Sometimes…sometimes the wind is on my back, the sun on my face, and the green lights… well, they smile upon me, making straight my path. In those moments I feel I can do no wrong, all is right in the realm, and it is clear that the whole universe is conspiring in my favor. But there are other moments…less facebookable instances of my existence. When, despite my best efforts, things are just… a little…off. Times when failure seems the norm, disappointments abound, and self-loathing becomes an all too familiar way of relating to my mother’s third son. And in those moments, hell, even babies and puppies don’t want me around.
A few weeks ago I spent a couple of days in ‘one of those moments’. Stuck in the sadness and shame of setbacks, it had become painfully obvious that I would need to discontinue my medical education. For more than a decade, my life has been directed to one end above all else, becoming a physician. This ‘end’ was not a chorus that I had sought, sang, and echoed since childhood. No, it was a tune heard while on a medical missions trip for a summer in Africa. The sounds of which I initially tried to ignore, but when the Divine seeks our attention, the crescendo can be deafening. At such junctures, we are offered choice - either to deaden our ears to that which we know to be true in the sinews of our souls, … or to welcome in a new heartsong. I chose the latter and that song has been my marching tune for the whole of my adult life.
To remain in lock step with the beat of the Divine drum I have given all that is mine. Uprooting my life, I’ve sold off my possessions, separated myself from my kinsmen, and broken the heart of at least one good woman. Which is why a few weeks ago, when discussing my options with a senior administrator of my medical school, I needed to mute the phone to scream in frustration as he delivered an uncomfortable truth. I haven’t met my fundraising goals, don’t have the money to pay tuition and will need to put my medical education on hold for the time being. See, this administrator is a man that I love and respect, not just professionally but personally. He is a professional mentor and has, like so many others at my school, gone to bat for me on more than one occasion. So, when this man said I would need to pause schooling, my heart sank, my voice cracked, and I once again began drowning in a deluge of disappointment. How!?! What!?! WHY-COME!?! (It was so bad, that even my intrapersonal protests were grammatically incorrect).
But this is why I practice. This is why I study scriptures. Why I pray & prostrate. Why I ask through asana for the Divine lullaby to guide my life and comfort my soul. Cause shit is real in these fields. And life… life ain't always so easy. Sure, it would be nice if life were only comprised of sun-drenched days without worry. But it’s not. Sometimes there are other days. Days when your estranged father dies before you become a man. Days when your body fails and your lungs fill with blood. Days when lovers need more time and attention than a dreamer can give, and days when dreams…dreams get deferred. This is not something that occurs to SOME people. No. Sadness, suffering, and setback at some point visit us all without exception. Uncomfortable as it might be, if we let it, choosing to acknowledge that fundamental truth, can be ennobling. I am sobered by my suffering, and in time I trust I shall be redeemed by my disappointment. But right now… in this moment… the shit just kinda SUCKS. And that’s honest and real, and necessary to acknowledge.
So right now, I’m at a yellow light. Sitting with my sadness and choosing not to hate on Taye’s son for things he could have done differently. This is life. Ups, downs, highs, and lows - this is my story, this is my song. Now, now I will sing that song while I go find some little people and puppies to play with.