“And her joy would become a restless thing, flapping its wings inside her, as though looking for an opening to fly away.” “Americanah” by Chiamanada Ngozi Adichie
The weekend of my birthday I attended a silent retreat with Father Greg Boyle from Homeboy Industries. During his opening lecture, he spoke about creating spaciousness in your life to allow yourself to savor the world. The spaciousness we create allows us to live, sit comfortably with joy, embrace compassion, and tenderness. We live. We become whole.
What Father Greg didn’t know is that 4 hours before he spoke those words, during his first of five reflections, I had been terminated from my job. What Father Greg didn’t know is that his words gave me permission to spend the remaining time in silence to listen to the next path with a fearless joy that was different for me, BUT it felt just right.
On Sunday as the retreat drew to a close, we all started embracing the new voices and new perspectives of joy we found in the silence. Father Greg signed my book Happy Birthday with a “No matter what-ness”. In my heart, it was God giving me permission to fly. Permission to flap my wings and prepare to soar with joy into the next chapter of vastness as the opening of the cage widened.
The next morning I woke up as a 36 year old woman. What did I do? I went to buy bras. Bras!!!! my, my, my how birthdays change.
I haven’t had a fitting for bras in over 13 years, and I continued buying the same size. Let’s be honest for a moment, reflecting on this is similar to life. We get comfortable with status quo. As my body changed from the perkiness of my 20s to the subtle tear drops of my mid 30s, I just stayed with a size that was my status quo. My clothes didn’t fit right and sometimes it was uncomfortable. But, it was what I knew. It was a comfortable cage.
I got my new measurements, and tried on a bra in my size. It fit like a glove. With a bag filled with 5 new bras that fit just right. Kayla at GAP Body in Lenox was wonderful! Their bras are simply divine.
A new eyeglass prescription, a new set of bras, and a new beginning for my career. I’m living out the dreams that I wrote about in my journal in 1998 as a college freshman.
That evening with a cocktail and a scoop of ice cream at a bar to toast the new year of my life, the cage flew open and it feels… just right!