I've been restless lately. Unsettled. Unsure. I don't know which direction to go next. I've also been reading a lot lately - and it's no coincidence that when I feel unsettled, I turn to books. As many people as I have in my life, it seems I always turn inward.

I recently read this:

"Whatever you are feeling, whatever it is you have a question about, whatever it is that you long to know, there is some book, somewhere with the key. You just have to search for it."

When I am troubled or stuck, I read. I read anything. Fiction, non fiction, children's books, history books. Hell, I'll even take a stroll through the yellow pages.

But as I get older, I don't know if that quote is true. The more I read, the less I realize I know. The less I feel like I am finding answers and the more I feel like I'm just making a mental list of more unanswered questions. And the last thing I need right now are more questions.

As I write this, I stop every now and then to look out a the Hudson River and the whitecaps grazing the top of the water. It's windy today, with the wind coming from the North. A familiar refrain weaves in and out of my mind as I watch the water: "You don't know me at all. You just don't know me at all."

I think those words are meant for me and no one else. I'm not quite sure who I am anymore. For so long, I measured myself by my dreams. I followed my heart wherever it led, and I let myself believe in a higher purpose, in something that was smarter than me guiding me wherever I was meant to go.

But these past couple of years, my heart has made a wrong turn or two. I've made mistakes. In a very basic, real way, I realize now that I no longer trust my own instincts. Maybe this is the lesson I was meant to learn. My heart doesn't always know the way. My heart has always been my compass. By not trusting it, I've lost my way. I drift. I wander. I survive the day, one after another.

I can't go back to yesterday or a minute ago. They are passed. Gone. Flowing like the tides of the river just outside my window. But one thing I know by watching the river all these years: the tide recedes and becomes full again. What ends begins again. What begins ends.

I must learn how to re-dream. I must learn how to salvage the innocent part of me and let it lead. Pieces of me are scattered everywhere. Little notes I've written and torn up. Letters I never sent. Footsteps in the damp spring ground. My scent on the pillow. Lipstick stains on a coffee cup. I am real. I am here. Just when I think nothing is left, just when I think the years are passing with not so much as a pause, I remember I am me. I am here. I will be okay because somewhere down deep, I will find a way to trust myself again. It's a full moon and the tides are running high.

Today I am listening. The breeze and the new green leaves reminded me that I am a constellation but it's not up to me to connect the dots. It's up to me to shine. Nothing more. Nothing less. Just shine.


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