I grew up in the Catholic Church. Dogma ruled our lives. Mass provided structure for the week. Faith was taught–but not fully internalized. I’ve come to realize that there is “FAITH” and there is my faith.
FAITH has sustained me in times of trouble providing a bridge over troubled water, structure, and safety. But faith in myself was always unsteady. I was too busy raising five children and working on two careers–teaching and community service through library work– to think much about it. I was often in survival mode, not fully conscious.
These past six months have been all about leaps of faith. Trusting in the goodness of people and in the process of being led to something unknown and being okay with it. Each major decision I’ve made has been an act of faith.
The week before I left for Italy and later, Colorado, my daughter would get concerned about where I was going and who I was staying with. She’d start googling and asking a lot of questions that I did not have the answers to. She is a good daughter and I would do the same for my mother. But my faith was no longer wavering, I started to do what felt right, rather than doing what society said I should do for a woman of my age.
I’ve had the good fortune in my career to be supported by people who allowed me to be creative and build projects and programs by instinct, with the purpose of creating a positive impact for those we served. Whether it was a concert series, an interview with Ray Bradbury that resulted in the Bradbury Storytelling Festival, the award-winning Early Learning Center or Promotaras Program–each time I was given the opportunity to create something new it was exciting, scary and rewarding.
Now it is my time to allow myself to be creative, build something new and it is exciting, scary and that I know it will be rewarding. A life by choice. As I write this, a hawk is circling the yard, his wingspan impressive. His trust in his ability to fly innate. I’m looking at mountains reflected in a lake and listening to the music of a fountain. I’ve landed in a sensory heaven.
According to Deepak Chopra “unpredictability is the basis of creativity.” But I like Ray Bradbury’s inspirational words better. “Jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down.” That is the ultimate leap of faith. Right now I’m free falling, but I know I can build my wings, I’m just not sure what they look like–and I’m okay with that. I have faith, in myself, in the present and the future that will unfold.