Throughout my lifetime, people have often mistaken this platform upon which my being is built for standoffishness or impatience. Distant, aloof, and cold of heart were but a scant few of the words that were used to describe my nature and me.
I felt like a pariah in my own family and very early, I learned how to exile myself as a way to escape from the painful desolation these misnomers inflicted on me.
Sadly, over the course of my life I surrendered to the assessment of others and accepted these labels as truth. I adopted them without exercising self-reflection and assumed they were valid. I continued moving through my existence, exploring as I curiously shuffled along life’s roads. Sometimes friends or lovers were included on the journey, but eventually they could not keep pace with me and fell off the trail we were on together.
I have always been that way in my relationships and would tell those individuals that I was involved with, “You have to keep up, ‘cause I gotta go. I won’t stop.” There was so much to experience that I could not bear being held back or slowed down. It was not personal, although I am certain it must have felt that way to them.
I have grieved for having to leave people behind, but their journeys were not mine, nor were mine theirs. I had lessons to learn and, although painful, those lessons no longer included them, and I suppose the reverse was also true.
What I have come to recognize is that this wandering and yearning to run free is not a personality trait or disorder. It is neither good nor bad; simple nor complex; physical nor emotional. It is, instead, a spiritual condition that can only be accepted by applying the spiritual understanding that what we do is who we are, and that together, they are perfect.
Brenda Grace de Jong is the author of several short stories and pieces of flash fiction, along with her recently published book, "My Name is Elpee: A Trilogy". Ms. de Jong holds an M.S. degree in Human Services Leadership and Management and has worked with populations that include: victims of domestic violence, substance abusers, people affected by mental illness, individuals with HIV/AIDS and nursing homes residents desiring to return to the community.
With a minor in Women's Studies, Brenda has, for several years, set about the task of mentoring women in various capacities, especially in the areas of education and empowerment.
As a devout student of the Universe, Ms. de Jong maintains a daily vigil of sustaining and furthering her spirituality, especially within nature. She is an avid barefoot, tree-hugging, candle-lighting, ceremonialist, who conducts full-moon, solstice and equinox ceremonies, individually and with groups on Long Island and at her home on Fire Island.
Having lived both a very conventional existence followed by an unorthodox and checkered lifestyle, Ms. de Jong has been known, over a cup of tea, to share some of her secrets with certain people; other secrets, however, she will simply smile while thinking about, but will discuss only with those who helped make those stories. You can connect with her on Facebook, LinkedIn, and about.me.
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