Friday, July 19, 2013

Epiphany at Bethany

My family does something completely insane every summer.  We rent a huge house on Bethany Beach and twenty-three people of all ages, political affiliations, occupations, first languages and religions live together for a week.  It has its stressful moments, especially when it's my night to cook!  But it feels very grounding to have such strong bonds with people with whom you never need to wear makeup, or put on anything dressier than a t-shirt.  You can just let it all hang out. 

However, I must admit that being around all my accomplished family members gives me a good reason to spend some of that time on the beach really thinking about my life and my purpose on earth.  I mean, my cousin Jorge just spent several weeks in Guatemala repairing cleft palates of babies and children for free.  What could I ever do for anyone that would be that life-changing?  Joe and I are the only musicians, except for one budding diva (!!!!!) and one jazzer-cum-accountant.  Other than that we have two MDs, two PhDs, one dentist, six attorneys (one of whom was just a commentator on the news, for god's sake), and the list goes on and on.  Luckily, we also have three visual artists, a linguist, and a therapist to balance it all out.  But I always feel a little bit like the underachiever, like maybe what I do is a little bit misunderstood. 

I think we all have moments in life when we wonder if we are on the right path, if we are fulfilling our purpose, if everyone feels this struggle, or if those who are really living their destiny sail through life with fewer cares.  One day I was feeling this particularly acutely, so I took a long walk on the beach.  When I am walking on the beach, it really is almost as if my brain goes blank.  It is the calmest I ever am.  The sound of the waves have such a soothing monotony and that is why I love the beach-- it's my happy place.  While I was walking, the thought came to me that I do have purpose, that I am living my purpose, that I'm right where I should be, and struggling at it like every other human.  I have two purposes: Joe and classical music.  

The clarity of this little revelation (which might really seem obvious in some ways) startled me.  

Without either I would not be me.  I would not be who I am.  I owe them both everything.  One saved me in one way and one in another. 

And so I know now.  It was quite a moment. 

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