

Musings at Dawn

I read my husband the quote from The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. She writes: "Think of yourself as an accident victim walking away from the crash: your old life has crashed and burned; your new life isn't apparent yet. You may feel yourself to be temporarily without a vehicle. Just keep walking."

I say, "let's burn it all down," and start over someplace where no one knows us.

But honey, he says, "It is not that easy. We are not so young anymore where we can be reckless and still have a lifetime ahead of us to pull it all together. I have to make sure we are not destitute, so we are not homeless in our old age." He says, "there is a cost to being alive, and it is not cheap. We need to sit down and make plans and figure out how it will all work before we jump off the cliff." I love him even more for being so authentic… “let’s plan our jump off the cliff,” is how he jumps.

I wonder if reckless living without a care in the world is the privilege of the young. You only have a small window of opportunity, and if you missed it, it is forever gone. Or did I use my "window of opportunity" when I burned it all down and left Turkey to move to the States?

I cannot be the only one who feels eighteen at heart and startled to see a 40-, 50- or 60-year-old looking back when they look at the mirror, can I? As my husband is talking, I keep thinking … but what if we just jumped… will the safety net appear like they say in all those manifestation books? Or will we burn with the fire we've started ourselves?

I don't say anything to him. After all, there are millions all over the world living without a “safety net.” I know he is doing what is expected of him. A tiny part of me is relieved he is the responsible one because it provides me the luxury of being the “reckless” one. And the irony is not lost on me.

I am grateful! I truly am for all the blessings I have in my life … but there is still a part of me longing for a fundamentally different life that allows me to exist in silence, without feeling the need to justify my existence.

How can I possibly hold both of these in the same heart? Equally strong and fiery? Does it even make sense?

I don’t know. I just have to keep walking.

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