When things go South, start walking North.

You: I’m actually happy right now! Life: Wait a second!

And this is how it was for me in late January and to boot, on January 13th. Things went south and then south again… But I was able somehow to keep it together by walking north.

This is how south it went: My best friend of 25 years passed on January 13th. Although I was able to hold his hand till the end and have my sort of closure, I was left with a debt of his that I had taken over for an amount that I can barely count to. Yet, that didn’t make me hate him or regret that I had lent him the money, I would do it all over again because this is what we do for friends in need and I know he would have done the same. Call me stupid, but this is how I genuinely feel and I not only find solace in this but peace.

Besides the pain, the emptiness I felt, things went further south. The week after his passing, and after my return to school I was told that there would be no more hours for me the following school year. My body froze and I was only able to thank them for telling me so much in advance. The timing sucked so badly. Another great expression comes to mind: “Kick me while I’m down.” To add to the anxiety, my Dad had a quadruple bypass and I almost lost him too! Total bleakness.

As I reflect upon all this now in July, I realize that when things go south you can bear almost anything. How? I really don’t know. Juggling so many feelings and not losing it with anger at the world is a miracle and I made it.

I did manage to finish the school year with my head barely above the water. My friends, family, colleagues and the school kids helped me get through, especially the trip I was leading to Spain, which gave me a reason to swim against the tide and make it safely to shore: the end of the school year.

Now, looking back at the last few months, I feel I just woke up from a nightmare. Now, the reality is setting in and I am ready to move ahead and appreciate life with all its ups and downs.

When things go south we just start walking north, no matter how far down we are. It’s instinctive I’d like to believe.

NB: I wrote this in July this year, and things went South again. Little did I know how VERY true the statement above was. And here I am… Soldiering on and heading North.


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