When I Grow Up….


She stood on the edge of the cliff overlooking a vast expanse of blue green water.  Below her, she could hear the pounding of the waves on the rocks far below. An ocean breeze stirred her tresses, tickling and teasing her face.  Lifting her arms up high up to reach for the sun, she took a deep breath.  It filled her lungs. She could feel the oxygen flowing in. As she closed her eyes, all she could see was the soft peachy glow of the sun through her closed eye lids.  Just like she had learnt in the yoga classes she found herself  using the Breath of Life.  For a few moments she breathed in that peachy softness imagining its warm glow cleansing and healing her. She imagined all the stuckness and crap lifting. It felt so good. Clean. Fresh.  Perhaps this stuff really did work after all, she thought.  Vowing not be so dismissive of trying new things outside of lessons, Mikaela continued to breathe on the cliff top following her intuition until she felt it was enough.

Mikaela was at a crossroads in her life. Not by choice but enforced by circumstances beyond her control, she found herself contemplating her future from a totally unexpected and different perspective.

Life had happened. It had taken from her all she held dear. In one fell swoop she had lost her whole family. The airplane winging its way home with her husband and children on board had crashed killing all on board. The ensuing months had blurred into a flurry of grief and practicalities.  Now over, Mikaela was left to pick up the pieces of her life.  Unusually both she and her husband came from single child families. Their parents were dead as were all other relatives. She truly was alone – single and homeless. That  too was an unexpected twist  in what seemed an endless road of twists and turns.  Mikaela had been forced to sell the family home to pay off her husband’s debts. To her horror, she had discovered that unbeknownst to her he had led an irresponsible and extravagant lifestyle. Now that he was dead, the sharks had been quick to demand payment. She had no energy to fight them. Instead, she chose to pay the debts even if it took everything she owned. It had.

Having tied up all loose ends and finalised the paperwork, Mikaela had locked the house. It no longer belonged to her.  She felt no regrets.  All she had left was her car and her personal belongings. They fitted neatly into a couple of suitcases stowed in the boot. She had the rest of her life ahead of her. A  fresh start. It was like being born anew, she thought.

She had jumped into her car feeling surprisingly good. Cranking up the volume on her CD player, she belted out “Today my Life begins”  at the top of her voice.

Mikaela had no idea where she was heading. She just drove. And that’s how she  ended up at the cliffs. It was a perfect day. She felt wonderful. Thank goodness she had her secret savings account.  At the time she had thought it was probably a silly thing to do. But she had wanted a fall-back just in case. Well, the just in case was now. She had enough to see her through for a while. Until she settled and decided what she wanted to be in her next life, as she thought of it now.

Sitting behind the wheel of her car with the sun roof open, Mikaela let her imagination run wild – ‘When I grow up…’

© Raili Tanska

Steps for Peace
Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations


15 thoughts on “When I Grow Up….

  1. This story remnds me of something my mother used to say: It’s no use crying over spilt milk. She was right – when we lose loved ones, nothing can bring them back, but as the survivor, we almost owe to them to make the most of life. We certainly owe it to ourselves.

    A lovely story – food for thought.

      1. It was what I feared with my two youngest. Their lives were horrible at the time, and it didn’t look like things would improve. A part of me believed that death would free them, but I was terrified that I would never recover.

        I should have remembered my mum’s words: “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.”

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