The thought of leaving home in three weeks, leaving our home in Costa Rica and our community, hit my daughter hard yesterday. She panicked that she wasn’t ready. She started projecting herself into months ahead about plans and what if’s. She was in that place of uncertainty where truthfully, we all reside in all the time.
The beauty of goodbye eluded her. In a direct and loving way, I told her that this is where she needed to be and to feel but I am not rescuing her from this feeling by telling her to stay or to reconsider – to play it safe. Instead, I pushed. I pushed back firmly with understanding.
Each and every one of my children, before leaving home, has had this moment of panic and doubt. And each and every time, I tell them more or less the same thing:
“You got this.”
I told her though that I am afraid she will miss the opportunity to really love this place even more before she leaves. She will miss how to appreciate and etch into her memory the details of this place and of the people she loves and who love her and instead dwell on imaginary things with anxiety instead of excitement.
I told her of course I could keep her here, entice her with a full-time job and no expenses while living at home. In the past, I have kept children home a little longer while pushed some out a little early. But when I know they are ready, that the fear is borne out of not knowing instead of not being prepared, I nudge them out into the world, away from me. The longer they stay at home, the harder it will be to leave. The worries will mount, the courage will diminish, and the risk of failure will be too daunting.
After this tough talk, she let me know that she loves those talks – not in the moment, but after, when the feeling of overwhelm passes. And I remind her that this is why I am here, to say and to do the hard things that no one else will.
For the next three weeks, I tell her to pay attention to HERE. (I remind myself that too as things are moving fast). So I sit with her now in a cafe contemplating the colour of blue in front of us- the sky and the sea. This is all we can do.
“An appreciation for the beauty of blue pulled me into a comfortable longing” – I wrote this in my 2019 post.
“We love to contemplate blue,” Goethe wrote, “not because it advances to us, but because it draws us after it.”
Blur your vision right now. What colour and tone can you focus on? What do you see? Try it for a day and take note what mood and form inhabits your day.