Goodness me, it’s been a journey. A long, messy, and very confusing journey. That is why I am here, I think. But I imagine that like most things in life, the reasons you think you start something tend to end up looking very different by the end.

Three years ago I pushed a restart button on my life. Have you ever done that? It sucks.  It is not a pretty scene, carnage lots and lots of carnage.  Yet the thing I am most proud of today, I survived. I made it to this imaginary “other side” and have enough of a sense of self left over to begin to share my story. A friend encouraged me to write, to tell of the questions, the pondering, the “did that really happen?” stories of this journey.  When she suggested it, it was like a light bulb went off in my body. This is what the next step is….this.

Let’s start this off by getting a few things out in the open.  First, I do not pretend to have any wisdom or actual authority type knowledge. This is just a place where I can write, ponder, and share. You are welcome to ponder with me, as long as you agree that I can be so very wrong in my thinking, and I imagine if you are desiring to read such a blog, you can be to. Second, this is a journey, not a destination.

There are two types of people, one who takes a hike and races to the top because the view is what the hike was all about. The breathtaking, glorious moment you get to the top of the torturous hike, take it all in with a few breaths, and then zoom back to the car having believed it was all worth it for that small moment. These are destination people.

Then there are those who drive the others crazy by asking to stop at every little eye-catching thing. Look at the unique shape of this leaf! Did you see that flower? Can you smell the fresh clean air? It takes twice as long to make it to the top because this person, the journey person, is stopping to take in the whole experience.  Every step of the hike is just as valuable as the destination at the end.  I am the second type of person, I find the journey intriguing, worth it, and I pick it apart to squeeze every single lesson I can from it.

Lastly, it’s messy. I know I probably won’t make much sense, and my questions will most likely remain unanswered.  I have woken up every day of the past three years feeling absolutely lost, terrifyingly lost.  Lost at sea without hope of glimpsing land, or stuck in the middle of a thick, dense, forest without a trail. That kind of lost. And you know what, that’s okay with me. I am going to mark my locations by writing, leaving a trail of where I have been just in case someone wants to crawl in the raft with me, or scrape their legs on the pine needles right beside me.

I’ll conclude with this, the title of my blog. The Wake Left Behind. Something I have observed over the years is that people will often leave behind a wake in your life, good or bad, they leave their mark. Whether influence, lessons, perspective, harsh words, gifts,  or encouragement, most often there is something left. Think of a boat, it leaves behind a trail, a wake.

I love kayaking, its my new favorite pastime. There is somethings peaceful about being on the water, yet it pushes me physically.  My little kayak leaves behind the tiniest trail, it doesn’t cause much of a ripple effect for those behind me, and it disappears rather quickly. However, when I am in my kayak and a bigger boat floats on by, I feel a shock, a wave sweep under me. Depending on the size of the boat, this can be large or small. And depending on the size of the boat, it either sticks around for a while, swishing wave after swishing wave, or it disappears as quickly as it came.

I think people are similar. Some people have a big powerful presence to them. It could be their role, like a boss or parent, or it could just be their personality. There are people with charisma, a larger-than-life type personality that leave their mark in the room and their presence is known the moment they walk in. Others are more subtle. Their influence might catch you by surprise years later, or they are quiet yet profound.

This blog is about that wake left behind. People are what shape us most often in life, all those tiny interactions with people chip away at the marble, forming the image of the sculpture we will end up in the end.  I want to take some time to notice the wake left behind. It has shaped me, for better and for worse. This will be my attempt to capture it, process it, and share it with you.

Journey along with me, let’s see what we find at the top!



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